Name: Julie Mokhtar
Starting Weight: 205
Current Weight: 165
How long have you been following a ketogenic diet? 5 years
What is your favorite keto meal? A good piece of steak!
Why did you start keto?
Being diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), I struggled with erratic menstrual cycles, uncontrollable weight gain, mood swings, fatigue, and more ever since I was a teen.
In 2017, after 3 years of being married, I arrived at my heaviest weight and all the symptoms somehow got even worse. It also started to sink in that infertility was now a very real concern for me, and that was the biggest wake-up call for me to make a change.
What was the hardest part of keto and how did you overcome it?
It was pretty lonely doing keto in Malaysia in the beginning, I gotta say! Nobody had heard of it and I really craved that sense of community. So I started KetoJules.com, a website dedicated to making the keto diet accessible to Malaysians. I’ve gotten to know so many inspiring people now and made awesome friends.
Biggest changes in your day to day life?
My days used to go by in a blur because I was constantly fatigued. I struggled with getting out of bed, drank obscene amounts of coffee just to get through the day, and couldn’t wait to pass out at the end of the day just to wake up tired again the next day. If memes on 30-something life are anything to go by, I suppose that was considered “normal”.
I’m happy to say that these days I wake up energized, and ready to start the day! I’ll start my day with a protein-rich breakfast, and enjoy some sunshine and movement. I like that going low-carb really fills me up so I no longer feel the need to munch on snacks in between meals. I notice I’m a lot calmer and my mind is clearer, which makes me so much more productive too!
Best tip for newbies?
Do your research so that you have a good understanding of how the diet works and what to expect in your journey. Also, go for low-carb meals you actually enjoy; this greatly helps with making the lifestyle more fun and sustainable.
If there is one thing that you could tell yourself when first getting started, what would it be and why?
I would tell her it’s all worth it! I started keto as a way to potentially improve my chances of getting pregnant. I’m typing this with my 2-year-old daughter snuggled up against me, and I’m just filled with gratitude today. My life has completely changed in ways I never thought possible.
Not only did I manage to conceive naturally after 3 years of eating this way, I also had an easy pregnancy and labor. Now I’m using the extra burst of energy and mental clarity that I get from eating low-carb to keep up with the wild ride that is mamahood.
Anything you would like to add about your story?
It took a couple of years of trial and error to find a customized keto routine that works for me. I saw the biggest improvements to my health when I experimented with carnivore-style keto, where I made sure to take enough animal-based protein at every meal and limited foods that are high in anti-nutrients. Although classic keto helped me to get my missing period back, it was when I went more toward carnivore that my cycle actually became regular. I continued eating this way and that was when I got pregnant a few months after. Given that I have a hormonal imbalance, I believe the nutrient density that carnivore-style keto offers really helped to address this issue.
I’ve seen so many women in the PCOS community seeing similar improvements when eating this way, and it’s so unfortunate that the popular narrative now is to pressure women to eat less meat.
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