Like so many moms, Abby Rivera struggled to lose the weight she had gained while she was pregnant with her son. For six years, she struggled to find the time to eat properly, exercise, and to just take care of herself in general. “In those first months [after giving birth] I would honestly not have time during the day and come 4 or 5 p.m. I was eating and snacking on anything I could find,” she explained. “It wasn’t helping me with the weight loss.”
Rivera experienced constant ups and downs on the bathroom scale when she tried portion control, clean eating, meal replacements, and workouts. She wasn’t able to stay consistent with anything she tried, and as an eating disorder survivor, she didn’t want her thoughts to revert to being consumed by food. “I was miserable in my skin, hated having to get dressed, and was hiding in baggy shirts and leggings, hoping one day those pre-baby jeans would fit again,” she said.
Then, she tragically lost her husband, an NYPD officer. Her life changed completely. In order to cope, she needed something manageable. “Life was very difficult with losing my husband,” she said. “I wanted to focus on me and find something that would make me feel good inside and out.”
She started seeing that fellow moms who also struggled to lose weight after having their babies were finding success with keto. She learned about Dr. Berg through a friend and Rivera was willing to give it a try. After joining Dr. Berg’s supportive Facebook group and creating one of her own, she stayed accountable and saw results.
Gradually Rivera fell into intermittent fasting. She now eats two meals a day. “Keto made eating simple,” she said. “My energy levels now are unreal, which this single mom needed.” In fact, the hardest part for her was the opinions of others who don’t understand how keto works. Yet despite the naysayers, she still wishes she had started sooner.
Once she fully understood that eating fat helps you lose fat, Rivera was able to eat until she was satisfied and not obsess over food. Rivera loves what she can eat with keto and doesn’t miss bread or pasta at all. Within eight months, she lost 50 pounds (22 kg). She finally has her pre-baby body back.
“I am proud of my accomplishments, I am happy in my skin—inside and out—and I have energy to take care of myself and my son,” she said. “Trust the process, keep going, and don’t compare my journey to your journey. Just use it as inspiration that you can reach your goals.”
Favorite Way to Exercise: “Spin classes, although I really have not exercised much with keto since focusing on my nutrition has been key,” said Rivera. “The majority of my weight loss happened when I was still living in NYC, so there was also a lot of walking.”
Favorite Keto Recipe: Steak with butter and green beans with marinated artichokes, or peanut butter cup fat bombs