5

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To those eating ZC or VLC, how much do you eat?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created August 07, 2010 at 8:37 PM

I'm not trying to lose weight, but actually to heal from leaky gut and to ultimately gain weight. I've recently noticed that the less carb I eat, the better I feel and eating zero carb seems to be speeding up the healing process.

I'm also switching from eating mostly pork and poultry to mostly pastured and grass-fed ruminants like beef and lamb.

I'm curious as to how much food a middle sized man would normally eat on a normal, low activity day in terms of weight and/or calories.

My rough calculations tell me that 2 pounds of meat with the fat already in it plus 5 tbsp of overt fat a day would provide around 2 400 calories which seems to be more than enough. I imagine I'll be hungry for more than that at first since it's a small volume of food, but might end up eating less because it's so nutritionally dense and my body won't need more.

I'm asking out of curiosity, but also because with rough estimations like that it'll be much easier to budget and know what quantity to buy.

Any other things to consider in the mid to long-term when doing this? A lot of vitamins and mineral seem to be lacking in muscle meat. I'm not a fan of the RDA recommendations, but still want to know I'm eating a nutritionally complete diet. Is sporadic consumption of marrow, liver and stock a good bet to round things off? I know a lot of people are really healthy doing it, but I'm coming from a background of leaky gut and deficiency. For now though, carbs seem to rob me from nutrients and irritate my gut more than nourish me.

Thanks in advance!

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on December 24, 2012
at 07:34 AM

THIS. cut out the remaining carbs/vegetables/fibers!

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on March 14, 2011
at 12:09 AM

When I was ZC for a prolonged period of time, I was eating 3-4lbs a day. Male, transitioning from superheavy strength athlete to a bit less "HULK".

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on August 10, 2010
at 11:45 AM

From the question, it sounds like Seb is already eating ZC, and is looking for info to help him decide whether it's a long-term solution for him. But there certainly is an adaptation factor, which is why the ZC forum won't give you the time of day til you've been ZC for two weeks, and won't take you seriously til you've been ZC for 6 months ;)

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on August 10, 2010
at 10:26 AM

Danny didn't eat enough. ZC kills your appetite which is why it's great for weight loss, but if you're already at a healthy weight you have to make sure you don't undereat by accident. I would definitely recommend bone stocks, marrow and liver. Who knows what the RDA of the vitamins you're worried about is under ZC dietary conditions, but you'll probably get them in organ meats and bone broths.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on August 10, 2010
at 03:53 AM

I think also, there is an adaptation factor. Your body is adapted to your current diet. If you suddenly change your basic diet, some people may not be able to quickly adapt and so you may not feel so good until your body adapts. Some people estimate that it takes 3 months for reasonably full adaptation to paleo from SAD. If it was me, I would ease my way into changes in order to give the body time to keep up and so that you can notice if the new foods are seeming to help or not help.

9bc6f3df8db981f67ea1465411958c8d

(3690)

on August 09, 2010
at 04:47 AM

Thanks girl gone primal!

14aa918d730371ed14f8e7e7d6eb6587

(373)

on August 08, 2010
at 01:38 AM

Be careful going too low in carbs. Some can handle it fine, others (like me) don't. Doing it for a while can lower your metabolism. See Danny Roddy's recent experiences on ZC at http://carnivorehealth.com. I felt almost euphorically good on ZC for the first few days, but that soon wore out and felt miserable.

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5 Answers

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10
1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on August 08, 2010
at 05:38 AM

Zero-carbing is all about individualisation - if your body is telling you to lower your carbs, then you should listen. Danny Roddy didn't listen to his body when it started complaining of being malnourished (which, thanks to Matt Stone, he has interpreted as being a metabolic issue...) after living on just pemmican, and has found a 'cure' in adding starches to his diet. The lesson in his experience isn't that ZC is dangerous to the metabolism or otherwise, but that ignoring your body's responses is harmful.

What I would do, if you are starting a ZC path, is spend time on the Zeroing In On Health forum, read Charles Washington's blog (but also read between the lines since he is blinded by bias a fair bit), and - most importantly - listen to what your body tells you. A bit of information is valuable (i.e. knowing what is a carb craving and what is actual hunger/malnourishment), but being disconnected from your body is not. Listening to your body will also guide you as to intake requirements. It's really hard to over-eat on zero-carb, and even if you do so, there's not much harm that will come from it. You can always keep your meat in the freezer until needed, and most red meats serve well as leftovers - I love cold, leftover lamb roast, yum!

