My Low-Carb Life

NB: I have a lot to say in this post. Before you get into it, go and grab yourself a cup of tea. Make it sugar free!

My path into the low-carb way of life started a few years ago, when I joined a group on Facebook called SleekGeek. It should be noted that I never actually started on this diet at that time – I merely became aware of the lifestyle. Every Tuesday members would post their #TransformationTuesday pics – (before and after) and I would scroll, like, comment and admire each one. It was a dream to post one of my own some day.

Throughout the years I may have had 5 or 6 false starts on the low-carb diet, but i would give up the minute the first headache struck (more on that later)

At the beginning of 2018, Maurice went for his usual check-up, as he had just landed a new role in a series. As Mau has diabetes in his family, his doctor performed a screening just to be on the safe side. You can imagine our shock when we found out that he was pre-diabetic. I had visions of having to inject him with insulin daily. This is how we first got to learn about the ketogenic diet.

What exactly is keto?

keto or ketogenic diet is a very low-carb diet, which can help you burn fat more effectively. Many people have already experienced its many proven benefits for weight loss, health and performance. 1.

Maurice was adamant to start living a keto lifestyle, and I was adamant in supporting him. I had picked up a crazy amount of kilos, so this was perfect for us. I finally had a low-carb partner. And I did well… for 2 weeks. In truth, I was excellent at cooking his meals at night and making sure he had enough for lunch the next day. I would follow the diet religiously at night, but during the day I would snack on the usual – chocolate, chips and take-aways. Loads of take-aways. So while Maurice was getting healthier by the day, I continued to gain a ridiculous amount of weight.

My belly grew, my back ached and I couldn’t get up without a struggle in the morning. My body started throwing warning signs my way. One night after a delicious pasta bake shared between The Kid and I, I started getting stomach cramps that were worse than child-birth. Turns out gluten is from the devil!

The moment it hit me

I will never forget the panic I felt when I visited my friend and stepped onto her bathroom scale. It was the first time I had been on a scale in months. I think I got off and stepped back on that thing 5 times. 82kgs. That’s what it said. 82kgs. 2kgs more than I weighed when I was pregnant. That was the ah-ha moment. That was the paradigm shift. The proverbial slap in the face. I needed to get my life back in shape!

I left that bathroom feeling like my mind had opened up. Everything was clear. I knew what needed to be done.

Preparation is key (tones)

On the 30th of September 2018 I prepared my meals for the week ahead. I had heard the best way to do this is to plan ahead. They were not wrong. I started my weight-loss journey on the 1st of October. I was in the right frame of mind and I was determined AF. They always say “Never start a diet on a Monday”, well this particular Monday was on my side. I had one rule that I was determined to live by: Keep it to yourself.

In my experience the number 1 cause of failure in achieving a healthy lifestyle is other people. You know I’m not wrong when I say this – Other people; whether they be family, friend or foe; have the ability to bring you down.

At the beginning of your healthy lifestyle, your main focus should be understanding where you are at, and where you need/want to be. Your mind is the most important component to living a healthy life. You need that time to yourself and to set your mind on the right path. Because of this, I kept my journey (mostly) to myself to avoid comments like:

“Oooh no, that’s a stupid idea. Who lives without bread!?”

“You’re going to be so boring to hangout with now!”

What I chose to do was spend time in my own head space. I researched various low-carb diets and recipes (You can check out my Pinterest board here. Read loads of transformation stories. Collected quotes on self-love and performed daily manifestations.

A healthy mind is the first step to a healthy life

Amanda Cooke

Getting started

I am not going to lie to you, those first 2 weeks were not easy. When you start eating clean you need to rid your body of all sugar and unhealthy carbs. That means no sugar, chips, biscuits, pasta and no bread whatsoever! Your body needs to go into a state of ketosis (ie: when your body is fueled by fat). Some people, yours truly included, go through what is known as keto flu for a few days. Mine lasted 2 weeks.

I suffered from headaches, dizziness and I was lethargic right through those 14 days. Giving up was not an option for me. I knew exactly what to expect this time round. Fueled by fat and determination I pushed on through those keto flu days.

The basics of keto, without getting to sciencey, keto is a high fat, medium protein and low carb lifestyle. The body uses fat to fuel itself instead of carbs and glucose. You can read up more by clicking here.

To give myself an extra boost, I also started fasting intermittently along with the keto diet. This is very possible to do as feeling hungry does not come easy when you “keto”. The reason for this is that fat fills you up for a longer period of time.Intermittent fasting is basically eating your meals over a specific time period. For example, would typically start eating at 12pm and end before 10pm. This method has been working exceptionally well for me.

