2

votes

How did zero carbohydrates work for you?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created July 27, 2011 at 8:44 AM

Has anyone gone absolutely zero carbs? And if so, how did you feel? And did it have an affect on your weight?

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on April 29, 2013
at 10:33 PM

i wish when i get a comment i could be notified lol. i'm doing zero carb (only meat/seafood and salt, no eggs/dairy either). even spices now give me minor trouble i.e. chili pepper. i'm a firm believer now that in those extremely sensitive (I'm Mongolian, morbidly obese as a child) that even some plant matter in their diet can be weight gain inducing. +1

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on December 24, 2012
at 04:31 PM

Over the holidays in 2011 I decided to experiment with "safe" starches, eating some yams and white potatoes. I had the same response that I had the year before when I ate crucifers over the holidays: Weight gain and joint pain. Rapid, too -- over a three-week period I was up over 10 pounds, and feeling awful. For me, the difference between VLC (meat with veggies) and ZC (meat, no plants except some spices) has been enormous. To this day I'm not sure if it's strictly a matter of carbohydrate, or if I have some sensitivity to phytochemicals (see Dr. Georgia Ede's blog for a view on that.)

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on December 24, 2012
at 07:02 AM

Rose what happens if you eat some safe starch minus the veggies (fiber)?

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on December 24, 2012
at 06:55 AM

rosacea might have to do with a food sensitivity? i.e. dairy, egg whites, some preservatives/chemicals

2c8c421cf0e0c462654c7dc37f8b9711

(2729)

on August 06, 2011
at 09:15 AM

Great! Thanks, Rose, I'll check it out.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 06, 2011
at 03:29 AM

Chiming in late here, Lizzish, but here's a thread on another forum devoted to the question of bone density: http://forum.dirtycarnivore.com/index.php/topic,1166.0.html And Phinney and Volek say in their new book that the reason high-protein diets were thought to decrease bone density is "because they can cause a small but measurable increase in urinary calcium excretion." But they say this is offset by greater intestinal absorption of calcium on a higher protein diet.

2c8c421cf0e0c462654c7dc37f8b9711

(2729)

on July 30, 2011
at 01:54 AM

You don't worry about acid/base balance? I mean I guess the Inuit do okay with mostly protein and fat. Do you have any research links I could read about ZC and bone density?

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on July 29, 2011
at 06:30 PM

There is no connection between ZC and low bone density.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on July 29, 2011
at 06:25 PM

As for coconut milk, I have had it a few times in recent months, but the carbs are high, and it seems to induce cravings for me. I use coconut oil quite liberally, though, even though it isn't a true carnivorous food. Neither term ZC or carnivory fits me exactly, since animal foods aren't completely carb-free, and what with spices and coconut oil, my diet isn't purely carnivorous either. It doesn't matter in that I'm not trying to be "pure" in any sense, but sometimes I feel it would be nice if I could summarize my diet in just a few words.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on July 29, 2011
at 06:20 PM

The first year or so I used mostly no vitamins and no spices. After that, I started using some spices again. They don't seem to bother me. I also started taking a variety of supplements in a quest to figure out my rosacea problem, which is one of the few remaining problems ZC hasn't fixed. One of those is vitamin C, because there is evidence rosacea might be caused my an infection, and the Jaminets recommend vitamin C in this case. I'm not sure it has made a difference, and I didn't have any suspicion of deficiency before, though.

5d6a58590ba76136e8dc50c561c8ada2

(450)

on July 28, 2011
at 07:10 AM

i'd be interested in this too. is it net or total carbs? how was your regularity given the few carbs?

5d6a58590ba76136e8dc50c561c8ada2

(450)

on July 28, 2011
at 07:07 AM

i guess it also depends on if you count net carbs or total...which did you do? thanks

5d6a58590ba76136e8dc50c561c8ada2

(450)

on July 28, 2011
at 07:06 AM

do you still use coconut milk? i'd miss the carbs from those :/ and spices...

