5

votes

No vegetables, on Paleo, is it possible? or unhealthy?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 12, 2011 at 6:01 AM

I'm starting the Paleo tomorrow. And I expect I will fair well with the absence of starches and grains. I look forward to finally eating and knowing that what I am eating is actually gonna be healthy for me. Instead of feeding myself pizzas, pastas ( doesn't help that my mother raised me on pastas)- and breads.

I am a skinny person. But I do have somewhat of a huge belly. It's horrific. So, I am hoping this will change my body chemistry enough for it to live off of this supply of stored fat all over my body. Hoping to go into ketosis and finally feed myself some proteins, vitamins and minerals

Since I am skinny, and have a gut. Would pure ketosis be a good option for me? Or will it be damaging? I mean, I cut off even vegetables. So I just eat meat/eggs for a few weeks. I was thinking of just getting my vitamin supplements to replace the vegetables. But is it true that you need their carbs?

Appreciate you reading this!

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Nice answer! Yes, my reactions to vegetables are strong enough that I don't believe it's all about their carbohydrate content either, but more likely the anti-nutrients. Self-experimentation is the road to knowledge, here.

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on December 16, 2012
at 07:42 PM

Of course Rose likes this answer, I bet Ambimorph would agree too. :-)

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 12, 2011
at 10:50 PM

I wonder if starting in the middle of winter was part of my success with eating meat like it was going out of style at the beginning?

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on September 12, 2011
at 08:57 PM

You will likely eat more calories if you give up non-starchy vegetables. You will likely feel best if you eat significant amounts of vegetables. I don't know why your considering ketosis at a lower body fat %. Paleo will get the junk out of your diet and improve your body. Your just going to slow down that process being overly restrictive.

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on September 12, 2011
at 06:09 PM

what kind of liver; how do you prep it and where do you buy it??????

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on September 12, 2011
at 06:05 PM

+1...great "other side of the coin" post. there really is no one right answer for everyone.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 12, 2011
at 05:32 PM

See also http://paleohacks.com/questions/26634/vegetables-necessary-in-the-diet

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on September 12, 2011
at 05:07 PM

That actually sounds like a low food reward diet as well.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on September 12, 2011
at 03:00 PM

Thanks Rose. Yes...I personally think trying to use veggies for more than just flavor and condiment purposes is not necessary at all.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 12, 2011
at 02:31 PM

I agree with this advice, BHC. Even though I'm pretty happy as a "pure" carnivore (referring strictly to my diet, to be clear), I do consider it a diet of last resort. It's a pretty severe regimen to stick to in the beginning -- all those Arctic explorers we read about really didn't have much choice in the matter. If they could have mushed the dogsled down to the local 7-11 and tanked up on Hostess and Slurpees, they surely would've.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 12, 2011
at 01:36 PM

Meat is pretty nutrient-dense; you have to eat a *lot* of plants to match some of the levels in even "low-quality" ground beef. Having said that, I think some organ meats are a good idea for plant-free folks (I'm one myself), and bone broths/marrow make an excellent "supplement."

F46d472ee4e097afd7e0081ed6f6ab21

(745)

on September 12, 2011
at 10:38 AM

I think Sage is right on here. Meat is more then just a slab of protein- there are vitamins and minerals in there too, especially stuff like liver. There is stuff on cyclic ketogenic diets and if we go back to look at H-G cultures, they probably went most of the winter on just meat. But if you're brand new to paleo, going vlc is probably goin to result in the low carb flu until your body becomes fat adapted.

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13 Answers

9
B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on September 12, 2011
at 07:55 AM

there are loads of vitamins and minerals in organ meat, bone broth, eggs and fish.

if paleo is all new, i caution you about going no carb right away. you most likely will have an uncomfortable period of adjustment and just getting used to not eating pasta and pizza will be trying enough.

set yourself up for success by eating everything you enjoy that isn't excluded and once you are comfortable with that start tweeking....or don't.

