Big congratulations to all participants of the 30-Day January KetoDiet Challenge! After going through hundreds of submissions, we have finally made our decision. In this post, I'll announce the top three winning entries!
Here's What You Achieved in Just 30 Days
The winners were chosen based on overall accomplishment and their commitment to healthy eating, not based on the number of pounds lost. It was very hard for me to pick only 3 winners - so many of you deserved to win a prize! For this challenge, I've given away 3 amazing prizes worth over $1,000. Bellow are the three lucky winners.
When Will the Next Challenge Start?
There will soon be a 90-Day KetoDiet Challenge and I'll announce the details over the next few weeks.
With the ever increasing number of keto dieters in every challenge, we realised that we need a platform to help us host and organise these keto challenges. So, we've been working on a brand new tool - details will be announced soon.
1st Prize: Congratulations to Frank!
Frank won an iPad 3 Mini (16GB, Wi-Fi, color of choice) + iPad cover of choice + $200 Amazon gift card + the KetoDiet Cookbook
Frank followed my keto challenge to lose weight and improve his health. He's planning on joining my next challenge and will also keep track of important health markers with regular blood tests.
My starting weight was 217 lbs. My ending weight is 199 lbs. I lost about 10 lbs of that in the first week and then leveled out and had a steady weight loss of about 3 lbs a week after. My “gut” measurement went from 45” to 43”. The measurement on my AccuChek body fat caliper went from a 12 to a 10. Not a huge amount of fat loss, but pretty good for only one month, and it shows that the at least some of the loss was from fat. I kept my carbs under 20 grams for probably 25 out of the 30 days. I had a couple days that were between 30 and 40 grams and 3 days that were just total “cheat” days.
I had my blood drawn shortly before starting this contest and the results were not stellar, but not completely horrible either. I didn’t have them drawn again at the end of this contest because I don’t feel it would be enough time to see possible improvements. Since there is going to be another contest, I may have them drawn again after that one and share them at that time (depending on contest length). The labs and gut measurement are important to me because this is not only about weight loss for me. I want to improve my heart health as well.
Both of my parents died at a fairly young age from cardiac issues. My father at 65 and my mother at 57. In my research, I have read plenty of opinions on both sides of the pros and cons of keto. All I can do is conduct a n=1 experiment of my own, hence the emphasis on labs. Anyway, I look forward to seeing how I did in the contest and look forward to the next one.
On a side note, I may have to ask for some reimbursement from you if you have another contest, due to the fact that I may have to buy all new clothes. I work as a paramedic and my uniform pants are already starting to fit a little loose after just one month! Just kidding about the reimbursement, and thanks again for having these contests :-)
2nd Prize: Congratulations to Kelly!
Kelly won a $300 Amazon gift card + the KetoDiet Cookbook
Kelly's story is quite unique, as she followed my keto challenge to control her narcolepsy, migraines and manage her pregnancy weight gain.
Before the Challenge:
I have narcolepsy and migraines, and have eaten very low carb (and gluten free) for more than a year now to control these symptoms. I can't overstate enough what a difference this has made for my life. I was taking SERIOUS medications to stay awake, including prescription methamphetamine, which is a last resort drug.
I had tried everything else. This caused migraines, more so than what I usually got. In Jan of 2014 I was hospitalized and had several spinal taps because they thought I had bleeding in my brain, which is how my mom died when I was 6 and she was only 35. Turns out, I just had a terrible migraine for almost 6 WEEKS STRAIGHT. After that I went gluten free, and several months later found my way to low carb, and then keto.
Before pregnancy I was taking NO medications at all, for anything. I could sleep well, and wake up early (this is unheard of in people with narcolepsy). I finally felt like I had a normal life. My husband and I decided to try for a baby before medical school, so that we wouldn't be having our first child at age 35 or later.
Surprise, we got pregnant immediately! Severe, all day, nausea started soon after, and I had to kiss my way of eating goodbye! I was between a rock and a hard place, as they say. My regular low carb foods didn't appeal to me at all, and eating a steak made me throw up immediately. Carbs were the only thing that I could keep down. I ate lots of GF pizza, mexican food, and chips for almost four months. My headaches came roaring back, and before I knew it I was on a prescription migraine pill again. I talked to my midwife, who I learned eats low carb herself! She prescribed me a better nausea pill, and said she felt totally comfortable with my going back to low carb, even if I DID lose weight, as long as I wasn't starving myself, and was eating until full. Before January 4th I had managed to gain 16 pounds.