The RDA's nutrition analyses are based on conventional meats - whenever grass-fed meats are analysed, they tend to have a very different fatty acid profile, and different nutrient balances as well. Science and individual experimentation continues to suggest that many of the recommendations depend on the consumption of phytic acids and other nutrient-binders, thus increasing our intake needs. Vitamin D deficiency is a big player here as well, so studies are suggesting. If you're getting adequate sun, fresh air, relaxation and sleep, your needs could well be very different to those of the average SAD follower.

Personally, I believe that if you have access to healthy, pastured meats (particularly red meats), you have the potential to do really well on a carnivorous diet, since it sounds like your digestion needs the healing that doing so will provide. Check out Crohn's Carnivore where another with digestive distress (albeit worse than your own) chronicles their healing process through zero-carb. I'm not convinced that organ meats are necessary, but your body will tell you if something is in short supply, and organ meats may be the most comfortable way for you to strike that balance.

Drink water, and eat meat & fat until you are satisfied. Do what works for you. Good luck!

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on August 10, 2010
at 03:53 AM

I think also, there is an adaptation factor. Your body is adapted to your current diet. If you suddenly change your basic diet, some people may not be able to quickly adapt and so you may not feel so good until your body adapts. Some people estimate that it takes 3 months for reasonably full adaptation to paleo from SAD. If it was me, I would ease my way into changes in order to give the body time to keep up and so that you can notice if the new foods are seeming to help or not help.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on August 10, 2010
at 11:45 AM

From the question, it sounds like Seb is already eating ZC, and is looking for info to help him decide whether it's a long-term solution for him. But there certainly is an adaptation factor, which is why the ZC forum won't give you the time of day til you've been ZC for two weeks, and won't take you seriously til you've been ZC for 6 months ;)

9bc6f3df8db981f67ea1465411958c8d

(3690)

on August 09, 2010
at 04:47 AM

Thanks girl gone primal!

4
1a69b92ad9a4849631f6e5eccab5c426

on August 09, 2010
at 05:14 PM

I've been Zero Carb for 18 months. I went from 177 to 135-140 in 8 months (after having already lost 40lbs on LC/VLC)

I never track how much I eat in a day, it varies. If I had to give you a range: I have eaten as little as 1,000 calories a day and as many as 4,000.

I am moderately active and did not exercise during my weight loss. But I do know if I am more active I definitely make up for it in food.

I recently had a huge blood panel done, out of 39 test results I cam back in perfect health. Triglycerides 25/HDL 82. Liver, kidney urinalysis all perfect. I am also not longer secreting ketones in my urine.

PS: I eat 75 or more percent fat.

45 year old Female

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on December 24, 2012
at 07:34 AM

THIS. cut out the remaining carbs/vegetables/fibers!

4
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on August 08, 2010
at 01:56 AM

Question: "Is sporadic consumption of marrow, liver and stock a good bet to round things off?"

Answer: Definitely YES! Liver should not be overdone to avoid vitamin imbalances so 'sporadic' is the word. Stock and marrow are likely good although unfortunately, I was not able to find any analysies of bone marrow nutrients other than this one:

http://tinyurl.com/22tgh and this one:

http://www.thepetcenter.com/article.aspx?id=3403

Neither of which were very thorough as to overall content. I would be nice to know exactly what is in marrow other than a lot of fat!

I would also suggest other organ meats like kidney and heart.
-Eva

3
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on August 08, 2010
at 01:54 AM

I've been eating ZC for 9 months. I don't really measure or track my calories, but I would estimate I eat 1.5 - 2 lbs of meat a day. I'm female, moderately to highly active, 5'6, 135 lbs. Good luck!

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on March 14, 2011
at 12:09 AM

When I was ZC for a prolonged period of time, I was eating 3-4lbs a day. Male, transitioning from superheavy strength athlete to a bit less "HULK".

1
C53665c3f012fa1ede91033b08a8a6e7

(2269)

on August 08, 2010
at 12:30 AM

Well, I am eating low(er) carb along with intermittent fasting to get rid of some stubborn body fat. I don't count calories or carb grams, but my typical day consists of no breakfast, a fatty meat-based lunch -- lately, salami from US Wellness Meats which comes with a nice later of fat on it, and a good portion of raw-milk cheese -- and dinner is some kind of meat with a green salad and an olive-oil and vinegar dressing and maybe a handful of shredded cheese.

I am probably not eating enough, but this way of life now leaves me with zero hunger, though I can sure put it away once I start eating. I ate almost 2lb of steak the other night because it was soooo gooooood. Tonight is leftover flank steak marinated in a bottled smoked haba??ero brine and organic raspberries swimming in heavy cream from a grass-fed dairy because I'm out of salad and leaving tomorrow for a week and I need to eat up the perishables.

I am 48, 5'7", male, now 153lbs from almost 200. Hope this helps, worth what you paid ;)

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