A woman has documented her one-year, 88-lb. weight loss journey in a series of pictures, which have garnered over three million views on Reddit in the year since they were posted, and compelled one user to turn the pictures into a time-lapsed, morphing transformation.
Amanda, who withheld her last name, dropped 88 lbs. in just over a year. Beginning her journey in July of 2011 at 222 lbs., she embarked on a mission to lose weight through a ketogenic diet — a diet high in fats, moderate in protein, and low in carbohydrates. The 26-year-old conceded she did “virtually zero intentional exercise” over the course of her weight loss journey, just simple dietary swaps and the occasional picture as a reminder.
“I knew that I had to start somewhere,” Amanda told ABC News. “I figured if I did it [took pictures] at least once a month, at the end of however long it took, I would have this really cool end product.”
What Is The Ketogenic Diet?
Amanda’s diet consisted mostly of eggs, fish, pork, chicken, beef, vegetables, and nuts. On Reddit, she wrote that the diet was a keto/paleo hybrid, referring to a combination of ketogenic components — high fats, moderate protein, low carbs — and the newly popularized paleo, or “caveman,” diet that consists of similar foods, permitting only those a caveman would theoretically have had access to. (Amanda still admitted to the occasional gluten-free cupcake.)
Ketogenic diets differ from many diet plans in their minimal reliance on carbohydrates. When the body is deprived of the necessary energy sources from grains and starches — two things keto/paleo diets want to keep as low as possible — it starts to draw energy from fat stores instead. Where carbohydrates normally get converted into glucose, which is then used for energy, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and biochemicals known as ketones. These ketones then pass through the brain and replace glucose for energy.
The year-long journey wasn’t one Amanda was prepared for, she told Good Morning America.
“I don’t think I was actually prepared for the amount of emotional investment,” she said. “People bare their souls when they want to take back their health.”
If the widening smiles across each picture are any indication, Amanda’s internal health, which she says plagued her with poor self-esteem and low self-confidence, has also improved. Dr. Jen Ashton, ABC News’ senior medical contributor, remarked that Amanda’s outward appearance reveals an even deeper inner journey.
“The waist got smaller. The bustline got bigger. The neckline got smaller,” Ashton told ABC News. “But the more significant changes actually occur inside our bodies. Changes to one’s sense of self, to one’s physiology, to one’s internal metabolism.”