4

votes

Getting it started. Trying ZC or VLC.

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created August 02, 2011 at 12:56 PM

I started paleo-esq diet back in April with good results. However due to this thing called life I went back to regular eating. I don't eat bad mind you but not as clean as I could. I want to get it back on track and get it going and want to know for those that eat ZC or VLC do you eat any vegetables at all or just protein and fat? What amounts/ratios? Thanks!!

Edited to add: I say regular in that I would eat pasta here and there, some rice, store bought coconut ice cream on occasion but sweet potato or squash for my carbs usually. Breakfast it typically eggs, bacaon or sausage, some fruit. Lunch is dinner leftover of protein, veggies, and yes sometimes some pasta or rice and then dinner as described. I don't eat fast food regularly. I cook just about all of my own meals for my family. I don't crossfit. I lift some weight but typically walk and jog a few times a week. What I'm asking is that would doing some VLC or ZC for a little while help me kick the sugar. That is what I keep falling to is sugar. A little coconut ice cream. Which leads to a regular chocolate bar or 2 which usually leads to my face in a box of wheat thins. So would cutting all of the carbs for a week or two help with the sugar cravings,etc.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

+1 - Looks like we wrote essentially the same answer at the same time :-)

65660697ed243c7980725fd014eb00e0

(494)

on August 02, 2011
at 04:19 PM

My sugar cravings only abated after I went ZC too. Upping my fat intake helped exponentially as well.

65660697ed243c7980725fd014eb00e0

(494)

on August 02, 2011
at 04:13 PM

Starting at the basics is sound advice. Also, congrats on your five days!

Ea36147178112f8793341ec7a01c531d

(102)

on August 02, 2011
at 03:10 PM

I think I might cut it purely to see if it helps me fall asleep faster at night. I try not to drink it after 12pm but that doesn't always happen.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 02, 2011
at 03:05 PM

Em, I didn't cut the caffeine until recently, and I may go back to it (I luuuurv coffee, and miss it terribly). Personally, I'm ambivalent about it. The million times I quit before, I didn't notice a big difference; I just hate to be addicted to anything.

Ea36147178112f8793341ec7a01c531d

(102)

on August 02, 2011
at 02:35 PM

Rose, Dairy isn't an issue. It's the grains and sugar. I will eat just about any protein source. I typically don't use artificial anything. But you do drink coffee? I enjoy it. I like my cup or two in the morning with heavy cream. Do you think I need to give that up or just cut the carbs? I sleep great but have had some trouble falling asleep lately. Perhaps cutting the caffeine wouldn't be the worst idea for awhile.

Ea36147178112f8793341ec7a01c531d

(102)

on August 02, 2011
at 02:31 PM

I only eat the pasta once a week. I think it really comes down to cutting out my caffeine, cutting the looks like paleo ice cream from a couple times a week to never, and dark chocolate.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on August 02, 2011
at 02:30 PM

Oh, yeah, cake dreams! It's nice to have forgotten about those.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on August 02, 2011
at 02:29 PM

I definitely agree that if the issue is sugar cravings, the best way to kick it is to get all carbs and sweeteners out. For some of us, even VLC keeps the cravings alive. Once your cravings are gone, you can find your own tolerance level.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on August 02, 2011
at 02:19 PM

Nice answer Rose

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on August 02, 2011
at 02:17 PM

@akd - thanks :-)

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on August 02, 2011
at 02:11 PM

@Em - I have updated my answer a bit based on your edit

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on August 02, 2011
at 02:08 PM

oh, aravind i adore your new profile picture.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 02, 2011
at 01:59 PM

Yes. ZC or VLC would most definitely help you kick the sugar.

C2ad96801ec1e22d2bf62475b6e52751

(1416)

on August 02, 2011
at 01:53 PM

Em, thanks for your edits. My experience was that lowering carbohydrate absolutely did reduce sugar cravings. Dropping pasta is a must, for reasons that go far beyond weight loss. Rice is a safer starch, but you might try adding it back in only when you are at your goal weight. Watch out for that coconut ice cream, which IIRC is sweetened with fructose-heavy agave nectar. Many, many folks have lost weight without dropping fruit, but then again many more have gotten through plateaus by nixing it.

