I lost 200 pounds with a simple diet that anyone can do

I am a mother of nine children. And I’m a dance mom, most of my kids dance. So we were, and still are, a crazy busy family when I started my weight loss journey. Life is chaos, but that’s just what I love. I am a people person and I like to talk.

I have had eight pregnancies and two miscarriages. I also adopted one of my children. I married young and for over 20 years of my adult life, almost all of it, I was either pregnant or breastfeeding. I love it. I love children and being a mom. It’s gratifying and rewarding.

But I didn’t care much for myself. I’ll gain 25 to 30 pounds with each baby, maybe more. And then when I had a baby, I would continue to gain weight. I never lost weight after my pregnancy. I’ve really grown up.

With my last child, number nine, I decided to keep getting pregnant even though I couldn’t lose the weight. I kept trying to get under 300 pounds to feel healthier, but I just couldn’t do it.

So I thought. “Well, I’m 40, this is my last chance if I want another baby. I’m just going to go for it and hope it all works out.”

Tamra Hyde is the heaviest at 374 pounds.
Tamra Hyde

It was really scary. I was hot air ballooning, gaining weight until I was 374 pounds by the time my son was born. My blood pressure went through the roof and I had to be induced three weeks early so he could be born and I could take the meds. I was in a dangerous situation.

I know having a baby wasn’t the best choice back then. But when you are a mother, you do everything for your children and sacrifice your life for them. It’s really hard not to even when you know you need to take care of yourself.

But I knew it was time to think about my health and my children growing up and seeing my grandchildren. I should have thought about those things all along, but I got caught up in my mothering life and just forgot about my life.

Like before, I hadn’t lost the baby weight. It was December 2016. I was 374 pounds and absolutely miserable. I couldn’t do a good job as a mother and I couldn’t be there for my children. I was really depressed.

I ate everything I could get my hands on that had sugar in it. At night I would eat a 6-pack of full-size donuts and drink a 64-ounce coke. I could eat 5 pounds of gummy bears in a few days.

My blood pressure was ridiculous. It was so high that I was in serious danger of hospitalization. I was so desperate but couldn’t find any answers and felt like there weren’t any. Losing the weight seemed impossible and I dreaded getting to the point where I would have to hire home health care to take care of me.

So I got serious about finding a solution. First I researched gastric bypass surgery. arm surgery; balloon in your stomach surgery. But people died from those operations. There are too many risks. I knew surgery wasn’t for me.

Finally I found my solution. It gave me a new lease of life and hope. My weight loss journey finally began on January 1st, 2017 when I weighed 374 lbs. In October 2019, less than three years later, I had lost 200 pounds.

Tamra Hyde before and after weight loss
Picture of Tamra Hyde before and after she lost 200 lbs.
Tamra Hyde

I achieved weight loss through a calorie-reduction ketogenic diet where I minimized my carb intake and focused on healthy fats and protein. My goal calories in deficit was 1300. It’s not a fad diet. It’s a way of eating that I’ve found to be very sustainable.

I had never heard of keto until a mom I was talking to on Facebook told me when I told her I was only eating lean meats and vegetables. I was devastated when he introduced me to the keto community online. My prayers were answered.

Keto is mostly low carb eating. It’s about putting your body into a state of ketosis so that you burn your fat stores instead of sugar for energy. You are restricting your carbohydrate intake mainly due to glucose starvation.

I measured my “macros” – the macronutrients like protein, fat, carbs, etc. that I needed to consume in grams each day to make sure I was consuming the right amount of each to get into ketosis.

All You Can Eat is pretty simple to understand. It’s basically any kind of meat, cheeses, though watch the carb count, especially things like cottage cheese, plain yogurt with live cultures, leafy greens, avocado, broccoli, zucchini, squash;

Eat fruit sparingly as it can be high in carbohydrates. Berries are the lowest carb fruits. Nuts are good too, although they are high in fat and calories, so you need to be careful when tracking your macros.

