My name is Brenda Silva. I am 31 years young and I live in Los Angeles. I work for the hair accessory company Emi Jay Inc. After my last pregnancy, I felt depressed and knew I needed to change my lifestyle—so I tried keto.
I can’t exactly pinpoint where my weight issues began in my life. To be honest, I felt tired and lethargic for as long as I could remember. I felt uncomfortable in my own skin all of the time, and I was always so embarrassed to wear something that wasn’t black or covering up my insecurities. Despite my insecurities, I knew that diabetes ran in my family, and I didn’t want my health to get to a point where I was diagnosed myself.
But it wasn’t until July 2018, right after I had my second daughter, that I finally got serious about my health. She was born premature and I got very depressed for a long time, and all of the stress and emotions at that time really took a toll on my body.
By the time I had given birth to her, I was almost 300 pounds. I was tired of being tired, and tired of not liking what I saw in the mirror. I hated the way I looked and the way I felt.
When I returned to work after having my second baby, I noticed my coworker had lost a significant amount of weight. I asked her how and she said, “keto.”
I went off and did my own research, and to me, the keto diet sounded simple enough. I thought I’d give it a shot. After trying other diets and fads—diet pills, eating salads for every single meal, soup diets, and shakes as meal replacements—nothing seemed to work.
On the keto diet, I kept my carb intake to less than 20 grams of carbs per day. I also incorporated intermittent fasting into my diet six months into my new lifestyle. This gave me a better grip on my food intake, cut my food cravings, and gave me so much more energy throughout the day. Currently, in conjunction with keto, I do the 16:8 diet, meaning I fast for 16 hours and I eat within an 8-hour window.
I’m still trying to work on an exercise routine, but as a family, we go on long walks on the weekends. We are always moving, just not at the gym.
Here’s what I typically eat in a day now:
- Breakfast: I love making egg cups. I mix two eggs, bacon, and cheese together and pour the mixture into a muffin baking sheet. Then I pop it into the oven until they are cooked through.
- Snack: Pork Rinds, a pickle, or a handful of almonds always works for me.
- Dinner: I love traditional bone-in Buffalo wings and a side salad with a low-carb dressing.
- Dessert: I love to make homemade peanut butter cookies. I use organic peanut butter, Lakanto sweetener, vanilla extract, and one egg. I don’t always have dessert but if it fits my macros for the day, I enjoy a treat.
The keto diet has improved my life in more ways than one.
I have lost a total of 79 pounds on the ketogenic diet, down from around 300 only a couple of years ago. My energy is always high, and my relationship with food is so much healthier than it used to be.
I wish I had done my research on eating plans and sustainable weight loss much sooner. I wish I had known that fat can be good for the body, and that sugar drains my energy. For instance, I used to think anything that said “fat free” was good for you. Overall, I just wish I had been more informed—and I encourage other women to do their research before trying out any diet and empower themselves with information.
I eat to feel satisfied and fueled, but not to get full to the point that I feel tired. I have so much more mental clarity. I’m no longer depressed, and I love who I see in the mirror and how I feel every single day. Yes, I have lost a lot of weight, but I have gained so much confidence, strength, and self-awareness on the inside, too.
My biggest piece of advice? Just. Start. Now. You gotta start somewhere, somehow. On any budget. On any given day. Don’t wait until the New Year to start making healthy changes.