Kayla's Keto Journey
Kayla’s Keto journey has been all about finding balance after struggling with food issues and binge eating. She started Keto in 2017 and not only lost a few dress sizes, but has drastically improved her relationship with food! She spreads tons of positivity and inspiration on social media by sharing her meals, grocery hauls, and cooking videos! Show her some #ketolove by following her @carbfreekayla on Instagram and Kayla Nelson on YouTube.
I considered myself to be a chubbier kid through elementary and middle school. I fell victim to society's rough standards and diet culture, which led to disordered eating patterns in high school and college. This included extreme calorie restriction, destructive binge eating, and having no control around food. I was overweight for my age, had high cholesterol, couldn’t fit in most of my clothes, and developed some intense stretch marks in just my early twenties. I realized I had to make a change.
Initially I started meal prepping, calorie counting, working out, and following the standard food pyramid, but I noticed no results. It wasn’t until my friend introduced me to low carb, which led me to discover Keto. When I began the Keto lifestyle, I realized just how sensitive my body was to processed carbs and sugar. I realized I wasn’t someone who could be successful following the standard food pyramid.
I chose Keto because no other diet or lifestyle change ever worked — and trust me I've tried them all. Keto encourages me to eat real food like healthy fats, protein, and veggies while skipping out on things like sugary cereals with no real nutritional value.
I started out by doing a lot of Google searches and watched YouTube videos to best educate myself on Keto before going all in. Once I understood the foundation, I ate the most basic meals. You hear “KISS- Keep It Super Simple” a lot in the Keto community and that’s exactly what I did. Eggs, bacon, chicken breast, broccoli, salmon, salads, etc. I began doing a lot of my own cooking, which I would occasionally share online. That resulted in me creating an Instagram dedicated to my Keto lifestyle.
I work in the physical therapy department in a level 1 trauma hospital, so I’m on my feet 12 hours a day staying active and helping mobilize really sick/weak patients. I have to keep myself healthy and strong so I can help my patients be successful. I try to workout anywhere from 2-4 times a week by doing light cardio or strength training. As far as food, I still follow low carb, but a few times a week I do incorporate healthier carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, quinoa, or black beans into my meals. My day to day meals are still super simple, which makes life easy for me. I always start with an iced coffee, usually followed by a hard boiled egg and a nut butter pouch if I’m on the go. Lunches are usually chicken salads with different toppings to keep it exciting or a homemade riced cauliflower Mexican bowl.
Wanting to live a long and healthy life motivates me. I see far too many patients with physical ailments that impact their health and ability to be independent and it reminds me just how important it is to eat well and exercise.
I wish I’d known when I started that while Keto is super beneficial and has proven real results, it is okay to still have your favorite “non-Keto” foods once in a while. I definitely was too strict in the beginning and now I know it’s better to balance than to severely restrict and never let yourself eat a single french fry.
My goal for the future is to continue to balance low carb and still enjoying social events or foods that I love while keeping my internal health and well being in mind. My goal is to help others who may have similar struggles with healthy eating learn the benefits of Keto. Another goal is to continue to grow my YouTube channel and Instagram sharing my health success story!
My advice to someone who is just starting out is to take lots of progress photos because even if the scale isn’t changing, you might be! Join the community to keep yourself accountable or make friends. And don’t be too hard on yourself: remember you didn’t gain a lot of weight overnight, so you won’t lose it overnight either.
Keto Krate helps me curb my cravings for my old favorite snacks that used to be packed with ingredients that I couldn’t pronounce. It also introduces me to snacks I love that I would have otherwise never discovered!
If you want to share your success and inspire others, email us at Emily@KetoKrate.com