Keto And Bodybuilding Helped Me Overcome Binge Eating Disorder And Sugar Addiction

My name is Lauren Berryhill (@keto_coach_lauren), and I'm a 27-year-old certified personal trainer and nutrition coach in North Carolina, specializing in the ketogenic diet. After reaching 232 pounds and facing health issues, I decided to change my lifestyle, starting with trying keto. I've now lost 103 pounds and feel healthier and stronger than ever.

Since my early teenage years, I wanted to be as thin as possible and always saw myself as larger than I actually was. Eventually, I developed binge eating disorder. I yo-yo dieted with calorie counting, Weight Watchers, and other restrictive eating plans for years. I would severely limit my calories, exercise excessively, and then eventually binge.

I found myself turning to food (specifically sugar) for comfort when life got stressful or emotional. I repeated this cycle for years and steadily gained weight. I would lose weight, then gain it right back after losing control and constantly binge eating. My binge eating was so severe that I would stop at gas stations on the way home from work and load up on donuts, gummy worms, and other candy. Then I’d eat it all in secret and take the trash out.

By the age of 23, I was nearly 50 pounds overweight. I got pregnant, and I gained an additional 50 pounds because I continued to binge eat throughout each trimester. I gave myself every excuse ("I'm eating for two!") and was not active at all. I was 232 pounds when I had my son. I was pre-diabetic and I had high cholesterol. I also suffered from depression and anxiety, and my body-image issues were the most intense they had ever been.

When I became fully aware of not only the health risks I was facing but the state of my mental health, I realized I needed to make a change.

I was 23 at the time and decided that, once I was cleared by my doctor, I would start dieting again. Initially, I went back to old habits of yo-yo dieting and still found myself suffering with binge eating. I lost 60 pounds, but in an unhealthy way.

It wasn't until December of 2016 when I fully accepted the fact that I needed a true lifestyle change. I started researching the ketogenic diet, a high-fat, low-carb, moderate-protein way of eating—because I realized that my true problem was an addiction to sugar and processed foods. Keto seemed to help many other people break their sugar addiction, as well as improve their overall health, so I decided to give it a try.

I started keto in January 2017, and within four weeks I lost around 25 pounds.

My energy was through the roof, my mental clarity was amazing, and my sugar cravings were gone.

The fat kept me full, as well as energized. I never felt the urge to binge because, by cutting out sugar and processed carbs, my blood sugar stayed stable and I didn't feel those strong urges for unhealthy food anymore. Now, I tend to eat 70 to 75 percent of my calories from fat, 20 to 25 percent from protein, and 5 to 10 percent from carbs daily.

Here’s what I typically eat in a day:

  • Breakfast: Fatty coffee (KetoLogic MCT oil, butter, and heavy cream) with pasture-raised eggs and sugar-free bacon.
  • Lunch: Mixed green salads with chicken breast, cheese, avocado and a full-fat avocado oil dressing.
  • Snacks: KetoLogic Keto Crisps, FBomb pork sticks/nut butters/pickles, or Keto Brick.
  • Dinner: Ribeye and air-fried Brussels sprouts with olive oil.
  • Dessert: I tend to skip dessert, but if I have it, I like Keto Brick or FBomb nut butters.

About six months into my keto journey, I started lifting weights at Planet Fitness, and I quickly found a passion for bodybuilding.

I became certified in personal training to really gain the knowledge I needed to achieve my goals. I have been working out at an amazing local gym called SuperFitness Gym, where my exercise regimen resembles a bodybuilding/powerlifting style and I lift as heavy as possible. Lifting heavy allows me to push myself beyond my preconceived limits—and I love it. I can currently deadlift 280 pounds, bench press 150 pounds, and squat 260 pounds!

An example of my weekly workouts:

  • Monday: Deadlift/back movements
  • Tuesday: Bench/chest and triceps movements
  • Wednesday: Squat/quad movements
  • Thursday: Hamstrings and biceps
  • Friday: Rest day
  • Sat/Sun: Cardio or walking (I just make sure to get moving!)

My weight loss-journey would not have been successful without changing my mindset about health, dieting, and fitness.

I viewed my diet change as a lifestyle change. I ditched the sugar and eliminated processed foods. I now eat a whole food-based diet that is high in healthy fats, which fuels me properly. I don't restrict my food intake based on calories anymore.

I also stopped turning to food for comfort. By eliminating my trigger food (sugar) I have been able to find alternatives to handle stressful situations like exercise, meditation, and yoga. And I started focusing on feeling strong instead of just trying to be skinny. This has helped me get rid of my body-image issues in *huge* ways.

I've lost 103 pounds in two years.

I have been fully keto for three years, and I feel amazing. I do have loose skin and stretch marks from my journey, which I am *so* proud of. My Instagram shows 100 percent transparency, and I promote normalizing real bodies with a huge passion, as most who lose a significant amount of weight will have things like loose skin and stretch marks as well. Often times they feel the need to have surgery to correct it. But I want women and men to know they can also embrace the results of their hard work exactly as they are. They are symbols of what we've overcome.

I am a mom of a four-year-old boy, wife, and business owner who simply decided I was tired of hating who I was and how I looked. I was a normal girl who decided to just go for it. It took time, and it wasn't easy. I made mistakes along the way, but one thing I never did was give up.

I realized I had so much more to live for (my son, husband, my future) and I wasn't going to settle for a life that didn't make me happy. Once I started taking care of myself, everyone else around me was able to benefit from it. I was a better mom, wife, and overall happier person.


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