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How Natalie Grasso Transformed Her Body—And Overcame Setbacks—on Keto

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  Published on November 10th, 2022
  Reading time: 4 minutes
  Last modified November 8th, 2022
Natalie Grasso keto success story before and after

Name: Natalie Grasso

Age: 39

Starting Weight: 133

Current Weight: 112

How long have you been following a ketogenic diet? 7 years

What is your favorite keto meal? All of my meals are my favorite! But if I had to pick one it would probably be braised leg of lamb or pork carnitas.

Why did you start keto?

Natalie Grasso before and after

I’d gone low carb paleo a few years earlier seeking healing from a host of chronic health conditions (GERD, stomach ulcers, migraines, PMDD, chronic sinusitis, depression) and had come off all my prescription pharmaceuticals, but I still struggled with a disordered relationship with food and body image. I was 5 years into my health transformation already when I decided to dive into a ketogenic diet. I went keto at the same time that I started lifting weights, preparing to enter my first bikini bodybuilding competition in 2016 as a way to stay true to the animal-based, ancestral diet which healed me. 

I knew that eating high carb, low fat (as most bodybuilders did) would not be healthy for me long-term, and I wanted to preserve my newfound health while transforming my body!

Natalie Grasso before and after body transformation

What was the hardest part of keto and how did you overcome it?

The hardest part was overcoming my emotional attachment to sweets! The physical cravings go away with strict keto (and now carnivore for me), but the mental cravings will still be there if we don’t address the real issue. We can change what’s on our plates, without ever changing what’s in our minds about food, unless we set out to intentionally change our relationship with food. I had to learn the hardest lesson: how to remain present with my difficult and uncomfortable emotions, rather than turning to food for comfort and distraction. I still feel the desire to eat for comfort from time to time, but I’ve learned to notice when I feel that urge, and comfort myself in other ways.

Biggest changes in your day to day life?

FREEDOM! No longer feeling obsessed with thoughts of getting a sugar “fix” and then trying to “make up for it” or “get back on track” with my “diet”. This is a lifestyle for me now. It feels incredibly freeing to have the space in my mind and the time in my day that used to be taken up with food-related thoughts and binge behaviors. I can SHOW UP fully for myself, my loved ones, and my clients. My business is thriving, where it used to be stagnant. My body feels strong and capable and resilient. I no longer get sick multiple times per year.

I no longer live with constant stomach and back pain, migraines and debilitating menstrual cycles. I can live my life without a fog over my brain and impending thoughts of doom and gloom. I LOVE my life and I get to live it 100%!!

Best tip for newbies?

At first, it may help to substitute your favorite carb-y foods with keto alternatives, but don’t lean on this forever. Challenge yourself to let go of the attachments you have to those comfort foods. That’s what will make all the difference in your long-term success.

Natalie Grasso keto success before and after 6

If there is one thing that you could tell yourself when first getting started, what would it be and why?

Don’t be afraid of protein! When I first started, I got “too” skinny. I lost muscle along with body fat and it took me a long time to gain the right kind of weight back. I now eat a LOT more protein than I did when I started, and my body is stronger and more “fit” and “toned” than ever. Protein is not to be feared on a ketogenic diet, and getting enough protein from real food (not supplements) is important for optimal health.

Anything you would like to add about your story? Please do!

This journey is a marathon, not a sprint. After 4 years on a keto/paleo lifestyle, I turned PRO as a bikini athlete, became a full-time coach and left my former professional career, and then I hit my lowest low ever, mentally and emotionally. I suffered a 6-month bulimia relapse (binging and purging junk foods) and major depression. I spent all of 2021 in recovery and since returning to a ketogenic (and now carnivore) way of eating and living, I am in the best health I have ever been (mentally and physically). We are all susceptible to setbacks, but the most important thing is to never give up. This way of life has saved me AGAIN, and I have no desire to ever go back or to try to eat “all things in moderation”. I am more in love with this lifestyle than ever, and I have no doubts that this way of eating will sustain me for the rest of my life!

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We’d love to celebrate your keto journey, too! Whether keto has helped you reach your goal of becoming a professional athlete or made it easier to kick your sugar habit, our readers want to hear your story. Submit your story to us today! Follow Ketogeniccom on Instagram to see more keto transformation stories and keto community spotlights.

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