F46d472ee4e097afd7e0081ed6f6ab21

(745)

on September 12, 2011
at 10:38 AM

I think Sage is right on here. Meat is more then just a slab of protein- there are vitamins and minerals in there too, especially stuff like liver. There is stuff on cyclic ketogenic diets and if we go back to look at H-G cultures, they probably went most of the winter on just meat. But if you're brand new to paleo, going vlc is probably goin to result in the low carb flu until your body becomes fat adapted.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 12, 2011
at 10:50 PM

I wonder if starting in the middle of winter was part of my success with eating meat like it was going out of style at the beginning?

8
2507b557331c8a674bc81197531e609a

(4994)

on September 12, 2011
at 08:25 AM

It depends entirely on you, there is no one size fits all, some people are so sensitive to various anti-nutritrients in vegetables that they experience similar auto immune symptoms as they do with grains! Others do really well with veg, I would try something like a whole 30 at first, be 100% compliant, and then mix it up a little bit and see how your body reacts, you will be the best judge as to what your body tolerates or not and how best for you it is too lose that pot belly! I used to have a horrific pot belly eating grains, turns out it was the gluten! I was a "skinny fat" too! Good luck!!

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Nice answer! Yes, my reactions to vegetables are strong enough that I don't believe it's all about their carbohydrate content either, but more likely the anti-nutrients. Self-experimentation is the road to knowledge, here.

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on December 16, 2012
at 07:42 PM

Of course Rose likes this answer, I bet Ambimorph would agree too. :-)

5
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on September 12, 2011
at 06:34 AM

You can easily stay in ketosis with veggies. I eat 4 eggs and 2 tbsp butter for breakfast and then aprox 8oz of meat and some cheese or cream on the other meals. I skip lunch when I want to. I can eat vegetables at night with no problem.

Other folks have shared their answers here:

http://paleohacks.com/questions/41121/ketosis-vs-vegetables-is-the-trade-off-worth-it#axzz1XiOHwb5L

4
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 12, 2011
at 10:02 AM

I don't recommend giving up vegs.

Unless you have specific alergic reactions to specific plants, you must understand there is bunch of beneficial substances that are not yet adequately understand and which show potent biological activity.

Carbs in vegs are usually low and most of it is used during digestion to drive it. Some carbs are needed for correct mucosal and joint functions, probably for serotonin and a bit for immunity.

About vitamins, you should supplement anyway, no matter what you eat, IMO.

4
C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on September 12, 2011
at 06:22 AM

I have wondered about this also. When my bf went low carb (did not know about paleo yet) he ate nothing but low quality ground beef, ranch dressing and cheese for a whole YEAR. I have watched him eat the same meal for breakfast/lunch/dinner so I believe him when he says it. The weight melted off and he did not suffer any health issues. However I think he is a freak of nature (I say this will all the love in the world).

I cannot imagine going very long without vitamins and such from plants. However I think science probably says otherwise considering how many cultures have had to do that - it may be ok to do for awhile. I am very new to paleo and am still learning. So I may be more of a freak of nature than him. shrugs

I have also wondered about liquid vitamin supplements made from whole foods. I hear you absorb more from them. I am planning on taking some while I do this super low carb phase and seeing how it makes me feel.

Regardless best of luck!! And I am glad that you found this community they are pretty awesome.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7314)

on September 12, 2011
at 05:07 PM

That actually sounds like a low food reward diet as well.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 12, 2011
at 01:36 PM

Meat is pretty nutrient-dense; you have to eat a *lot* of plants to match some of the levels in even "low-quality" ground beef. Having said that, I think some organ meats are a good idea for plant-free folks (I'm one myself), and bone broths/marrow make an excellent "supplement."

