A major back injury followed by surgery caused Meagan to gain over 27 kilos of weight. After trying numerous diets and weight-loss gimmicks, Meagan was introduced to the ketogenic diet. Meagan has lost 29 kilos to date, and most importantly, she's learned to love herself and her body. Continue reading to find out more about Meagan's weight-loss journey
What Inspired Meagan to Lose Weight
Q: What made you embark on your weight-loss journey?
Meagan Svendsen: I am a 42-year-old, 5'10" woman and I have always had some form of body image insecurities because of my height. Unfortunately, this led to me having a dysfunctional relationship with food. I have experienced binging and trying and failing every diet or weight-loss gimmick imaginable.
In early 2013, I quit a 20-year smoking habit. Two months later, I injured my back so bad that it required surgery to fix it. In less than a year, from the immobility and the mental anguish from the pain, I had gained over 60 pounds. The additional weight exacerbated my back pain. I was miserable and I was in pain. Fast forward a couple years — after trying and failing countless diets and exercise plans, a friend recommended I try Bikram yoga with her to help my back pain. She had recently had lost over 30 pounds and she totally inspired me. Although it was incredibly challenging, my life changed that day. Soon after, another yoga practitioner introduced me to the ketogenic lifestyle and my transformation began.
How Meagan Lost the Weight
Q: How much weight have you lost to date? How long did it take?
Meagan Svendsen: I have lost 65 pounds in seven months, and I have maintained that weight loss for over eight months.
Q: Did you follow a specific diet?
Meagan Svendsen: I began following a ketogenic way of eating (I prefer way of eating over diet) on June 1, 2017, and I practice Bikram hot yoga every day.
What Meagan Eats in a Day
Q: What does a typical day of eating look like for you?
The ketogenic way of eating has gained so much popularity over the last couple of years. The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, moderate protein, high-fat way of eating. High-quality fats (for energy) and proteins (for healthy brain function and maintaining muscle mass) are my primary sources of fuel. I eat less than 20 net carbs per day.
- Breakfast: Bulletproof coffee (one tbsp. MTC oil, one tbsp. grass-fed butter, and one tbsp. of organic heavy whipping cream blended into a cup of coffee). I'll also have one or two scrambled eggs with one ounce of shredded cheese and two pieces of bacon. Some days I just have the Bulletproof coffee.
- Lunch: Four to six ounces of a fatty protein, a high-fibre vegetable, and a fat like a bun-less bacon cheeseburger. My current favourite lunch is four ounces of Instant Pot steamed salmon over a bed of mixed greens with half an avocado, one ounce of shredded cheddar cheese, one ounce of pecan pieces, one tablespoon of bacon crumbles, one chopped hard-boiled egg, and three to four tablespoons of ranch dressing.
- Dinner: I typically eat a high-fat protein and a high-fibre vegetable. I love to make a faux chicken fried rice with chicken thighs, cauliflower rice, mushrooms, green onions, coconut aminos, and sesame oil. Another favourite I make is keto shrimp alfredo with riced cauliflower or zucchini noodles, parmesan cheese, heavy whipping cream, and butter. My other favourites include cheese-shelled tacos, egg roll in a bowl, and keto pizza with Fat Head dough.
Q: Do you count calories?
Meagan Svendsen: I don't count calories; however, I do track my macros, which is the right balance of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates to get in and stay in ketosis. This is based off of my current age, height, weight, and BMI. For me, 70 percent of my daily calories come from good fats, 25 percent comes from high-quality proteins, and about 5 percent from carbohydrates.
Meagan's Challenges, What Keeps Her Motivated, and Non-Scale Victories
Q: What has been the most challenging aspect of your weight-loss journey?
Meagan Svendsen: The only challenging aspect of my journey has been learning that allowing myself to be a priority is a positive thing. Finding self-love and balance can be extremely difficult. My family, especially my husband, have been so incredibly supportive. Yoga has also been so beneficial in helping me learn to appreciate my body for the amazing machine that it really is.
Q: What are some non-scale victories you've experienced?
Meagan Svendsen: Wearing a bikini in public and feeling confident in my body for the first time was such an empowering moment for me! I used to get anxiety at the thought of wearing a bathing suit. Another NSV was the day my wedding ring was not tight anymore. It did not just finally fit; I actually needed it resized because it was too big.
Q: What keeps you motivated?
Meagan Svendsen: Before and after photos have continued to motivate me on my journey. Sometimes I still cannot believe that I did it. I just feel so good physically and mentally. I sleep better, live relatively pain-free, my skin and hair feel so healthy, my hormonal mood swings have improved, and my endometriosis symptoms have diminished.
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