Lisa Fletcher’s ‘Keto’ adventure: taking one for the team

The last time I wrote anything was a month after I arrived in Australia, well over two years ago now. Have I really been too busy to put pen to paper? No, I’ve had plenty of down-time. I just simply CBF. I didn’t realise the extent to which I used writing as an emotional crutch, as a way to get things straight, until the need to do so had dissipated. Now I look back on the past few years from a place of clarity and calm, and I’m grateful to have successfully navigated the minefield without blowing off a leg.

So where have I ended up? When we left off, I was getting my tan on at Manly beach, holed-up in a swanky duplex apartment on the water from which I could watch the sun come up from the comfort of my bed. I had an awesome flatmate, and a crazy landlord with a penchant for champagne, cocaine, and inappropriately young men. Summer was coming, and we were enjoying the sunshine, the champagne, and the Aussie boys. I don’t know what it is – they just make them better over here!

Now following what can only be described as a series of romantic disasters, I was bang up for spending my first year or so slutting it up around the Northern Beaches. Given my pre-existing penchant for Aussie beef, I was somewhat spoiled for choice. I couldn’t turn my head without being confronted by another perfectly sculpted pair of arms, and I was loving every second of it. The quality of my Tinder feed had improved exponentially, and I spent the first few weeks sampling the local cuisine. This went about as well as it had in London, but replace pasty overweight banker with suntanned surfer and overall it was an improvement. I met some interesting characters including Danny Too Nice (such a shame), and Rob The Knob (he was, and he had), and figured I was going to get plenty of comedy material out of the Aussie dating scene, until date #5 turned out to be a keeper. Two years, two months, and zero comedy dating blog posts later, I achieved a new personal best … i tipped the scales at 72kg. Jesus. Henry. Christ.

Now, before the trolls kick up, that’s 10KG over what has been normal for most of the last 15 years, and it’s mostly cheese (CHEESE IS LIFE). We all make our own decisions about what is acceptable for ourselves, and I judge at least 7 of that extra 10 to be entirely unnecessary. I also firmly believe that, with a few medical exceptions, everyone is capable of losing weight – it just depends on how much you are prepared to work for it. Kayla’s BBG program gets results because it’s hard. Those who didn’t see a change gave up after a week when they were hungry and too sore to walk (yes, I tried that one a while back!).

I’ve tried every diet under the sun over the years so I have a good idea of what works. I’m also not a patient person, so dropping half a kilo a week at Slimming World is a ‘no’. I need a solution that is going to get results quickly, but still give me the energy I need for 3 pole classes, 4 gym sessions and a 40hr work week. And that preferably doesn’t require me to give up cheese (did I mention, CHEESE IS LIFE?).

So all the options boil down to one, and it’s a complete unknown … the Keto diet. I’ve never tried this one, mostly because I haven’t been able to rationalise eating that much fat, and also because I don’t like to weigh, measure or count anything. However … 72kg.

Keto, in a nutshell, is Atkins on ‘roids. It requires a strict restriction of carbohydrates, a moderate amount of protein, and over 70% of your total calorie intake to be fat. It also requires me to weigh and count everything I eat and adhere to strict macro-nutrient allowances based on my body composition. I’ve spent the last week or so getting myself super-educated (most people who fail on these things do so because they didn’t bother to do their research), and I’m ready to take a run at it.

This is where the ‘taking one for the team’ part comes in, since everyone i’ve told about it is super-interested, but happy to wait and see how I get on before having a bash themselves. Hence I am now back to journaling my misadventures as I train my body to burn its own fat stores while I live on butter and cheese (in case you missed the memo, CHEESE IS LIFE). The science says that my body will become a super-efficient fat (and cheese) burning machine, while improving my energy levels and mental clarity. Oh, and I don’t have to strictly give up booze.

The downsides are not to be sniffed at. The obvious ones are cutting out the carbs I love. Thankfully my love for cheese is greater than my love for pasta. Also the whole weighing and measuring aspect of it, and not being able to eat anything without knowing exactly what is in it. Oh, and the Keto Flu, which promises to make me feel like shit on a stick for a week while my body transitions.

In an attempt to cheat some of the downsides I plan to take exogenous ketones as a supplement, which should kick my body into ketosis faster and hopefully avoid the worst of the flu. Naturally there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and it tastes like crap and will apparently give me the shits. Joy.

I’m not going to lose 14 stone in a day (see one of my fave diet comedy sketches below), but stick with me and see if it’s really possible for me to live on cheese and shit my way to 65kg before bikini season is over! What can possibly go wrong?!

Peter Kay: 14 stone in a day


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