Ea36147178112f8793341ec7a01c531d

(102)

on August 02, 2011
at 01:45 PM

Both. I would say about 20 pounds to be in what I consider comfortable and sustainable.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 02, 2011
at 01:37 PM

Are you in the weight loss camp or just trying to be healthy?

Ea36147178112f8793341ec7a01c531d

(102)

on August 02, 2011
at 01:36 PM

I understand that. But I want to know how others do it. For how long. Not what it means.

C2ad96801ec1e22d2bf62475b6e52751

(1416)

on August 02, 2011
at 01:25 PM

Great answer, Aravind. +1

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 02, 2011
at 01:00 PM

ZC=zero carbohydrate. This means eat only animals. No plant matter. VLC=very low carbohydrate. Don't eat much plant matter, usually no starch. Many prolly go in the less-than-10grams/day range.

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5 Answers

11
3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 02, 2011
at 02:15 PM

Em, I've been eating VLC/ZC for a little over four years now (two years VLC, and the most recent two years ZC). VLC helped a lot with sugar cravings, but I still used artificial sweeteners, and occasionally fell off the wagon. ZC -- all animal products, no plant matter except for spices, herbs, and coffee -- made an enormous difference for me. No more craving for sweets and starches, no more cake dreams, no more falling off the wagon. And for me, the health benefits were enormous -- disproportionate, really, to the amount of carbohydrate reduction. That part is still a mystery to me; I seem to be very sensitive to plant matter.

If you decide to try VLC/ZC, I recommend a couple of things (actually, I recommend these things to everyone, no matter what their plan is): Within your restrictions, eat as broadly as possible. Eat shellfish, seafood, and organ meats. Don't use artificial sweeteners; they'll just sustain your sweet tooth and make a failure more likely. Eat lots of fat -- fat is your friend. In the beginning, especially, choose fatty cuts of meat. Add butter if dairy's not an issue for you. This makes the trip into keto-adaptation much more bearable.

For more VLC/ZC advice, see Dr. Eades's two posts on starting/re-starting LC.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on August 02, 2011
at 02:30 PM

Oh, yeah, cake dreams! It's nice to have forgotten about those.

65660697ed243c7980725fd014eb00e0

(494)

on August 02, 2011
at 04:19 PM

My sugar cravings only abated after I went ZC too. Upping my fat intake helped exponentially as well.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on August 02, 2011
at 02:29 PM

I definitely agree that if the issue is sugar cravings, the best way to kick it is to get all carbs and sweeteners out. For some of us, even VLC keeps the cravings alive. Once your cravings are gone, you can find your own tolerance level.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on August 02, 2011
at 02:19 PM

Nice answer Rose

Ea36147178112f8793341ec7a01c531d

(102)

on August 02, 2011
at 03:10 PM

I think I might cut it purely to see if it helps me fall asleep faster at night. I try not to drink it after 12pm but that doesn't always happen.

Ea36147178112f8793341ec7a01c531d

(102)

on August 02, 2011
at 02:35 PM

Rose, Dairy isn't an issue. It's the grains and sugar. I will eat just about any protein source. I typically don't use artificial anything. But you do drink coffee? I enjoy it. I like my cup or two in the morning with heavy cream. Do you think I need to give that up or just cut the carbs? I sleep great but have had some trouble falling asleep lately. Perhaps cutting the caffeine wouldn't be the worst idea for awhile.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 02, 2011
at 03:05 PM

Em, I didn't cut the caffeine until recently, and I may go back to it (I luuuurv coffee, and miss it terribly). Personally, I'm ambivalent about it. The million times I quit before, I didn't notice a big difference; I just hate to be addicted to anything.

11
D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on August 02, 2011
at 01:20 PM

First of all, welcome to the community!!!

I would suggest you are putting the cart before the horse with this question. Why does getting started lead you to ZC/VLC? If you are eating neolithic garbage (i.e. "regular eating" as you called it), this is at best correlated with macronutrient consumption.

My definition of Paleo comes from the Archevore school of avoiding Neolithic Agents of Disease as the underlying principle. The tweaking of macronutrients, supplementation, etc are all secondary to the elimination of modern toxins and the inclusion of whole foods that are consistent with our evolutionary metabolic milieu (to quote KGH).

