12 Keto Diet Before and After Weight Loss Transformations

Christel Deskins

You’ve probably heard all about the ketogenic diet (or, more simply, “keto”) by now. Lebron James had a stint with the diet. Same with Tim Tebow and the Jersey Shore guys. And so you’ve also probably heard that a keto diet is high-fat and that, depending on what keto plan […]

You’ve probably heard all about the ketogenic diet (or, more simply, “keto”) by now. Lebron James had a stint with the diet. Same with Tim Tebow and the Jersey Shore guys.

And so you’ve also probably heard that a keto diet is high-fat and that, depending on what keto plan you follow, you’ll be eating 60 to 80 percent of your daily total calories from fat. Keto is a moderate-protein program, where the nutrient takes up about 20 percent of your daily calories. And, finally, keto is ultra-low carb; dietary prescriptions dictate to keep your carbohydrates low at 20 to 30 grams of carbs a day.

The name of the diet comes from the state of ketosis. A very-low-calorie diet can deplete your brain of glucose, which is its main and preferred fuel source. Because your body needs fuel to function, your brain will tap its reserve of ketones, compounds the liver creates from fat when blood insulin is low. This process is known as ketosis: It’s like when a hybrid car runs out of gas and reverts to pure electricity.

It’s a difficult diet, for sure, which is why a ketogenic diet is extremely challenging to maintain long-term. But that said, real people have undergone dramatic weight-loss transformations due to the ketogenic diet. If you’re looking for inspiration to start your weight loss journey, or just looking for some proof that a keto diet can work, here’s a round-up of 12 incredible before-and-after keto diet transformations.

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Michael Searls: Lost 100 Pounds

Michael Searls vividly recalls the time he knew his weight had gotten out of hand. He was in the store buying pants—he knew he’d put on a few pounds, and figured he was now too big for his usual 32 or 34 waist size.

After he tried sliding on a pair of 38’s, however, he realized they were still nowhere close to fitting. “I panicked that day. I ended up putting on a size 46, and I remember being in the fitting room just looking at myself with tears in my eyes, not believing I was that size,” he says.

Read more about his weight-loss story.


Matt Clemente: Lost 200 Pounds

Matt Clemente was in his late thirties and weighed 417 pounds. He was sleeping two to three hours a night, getting exercise only through trips upstairs to his office and back down for coffee. At first, his joints would creak. Then his legs started to buckle. And then, the kidney stone. Clemente was so large that doctors had to do invasive surgery to get rid of it. After the most painful, excruciating ordeal of his life, Clemente was done: “I can’t go through this anymore,” he said to himself.

Over the next two years, Clemente would lose over 200 pounds, pack on muscle, and reach a stocky 207 pounds, running Spartan races and doing CrossFit.

Read more about his weight-loss story.


Andrew Kim: Lost 90 Pounds

Andrew Kam is a realist. At 27 years old, he’s been through enough to know there’s no magic pill that will make you happy, and no quick fix to getting healthy.So he’s not letting the fact that he’s lost 90 pounds in 10 months go to his head. Because he knows the hardest part of his weight loss transformation — keeping it off for life — is still ahead.

As a kid, Kam noticed he was always bigger than other kids.”The earliest memory I have of noticing that I was overweight was in elementary school,” Kam told MensHealth.com. At the time, his mom went to purchase him a t-shirt he needed for orchestra. The child’s XL no longer fit — instead, he had to wear an adult large.

“I think that was the first time I actually started to be self-conscious about like my size,” he said.Though he was bigger, Kam’s weight issues compounded during freshman year of college, when his mother died after battling cancer.”It was an awful time in my life,” he said. “That made me super depressed.”

Kam went to therapy to deal with his grief and other mental health issues. But as he began eating foods that comforted him, his physical health took a turn for the worse.

Read more about his weight-loss story.


Ethan Spiezer: Lost 130 Pounds

Ethan Spiezer had always been an emotional eater—growing up, he frequently turned to food for comfort during challenging times. As a result, by the time he reached middle school, Spiezer recalls, he weighed nearly 200 pounds. “I always had trouble with portioning and eating healthy,” he says. Spiezer, 35, who now works in South Beloit, Illinois as a special education teacher, says that he also struggled with severe asthma, limiting his activity level. “The combination proved to be a recipe for disaster,” he says.

When his weight peaked in his mid-thirties, Spiezer estimates that he weighed between 410 and 420 pounds.

“I would be sad that I was so big and eat as a result, which would make me feel worse. It became a vicious cycle.”The turning point proved to be a photo that a bystander took of Spiezer and his son during a boat tour while on vacation in San Diego.

“I saw the picture and was horrified. Not only because of what I looked like, but also realizing the example that I was setting for my son,” he says.

Spiezer decided that day to commit to eating healthier and being more active, and has since undergone a dramatic weight loss transformation, dropping more than 135 pounds in less than year.

Read more about his weight-loss story.