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on July 28, 2011
at 03:59 AM

that's great. I have gotten rid of my long standing upper back aches (which are most definitely inflammatory in nature) though I'm not really as VLC as others here. I'm happy with that.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 27, 2011
at 05:29 PM

I never was diagnosed with SIBO, but the amount of gas/diarrhea I was having made it a real possibility. Fat was never an issue for me. I ate tons of it.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 27, 2011
at 03:31 PM

Melissa - how much fat did you consume when VLC? I wonder if that is why some of us don't do well on VLC - not enough fat. Also - how did you know you have bacterial overgrowth in your gut? Just wondering how it was diagnosed. Thanks!

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on July 27, 2011
at 01:31 PM

Congratulations, Lynn! My joint pain also vanished on ZC. Amazing, isn't it?

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on July 27, 2011
at 01:30 PM

I always forget to mention the fat, lol. Yes, eating plenty of fat in the beginning seems to help many people adapt more quickly.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 27, 2011
at 12:38 PM

very cool. love seeing people happy with their results. Do you take vitamins? Have you had any issues that might lead you to think you have any deficiencies in vitamin C or anything else? Honestly interested.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 27, 2011
at 10:08 AM

turkeytyme Thanx for the feedback. 1.38lbs sounds like a fair amount to be losing. I know what you mean about feeling restricted also.

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10 Answers

6
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 27, 2011
at 12:37 PM

There are many threads dealing directly with this. The search engine is honestly pretty effective on this site.

I did over three months of eating no plant matter at all. Zero. Prior to going full-on like that however I should mention that I was already very used to VLC and ketosis/fat-burning, not taking in glucose, etc.

I felt lowish energy for a good 2-3 weeks I???d say. Nothing amazingly bad but indeed I didn???t feel the pep I used to.

I did it with the intention of really leaning out ??? trying to get something like 10-12% bodyfat, really ripped up. It did not work. I maintained my weight. I have to think that caloric intake still matters at that point and it was that I was simply not eating a caloric deficit. I have no issues putting down masses of fat and protein.

In the end I would definitely not recommend it. We all know that carbohydrates are not essential for existing. But who just wants to exist? I???d say that understanding macros like tools in a toolbox is a wise approach: use the carbohydrate in a wise way and go from there.

If you???re just going in to it for an n=1 I applaud you. I certainly don???t think its dangerous for anything less than 3-6 months, assuming you???re healthy and fit now.

6
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on July 27, 2011
at 12:23 PM

Yes, I'm going on 2 years now. For me it's been a godsend, as not only has it normalized my weight, but also my moods. The difference between VLC at <25 g/day and meat-only at <5 g/day was surprisingly vast.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on July 27, 2011
at 12:38 PM

very cool. love seeing people happy with their results. Do you take vitamins? Have you had any issues that might lead you to think you have any deficiencies in vitamin C or anything else? Honestly interested.

5d6a58590ba76136e8dc50c561c8ada2

(450)

on July 28, 2011
at 07:06 AM

do you still use coconut milk? i'd miss the carbs from those :/ and spices...

5d6a58590ba76136e8dc50c561c8ada2

(450)

on July 28, 2011
at 07:07 AM

i guess it also depends on if you count net carbs or total...which did you do? thanks

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on July 29, 2011
at 06:20 PM

The first year or so I used mostly no vitamins and no spices. After that, I started using some spices again. They don't seem to bother me. I also started taking a variety of supplements in a quest to figure out my rosacea problem, which is one of the few remaining problems ZC hasn't fixed. One of those is vitamin C, because there is evidence rosacea might be caused my an infection, and the Jaminets recommend vitamin C in this case. I'm not sure it has made a difference, and I didn't have any suspicion of deficiency before, though.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on July 29, 2011
at 06:25 PM

As for coconut milk, I have had it a few times in recent months, but the carbs are high, and it seems to induce cravings for me. I use coconut oil quite liberally, though, even though it isn't a true carnivorous food. Neither term ZC or carnivory fits me exactly, since animal foods aren't completely carb-free, and what with spices and coconut oil, my diet isn't purely carnivorous either. It doesn't matter in that I'm not trying to be "pure" in any sense, but sometimes I feel it would be nice if I could summarize my diet in just a few words.

