After years of suffering from obesity and chronic headaches, I was desperate for a change. My energy levels were at an all-time low, and I started every morning by chasing coffee with Diet Coke and Tylenol. Even though I weighed close to 300 pounds, it didn’t click that my diet might be responsible for the chronic daily headache and overall lack of energy I was experiencing.
I stumbled into an anti-inflammatory diet. I started off with some terrible advice from a well-meaning friend to give Atkins a try, but quickly found that I couldn’t live on pepperoni and cheese sticks. After much trial and error (lots of trial, lots of error!), I discovered a healthier way of eating that has helped me regain my energy levels and keep headaches at bay. Whether you call this “anti-inflammatory” or DIRTY, LAZY, KETO, this way of eating has helped me to lose 140 pounds, or half of my body weight, and maintain this weight loss consistently for six years.
The irony is not lost with an anti-inflammatory diet. The sugars and starches I previously depended on for quick energy boosts ended up being the culprit of my problems. Once I eliminated these foods and replaced them with low carbohydrate vegetables/fruits, lean proteins and healthy fats, the positive effects were immediate. Mental clarity, sustainable “even” energy, and pain-free temples were the most notable physical effects I experienced.
Looking back, I realize that whenever I ate sugary or high carb foods, I experienced a chain reaction of events that would spin out of control. The awful feeling I got after eating too many carbs felt equivalent to the flu. The only relief for my symptoms was to eat even MORE carbs; what a vicious cycle!
Because of this realization, I advocate being consistent with the DIRTY, LAZY, KETO lifestyle and avoid planned “cheat meals”. These seemingly innocent “vacations from healthy eating” derail confidence and promote rampant inflammation throughout the body. The times I have avoided my own advice and gobbled down French fries, I immediately felt bloated, sweaty, a headache and gastrointestinal distress. Agreed, French fries taste amazing, but they make me feel absolutely terrible, both emotionally and physically!
By no means am I perfect. The struggle to eat healthier will always be a challenge for me. When I find myself thinking I can handle these so-called “treats”, I have learned to pause and really think about the choice I am making. Is it worth it?
Stephanie Laska, the author of the best-selling Amazon book, DIRTY, LAZY, KETO Getting Started: How I Lost 140 Pounds was recently quoted in the Costco Connection Magazine, “Eating to Stop Inflammation” (January 2019).
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