Brie Simeoni aka @SugarFreeBrie on Instagram decided she wanted to make a change and on New Years Eve 2017, she did just that.
Tired of being overweight and unhealthy and sick of going into clothing stores and being unable to find an outfit that fit her the way she wanted, Brie took to researching about healthy eating and getting in shape.
This research helped Brie find the Ketogenic diet, an eating philosophy that promotes high fat and low carb meals. This new diet, alongside Brie’s training and hard work, helped her lose over 70 pounds and completely transform her body. Below, Brie was kind enough to answer everything we wanted to know!
Be Sure To Follow Brie On Her Amazing Instagram Here: @SugarFreeBrie
Brie Simeoni’s Typical Daily Diet
Breakfast: ½ cup of egg whites, ½ avocado, 1 slice of low-sodium bacon
Lunch: (generally leftovers from the previous night’s dinner): Spinach and Asiago Stuffed Chicken Breast with Basil Pesto and Parmesan coating, accompanied with sautéed green beans and brussel sprouts
Dinner: Sirloin Beef Burger (toppings include garlic mayo, tomato, cheddar cheese, sautéed mushrooms and onion), accompanied with parmesan coated zucchini fries
Brie Simeoni’s Typical Weekly Workout Plan
I try to hit the gym 4-5 times a week; 2 days a week will be dedicated to weight lifting, whether it be a designated class or circuit training, with light cardio to warm up.
2-3 days a week are designated to cardio. I prefer HIIT (high intensity interval training) for reasons such as increased metabolism, higher calorie burn post workout, and it can be done anywhere without equipment.
How Did You Get Started In Health And Fitness?
My journey started in January of 2017 when I finally made the promise to myself to become a healthier and happier version of who I was. Other than the fact that I was extremely overweight and eating very unhealthily, I love clothes and fashion, and for me to not be able to walk in any store and have the option to choose an outfit became very disheartening.
I, like many others, chose New Year’s Day to start my first day of my new way of life. I started by slowing cutting out my original and simple idea of “carbs” (ie; bread, pasta, potatoes, etc), but quickly realized that was not enough.
The one big change I made this time around was education. I researched and read a lot of material around healthy eating and started reading a great deal about Keto. Once I started educating myself about Keto and understanding the basis of the way of life, I knew it was something that I could work with. Since January 1st 2017 and 74lbs later, I haven’t looked back once!
What Was Your Diet Like Originally?
My diet originally consisted of a lot of carbohydrates and really whatever was quick and easy. When I was living on my own, I never liked cooking for just myself, so I would pick up pre-made meals either from restaurants or the grocery store. When I did cook for others, there was always pasta, potatoes, or other heavy, starchy carbs involved. Another downfall… alcohol. Wine used to be a staple at my dinner table. A glass or two a night, or out with friends during the week and fairly consistent drinking on the weekends with friends. In my opinion, this was a huge factor to my weight gain as it comes with numerous negative side effects on the body.
I also work in an office environment for 8.5 hours of my day, so there were constant baked goods floating around the office and I would never turn down a free sweet treat.
What Was Your Training Like Originally?
My training was pretty non-existent prior to my new way of life. I went for the occasional walk or hike with friends, but was never motivated to move. On the rare occasion I did go to the gym, I stuck with what I knew; cardio. I was too embarrassed to try anything else other than the treadmill or the elliptical. My weight and lack of education of fitness inhibited me from trying anything outside of my comfort zone.
What Got You Started On The Keto/Sugar Free Lifestyle?
As I mentioned before, education played a HUGE role in my new lifestyle. Once I started understanding the concept of net carbs and what I could and could not eat, meals became a lot simpler. I slowly realized that just because you’re on a “diet” doesn’t mean you can only eat salads and vegetables. This common misconception is, in my opinion, why many people fail at changing their eating habits.
For my meals, I generally have my main, which is a protein of some variety, accompanied with vegetables, cheese, butter, etc. Keto works for me because I love what I eat and almost any recipe can be “keto-fied”. I love that I can still indulge in sweet, sugar-free ice cream, cookies, etc. or have a slice of low carb pizza without feeling guilty.
Once the weight started coming off, training became a natural progression. It started again with what I was comfortable with which was cardio. But as the weight came off, my confidence grew. I started exploring classes like Spin and Pump (weight lifting classes), which elevated my weight loss even further.
What Is Your Best Advice For Someone Looking To Start Losing Weight?
My best advice for someone looking to lose weight revolves around 3 key things; accountability, education, and commitment. Find what works for you! Ultimately, you have to be accountable for your actions. Losing weight becomes a lifestyle change and in order to be successful, you have to want the changes for yourself and no one else. Make sure to educate yourself on the basics of whichever “diet” you choose because when it comes down to it, those will be the building blocks for a strong foundation to move forward from. Once you’ve found what works, commit! The weight didn’t appear overnight, so it won’t disappear overnight. Hard work pays off!