Please see attached - http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

At a minimum -

  • Avoid gluten grains
  • Avoid excess Omega 6
  • Avoid excess Fructose

Other things like dairy, etc are secondary refinements. My advice - work your way down the Archevore list as far as you can based on your specific individual situation.

I really struggle with the perservation on macronutrients in this community. If you are coming from a place of significant metabolic derangement, then perhaps LC/VLC/ZC will be a further refinement required. I'm not sure if this applies to you, and if so, how you came to this conclusion.

When I am painting a wall, I first paint the main part of the wall and then cut in the corners last. To each their own, but that's how I roll. Good luck!

EDIT - My answer was before the edit to the question. I think the answer still stands but just wanted to clarify :-)

I have kicked sugar and currently working on artificial sweeteners (5 days now diet soda free!). This was/is with a moderate to high carb Paleo/Archevore compliant diet. YMMV. I started 2011 probably 25-30 lbs over my goal weight (so overweight but not obese, perhaps like you). I've dropped 18 or so lbs with my moderate/high carb diet. The key for me was/is the elimination of gluten grains - eat a bowl of pasta or several pieces of pizza, and throw in some beer...the next thing you know I was like a crack addict in a crack house and the resulting sugar binge. In general alcohol consumption, even Paleo friendly spirits and wine, tend to lead to the neolithic train wreck of debauchery...and "walk of shame" the next morning into the kitchen, looking into the sink shaking my head and asking myself WTF??? Last comment, if you are kicking the sugar, also kick the artificial sweeteners. Otherwise the sweet reward/stimulation is still there.

C2ad96801ec1e22d2bf62475b6e52751

(1416)

on August 02, 2011
at 01:25 PM

Great answer, Aravind. +1

65660697ed243c7980725fd014eb00e0

(494)

on August 02, 2011
at 04:13 PM

Starting at the basics is sound advice. Also, congrats on your five days!

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on August 02, 2011
at 02:17 PM

@akd - thanks :-)

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on August 02, 2011
at 02:08 PM

oh, aravind i adore your new profile picture.

3
531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

on August 02, 2011
at 03:46 PM

I've gone from reducing carbs to eliminating them. Primarily this is a digestive concern. That said, it's not dogma for me. I've found that sugar/carbs/fiber are basically bad for my digestion, but not all carbs have this effect. In the absence of fiber I can get away with eating limited carbs. So here's my plan, at present:

a.m.: 4 ounces yogurt

late morning/afternoon: coffee w/heavy cream (about 3 oz.)

p.m.: meat and wine, as much as necessary to fill me up (e.g., 12 ounce ribeye, 4 chicken legs, and a piece of fish poached in coconut oil); I'll also have a bit of parmesan or cheddar cheese if the meat fails to do the trick. So this is not zero carb, but it's probably in the range of 10 grams per day. The wine adds to the carb count but these particular carbs--like the traces of carbs in yogurt--don't affect me.

I eat no vegetables or fruit per se, but I do use spices. Also herbs like basil (love it with coconut milk in a curry).

I grill or broil most everything. I find that slow cooking messes up my digestion. Would love to know why.

Hopefully this is helpful.

3
66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on August 02, 2011
at 02:19 PM

Everyone is unique and can respond differently to various ways of eating 'paleo'. As for myself I have never bothered to track or measure my ratios and I have been VLC to ZC consistently for years, it is just natural for me and works for me. My blood work is great, did lose some weight at the beginning, always have high energy, sleep well and rarely, if ever, even have the inclination to indulge in unhealthy food anymore. Once the body & mind heal they will instinctively know what they need, we just have to learn how to listen.

3
C2ad96801ec1e22d2bf62475b6e52751

(1416)

on August 02, 2011
at 01:23 PM

Not sure about you, but if I referred to the way I previously ate as anything like "regular eating," this Paleo thing would've been doomed to fail.

So depending on in what way or ways that you fell off the wagon, ZC and VLC may not be necessary. I mean, there is no harm in trying, but why deny yourself so many decent foods based on an uncontrolled experiment?

You would really be helping yourself, and others here, out if you went into more detail about how you have been eating. Let us know why you thought you had to let it go for a while. Chances are, the experienced folks on here will be able to help you get through the same life events but in better health.

If the way you eat depends on absolutely no interruptions, it is going nowhere fast.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

+1 - Looks like we wrote essentially the same answer at the same time :-)

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