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Journal challenges readers to join keto challenge
keto challenge logo

In the current issue of 209 Magazine, I shared the story of my keto diet journey over the past year and the incredible weight loss success I’ve found through the low-carb way of life. I received such an outpouring of support from the local community that we at the Turlock Journal have decided to join together, with our readers, to be the healthiest versions of ourselves through a supportive, virtual challenge.

We’re asking you to join us — meaning myself, Journal editor Kristina Hacker, photographer Candy Padilla and Digital Content Manager/Producer Frankie Tovar — in an eight-week keto challenge, where we will share our progress, ask questions and motivate each other on social media. We’ve created a private Facebook group, titled Turlock Journal Keto Challenge, where participants can share their stories, workouts, meals and more, or you can follow along and post keto content by using the hashtag #TJKetoChallenge.

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Anthony Harding of Harding Performance BootCamp takes Journal editor Kristina Hacker’s measurements to prepare for the Turlock journal Keto Challenge (ANGELINA MARTIN/The Journal).

At the end of the eight weeks, not only will you hopefully have shed any extra unwanted pounds, but those who post at least once a week will be entered into a raffle to win some keto- and fitness-related goodies! At the Turlock Journal we support bodies of all sizes, but want to help those who want to lose weight for whatever reason it may be.

I’ve lost 50 pounds since starting keto last year, and hope to guide those who are curious about the diet in a healthy and encouraging way. My first stop? Recruiting my coworkers. I’ll be meticulously planning out their meals, using their height, weight and physical activity level to calculate how much they should be eating each day. Kristina, Candy, Frankie and I stopped by Harding Performance BootCamp in Turlock this week, where trainer Anthony Harding took our beginning measurements and utilized the latest technology to calculate not just our weight, but statistics like body fat percentage, body mass index and even skeletal muscle mass.

Candy told me she’s been going to Harding Performance BootCamp for six years now, but while her physical activity level is high, her nutrition has suffered over the years.

“I decided to try keto to help jumpstart my weight loss,” she said. “I started off strong with my healthy eating habits, but have become too ‘comfortable’ trying to rely on exercise alone. Good eating habits are very important, and at 45, it is important for me to maintain good health.”

So, what is the keto diet? In essence, it’s a very low-carb, high fat diet that involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat, putting the body into a metabolic state called ketosis. Most stick to less than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. When this happens, the body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy, rather than glucose, and also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain. The diet can also cause massive reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels — and produce rapid weight loss. 

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Journal Digital Content Manager/Producer Frankie Tovar is measured by Anthony Harding at Harding Performance BootCamp ahead of the Turlock Journal Keto Challenge (ANGELINA MARTIN/The Journal).

Kristina has found great success with the keto diet in the past, she said, and even lost 20 pounds the first time she tried it. Now, she’s hoping the Turlock Journal Keto Challenge will help her rediscover that success.


“Over the past few months, my discipline fell apart and I slid back into my ‘eat anything’ ways,” she said. “I’m looking forward to the Journal’s keto challenge as a way to get back on track with my diet goals with a little help and accountability from my coworkers and — hopefully — a community of our readers.”

Community is the main reason we at the Journal wanted to start this call-to-action. I credit 100 percent of the weight I’ve lost to my keto Instagram account, @ketooosunshine, where I have joined a supportive, keto community filled with wonderful people who share tips and tricks with me. I post almost everything I eat to my followers and friends, which holds me accountable, and when I first started the diet, it was social media that allowed me to discover recipes that would work for me and helped me to become the keto expert I am today.

In this same way, we hope that we can help others take the plunge toward a healthier weight through sharing our own experiences, meals and secrets in our Facebook group. This is something Frankie is hoping can happen for himself. He said he joined the challenge because, “Why not?”

“Putting my love for beer, bread and rice aside, I figured this challenge would be a good way to reintroduce some discipline into my diet — and by diet, I mean eating whatever I think is delicious at any given time,” Frankie said. “I’ve watched Angelina ride the keto wave to a 50-pound weight loss and her excitement about her progress was enough to convince me to try this for eight weeks, which means I’m going to have a busy weekend finishing all the beer and carbs in my kitchen before Monday.”

So, what do you say? Are you willing to join the Turlock Journal Keto Challenge? If you are, join our Facebook group, or post on social media using the hashtag #TJKetoChallenge. We’ll be there with you every step of the way, and you might even win something cool.