Mark is a low carb keto lifestyler from Toronto. He is a full time working dad of 2 and attends school part-time! He's lost over 90 lbs over the last 14 months and has an amazing Instagram account @hackmyketo
Today is Father's Day and as we celebrate fathers, father figures, uncles, grandfathers, brothers, mentors and men who are a guiding force of love for the people around them, I asked Mark a few questions about his health journey and did he ever open up...
Do you mind telling me how much weight you’ve lost and the timeline?
- 90 lbs lost over the last 15 months, target weight loss is 100 lbs
- First 9 months were strictly Keto eating, the last 5 months have included gym time, and the last 3 months intermittent fasting
As a busy father of 2 who works full time: What advice can you give to parents who want to maintain keto with such limited time?
(I also go to school part-time 😊)
- Meal prep and planning has been crucial, especially at the beginning when I was still learning the ins and outs of what foods worked for me.
- Sunday nights are key - would usually be a big batch of something to use as lunches for work every day along with prep of any other ingredients I thought I might need for dinners. If I could crank out a dinner or two for the week, even better.
- Don’t spread yourself too thin. If you know it's a crazy week coming up, that is NOT the week to try and plan 5 new recipes and a new workout routine. I learnt that the hard way 😊
- Stick to the basics! I’ve had plenty of nights that dinner was at midnight and was nothing but a pile of deli slices and some cheese or a plate with the last few bites of all the leftovers. And that’s ok, plenty of time to experiment
What is the most unexpected thing that came out of the keto lifestyle?
90 lbs of weight loss 😊
Mostly it is the amount of time I spend talking about the keto lifestyle.
- I previously was not a fan of public speaking but I’ve now become the “talk to that guy about keto” guy. I love talking to friends, family, strangers it doesn’t matter. I managed to find a passion for this way of life that I get a real kick out of sharing with others.
- I’ve become an advocate and coach for people in my life who have seen my results and wanted to give it a try and it’s inspiring to see all of their results as well.
What inspires you to stay motivated over the long term?
- My Family. I want to be around for a long time to see my kids grow old.
- (not just) Weight Loss. The results are unlike any other weight loss / WOE program I’ve been a part of, and not just weight loss, but: increased energy, better sleep, clearer skin and a clearer mind.
- The Amazing Keto Community. I spent the first 10 months or so absorbing everything I could find about keto and recipes and working on my own progress and then discovered a very active and engaging community on Instagram and Reddit and felt like I had found my people.
- The Transformations. They are truly as remarkable as some of the people, everyone has a relatable story, and their progress makes me constantly want to do better and achieve more.
- One of my Favourite Quotes. From a diet program in Toronto that says “if you could do it alone, you would have done it already”, and that is 100% true."
Do you think that some men have a harder time being open about their weight loss journey OR trying a different Way of Eating (WOE)?
I think men can have a harder time sharing details about the journey because they don't like talking about failures. It becomes more of a get it done first, then we'll share successes. That way if there are setbacks along the way they don't have to talk about them.
But once they've had some success I think most men would be happy to share details.
I think also most men need to justify a woe with "lower my cholesterol" or "my doctor told me I had to," rather than being able to say "I don't like how I look" or "don't like how I feel" because it feels like there is some stigma with doing it for vanity or because of emotional reasons.
What’s are your favourite foods from SwitchGrocery?
What would you say to a father whose considering changing his way of eating lifestyle? What would you say to the person you were before you started?
Do it for yourself and do it for your family! In the end, nobody else matters.
Just start, don’t wait for Monday, don’t wait for new year’s, start today, right now. When you fall down, and you will fall down, keep going. 3 months from now you won’t remember the mistakes, but you will certainly notice the successes.
Keep up with Mark's journey:
- Instagram @hackmyketo