My name is Susanna Grosso (@zerosugar_gal), and I am 39 years old. I am from Columbus, Ohio, and I work as a recruiter. I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome in my teens and dealt with weight gain. In 2018, I tried keto and intermittent fasting and lost 200 pounds in less than two years.
© Susanna Grosso
For Susanna G., her PCOS weight loss came down to trying the keto diet, 16-8 and 20-4 fasting, and eating a low-sugar diet. She has lost 200 pounds.
I was diagnosed with PCOS at the age of 14, and I was told that I would always struggle with my weight. On top of difficulty conceiving, I was also a candidate for cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure. In order to get my periods every month, I had to take birth control pills for the rest of my life. All of these things were not something you want to hear at such a young age.
So I tried a bunch of different diets to manage my weight, but none of them worked. I pretty much gave up, and the years just went by as the scale number climbed higher and higher. At my heaviest, I weighed 479 pounds. I was prediabetic, and at one point, my knees started to give out on me.
My turning point came in late 2018. I was 37 and had just gotten back from a summer Europe trip.
I had the time of my life and I really wanted to keep traveling. However, the extra weight was a big issue. I said enough is enough. As fall came, I was looking into different workout plans and diets.
I kept hearing about the ketogenic diet from friends and family. One day a friend of mine reached out to me about starting keto and explained that it was all about nutrition and eating and didn't involve a specific exercise regimen. Those were magic words to me, because my weight was in the 400s, and my knees were not doing well. So, a weight-loss approach that didn't involve physical activity was a plus for me in the beginning.
I started doing my own research and decided to start my keto journey in November 2018. I also started doing intermittent fasting about two months into my new keto lifestyle. I started with a pretty standard eating window of 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. and then worked my way up to a 20:4 intermittent fasting schedule, where I would fast for 20 hours and eat in a four-hour window. Intermittent fasting was very helpful because it taught me to be disciplined and not overeat, or ignore my hunger cues.
Here’s what I eat in a day now.
- Breakfast: I fast, so I do not eat a typical breakfast.
- Lunch: More like a brunch, since I’m breaking a fast! I enjoy coffee with collagen and Stevia, three pastured eggs, uncured bacon (three slices), spinach, mushroom, peppers, and cheese.
- Snacks: Pistachios, almonds, and macadamias are my favorite snacks.
- Dinner: Grass-fed steak, wild salmon, or organic chicken with cauliflower rice, veggies (asparagus or broccoli), and always an avocado.
- Dessert: Berries with whipped cream.
Gallery: Paula Abdul: A Day in My Life (US Weekly)
I did not start exercising until about four months into my keto lifestyle.
I started walking the dog three times a week, and then I started walking in the park. Eventually I purchased a treadmill.
now I work out four to five times a week for 45 minutes, doing swimming and Zumba two times a week. You have to find forms of physical activity you enjoy, or else it's going to be miserable! I love swimming and dancing, so it was the perfect combo.
These three changes made the biggest difference in my weight-loss results.
- I stuck to a regimented eating plan. I had to realize that food was an addiction for me, and I had to fight that monster. So discipline was key for my weight-loss program.
- I stayed organized. Go grocery shopping and dedicate time to cooking your meals. I don't necessarily meal prep for the week, but I have everything ready, washed, cut, and packed so that, when needed, I can cook my meals without stressing!
- I celebrated my success. Weight loss is very hard, so when you hit your goals, take yourself to the spa or buy a new outfit. If you have a social media page, share it with your community. Be proud!
I have lost 200 pounds in a period of one year and 10 months.
Back in April I got sick with COVID-19, and it threw me off my routine. It was a strange experience. I was craving fruits more than anything—pineapples, oranges, papaya, and mangos—and I gained back 20-plus pounds within four weeks or so. But I really did not care much because the main focus was to be healthy again. And weight loss is a non-linear journey.
One thing I always say is, "Health is wealth." I am investing in my body, and no one else is going to do it for me. Dedication and consistency have led me to success. Do not wait on a certain day or month to start. Just do it!
I never thought that in my late 30s I would be able to do so many things I physically couldn't in my younger years. I am a living proof that you can overcome and get your health and body back.
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