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on December 24, 2012
at 06:55 AM

rosacea might have to do with a food sensitivity? i.e. dairy, egg whites, some preservatives/chemicals

4
3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on July 27, 2011
at 01:28 PM

I've been (virtually) plant-free since September 2009, except for a couple of 4-6 week-long trials with "safe" starches and veggies. Those trials didn't work out (weight gain, joint pain), so I came back to all meat both times.

Like Ambimorph, zero-carb has been very good to me. On over two years of VLC I was stalled at a weight that was much too high; within five months of starting ZC I was down to 155, and now I'm in the high 140s. The bigger surprise was the evaporation of my joint pain. I've long thought I had RA (SED rate and ANA, and now my recent CRP, indicate some autoimmune issue), and the stiffness and pain were getting worse even on VLC. Within weeks of ZC the pain vanished. I'm one of the lucky ones, too, in that I never had induction flu, even on VLC. The transition to ZC was easy for me.

I agree with Melissa that organ meats and seafood are beneficial, especially if you're a young woman interested in conceiving, but since your name is Nick, I'm guessing that's probably not the case. ;D

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on December 24, 2012
at 04:31 PM

Over the holidays in 2011 I decided to experiment with "safe" starches, eating some yams and white potatoes. I had the same response that I had the year before when I ate crucifers over the holidays: Weight gain and joint pain. Rapid, too -- over a three-week period I was up over 10 pounds, and feeling awful. For me, the difference between VLC (meat with veggies) and ZC (meat, no plants except some spices) has been enormous. To this day I'm not sure if it's strictly a matter of carbohydrate, or if I have some sensitivity to phytochemicals (see Dr. Georgia Ede's blog for a view on that.)

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on December 24, 2012
at 07:02 AM

Rose what happens if you eat some safe starch minus the veggies (fiber)?

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on April 29, 2013
at 10:33 PM

i wish when i get a comment i could be notified lol. i'm doing zero carb (only meat/seafood and salt, no eggs/dairy either). even spices now give me minor trouble i.e. chili pepper. i'm a firm believer now that in those extremely sensitive (I'm Mongolian, morbidly obese as a child) that even some plant matter in their diet can be weight gain inducing. +1

4
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 27, 2011
at 12:53 PM

I did it in order to deal with bacterial overgrowth in my digestive tract. I didn't do it much longer than two months. It has an adjustment period and you need to be careful to get enough fat. Too low fat and it's harder to adjust. If you do it long term, make sure to eat some organ meats and seafood at least once a week.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on July 27, 2011
at 05:29 PM

I never was diagnosed with SIBO, but the amount of gas/diarrhea I was having made it a real possibility. Fat was never an issue for me. I ate tons of it.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on July 27, 2011
at 01:30 PM

I always forget to mention the fat, lol. Yes, eating plenty of fat in the beginning seems to help many people adapt more quickly.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 27, 2011
at 03:31 PM

Melissa - how much fat did you consume when VLC? I wonder if that is why some of us don't do well on VLC - not enough fat. Also - how did you know you have bacterial overgrowth in your gut? Just wondering how it was diagnosed. Thanks!

4
4fca5e11d50731edbf4cf2ec38691aa3

on July 27, 2011
at 12:51 PM

I had the carb flu for about a month. Now I feel fantastic. (two months into it.) I can't believe the energy I have. I used to ache in every joint. I am 56 and insulin resistant. Carbs make me have water on my joints. I had trouble sitting cross legged or squating the day after I ate a 2 inch piece of home made apple pie.. I ate it a couple days ago. I won't make that mistake again. If I do have carbs, it is usually a handful of organic spring mix of herbs and greens..nothing else. I get up early and accomplish so much more than I ever have. I have also lost 4 inches around my waist and my blood pressure is now normal. I feel clear headed for the first time in my life. I have ADHD...maybe not now... and I had an auto immune disease RSD of which I have absolutely NO symptoms. Amazing miracle.

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on July 28, 2011
at 03:59 AM

that's great. I have gotten rid of my long standing upper back aches (which are most definitely inflammatory in nature) though I'm not really as VLC as others here. I'm happy with that.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on July 27, 2011
at 01:31 PM

Congratulations, Lynn! My joint pain also vanished on ZC. Amazing, isn't it?

