Weight Loss

How I Lost 176 Pounds and Gained My Energy Back After Menopause

“Finally, a bench. I need another break,” Krista Simpkins told her husband before veering her swollen ankles off the walking path. She’d been trying to keep up with her grandchildren at the local zoo — their favorite destination — but the unwanted pounds she was carrying around had zapped the scant energy she had.

Watching her family snake farther up ahead, she thought, I wish I weren’t so tired all the time. Fatigue seemed as normal to Krista as breathing, ever since she grew out of child-sized clothing and straight into plus sizes. Despite sleeping nine hours at night, she never felt rested and spent the week-ends napping on the couch.

But after countless weight-loss disappointments, Krista no longer had the energy to wrestle with dieting. And over time, her “normal” only became more painful. “I had so many ailments. I was sick all the time,” she reveals. “It was a miserable cycle I couldn’t get out of.”

Krista wasn’t expecting anything to ever change. But when her husband’s co-worker mentioned that he’d lost weight by following a keto diet, that unfamiliar term wormed its way into Krista’s brain. The next time she was online, she searched the word “keto” and found a video introduction by Eric Berg, D.C., author of The Healthy Keto Plan.

Krista watched, entranced, and learned how her metabolism had stalled from sugar-related insulin spikes, leading to weight gain, fatigue, even prediabetes. Well, this explains why every single calorie-counting diet has failed, she thought. The deck was stacked against me.

But she kept watching and realized that by eating low-carb, she could shift her system to burn body fat, not sugar, as fuel. The more she learned, the more she was convinced.

From the get-go, Krista says, “I wasn’t lacking for delicious food.” She feasted on omelets for breakfast and a comfort-food chicken casserole that “tasted like Thanksgiving stuffing.” Since she wasn’t a salad eater, she took Dr. Berg’s advice to get more vegetables into her diet by drinking green smoothies with lunch or dinner. “I was pleasantly surprised by the taste of them!”

After Krista lost four pounds the first week, her husband took notice, and he decided to try it too. Together, they enjoyed favorites like chicken cordon bleu and pork rind–encrusted fish. Dinner guests raved at Krista’s keto pizza crust, saying, “We would have never known this was low-carb!”

Within two months, they both felt their appetites had gone down enough for them to eliminate breakfast and enjoy just two daily meals, practicing intermittent fasting. The tasty fats they ate kept them full so they didn’t feel cheated.

Seeing quick health benefits was energizing too. Krista noticed her ankles were much less swollen, and her husband felt mentally clearer. Two years down the road, Krista has traded her size 26 clothing for size 6s. “I’ve lost half my size. I’m smaller now than I was in middle school!” She adds, “It’s a complete myth that you can’t lose weight in your 50s. I’m in menopause and I didn’t have any issues. This has just seemed so easy!” Talk about a life-changer.

“All of my ailments went away. I don’t even get tired enough to need naps anymore,” says Krista, who is planning to become a certified keto coach through Dr. Berg. Best of all, she has been gifted with energy she’s never known before. That means she and her husband — who lost 165 pounds — can keep up with their seven grandkids at the zoo. “Now it really feels like a vacation when they come to visit!”

This article originally appeared in our special print edition, Keto Over 50. You can purchase the magazine in full on Amazon, $12.87.

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