Dropping kilos

About a week before Christmas I was down with a mild bout of tonsillitis. My doctor noticed my weight loss and told me to hop onto the scale. Now bear in mind, I avoided scales at all costs since the last incident. I could see the weight loss on my clothes but in my mind, I didn’t lose a single kilo. Your mind is a funny thing.

Imagine my shock when I discovered that I now weighed in at 72 kilos! 10 kilos down in 80 days!

The best thing about the low-carb diet is that it doesn’t feel like you’re on a diet at all. Yes, you do need to avoid foods that are high in carbs. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a burger with some delicious sweet potato fries at your favourite restaurant once in awhile. Eliminate the bun and voila!, you’re eating a low-carb meal.

I have so much more to say about my new lifestyle but I am going to end this post here. Comment below if you want to know more about the meals I eat or what keeps me motivated. Who knows, I may even do a YouTube mukbang while chatting to you about my low-carb life.



  1. Melissa
    01/17/2019 / 11:37

    This is amazing story I actually joined sleekgeek myself admiring everyone for their beautiful transformations. I have recently started this journey myself and its not easy I must admit. I admire you for sharing this story now at least I know I’m not alone. Thanx so much. Now I can find weight loss and hair stories under one blog. Awesome

    • capetowncurly
      01/17/2019 / 12:52

      Good luck with your journey! You’ve got this! Lol yes you can find it all here! Thanks so much for reading

  2. Carmen
    01/17/2019 / 11:45

    Oooh I love you, you’re are truly an awesome and inspiring person.

    You truly look good not that you didn’t before??

    • capetowncurly
      01/17/2019 / 12:50

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I feel that I looked good too, but I didn’t feel good at all. I’m on the right path now though!

  3. Candice Ravens Moses
    01/17/2019 / 12:09

    Hey Mandy. Well done ?yes please let me know what you meals are like.. Would like to start asap. Love Candy

    • capetowncurly
      01/17/2019 / 12:49

      Lunch – crustless quiche, Dinner – Roasted chicken and veg. Stay away from rice, potatoes, pasta… check out the link to my pinterest in this post for more info. It’s really easy to do once you’re in the right frame of mind. Good luck Candy. You’ve got this!

  4. Amber Logan
    01/17/2019 / 12:09

    Oh my word! You have given me so much hope. I have really been trying to start this low carb lifestyle but my sweet tooth just seems to over power me the whole time. I needed this! Thank you so much. And yes yes yes, i would love to know about what you eat and what keeps you motivated.

    • capetowncurly
      01/17/2019 / 12:47

      A piece of 75% dark chocolate or a few strawberries will sort out that sweet tooth in no time. Chocolate fat bombs also work. There is always a healthier choice!

      • Verna
        01/17/2019 / 14:54

        What is a chocolate fat bomb?? Loved the article – definitely checking out your Pinterest page for recipe ideas!

  5. 01/17/2019 / 12:18

    Mandy! You look amazing. I’m so happy for you. You’re so right about the meal prep. I prepped my lunch and snacks for this week and it has really helped me control what I eat! I’m definitely carrying on with that!

    • capetowncurly
      01/17/2019 / 12:46

      I know you can do this Kas. Your mind is set and you’re on the right path! You’re got this. Thank you for your kind words!

  6. Jamie-Lee Dietloff
    01/17/2019 / 12:23

    Would love to hear your recipes & if this diet is extremely pricey?
    Amazing to hear your story ?
    Thank you!

    • capetowncurly
      01/17/2019 / 12:45

      If I look at the amount of money we spent on take out, luxuries & soft drinks then no, I really don’t think it’s pricey. My typical weekend shopping list will consist of eggs, butter, cheese, cream, tomato, garlic, olives and strawberries. With that list I can put together lunch, dessert and a snack!

  7. Lulu
    01/17/2019 / 12:35

    Wow what a inspiring story.. I’m hoping to achieve the same results. I just have to keep strong. Only been eating healthy now for 3days so I have a long way to go but I’m determined to stay focus and reach my goal ?

    Thank you for this post

    • capetowncurly
      01/17/2019 / 12:40

      You’ve got this. Remember to make your journey your own. You’re doing this for YOU!

  8. Simone Isaacs
    01/17/2019 / 12:53

    Hi there

    Its like you were telling my story… I started keto on the 28 October 2018…just loving it… Its so different from all the other “diets” I have tried, but this is not a diet though its a lifestyle change… I also do IF… Does wonders… Lost 14kgs so far… Best decision I have made… I’m 33 years old and have never felt what thin feels like, soooo I think its time… By my 34th birthday I want to be at my goal weight… My birthday is in October… So works out perfectly… Will be a year doing keto then… Thank you for your story ?

