Fad diets come and go, and for good reason; weight loss journeys are very personal missions that need to be sustainable in order to work! Because of this, it’s not unusual for these popular diets to receive plenty of blowbacks. Just take the keto diet, for example. Recently, celebrity fitness trainer Jillian Michaels blasted the plan for being overly restrictive–but that doesn’t mean that real people haven’t benefited from very real results.
Enter, Noelle Dawson, better known as @transforming_noelle, an Instagram influencer who has gained nearly 100k followers by documenting her 230-pound weight loss journey. Amazingly, she managed to shed a bulk of the excess weight in 14 months, a feat that she attributes to a variety of lifestyle changes, including consistent HIIT workouts and–surprise, suprise!–the keto diet.
View this post on Instagram
From a prisoner in my own body to living my life out loud. I’m over a year into maintaining a 230 lb weight loss. I love finding new #NSV’s that I will no longer take for granted. One of the biggest NSVs that means so much to my heart is being able to carry my daughter for long periods of time. When she was a baby my husband carried her everywhere. I was 400 pounds, uncomfortable, hot, plantar fasciitis, sciatic pain & became overexerted within minutes from any activity. I was incapable of carrying her for more than a few minutes at a time. This crushed my heart. After waiting years for our baby girl to enter our life, I was unable to care for her like a mother should. So if you ever see me out and about and wonder why I’m carrying a 65 lb child like she’s a baby….now you know why ? #living #itsthelittlethings #grateful #babygirl #shesheavy #butimstrong #imcapable #ivegotthis fitspo #girlswholift #strongereveryday #strongandfree #happylifestyle #happyandblessed #healthcoach #healthymind #lovinglife #tbt #wearemuletown #workingout #gymlife #losingweight #transformation #extremetransformation #bustababaloo
In a piece she penned for Women’s Health, Dawson took a deep dive into the circumstances that lead to her initial weight gain, as well as her subsequent weight loss. Although she was a competitive gymnast until age 16, the constant pressure to keep thin while in the sport led her to a downward spiral of binge-eating after she quit.
Fast forward to a decade later; Dawson had four young children and weighed a whopping 414 pounds. She says that she needed to lose weight, or else she would have to continue living with the fear that she might not be able to “see [her] children grow up.”
Now, just over 14 months later, Dawson says that her mind, body, and spirit are finally in tune. “My mental health matches my physical health, and I feel stronger than ever,” the mom proudly proclaimed.
View this post on Instagram
From size 28/30 to size 8/10. I’ve been in maintenance for 17 months after losing 230 lb in 14 months. Anytime I do my laundry, I’m still in awe at the size of my clothes. This evening, while getting ready to go have dinner with friends. Before putting on my jeans, I explain to my husband that they couldn’t possibly fit! They must have shrunk in the dryer, however, they fit just fine! One day this mind of mine will catch up ? #mondaymotivation #weightlossjourney #losingweight #trainandtransform #girlswholift #gymlife #fedupfam #fuelyourbody #cleaneating
What exactly is the keto diet, anyway?
So, now that you are most definitely impressed by Noelle’s incredible weight loss, let’s talk a little bit about the diet that has served her so well. As mentioned, she follows something called the ketogenic diet, better known as the “keto diet.” According to Healthline, the keto diet is a “low carb, high-fat diet that offers many health benefits.” Although it may be peaking in popularity right now, it has actually been around for quite some time.
There exists plenty of variations of the keto diet plan, but the most followed is the ‘Standard’ plan, which consists of 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many newbies find the diet to be too restrictive to fit into their lifestyles or current workout routines. In these cases, followers may opt for the ‘Cyclical’ plan, which calls for 5 days of the ‘Standard’ plan, or the ‘High Protein’ plan, which consists of 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.
Of course, some keto followers find that simply loosely following the plan works best for them. Just ask Kimberly Powell who has lost 170 pounds on what she calls a “lazy keto diet.” She attempted the ‘Standard’ plan at the start of her weight loss journey, but burned out after shedding just 30 pounds. After that, she adapted the keto diet to work for her. Now, she still eats fast food burgers (without the buns), and even indulges in the rare pork rind or two.
While we’re not certain if Dawson does the same sort of indulging, she has clearly found ways to incorporate plenty of “keto-friendly” comfort foods into her diet. Here is what a normal day of eating looks like for the mom:
- Breakfast: A low-carb flatbread by Cut Da Carb with two eggs, a tablespoon of low-fat cream cheese, coffee, and Greek yogurt
- Lunch: A salad with hard boiled eggs
- Dinner: Chicken or fish with veggies
- Snacks: Greek yogurt, unsalted almonds or pistachios, and cheese
The fact that she still gets to eat six times a day is seriously appealing; something tells us that her weight loss has been so successful because she is NOT being overly-restrictive!
View this post on Instagram
Hello, my name’s Noelle and I love @cutdacarb wraps! If it fits in this wrap, it ships in this wrap. Have you heard that song about @cutdacarb flatbread? Well, it’s more of a wrap ? Ok yes, I’m well aware of how corny I am! Luckily, this is a very helathy obsession with only 9 net carbs ? ? #checkoutthecrisp #socrispy #crispygoals #itsawrap #yesieatoneaday #ifitfitsisships #cutdacarb #yum #healthyfood #healthywrap #ninenetcarbs #tomatoes #lunch #thiswwrapislife #creamyeggs #salami #fuelyourbody #healthfeelsgood
Talk about an incredible weight loss journey! To follow Noelle Dawson’s exceptional path to a healthier life, be sure to check her out on Instagram @transforming_noelle.
We’d love to hear your take on Noelle Dawson’s keto diet success! Have you tried the keto diet before? If so, which version of it? Do you have any tips for people who are just getting started?