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

By | November 21, 2023

I am a mother of nine children. And I’m a dance mom – most of my kids dance. So we were and are an incredibly busy family when I started losing weight. Life is chaos, but it’s exactly what I love. I’m a people person and like to talk.

I have had eight pregnancies and two miscarriages. I also adopted one of my children. I married early and was either pregnant or breastfeeding for more than 20 years of my adult life – almost all of it. I love it. I love babies and motherhood. It is joyful and rewarding.

But I didn’t take much care of myself. With each baby I gained 25 to 30 pounds, maybe even more. And once I had the baby, I continued to gain weight. I never lost weight after my pregnancies. I grew up really, really big.

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

So I thought, “Well, I’m 40 years old, this is my last chance if I want another baby.” I’ll just try and hope it all works out.”

Tamra Hyde was the heaviest at 374 pounds.
Tamra Hyde

It was really scary. I took to the air and gained so much weight that I weighed up to 374 pounds by the time my son was born. My blood pressure shot through the roof and I had to be induced three weeks early so he could be born and I could get medication. I found myself in a dangerous situation.

I know that having a child wasn’t the best decision at the time. But as a mother, you do everything for your children and sacrifice your own life for them. It’s really hard not to do that, even when you know you have to take care of yourself.

But I knew it was time to think about my health and about my children growing up and being able to see my grandchildren. I should have been thinking about these things all along, but I was caught up in my mother life and just forgot about my life.

I still hadn’t lost any of the baby weight. It was December 2016. I weighed 374 pounds and felt 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. In the evening I ate an entire 6-pack of full-size donuts and drank a 64-ounce Coke. I could eat a 5 pound bag of gummy bears in a few days.

My blood pressure was ridiculous. The level was so high that I was in serious danger of being hospitalized. I was so desperate but I couldn’t find any answers and felt like there weren’t any. Losing weight seemed impossible and I feared that I would eventually reach the point where I would have to hire a GP to look after me.

So I got serious about finding a solution. I first looked into gastric bypass surgery; the sleeve operation; The balloon in your stomach surgery. But people have died from these operations. There are too many risks. I knew surgery wasn’t for me.

At some point I found my solution. It breathed new life into me and gave me hope. My weight loss journey finally began on January 1, 2017, when I weighed 374 pounds. By October 2019, less than three years later, I had lost 200 pounds.

Tamra Hyde before and after weight loss
Tamra Hyde picture before and after her 200 pound weight loss.
Tamra Hyde

I achieved the weight loss through a reduced-calorie ketogenic diet, where I minimized my carbohydrate intake and focused on healthy fats and proteins. My calorie goal for a deficit diet was 1,300. It’s not a fad diet. It’s a way of eating that I found to be very sustainable.

I had never heard of keto before until a mom I spoke to on Facebook mentioned it to me when I told her that I only eat lean meats and vegetables. I was amazed when she introduced me to a keto community online. My prayers were heard.

Keto is basically a low-carb diet. It’s about putting your body into a state of ketosis so that you burn your fat reserves for energy instead of sugar. You limit your carbohydrate intake to essentially have no glucose supply.

I measured my “macros” – macronutrients like proteins, fats, carbohydrates, etc. – that I should consume each day in grams to ensure I was consuming the right amount to get into ketosis .

What you can eat is pretty easy to understand. It’s basically any type of meat, cheese – but pay attention to the carb count, especially with things like cottage cheese – plain yogurt with live cultures, leafy greens, avocado, broccoli, zucchini, squash – anything low in carbs.

Eat fruit sparingly as it can be high in carbohydrates. Berries are the lowest-carb fruits of all. Nuts are also fine, although they are high in fats and calories. So you have to be careful when keeping track of your macros.

Foods you can’t eat include rice, bread, potatoes, and any large root vegetable of any kind. But at the top of the list is sugar. I loved sugar, but two weeks of it made me a completely different person. You won’t even know it yourself. It’s like stepping out of the fog into a beautiful, sunlit room.

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

Anyone can do that. It’s overwhelming at first and the first few weeks are hard, especially when you’re losing as much sugar as I was. But it is absolutely doable.

I didn’t have a gym membership. The only exercise I really did was go hiking with my kids or strolling through amusement parks on field trips. But I naturally became more active as I lost weight.

As I became lighter, I felt my body itching to move. I’ve been more active because I wanted to be – it’s fun. Before I lost weight, I could barely climb the stairs. Now I’m running up it.

I’ve tried other things that I’ve documented on my YouTube channel, Keto in the Chaos. like intermittent fasting and controlling my electrolytes, as well as talking about the emotional highs and lows of this journey.

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

Tamra Hyde after losing 200 pounds
Tamra Hyde after losing 200 pounds.
Tamra Hyde

I had a lot of emotions these 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 would go from there.

I had to do a lot of soul searching even though I expected to feel relaxed and happy. However, I was so excited and proud of what I had achieved.

After losing those 200 pounds, I switched to a ketogenic maintenance diet to keep my weight at a level I was happy with. I was really excited to move on to the next phase of my weight loss journey.

Maintaining the weight loss was the worst part. Losing weight is only part of the battle. It’s even harder to keep it away.

I had lost inches from my arms, waist and thighs. After the weight loss, I had some skin sagging and a roll in my stomach, but overall I was pretty happy with how I looked and felt and didn’t plan on losing any more.

In the fall, I took a break to eat some comfort food, including more fat. But I stuck with my keto diet. I just experimented a bit with calories and my macros to see where my body was happy and my weight remained stable.

Previously, when I was losing weight, I would gain 15 to 20 pounds of water every time I went on maintenance calories. I really tried to avoid that again. One of my goals was to see if I could eat more carbs without causing my body to go out of ketosis.

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

It hurt me that people weren’t interested in seeing how I looked or that I should hide my loose skin. I prayed about it a lot and came to the conclusion that Jesus wouldn’t mind if I showed the world my loose skin and appearance so that people could get an idea of ​​what it might be like if they lost weight.

I’ve looked for videos like this in the past, so I wanted to add to the ones that are out there and provide a different perspective. Many videos I’ve seen featured people with looser skin than me.

I literally lost an obese person from 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 to have plastic surgery to remove the loose skin, including a tummy tuck. I had no health reason for it, I just wanted to get rid of the loose skin. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Since then, I have suffered from lipedema and lymphedema, which causes fat and fluid retention in my legs, and am in perimenopause. And I was struggling to stick to a strict keto diet due to financial reasons, so we had to do what we could to make ends meet.

As a result, despite these issues, I have gained weight and am back in the low 200 pound range. But I’m trying to get back on the keto diet and get under 200 lbs, and I’m re-following my journey on YouTube.

I’m still proud of where I’ve arrived. My life has changed so much through losing weight and I have gained a freedom that is indescribable.

Tamra Hyde talks about her weight loss journey on her YouTube channel Keto in the Chaos.

All views expressed are the author’s own.

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