3
B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

on July 27, 2011
at 09:57 AM

I've done it in the past. It's great for weight loss, but I find that mentally it drives me insane. Right now I've averaging around 70-75 g per day. I'm still losing - Fitday says 1.38 lbs. per week - but I'm not going crazy and feeling restricted. I'm also feeling good physically at this level.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 27, 2011
at 10:08 AM

turkeytyme Thanx for the feedback. 1.38lbs sounds like a fair amount to be losing. I know what you mean about feeling restricted also.

1
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on July 27, 2011
at 01:49 PM

I did very low carb, I would say something like 10-25g max per day, many days less, some of that incidental carbs from things like cream in my coffee. So not strict zero carb but close to it.

The first week or two is great, it is energizing and I usually drop some weight. From a culinary perspective, I don't really miss the carbs much, I don't crave anything and am happy with meat, eggs, and the occasional crunchy vegetable.

However, somewhere around week 3 or 4 I start to feel bad... indigestion, difficulty eating meat and fat, poor sleep, poor energy, etc. I am not sure if it is the overload of meat and fat, or some nutritional deficiency, or what the French call "crisis of the liver", but I definitely feel bad.

This is remedied by eating meals consisting of nothing but fruit and yogurt and cleansing items like milk thistle extract. I just can't sustain a diet like that for the long haul.

I try to hit about 50g of carbs per day now, which honestly is difficult without cheats, but I make a point of mixing vegetables and fruits in with every meal. Even if I don't feel much like it I'll have a half a grapefruit with breakfast, or have a handful of berries or cherry tomatoes. This makes all the difference in the diet and makes it comfortable and sustainable.

1
E3267155f6962f293583fc6a0b98793e

(1085)

on July 27, 2011
at 10:56 AM

I have done fatty meat and water with my cup of coffee with heaving cream in the morning for about 2 years. Felt great. I really like zero carb. I eat between 5 and 20 grams carbs per day now for the fiber to support healthy gut bacteria. I have read that the healthy gut bacteria does not die off if you only eat fatty meat but I determined I didn't have a good balance of gut bacteria to begin with.

1
16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

on July 27, 2011
at 10:26 AM

I have for months and at the beginning it had a good effect on my weight loss and then it leveled off so it didn't make a heck of a lot of sense to continue at that level. I'm only consuming probably 10g (net) of carbs a day now, if that, which my body seems to be fine with but honestly, if you're losing weight with higher carbs there's not a lot of point to doing it unless it makes you feel better. Now I'll just go down to zero to mix things up once in a while.

0
2c8c421cf0e0c462654c7dc37f8b9711

(2729)

on July 27, 2011
at 03:22 PM

I've done zero carb for up to two weeks at a time, then always been craving lettuce or carrots or balsamic vinaigrette so badly I caved. I lost quite a bit of weight on zero carb, and I don't feel hungry at all. I do feel incredibly thirsty and need to keep water on hand at all times. I don't want to do it longterm because I worry about acid/base balance and maintaining bone density, not to mention I just don't have the willpower.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on July 29, 2011
at 06:30 PM

There is no connection between ZC and low bone density.

2c8c421cf0e0c462654c7dc37f8b9711

(2729)

on July 30, 2011
at 01:54 AM

You don't worry about acid/base balance? I mean I guess the Inuit do okay with mostly protein and fat. Do you have any research links I could read about ZC and bone density?

2c8c421cf0e0c462654c7dc37f8b9711

(2729)

on August 06, 2011
at 09:15 AM

Great! Thanks, Rose, I'll check it out.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 06, 2011
at 03:29 AM

Chiming in late here, Lizzish, but here's a thread on another forum devoted to the question of bone density: http://forum.dirtycarnivore.com/index.php/topic,1166.0.html And Phinney and Volek say in their new book that the reason high-protein diets were thought to decrease bone density is "because they can cause a small but measurable increase in urinary calcium excretion." But they say this is offset by greater intestinal absorption of calcium on a higher protein diet.

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