    • capetowncurly
      01/17/2019 / 12:56

      Aaaah this warms my heart! YASSS!! Thank you so much for reading. I wish you all the best on your journey. Here’s to a skinny you in October ’19! You’ve got this!

  9. Nadia Carelse
    01/17/2019 / 12:54

    ????????Here for alllll of it. You’re such an inspiration. You looking amazing xx

    • capetowncurly
      01/17/2019 / 13:09

      Thank you so much Nadia! Hard work really does pay off!

  10. Pipéta
    01/17/2019 / 12:55

    I also really want to start with keto and shed the pounds,i also have a sweet tooth and that made it always difficult to stay on an dieet.Thanks for the tips.

  11. 01/17/2019 / 12:58

    I read about keto a little bit,but i would love to know what you should eat. It would be great if you can give us some tips.

    • capetowncurly
      01/17/2019 / 13:08

      I am planning doing something along those lines in future posts. Check out my pinterest board. I left the link in my post!

  12. Anthea
    01/17/2019 / 13:44

    What an AMAZING read and truly inspiring. I would love to know your meal plans and meal prep tips. A You Tube video will be awesome too. Keep up with the amazing journey and all the Best to you Amanda. ??❤️❤️

  13. Wendelin
    01/17/2019 / 13:54

    Thank you for sharing your story. It was worth the wait. You looking fabulous and you have this glow. I would like to hear about your keto routine, eg: Did you meal prep?

  14. Lesmay
    01/17/2019 / 18:27

    Your story is amazing and eye opening as well. Thanks for sharing. What type of meals did you prep?

    • capetowncurly
      01/18/2019 / 06:28

      Thank you. I cook the low carb version of anything you can think of. You can check out my pinterest page for ideas. I’ve added the link in my blog post.

  15. Sharon
    01/18/2019 / 13:15

    Well done on the new Lifestyle – it suits you!!

    I’ve been doing the Banting Lifestyle myself which is based on the Keto Lifestyle – the two are very similar and I have definitely seen the improvements in the weight-loss category (although I think I may have overdone it as some people thought I was disappearing). Don’t worry about getting on the scale – as we say in Banting – the scale is RED LIST.

    Keep doing what you’re doing and all the best. I’ll be checking out your Pinterest for some meal ideas and inspiration.

  16. Brigitte
    01/19/2019 / 13:31

    You look absolutely amazing. Thank you for putting it in layman’s terms for us. I have been toying with the idea for a while now, im already doing IF (16/8 :eating window from 12 afternoon till 7pm at night) but need to start with keto way of eating. Please do a video or a few posts on what meals you cook. I am currently also at 82kg looking to get down to 75 at least. ?

  17. Michelle Bester
    02/06/2019 / 06:48

    Wow! What a transformation Amanda! I started with keto 1 October ’18 and the cm’s have just dropped. I still weigh the same, but now I have muscle instead of fat. Strong is the new skinny!!! Being a mom of 2, i hated the way i felt when I jumped around with my kids. I have waayyyymore energy now than a few months ago. Keep the posts coming, I LOVE reading them. Good on you sister!

  18. 03/05/2019 / 01:34

    Interesting post!! I’ve started LCHF a month ago, and so far I am getting used in this way of eating. I love
    that I don’t feel bloated all the time, And I’ve never felt so much better like this before. I think I found the best diet for me!!

  19. Stacey
    06/12/2019 / 08:42

    Great story so inspiring, so what did you avoid and what did you eat ?

  20. Mary
    06/12/2019 / 09:21

    You look awesome Amanda well done.
    Im on a plant based diet cut out all meat chicken milk eggs etc equals vegan lifestyle.
    Lost 8k and feeling on top off the world.Its so weird how we first want a health scare before we look after our health.I was a sweet tooth girl and no more.
    You a real inspiration by sharing your journey with us not just hair but healthy lifestyle too.I salute you Amanda woman of strength.

  21. Marion Williams
    06/12/2019 / 09:33

    As the saying goes, “you are what you eat”. Keep it up, Amanda. All the best.

    06/12/2019 / 10:42

    I love the Keto Diet, I had my baby in Jan of 2018 by October I was almost a size 16 and pre-pregnancy I was in a 10 pair of jeans. I started with Keto in mid October last year and even though I have not weighed myself not once I was able to see a massive difference when December rolled in and I was once again in my Pre-pregnancy clothes. I have not been back to Keto for the last 3 months and I just feel unhealthy and have been trying to find the motivation I needed to start once again! SO THANK YOU!!! I needed this so much!
    So much! Please share foodie ideas etc!! BTW you look fab!

  23. 04/08/2020 / 10:48

    Hi Amanda. I am absolutely in awe of your fitness experience and I would like some more information about your Keto diet and eating plan.

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