- Justin Dean, 38, and Ashlea, 34, of Fulton, Missouri, have been on a Ketogenic – or Keto – diet for the last three years
- Keto is a low-carb diet that focuses on eating proteins, leafy greens and fats
- The couple’s healthier lifestyle started when Ashlea had to have back surgery, and was told she needed to lose 20lbs and stop smoking beforehand
- While looking for ways to help his wife slim down, Justin stumbled on the plan and decided to ‘dive in feet first’ with Ashlea, to help her stay motivated
- Three years after starting their Keto regimes, the couple has happily revealed their trim new physiques, saying they feel better both physically and mentally
A Fulton, Missouri, couple has lost a combined total of 160lbs after taking up a healthy new lifestyle together when the wife was told she needed to drop 20lbs before back surgery.
Justin Dean, 38, and his wife Ashlea, 34, first turned to the Ketogenic diet plan three years ago, after he happened upon the healthy eating regime while looking for ways to help his wife shed the weight she needed before undergoing surgery on her back.
Keen to help his wife stay motivated, while also whipping himself into shape, Justin pledged to also follow the ‘extremely low-carb’ diet, which saw both of them totally giving up their beloved pasta, bread, and sugar.
Couple’s that diet together stay together! Justin started the Keto diet with Ashlea three years ago to keep her motivated
But while the plan was difficult at first, the couple were thrilled with the results – which saw them both losing weight within weeks; within the first year, Justin had gone from 190lbs to 140lbs, while Ashlea had shed over 100lbs, going from 250lbs to 135lbs.
Needless to say, the couple – who are about to celebrate their 16th wedding anniversary – hasn’t looked back, and after three years of healthy living, both are proud to say that they have stuck to the Keto diet and maintained their slimmed-down physiques.
Now, they mainly stick to proteins, leafy greens and fats which Justin said ‘may seem counter-intuitive but is an essential part of the plan’.
The couple first started the diet regime three years ago when Ashlea, a registered nurse, hurt her back while helping a patient and needed surgery to correct it.
But the only way the surgeon said he would complete the surgery was if Ashlea lost 20lbs and stopped smoking.
Thanks to the Keto diet, she managed to meet the doctor’s demands – and then some – and, along with her husband, now plans to take up regular exercise in order to get even fitter.
‘Deciding to lose weight wasn’t a problem; Ashlea had to do it to qualify for surgery and I was getting bigger every day so we just jumped in feet first,’ Justin said.
‘I think the hardest part about the process was just getting started, but we did a ton of research and planned ahead and stayed supportive for those first few weeks.’
Before and after: Ashlea went from 250lbs to 135lbs in a year and now works on maintaining the weight
Supportive husband: Justin knew he needed to start eating healthy too so he researched the best plans online and ‘dived right in’ when he found one that he liked
‘It was hard at first, but became a lifestyle for us and has become natural for us over the last couple years.’
‘Willpower is not something that you can just have. It was really hard for Ashlea at first to resist temptation. She was an emotional and stress eater. Food made her feel good at that moment but with each other’s support, it has been possible.’
Justin and Ashlea who have three kids ages three, five and 15, also said they feel more active since starting the plan.
‘We feel much healthier and are way more active than we were when we were so heavy. It’s easier to keep up with the kids and family life. We both are much more energetic and even feel better mentally,’ Justin said.
The compliments on their appearance is also an added bonus to their new, fit bodies an helps keep them motivated.
‘Our confidence levels have increased, as well as, our motivation for living life. We get many compliments, but what matters the most is that we are happy and fighting every day to be the best we can be together. Our relationship is stronger than it has ever been,’ Justin said.
Active for the kids: Justin said that they feel much healthier and are way more active which makes it easier to keep up with their three kids
Sweet sixteen: The coupe will be celebrating 16 years of marriage in December and Justin said they both agree that they look and feel better than the day they met
They couple face temptation on a regular basis but and Justin said that they can even sniff out bread and donuts in the grocery store but despite the constant battle it feels better ‘to look in the mirror and see what you like than it does to eat sweets and other carbs’.
Because Justin and Ashlea have been on the Keto diet for a while, they even get headaches and belly aches when they ‘cheat’.
‘We rarely have a splurge day but when we do we feel horrible. The rush of carbs gives headaches and belly aches are a good reminder why we maintain our lifestyle,’ Justin said.
For other people trying to get healthy, Justin and Ashlea recommend doing the research and once there is a plan in motion, consult a doctor.
The duo realize that Keto may not be for everyone but ‘it is definitely what we needed’.
The trick is also to stay positive and remember that any weight loss in an accomplishment.
‘The biggest complaint we get from people we have recommended the diet to others is that it’s not working for them, or the weight is not falling off quickly enough. Any type of loss is a huge accomplishment and it’s important to not give up.’
Justin said him and Ashlea will be celebrating 16 years of marriage in December and they both agree that they look and feel better than the day they met.