'The Paleo Diet And Keto Diet Together Helped Me Lose 113 Pounds'

My name is Desiree A. Anderson (@desiree_loves_), and I am 36 years old. I am from Springfield, Massachusetts, and I am a math intervention teacher. After I hit my heaviest weight at 403 pounds, I came up with a sustainable weight loss plan by combining the paleo and keto diets and doing cardio and strength training regularly.


It was easy for me to lose weight in my 20s. However, keeping it off was a huge issue. I would lose weight, gain weight, lose weight, gain weight—a never-ending cycle. Fast-forward to my 30s, and I would be lucky to drop 5 pounds in a month. It just wasn’t easy to lose anymore. At 34, my weight topped out at 403 pounds.

Although I didn’t have any major health issues, I knew it was only a matter of time before I did.

Walking became a challenge for me. My back used to hurt all the time. My knees also used to be in pain. I started to hear myself breathing heavily even while sitting down. Loved ones would tell me that I snored, and the intensity of the snoring was increasing. And honestly, my self-esteem was declining.

My turning point came in December 2020 when I decided I wanted to have a photo shoot for my 35th birthday. When I received the pictures days before my birthday, I didn’t recognize myself. I couldn’t believe I had gained so much weight. I even blamed the photographer for not getting the right angles and making me look much bigger than I was. I decided then and there I needed to make a change.

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In the past, I tried all the quick diet plans, but this time around I knew I needed a plan that would last for a lifetime.

I knew I still wanted to eat and enjoy my meals. I love chicken, so I knew being a vegan wasn’t an option for me. I combined elements of the paleo and keto diets, and chose what worked best for me.

I also started seeing a nutritionist. I always made sure I had healthy foods on hand. I’m a snacker, so having healthy snacks available at all times was and is a must for me. I stopped eating out and started meal prepping.

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Here’s what I eat in a day now.

  • Breakfast: Two eggs with onions, peppers, spinach, or kale
  • Lunch: Chicken or fish with a salad or vegetable, or a protein shake
  • Snacks: Almonds, cashews, cheese sticks, Quest protein chips
  • Dinner: Chicken or fish with a vegetable
  • Dessert: Light + Fit yogurt, or strawberries with sugar-free whipped cream

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    I started working out right away too.

    Despite being overweight for the majority of my life, I always loved exercising. I decided to hire a personal trainer, Justin Yarde. I do cardio and resistance training, and I work out three days a week with him. He also helps me with my meal plans.

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    These three changes have led to my weight loss success.

    1. I took it one day at a time. I had to remind myself daily that each day is a different day. If I had a bad day, as far as eating right, it didn’t mean I was going to have a bad week. Every day is an opportunity for a do-over.
    2. I was kinder to myself. I had to stop beating myself up. Weight loss is a journey and a process where we all have ups and downs. As long as I’m trying my best, that should be enough.
    3. I practiced self-love. I had to learn to love myself beyond weight loss. If I was to gain every ounce of weight back, could and would I still love myself? My weight does not define me. I am me despite being a 100 pounds lighter. I am brilliant, beautiful, and capable of doing amazing things!
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        I have lost 113 pounds, and it took me about a year to lose it. I’m still in the process of losing more.

        I started this weight loss journey because I wanted to be healthy and able to have a family one day. I don’t have any children yet, but I didn’t want my weight to be an issue when the time came for me to conceive. Not only did I become healthier physically, I also improved my health mentally. My self-esteem is higher than ever before, not to mention my closet looks amazing with all the new clothing I’m able to fit in. Look good, feel good is my motto!

        It doesn’t matter when you start, just start! Don’t wait for a Monday or the first of the month or a new year. Start right where you’re at and be consistent! This journey is a process, not a punishment! Find the good in the process, and find what works for you.

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