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Pinoy Fitness: Jema Ng's 30-Day Keto Diet Challenge

Pinoy Fitness: Jema Ng's 30-Day Keto Diet Challenge
by Jema Ng of Pinoy Fitness
April 12, 2019

Seven years ago, I was this gangly, sedentary twenty-one-year-old girl who could eat all the rice and sweets and NOT gain a single pound. Fast forward to today, it seems like I’m gaining weight with every whiff and sniff of the aroma of the food.

It sucks big time when your metabolism slows down. It came to a point where I didn’t want to take selfies anymore because my cheeks were so round; half of my clothes didn’t fit anymore AND I had to shop for clothes that are one size bigger.

I decided to take action by increasing my workout to three to four times a week: Yoga, HIIT, running, indoor cycling, Plana Forma, boxing. Good news: I did not gain weight! Bad news: I did not lose any either. WHAT! I thought that with all the pounding and sweating I did every week, I’d be able to drop weight; that it was OK to treat myself with 1.5 cups of rice/chocolates/donuts/chips after every workout.

I’ve heard it before… you can never outrun a bad diet. So I had to say goodbye to junk food and I just had to do it in style: I did a “despedida weekend” wherein I ate everything I love: rice, fruit shake, milk tea, chips, chocolates, alcohol. Come Monday, I committed to a 30 Day Challenge and started a ketogenic diet.

In a nutshell, keto diet is low carb, no sugar, high fat diet. No rice, no mashed potatoes, no bread. No chocolates, cakes, ice cream. Yes to bulalo, lechon kawali, salmon sashimi, chicharon, bacon, burger patties, and cheese! For detailed explanation of this diet, you can read it here.

My work schedule is a bit on the hectic side and I didn’t have the luxury to prepare my own food religiously. Good thing I learned about Ketos of Manila that delivers keto meals within Metro Manila.


They have a number of options to choose from based on your lifestyle: 800 calories for those who are practicing intermittent fasting, 1200 for those who are sedentary/ semi-active, and 1800 calories for active people like me. If you’re the type of person who’s “Tinapay is life”, Ketos of Manila also offers meal plans that have Keto Bread/Brownies!

It’s been more than thirty days since I started my keto journey and here’s what I’ve learned:

1. Just because you’re on a diet doesn’t mean that your food should taste bland.


My Day 1 meals were a burst of flavor! I knew right then that my keto journey with Ketos of Manila would be an enjoyable one. My favorites: eggplant lasagna, chicken inasal, sweet and sour pork with chopsuey.

2. There are keto friendly drinks, snacks, and desserts.


I do not miss chocolates and sweets since I’ve been receiving keto brownies, strawberry yogurt, strawberry cheesecake, and even chocolate pudding!!!! I also shopped for nuts like macadamia and walnuts to munch on when I’m hungry. Instead of white sugar, stevia is used as sweeteners. Instead of wheat flour, almond flour was used to make breads.

3. There will be struggles and you’ll get over it.

I did HIIT on my Day 2 and boy was I dizzy even after eating my keto japchae lunch! I couldn’t understand why I was still starving to death even if I have had a filling lunch. My stomach was growling like a roaring lion until I popped open a bag of chicharon and munched on ‘em. Later on, I realized that that day was when I went into ketosis–my body ran out of carbs to burn and was transitioning to use fat as fuel.

4. Keto doesn’t mean you should eat lechon all day every day. While ketogenic diet encourages you to eat more fat, it doesn’t mean that you should stuff your mouth with the not so good fats. Choose the healthy kind of fats from avocado, salmon, olive oil, nuts instead of canola oil, fast food, soybean, etc. Ketos of Manila makes sure I get the good ones from Champurado, Chicken Curry, Baked Bangus that are always full of flavor!

5. You’ll want to eat more greens. Since I haven’t been eating any white rice, pasta, and bread, there’s more room in my tummy for green, leafy vegetables! Ketos of Manila always makes sure I have the right kinds and amount of veggies without me getting kicked out of ketosis or the metabolic state of the body wherein it burns stored fat instead of carbs.

6. You will really lose weight.


Four days into the ketogenic diet and I lost 2 kilos right away! I couldn’t contain my happiness that morning when I stepped on the weighing scale and saw the numbers dropped significantly. Prior to doing this diet, my weight would drop half a kilo after an intense workout, only to gain it back after a few days. *facepalm*

7. There are Keto Facebook Groups. Join Keto Facebook Groups to find keto food hacks, learn about keto approved sweeteners, get inspired and motivated by other people’s success stories. You can also ask questions and other members will be more than happy to reply to your questions.

8. You’ll be tempted to cheat but you will dig deep.


I am always tempted to eat just a spoonful or two of my favorite rice, and there was one time that we were at my favorite kansi bulalo(it’s keto friendly omg!!!)place in Makati where I wasthisclosetohavingacheatday.

I was on my second week doing keto and it took me everything within me to not eat rice. I’m glad that I did not succumb to temptation and whenever I’m craving for rice, I just look back on the day that I survived eating my ultimate favorite without rice and tell myself “Kung kinaya kong mag bulalo nang walang kanin, kaya kong kainin tong *insert ulam here* nang walang kanin!”

Checkout the Food I Ate for 30 Days (still ongoing actually!):
As for the verdict, I have lost 4kgs! See Day 1 vs Day 30 photos below:

Curious whether keto diet fits your lifestyle and eating habits? Head to and see for yourself!

Disclaimer: before going keto, or any kind of diet, consult your physician first.