Jeremiah Peterson: Lost 92 Pounds

As a kid in the 1980s, Jeremiah Peterson made the commitment to get fit — not just for his looks, but to fight off the bullies, too. It was knowledge that would serve him well later in life, when he found himself as a 40-year-old man who was 100 pounds overweight and in need of yet another lifestyle transformation.

“I was born and raised in Missoula, Montana — you know, the River Runs Through It place,” Peterson says.

“Growing up in the ‘80s, I was one of those kids always outside building forts, fishing, playing war, playing sports with all the neighbor kids.”

Peterson was also being bullied at school, so he wanted to get fit to protect himself and “anyone else that couldn’t protect themselves.””In junior high, I made the decision to not get knocked around anymore,” he said. “I practically lived at the local Y lifting and shooting hoops. I chose then, at the age of 15, to get stronger and gain confidence within myself.”

Read more about his weight-loss story.


Tyler Segraves: Lost 141 Pounds

Tyler Segraves was always the “bigger kid.” Throughout his formative years, the now-35-year-old simply ate what he wanted, and had little to no sense of what “healthy” really meant. Being an Oklahoman didn’t help either. His Sundays typically revolved around going to football games, tailgating, and eating all the hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, and other foods that came along with those activities.

But when his weight hit 335 pounds, he knew something had to be done. So he did what any sane person would do: Bet his friend $2,000 he could lose the weight.

He almost lost—but eventually, Segraves managed to achieve a 141-pound weight loss transformation. Getting there was quite the battle.

Read more about his weight-loss story.


David Myers: Lost 130 Pounds

David Myers was tired of being tired all the time. He’d always been a bigger guy, though people told him he carried the weight well. “I would say I was fat and they would reassure me—I never thought I needed to change my ways at all,” he says.

Myers, 27, who works as a high school math teacher in Turlock, California, says the low point—as is so often the case—arrived when Myers saw pictures of himself, and realized the truth about how much he’d let himself go. At the time, he weighed nearly 360 pounds, and it suddenly became clear that the time to start eating better and exercising was long overdue.

“That was heartbreaking,” he says. “It was then that I decided to make changes.”

Here’s how Myers got healthy.

Read more of his weight-loss story.


Antonio Gutierrez: Lost 100 Pounds

Antonio Gutierrez still remembers the day he came home from the amusement park in tears. He’d been about to board a rollercoaster, but when he went to sit down, the safety harness wouldn’t close. “I had to get up and exit the ride because I was too big, he says. The episode was the first in a series of turning points that convinced Gutierrez it was time to get healthy. “Another bad incident was at the airport,” he continues.

“I went to board my flight and the belt didn’t want to close all the way. I had to suck in my stomach as much as possible for the plane to take off. I delayed the flight because I couldn’t buckle up.”

Read more about his weight-loss story.


Tim Kirkwood: Lost 250 Pounds

Tim Kirkwood relied on food for comfort better during stressful times. And celebrations, like birthdays, Thanksgiving, church gathers, and yes, Christmas, were also accompanied by food. Coupled with a sedentary job, Kirkwood weighed 550 pounds at age 36.

Kirkwood lost almost 250 pounds thanks to keto and intermittent fasting. For those not ready to try something that extreme Kirkwood recommends making small changes. “You can’t expect different results by making the same old decisions,” he told Men’s Health. “But commit to making positive changes every single day.”

Read more about his story.


Graham Winder: Lost 10 Percent Body Fat

After the birth of his child, Graham Winder found himself hitting the gym less. Realizing it was time to make a change, Winder gave up carbohydrates from grains, pasta, and beer. He also took up the keto diet.

He incorporated a rigorous workout routine with the help of a personal training studio. All total, he dropped from 21 percent to 10 percent body fat.

He recommends getting outside help for those who struggle losing weight. “Have a plan and engage a nutrition coach and trainer that will hold you accountable,” he told Men’s Health. “Nutrition and food is 80 percent of it, so you really have to change your habits and routine.”

Read more about his story.


Eric Clarke: Lost 190 Pounds

Eric Clarke started gaining weight in middle school. A football lineman on his high school team, weighing more was an advantage, so Clarke thought nothing of that extra weight.

Clarke reached 415 pounds in his 30s and decided to change his relationship with food. He opted for keto because he enjoyed the low-carb, high-fat plan, which was key to his success.

“My advice to others would be to do your homework about a diet you think you can stick with,” he told Men’s Health.

Read more about his story.


Kevin Ozee: Lost 130 Pounds

A nightmare forced Kevin Ozee into making a change.

“I dreamt that my wife and kids were attending my funeral. I don’t know what the specifics were—because dreams are weird like that—but I remember that my wife was furious with me, because I had died of something preventable and self-inflicted, such as heart problems or complications from diabetes,” he told Men’s Health.

At the time Ozee weighed 345 pounds. Now, he’s 213 pounds, thanks to the Keto Diet.

Read more about his story.

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