Did You Make Any Mistakes When You First Started?
Of course! Keto is still a learning experience for me. When I first started my initial idea of “low carb” was no starchy carbs (potatoes, pastas, etc) but I was still eating fruits like; bananas and apples that I quickly learned were definitely not low carb. Once I researched the basics for Keto, I set myself in motion for success. Even through my journey I’ve made mistakes, like not recalculating my macros. Once I lost the first 40lbs, I hadn’t adjusted my macros and was over-eating on protein which caused a stall in my weight loss. Keto is about experimentation with macros and activity level to really find out what works best for your body.
How Do You Handle Setbacks & Bad Days?
I read something recently that really stuck with me, “Don’t miss out on 95% of your life, to weigh 5% less”. Understand that one bad day or set back will not take you back to square one. I still treat myself every once in a while because I have worked extremely hard to get to where I am. Having a few potato chips, a small dessert, or glass of wine is something I can live with because I know I’m not ruining a year’s worth of progress in one meal. Keto is a lifestyle and being able to treat yourself after a lot of hard work is that much more rewarding. If I do have a day where I’m feeling off, I do what I call a “Keto Kleanse”. I stay under 10g net carbs the following day to somewhat reset and ensure that I drink a gallon of water to flush my system.
Were People Around You Supportive?
I am so blessed to have a great support system around me. My family and friends have been great cheerleaders for my journey. I have to single out my boyfriend for truly having my back 100% of the time. He saw me struggle in the beginning, yet encouraged me to keep going. He had more faith in me, than I did in myself at first.
There are still skeptics around me that say Keto isn’t healthy or balanced, but I’ve never felt or looked healthier. I choose to focus on the positive feedback I receive because that is what keeps me motivated, committed and happy along my journey.
What Are Your Favourite Healthy Meals/Recipes?
Charcuterie Board: This is my favourite quick and easy go-to. I put a variety of deli meats like; prosciutto, salami, turkey breast, etc, with assorted cheese, olives, pork rinds, Parmesan Whisps, and low carb dips (hummus, baba ghanoush, etc). Generally a plate can consist of under 2-3g net carbs which makes it that much more appealing!
Chicken Crust Pizza: When I’m craving pizza, this is my solution! I found the idea through Keto Connect and added my own twist. For an entire pizza it is only 4g net carbs which is amazing. To make the crust, you use 2 cans of canned chicken mixed with egg, parmesan, garlic, and assorted spices and bake at 500° for 8-10 min. Add on your favourite low sugar tomato sauce, cheese, meats and veggies, bake for another 5-10 min depending on toppings. It’s so filling that I usually can’t finish it, but makes for great lunch leftovers.
Steak with Garlic Mashed Cauliflower: When I’m craving something hearty, steak is my absolute favourite. I marinate my steak with minced garlic, olive oil and Montreal steak spice for a few hours prior to grilling. The steak is always so tender and full of flavor. Cauliflower is my favourite alternative to potatoes. So making mashed cauliflower as an accompaniment is a no-brainer. I steam cauliflower then mash it with butter, garlic, onion, and cheese that can be a delicious side to any meal.
Give Your Best 3 Health Tips That People Can Implement Right Now:
Education: Making sure you are educated about the journey you’re about to embark on. Knowing what you can and cannot eat is important, but knowing the nutritional value to what you’re eating and what is happening to your body is just as important. Becoming familiar with the science of ketosis and other people’s journeys can become just as vital to your lifestyle as what you physically consume. Reading and learning about other people’s mistakes and ideas can help to shape your path forward.
Tracking: Tracking keeps me accountable. Being able to track my food throughout the day, helps me stay within my macros and adjust accordingly. I measure all my food to avoid over-consumption and it allows for accurate analysis if I need to dissect where a stall in weight loss may be coming from.
In addition to food tracking, I also keep track of physical activities. I try to stay active throughout the day despite being restricted by a desk for the majority of my day. Fitbit is my personal choice for an activity tracker. It reminds me if I haven’t moved enough within the hour and keeps me from being inactive for too long.
Don’t Give Up: My biggest piece of advice is to just keep going! In the beginning, I never thought I would get to this point. I surpassed my first goal of 50 lbs lost within 7 months and kept going not realizing that I could achieve even more than I put my mind to initially. If you face a setback, hop back on the next meal or the next day. One mistake is not going to determine the fate of your lifestyle change unless you let it. Stay strong, stay committed, and see results!
How Does It Feel To Know You Inspire So Many People Online?
This is a CRAZY feeling. For so long I looked at others for inspiration and strived for the results that they had accomplished. Once I realized that this journey was my journey and I had to do this for me, everything changed. I’m so honored to have people reach out to me for advice, knowledge, and ideas, it makes me even more motivated to strive for results. I’m very overwhelmed with the outpouring of support and kind words from people I know and even people I don’t know. I hope my journey can inspire others to make a positive change in their lives to become a healthier and happier version of themselves!