'I Started The Keto Diet After My Third Pregnancy—And Lost 45 Pounds'

Photo credit: Brianna Muniz
Photo credit: Brianna Muniz

From Women's Health

I'm Brianna. I'm 31 and a hairstylist and mama in Los Angeles.

I have three gorgeous kids under the age of 5. After three kids and taking care of little ones (the best job in the world!), your body has been through a lot, as you can imagine.

During my third pregnancy, I gained 60 pounds. But unlike my other two pregnancies, the weight just wasn’t coming off that third time around. When my youngest son was about a year and a half, I realized I had only lost 15 pounds of the 60 I had gained. I had settled in and gotten comfortable at this weight, but at the same time I wasn’t happy with how I felt.

My turning point

In October 2018 I realized that I was at my highest weight, and that I needed to change something. I was eating anything I wanted and did not watch what I ate at all. My diet consisted of a lot of pizza, burgers, cupcakes, milkshakes, and soda.

So I decided to try keto. I did my research and went all in. I had never really done a “diet” before, and I never thought I could because I didn't feel as if I had any self-control with food. But to my surprise, I enjoyed keto and started losing weight right off the bat. Seeing the amazing results kept me motivated.

Before I started this journey, I wish I understood how much just changing your food plan can take off the weight so quickly. I’ve lost 45 pounds since I started keto and I've already gone from a size 10 to a size 4.

Prepping food has helped me so much. I have developed better self-control now that I understand how the foods that go in my body can affect me as a whole, mentally and physically. I have so much more energy when I'm conscious of what I'm putting into my body. My job as a hairstylist is so fast-paced that I need all the energy I can get. But most importantly, I have more energy to pour into my three kids now. And that is the biggest blessing.

What I eat in a day now

I meal prep a lot and plan out each meal that I’m going to make for the week. I find tons of keto recipes on Pinterest, and my kids also love helping me cook (which is an added bonus). I love finding recipes that include lots of veggies. I also love to bake and search for keto-friendly dessert recipes.

  • Breakfast: Bulletproof coffee

  • Lunch: Chicken or taco salad

  • Snacks: Pepperoni, cheese slices

  • Dinner: Cream cheese jalapeño chicken bake

  • Dessert: Sugar-free cheesecake bites with a sliced strawberry

My top three tips for success

1. Consider eating within a time window. I learned through my research that a lot of people on keto had success by combining it with intermittent fasting (IF). I tried a version of IF myself and found it works really well for me to start eating around lunch time and closing the kitchen earlier in the evening. I usually eat between the hours of 1 p.m. and 8 p.m., and I don't feel deprived. (Of course, intermittent fasting isn't necessarily a good idea for every single person, so talk to a doctor or nutritionist first about it.)

2. Be mindful of carbs and sugar. Yep, I'm sure you've heard this advice before! But as basic as it sounds, I cut back on carbs and sugars as a result of being on keto, and now I notice how carbs make me feel so sick when I go overboard on eating them. It's not just about weight and calories, but how I physically feel. I do eat treats once in a while now since I am mostly trying to maintain my weight. I also make sugar-free treats here and there in case I get a craving.

3. Remember that it's okay to mess up. You will mess up because you're human, but you have to take a deep breath, accept it, and keep going. Try to find your strength, but also have grace with yourself. It’s a lifestyle change and it takes time to retrain your habits.

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