Since we started this awesome journey that is Keto Cacao we've met so many inspiring people. Each of them with such unique stories, personalities, and backgrounds... which made us think: "Wait a minute, why are we keeping all these treasures to ourselves?"
As sharing is caring, today we're kicking off the very first of a series of interviews with all these badass people. In this series, they will share their journey from getting fuel from fats instead of carbs, including challenges, tips and motivational quotes to pin on your fridge.
Starting with Antonie Bartels, the founder of KetoFit. Antonie is 23 years old and crazy about health and bodybuilding. He's discovered the power of healthy fats a year ago and since then, he's been Keto AF.
Hi there, nice that you want to share your story with our community. Let's start with a little bit about yourself. Who is Antonie and why did you start KetoFit?
Hi, my name is Antonie Bartels. I have always been very passionate about health and bodybuilding, but it has never been easy for me to gain muscle or shred fat. This is the reason why ever since I started working out a couple of years ago, I wanted to learn more about it and find ways to optimize things for me.
About a year ago I found out about the Ketogenic diet and I was completely sold. I saw some amazing results from other people and started noticing my own. I felt more energetic, my performance went up and even gained muscle and lost fat at the same time. I also felt better overall and could focus more on my work. This really convinced me that Keto is the way to go for me.
After a few months of Keto, it still blew my mind that the Ketogenic diet is so unknown in the Netherlands. Nowadays as most products are loaded with sugars and hidden carbs, I think so many people can possibly benefit from a well-formulated Ketogenic diet.
That’s why I started KetoFit. A Dutch community full of all the information you need to successfully follow a Ketogenic diet. I aspire to help everyone to live their life to the fullest and reach their own specific goals. Whether it is to lose weight or to gain muscle, to optimize cognitive function or to feel happier overall. KetoFit will be there to make you reach your goals and answer all your questions.
Awesome, we love your drive to spread awareness about the power of healthy fats and the crap that is in so many food products. We need more of this (especially in The Netherlands)! Can you tell us more about how you get your fuel on Keto? You mentioned all these health benefits like more energy, focus, and happiness... how's your diet like?
Ketogenic dieting gets a lot of its benefits from mimicking a fasted state, therefore I like to implement some fasting a few days a week. Especially when weight loss is the goal. I like to Intermittent Fast 3-4 days a week with a 16:8 fast. On those days I typically have 4 meals and on the other days more like 6-7 if you count the smaller meals and snacks. I like to start the day with some coffee and Neuroast Pumpkin spice super-creamer or the Perfect Keto salted caramel exogenous ketones. They provide some great cognitive benefits and provide an amazing taste as well! Of course, also made with some fatty coconut milk.
I tend to eat on the higher side of protein so most of my meals will consist of 100-200 grams of fatty meat or fish. Besides that, I like to get in a lot of (green) vegetables as they give you more like a saturated feeling. I will have one meal with some eggs, bacon, cheese, and vegetables because I like them that much. Other things I like to apply on a daily basis are nuts, dark chocolate, and bone broth. To have some extra energy right before my workout I make my own pre-workouts which most of the times also contain some exogenous ketones or MCT’s.
That's great, we really like to see the many variations of Keto, especially when you mentioned 4 meals while fasting. We've only heard of 2 meals max. It really is a diet that you can adapt to your own goals and lifestyle.
And talking about lifestyle... Do you have any challenges to go on dinner dates on Keto?
I’m not really facing any problems with Keto and dating at itself. I’m more facing problems with finding the time to date. Next to KetoFit, I also work a full-time job as a marketer which causes me to be very busy. Next, to that, I always have a million things on my mind which I would like to post on my website or social media, so I’m investing a lot of time which causes me to procrastinate in other things, like for example dating.
Dating on Keto is not a problem at all. In most of the restaurants, you’ll find great Keto options and it will also allow you to have a drink to loosen up. But I will most likely choose for some meat with a side salad instead of a “dish-without-this-this-this-that-and-please-add-this-and-this-instead” at a first date to not look like a weirdo...
We feel you... being 'weirdo' is a thing on Keto. You mentioned already a lot of foods you like but what's your favorite dish?
Well, it’s not as much of a dish, but I do love eggs! They’re full of nutrients, healthy fats, and protein. They also allow you to make numerous variations. You can go scrambled, sunny side up, add certain types of vegetables, meats, and cheeses and many more things. Most of the time I will enjoy them with some mushrooms, bell peppers, tomatoes, bacon, and cheddar cheese. And to top it off some avocado on the side every now and then.
"I think it’s important to look at it as a lifestyle instead of a diet. Most people think of it as a diet, but I think it’s providing so many benefits that it should be here for the long haul. Chances are big you don’t even consider to go back at all!"
We've talked a lot about the good things though, now what's your biggest challenge on this lifestyle?
I tended to be quite a drinker before I started Keto. I liked to have a drink every now and then and especially beers are my weakest point. I like them a lot, but most beers (the better ones) are not Keto-proof unfortunately. Good for me I like some liquor as well, but they hit dangerously hard sometimes. And after a few drinks, you might not be so strict-keto always as cravings kick in…
Yes, where are the Keto-proof beers? We hope to see them one day. And good that you mentioned cravings... how do you keep yourself motivated to stick to Keto on holidays like Christmas, for example, with all those delicious homemade treats?
To be honest, I’m not going to count every carb during the holidays. During this special time of year, I think it is important to enjoy these moments with your beloved ones. For me, Keto ends up on the second place during these days. But the day after I will be straight back on track. I think people sometimes get too hung up on carbs and eliminating them from their diets. Don’t get me wrong, it is a good thing. Especially if you can, kudos to you!
But for most people, it doesn’t work to stay Keto 100% of the time. In that case, I think it’s better to have that slight cheat on a special occasion every now and then instead of going full Keto for two months and then stopping because you miss carbs too much or have a massive blowout and eat every bit of sugar you can. I rather would want to see people approach Keto as a lifestyle and be in there for the long run instead of seeing it as a diet for a short period of time. If that requires you to have a slight cheat-meal on a special occasion, then sure: enjoy that moment with your beloved ones!
Totally agree. It's a lifestyle, not prison. We believe that you have to enjoy it to stick with it. If you don't, then don't. What's your biggest message to people who are interested start living the Keto life?
Don’t overthink it, just do it! Make sure you learn the basics and get started. The longer you wait, the longer you will not benefit from it at all. Most of the time people think they can’t enjoy their favorite foods or that dieting isn’t fun at all. The fun thing is that the meals you can have on a Ketogenic diet are very tasteful. For every dish you can think of, there is most likely a keto version of it. Who doesn’t want bacon, chocolate, nuts or cheeses on a daily basis? ;-)
Besides that, I think it’s important to look at it as a lifestyle instead of a diet. Most people think of it as a diet, but I think it’s providing so many benefits that it should be here for the long haul. Chances are big you don’t even consider to go back at all!
Yes to that! To wrap up, tell us what do you like about Keto Cacao and what's your all-time favorite flavor?
I love the bars. It’s the first fully Keto chocolate that’s also available in the Netherlands. I’ve always liked to eat chocolate on a daily basis because of its benefits and the feeling of a small ‘dessert’ after a meal. I mostly eat it right before my training. The Keto Cacao bars makes it actually less possible for cheating and they also provide some extra energy to fuel my workout. I do like all the flavors, but if I had to choose I’d say coconut!
Awesome, thank you so much Antonie and we wish you all the luck with KetoFit and hope to have you featured many times with KC.
If you want to share your own journey from carbs to fat with our community, follow us on Instagram and tell your story using #highfatstory or comment below!
We'd love to hear.