Athletes & Celebrities

Photos: Jen Widerstrom Shares Impressive Keto Diet Challenge Results

The fitness pro took on the challenge when she realized she needed to make a change.

Jen Widerstrom's Keto Diet Before and After
jenwiderstrom / Instagram

Celebrity trainer Jen Widerstrom is no stranger to healthy eating and hard work. After all, the former Muscle & Fitness Hers cover star made a name for herself coaching people to health on NBC's The Biggest Loser. But no one is immune to hitting a fitness rut every once in awhile, and Widerstrom recently went through just that. 

Following a "very chaotic six months," she somewhat jokingly accepted the ketogenic diet challenge from fellow trainer and powerlifter Mark Bell, only to realize that she could really use a body reboot once she saw her before photos. Prior to starting the challenge, she had been drinking more, eating fast food, and hadn't been in a good place mentally, she wrote on her first post.


CONFESSION: This was a lot harder to post than I thought it would be. Per my last post I said I would take on this challenge and frankly accepted it because it's something I thought would be fun -- but in looking at these photos I don't think I realized how much I truly needed the push. I've had a very chaotic six months and for the first time I visually see how that chaos is reflected in my eating habits and mental health. With a huge amount of stress along side many things to be thankful for, I have been drinking a lot, eating fast food, and to be honest been mentally checked out. To see the distention and my gut is the physical evidence that I've clearly been a been avoiding handling what I've been feeling and after knowing all of you for so long, I know you've been there too. But it stops NOW. I have the decision to shift my headspace and be better bc I know better or to go into f*ck it mode, give in and avoid what scares me longer. Well... you guys know me well enough by now to know which decision I'm going to make- and as I said last night, I'd love to have you along with me. This all makes me a little freaked out, but to know you're there makes it easier. xxMe DAY 1 of 17

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The post went viral, serving as an inspiring reminder that no one is perfect 100% of the time—even trainers and fitness influencers. 

On Saturday, she posted an update at the end of the 17-day challenge, and the results are definitely impressive. For those unfamiliar with the ketogenic diet, it's an approach to nutrition that seriously limits, if not totally cuts out, carbohydrates and replaces those calories with healthy fats, causing the body to go into ketosis and burn fat for energy


17 days of #keto complete. MY GREATEST TAKEAWAY: If you read nothing else below please read this: I have the power to do something about the way I feel and I also get to decide how to move through what happens to me. I do not have to be a victim but I do but I do get to choose how I cope with my stress. It’s up to me on whether I check out or not— and through this experience I’ve chosen to participate everyday of my life going forward. YOU HAVE THE SAME POWER. The actual diet feedback: PROS -Fast response. Keep in mind the first week is really just water weight but if you stay in it the body continues to drop weight pretty rapidly. (make sure you’re eating enough though because you don’t want to lose muscle!!) -No cravings. I had no energy drop and nice energy flow throughout the day. -CLEAR food/fuel boundaries. There is no guesswork and no negotiation that happens—you know exactly what you’re allowed to eat and what you’re not and it takes away any emotional eating or conversations in your head. . CONS -As you all know, I strongly believe one size does not fit all… Making keto NOT for everyone. It’s not for me for sure- even though my body does respond well to high fat and protein fuel, given my mental and physical demands. My body NEEDS starch so I choose not to live in ketogenesis. -It takes VERY high discipline to do right and adapt correctly. -The precision of this diet is critical. Inspired by a conversation with my colleague @dunamisarp, “you risk not actually being in ketosis and instead just adopting a restrictive carb diet with too high of protein leading into gluconeogenesis. It takes a while to be fully adaptive into ketosis even though the scale and clothes will change earlier. There is always a cost to everything.” -Chris Knott #mondaymotivation

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Her biggest takeaway? We've all got the power to make changes, and it's our choice whether we're in it mentally. In the caption, she also shared her feedback on the diet plan itself.

As far as pros, Widerstrom felt that the diet method led to quick results, and she didn't experience cravings or energy drops. She also likes that it's very clear which foods fit into the plan. 

"There is no guesswork and no negotiation that happens—you know exactly what you’re allowed to eat and what you’re not and it takes away any emotional eating or conversations in your head," she writes in the caption. But she also listed a few cons: It takes a lot of discipline to stick to the diet, so it's not for people who don't want to seriously commit, and if you're not precise with the diet, your body won't go into ketosis—and that pretty much defeats the purpose.

Finally, she reiterated that everyone's different, and no diet is definitely a fit for everyone's body or goals. 

"As you all know, I strongly believe one size does not fit all… Making keto NOT for everyone," Widerstrom writes. "It’s not for me for sure—even though my body does respond well to high fat and protein fuel, given my mental and physical demands. My body NEEDS starch so I choose not to live in ketogenesis."

Check out her progress photos throughout the challenge in the slideshow post below:


To keep up with Widerstrom, follow her on Instagram at @jenwiderstrom.

 

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