Keto And Intermittent Fasting Helped Me Lose 118 Lbs. After I Let The Weight Pile On After My Miscarriages

My name is Lisa Hasselbeck (@queencityketo), I’m 36, and I live in Cincinnati, Ohio. Over 300 pounds and two miscarriages later, I decided to change my eating habits and try keto and intermittent fasting. I lost 118 pounds and gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby.

For the majority of my adult life, I’ve been the bigger girl in the room. After years of dealing with fertility issues, including two miscarriages, I was at my highest weight ever at 323 pounds. Although, my weight may have even been higher than that; I stopped putting myself on a scale when I got to a certain point as it didn't make me happy. I used food to cope with my sadness over our pregnancy losses and the weight piled on at an alarming rate.

I was only 30 at the time but I felt like my body was already breaking down. I experienced migraines that I couldn’t control, even with medication. My menstrual cycles were extremely irregular (thanks, PCOS), my knees and feet ached, and my body hurt just getting out of bed. It was such a scary experience feeling that unhealthy at such a young age. What's worse was imagining my future.

I was desperate for change and started looking on Reddit and Instagram for weight-loss info.

I discovered lots of threads and posts from people who cut out grains and sugar, and some who were doing this via the keto diet, and eventually I immersed myself in learning about the high-fat-, low-carb plan. The first few days I read everything I could find. My husband had already begun his own health journey at the time (he ultimately lost 122 pounds and is training for a triathlon). So we dove into keto together, starting off with little things like taking the buns off of our cheeseburgers or getting broccoli in lieu of fries.

The nice thing about keto was that the foods I ate were all foods that I enjoyed: meat, cheese, veggies, cream, seafood. I knew that in order to be successful I had to have a positive perspective, so I centered mine around the foods I could have, not the ones that were considered off-limits on keto.

About a year and a half into this new lifestyle, I had lost 118 pounds—and something even more wonderful happened. I became pregnant naturally after years of fertility issues. (Although I can't say for certain whether my lifestyle changes were part of the reason for my pregnancy, of course!)

During my pregnancy, I stayed low carb and keto-ish because it made me feel my best. I worked at out most days and now have a very happy, healthy, incredible 9-month-old baby sibling to my amazing little 6-year-old.

But going keto was not easy. It required a support system.

I wouldn't have been able to keep up such a big lifestyle change without my support system. My husband was at the gym sweating right next to me. My sister listened to me go on and on about a keto food or product (she's lost 70+ pounds herself!). My parents, who changed up our meals at family gatherings, had my back the entire way.

I also found friends friends and a supportive community on Instagram. Actually, Instagram has been pivotal for me in my weight-loss journey. I used the social media platform as well as Pinterest to find new keto-friendly recipes. My friend Anna Hunley (@keto_in_pearls) also wrote an incredible keto cookbook, and if I’m cooking something using a recipe, it’s probably one of hers.

Making simple meals really helped me to stay on track.

If a dish has more than a handful of ingredients or any items I can’t find at my local grocery store, I probably won’t make it. Instead, I stick to the basics and I try to finish eating by 8 p.m.

Here's what a typical day of eating looks like for me:

  • Breakfast: I practice intermittent fasting, so I'll skip the breakfast foods. I will do an iced coffee, though, with a splash of heavy whipping cream and some Lakanto monkfruit sweetener drops.
  • Lunch: I fast until I get hungry around 1 or 2 p.m. Then I’ll have lunch, which is usually some sort of fatty salad (e.g., lettuce with hard-boiled eggs, tuna salad, and ranch). Sometimes I'll swap that for a leftover egg roll or a burger without the bun and a side salad with ranch.
  • Dinner: We usually do a protein of some sort with cheesy broccoli or cauliflower on the side, or a bowl of keto chili, courtesy of @keto_in_pearls.

When I started working out, I skipped the cardio and started weight training.

My relationship with working out prior to this journey was, well, nonexistent. But once I figured out keto, I knew that I wanted to incorporate some sort of regular gym routine into my life.

I began adding weight and resistance training into my workouts. I absolutely loathed cardio, so I didn't worry about that—and I still do the bare minimum there. But weight lifting and Pilates became my go-to exercises, and they still help me feel strong and toned.

I got off track at points—and that's completely okay.

A meal, a day, even a couple of days won’t ruin all of your progress—but giving up entirely will. I had to remember that if I ate something that wasn’t part of my plan, I had to just accept that it happened and move on. Some days, I had to take it meal by meal because planning so far out would feel overwhelming. I accepted that the journey would be imperfect, especially on a diet like keto that takes time to get used to.


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