Foods you can’t have are rice, bread, potatoes, and any type of large root vegetable. But the first of them is sugar. I used to love sugar, but two weeks off from it made me a completely different person. You won’t even recognize yourself. It’s like stepping out of a fog into a beautiful sunlit room.

I would suggest avoiding fake desserts or “keto-friendly” flours. They will only take you back down the slippery slope. Do not bake or make bread. Stick to whole foods with an emphasis on low carb.

Anyone can do it. It’s overwhelming at first, and those first few weeks are tough, especially if you’re losing a lot of sugar like I am. But it is entirely possible.

I didn’t have a gym membership. The only exercise I really got was walking with my kids or going for walks around the parks on trips. But I naturally became more and more active as I lost weight.

As I got lighter, I felt my body itch to move. I was more active because I wanted to be. it’s fun. Before I lost weight, I could barely climb the stairs. Now I run to them.

I tried other things that I have documented on my YouTube channel, Keto in the Chaos. like intermittent fasting and managing my electrolytes, and talking about the emotional ups and downs of this journey.

I was overjoyed and felt like a long time coming when I hit the 200 pound mark, but also a little weird. I was surprised by my reaction.

Tamra Hyde after losing 200 lbs
Tamra Hyde after losing 200 kg.
Tamra Hyde

I had many emotions during those few days. They were everywhere. I don’t know if it was because I felt like my journey was over or because I needed to assess where my life was going.

I had to do a lot of soul searching when I expected to feel cool and happy. Still, I was so excited and proud of myself for what I had accomplished.

Once I lost those 200 pounds, I switched to a maintenance keto diet to keep my weight at a level I was happy with. I was really looking forward to that next phase of my weight loss journey.

Maintaining the weight loss was the scariest. Losing weight is only part of the battle. Keeping it off is even harder.

I lost inches around my arms, waist and thighs. I had some loose skin and belly rolls after the weight loss, but overall I was pretty happy with how I looked and felt and I didn’t want to lose any more.

I took a break that fall to eat comfort food, including more fat. But I stayed on my keto diet. I’ve just been experimenting a bit with calories and my macros to see where my body is happy and my weight stays stable.

In the past, when I was losing weight, every time I moved to maintenance calories, I would gain 15 to 20 pounds of water weight. I was really trying to avoid it again. So one of my goals was to find out if I could eat more carbs without my body going out of ketosis.

I was nervous about loose skin as I approached the 200 pounds I lost. I had many comments that made me feel like people didn’t want to see my loose skin and that I should be embarrassed or ashamed of it, or that it wasn’t Christian to show my body in a bikini.

I was hurt that people didn’t care to see what I looked like or that I had to hide loose skin. I prayed a lot about it and came to the conclusion that Jesus doesn’t mind if I show my loose skin and how I look to the world so that people can get an idea of ​​what it can be like to lose weight.

I’ve been looking for videos like this before so I wanted to add to the videos that are out there and give a different perspective. Most of the videos I had seen had people with looser skin than me.

I literally lost the fat man out of my body, which is crazy. I can’t even imagine strapping a 200 pound person to my back and walking around.

Eventually, I decided I wanted plastic surgery to remove loose skin, including my tummy. I had no health reasons to do it, I just wanted to get rid of loose skin. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Since then I have been dealing with lipedema and lymphedema which has caused fat deposits and fluid build up in my legs and I am going through menopause. And I’ve had a hard time sticking to a strict keto diet because of some financial issues, so we had to do what we could to get by.

As a result, I bulked up amid these issues and got back down to under 200 pounds. But I’m trying to get back into keto and under 200 pounds, and I’m once again following my journey on YouTube.

I’m still proud of where I’ve come. My life has changed so much by losing weight, and I have gained indescribable freedom.

Tamra Hyde shares her weight loss journey on her YouTube channel, Keto in the Chaos.

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