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Ketogenic diet helps Mount Sinai woman lose 34 pounds

The 31-year-old, who is also an appearance-savvy makeup artist, eventually said, "I can't do this anymore," after her weight hit a lifetime high.

Diana Ottenwalder, 31, of Mount Sinai, in June

Diana Ottenwalder, 31, of Mount Sinai, in June 2018, when she weighed 184 pounds, and in a more recent photo, showing off her more than 30-pound weight loss. Photo Credit: Carlo Giardino; Steve Pfost

Diana Ottenwalder, 31, Mount Sinai

OCCUPATION Funeral director

BEFORE 184 June 2018 AFTER 150 Dec 2018

Other than Diana Ottenwalder’s college years when she says she was “frail skinny” from poor eating habits, weight was always an issue for her as well as other family members. Ten years after marrying her husband, who she describes as a good cook, her weight was “at a lifetime high,” says Ottenwalder, who admits to enjoying nightly snacks of nachos, Doritos and ice cream.

Ottenwalder, a very appearance-savvy makeup artist, says her mindset started changing in August. “I was upset seeing myself in the mirror and in pictures. I was uncomfortable in my body, and miserable every day. I actually broke down crying in bed one night.” She eventually said, “I can’t do this anymore.”

Ottenwalder follows beauty influencers on social media and knew some had lost weight on a ketogenic diet, frequently called a keto diet, a low-carb, high-fat eating regimen. “They looked fantastic after just a month on it.” She did research and shared the information with her husband, the cook in the family. She followed the program intensely for three months and lost 27 pounds. Ottenwalder says although she had been working out for a year by then, she never had the energy level she had after eliminating carbohydrates. “My energy was sky high. That feeling alone kept me excited and on the program,” says Ottenwalder.

She has slightly tweaked her Keto diet eating, saying, “I still want to have a bagel with my girlfriends. Life happens.”

Ottenwalder is working on building muscle now, but would like to lose another 15 pounds. She says her once-high blood pressure has returned to a safe range.

Ottenwalder practices intermittent fasting by limiting her eating to eight hours. Though she has coffee and water in the morning, her first meal isn’t until about 2 p.m. And that’s typically a chicken Caesar salad with little dressing and no croutons. Dinner is often salmon or grilled chicken. Typical sides are Brussels sprouts, mashed cauliflower, cauliflower rice or broccoli. She rarely indulges in sweets anymore.

Ottenwalder goes to a gym a minimum of three days a week and a maximum of five and does aggressive kickboxing for one to two hours each visit.

“People ask me what I did [to lose weight]. I tell them, ‘You have to really want it.’ Many people say that. I said it for the longest time but wasn’t doing anything to accomplish it, until I broke down. If you really want it, you have to just do it. No excuses.”

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