3
1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

on September 12, 2011
at 04:21 PM

That's how I got started. I have the kind of personality where if I don't go cold turkey I never do it. Getting off almost all carbs for a few weeks (I went VLC, as in under 20 instead of ZC) helped me slay the sugar/grain monster. Now I can have veggies and even occaisionally have a starchy tuber and stay on plan, but any time I start to veer off I just go back to VLC and it gets me back on track.

3
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on September 12, 2011
at 08:05 AM

That's how I got started, I went on a steak blitz (at least 2 meals/day) for the first few weeks. I don't know if it was the absolute healthiest way to start, probably too much protein and not enough fat, but it was a celebration. I think I got lucky and the lack of wheat-induced brain fog felt so good that I didn't really notice any low carb flu.

So, I say give it a shot, eat meat until you are sick of it and crave some variety.

I'd recommend throwing some more saturated fat in there than I did at the beginning though. A spoonful of coconut oil or a generous pat of butter over a steak will probably help you feel satisfied sooner from your meals.

Good luck! It is a fun ride once you get acclimated.

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on September 12, 2011
at 06:05 PM

+1...great "other side of the coin" post. there really is no one right answer for everyone.

2
7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

In my experience your diet will probably continue to change and evolve as you go along. You may decide within a week that zero carb is not for you.

I think a really strategic way is to NOT cut yourself down to zero carb initially. You are going to lose weight anyway in the beginning...I would wait to use zero carb later when your weight loss stalls and you start experimenting. Plus...it will be more enjoyable/easier with the veggies and enjoyment is important when you first start.

Later on...you will have likely have no issues cutting some carbs and "settling" for a rib-eye.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 12, 2011
at 02:31 PM

I agree with this advice, BHC. Even though I'm pretty happy as a "pure" carnivore (referring strictly to my diet, to be clear), I do consider it a diet of last resort. It's a pretty severe regimen to stick to in the beginning -- all those Arctic explorers we read about really didn't have much choice in the matter. If they could have mushed the dogsled down to the local 7-11 and tanked up on Hostess and Slurpees, they surely would've.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on September 12, 2011
at 03:00 PM

Thanks Rose. Yes...I personally think trying to use veggies for more than just flavor and condiment purposes is not necessary at all.

2
Fed3806ae17503e3b6cafc955cc8a897

on December 16, 2012
at 01:03 PM

I would keep eating good vegetables like broccolli and cauliflower. You still need all your nutrients and you need to sustain your new lifestyle permanently. If you lose more than a pound or two a week you risk turning the belly fat into foldd of lose skin. Your body needs time to adjust. I lost my belly - 35 pounds - and I still eat salads and vegetables. Don't confuse starving yourself for a while with Paleo. Paleo is a lifestyle with exercise and natural living that includes eating normally for the way your body is designed.

1
7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

on December 16, 2012
at 02:02 PM

You'll probably find your belly deflating a lot after cutting out wheat and gluten, maybe once you've gotten to grips with paleo then look into ketosis, i personally don't think it's a good idea other than for very overweight people

1
66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on September 12, 2011
at 01:58 PM

Everyone is unique. My personal experience as LC-VLC for almost 5years now is great. I eat healthy meat & fish, butter, fats, organ meats (raw live 2x a week), bone broth, fermented foods. I work hard outside, every day. Any test my doctor runs always comes back almost perfect, no deficiencies. As for the belly it may be due to a number of factors, stress, lack of sleep, high cortisol levels, eating too many carbs over the years.

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on September 12, 2011
at 06:09 PM

what kind of liver; how do you prep it and where do you buy it??????

1
34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on September 12, 2011
at 08:20 AM

Definitely possible, unhealthy? Not necessarily but also may not be optimal. You'll probably need to ensure you recieve adequate fat (perhaps as high as %80 of calories to reduce consipation). Also, do not neglect organ meats especially liver as they can be an excellent source of vitamins. Here is an interesting anecdotal story of two arctic explorers who subjected themselves to a year long experiment with an "all meat diet."

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