My pre-pregnancy weight was 124, which is acceptable for my 5'2" frame. On January 4th I weighed 140 lbs. While this is technically within the expected and acceptable weight gain for pregnancy, the physical symptoms I was having from carbs made my life unbearable. Daily headaches are not the way I want to live anymore! The nausea is finally better, and I'm left with my will power :)
After the Challenge:
So I started (well, re-started) keto to control the pregnancy weight gain, and to be healthier and minimize my headaches. It's worth noting that I used to periodically check my blood sugar, off and on keto, and it was always normal. About two weeks after we started I had my "oral glucose tolerance test" to test for gestational diabetes (which is a problem with the placenta. It usually shows up in overweight, pre-diabetic women, but it also shows up in active, pre-pregnancy healthy weight women like me).
It was a raging POSITIVE! I drank a super sugary drink with 50 grams of glucose. Your blood sugar after an hour should be less than 130, and mine was 203. I was devastated! I did some research, and it turns out low carb pregnant women often don't do well with these screens. Regardless, I was now classified "high risk".
I saw a diabetes specialist, but by the time of my first appointment, I had already been measuring and weighing all my food, and also tracking my fasting blood sugar, and blood sugar after every meal. They were so impressed! EVERY SINGLE ONE of my blood sugar numbers was PERFECT eating keto. In fact, they let me skip the diabetes education class, which is good, because it recommended 150 carbs a day! I've been eating 20-30, depending on the day. I had a high level ultrasound, and my son is perfectly healthy and growing normally!
The doctor mentioned the ketones in my urine. Interestingly enough, he was part of a research team in medical school that examined ketones in pregnancy. He said they ended up having to scrap the study due to funding, but had found that it doesn't cause any harm. He said "You COULD eat more carbs if you wanted to, but you're doing better than almost any other patient I have, so maybe keep doing what is working for you!" Uh yeah doc, I think I will!
I have yet to have a single blood sugar value out of range. I don't know how much you know about gestational diabetes, but it can have horrible effects on the baby. They are sure I will avoid all of those because I'm keeping my weight under control, and the baby is the perfect size. Watching what you eat while pregnant seems to be an unpopular thing on the internet, and I can't understand why!
The research says what you eat determines your child's future metabolism, this hardly seems like the time for cookies and ice cream! I lost two pounds, which is fine. I now weigh 138, after starting at 140. More importantly, my overall gain is 14 lbs, and it appears I've got a healthy baby in there :) I am 32 weeks pregnant now. This has been the best validation of keto ever!
I wanted to say your cookbook came during this time. As I had said on Instagram on one of your posts, I have made SO many recipes from it, probably about 25. I had half the keto porridge for breakfast, and I'm having meaty guacmuffins for lunch.
My husband was lazy this month so I have no results for him, but he's been eating the same foods as me, just way too much :) We love your book. I think one of my favorite things is that you list measurements several different ways. I always use a scale for everything, usually measuring in grams. Sometimes I'll measure 1/4 cup in and watch how much the gram measurement varies. I feel like having the most accurate measurements saves a lot of recipes!
Anyway, I'm so grateful I started this challenge when I did, and had the resources not to panic about a very serious medical diagnosis. We love your website and app, and having your book and trusting that everything I made would be good was a huge help. Thank you, and please keep the recipes coming!
I'm attaching a picture of me with my best friend (I'm on the right). I'm having a boy, and as you can see, she already has one ;)
3rd Prize: Congratulations to Yevgeny and Joanna!
Yevgeny and Joanna won a $150 Amazon gift card + the KetoDiet Cookbook
Yevgeny and his wife Joanna joined my keto challenge to lose weight, get rid of sugar cravings and improve their health.
Starting weight 11st 5lb, current weight 10st 7lb, loss of 12lb (5.4kg)
My wife Joanna:
Starting weight 11st 10lb, current weight 10st 9lb, loss of 1st 1lb (6.8kg). All measurements also went down :)
Going Keto helped us a lot. We were used to treats and I in particular was a sugar addict. We went cold turkey after Christmas and are not looking back. In fact, we popped to a local grocery shop today and laughed at the amount of "carbs" all around us and that we are no longer tempted by carbs-rich foods. For the last month we cooked all our meals from scratch as well. Thank you for your help with recipes, health advice and diet tips.
Another positive effect is that our routines are much more in sync now, we wake together in the morning, have breakfast and leave to work and come back at the same time. Before Keto I used to wake 2 hours later than my wife and leave home without having breakfast. My colleagues were in shock at first and are still getting used to me coming to work and leaving first instead of last as I used to. For me that is the greatest change.
We hope to adopt, may be even this year. And are looking forward to being more fit and healthy for our future family :) And Keto helps a lot, plus we are educating ourself about food, reading, watching lectures and seeing the results of low carb living ourself. Once again thank you for providing great resource on Keto diet.
Thank you VERY much for your Blog and this challenge. Your recipes are great and the challenge helped us with motivation.