Yesterday May 5, 2015 marked day 30 of my Zero Carb diet experiment. And wow, what a month it has been! If you missed my experiment until now, here are all of the links to my updates:
Since April 6, 2015 I have been eating from the animal kingdom only, mostly meat and some eggs with dairy in the beginning (but no more).
In the last 30 days I have eaten: beef (all kinds), beef tallow, chicken thighs, crab, shrimp, scallops, butter, bacon & its grease, lamb, tuna, rockfish, salmon, sardines, grass-fed ghee, eggs. Condiments: mustard, tabasco, garlic, lemon, herbs and spices with no added sugar. Also some mayonnaise in the beginning, then switched to this avocado oil mayo (my one item from a plant).
I have made only a few ‘recipes': Reverse seared ribeye steak, The Bear's chicken recipe, ground beef jerky, cabbage juice tonic, chicken bone broth in a pressure cooker. [I'll add links as I post these recipes – coming soon!]
What I have NOT been eating: anything sweet, vegetables, grains, “keto” or “paleo” bread, low carb or anything else with carbs in them.
My results on zero carb blew my keto diet results out of the water. I lost just as much weight and fat on zero carb in 30 days, as I did on keto in 5 months!! I don't feel that keto is especially flawed, and it can be good for a lot of people though. I think partially it's because zero carb is so simple and the limits are so well defined that I don't have any questionable intake, especially of “faux foods” such as keto pizza that keep the brain addicted to its drug. The sad news is that I am really a terrible carb addict. Even the small amounts of carbs in vegetables (which taste sweet to me) can trigger me and cause cravings for other non-desirable foods. Would you give an alcoholic a tiny bit of beer every day? No – you would advise complete abstinence from alcohol for recovery from addiction. Carb addiction is unquestionably similar. Thank goodness our bodies were DESIGNED to live optimally on fresh meat!
Before and After Zero Carb Diet Symptom Comparison
|Description||Before ZC||Day 30 ZC|
|Weight||237 pounds||220.3 pounds = loss of 16.7 pounds|
|Body Fat %||51.40%||47.7% = 3.7% body fat lost|
|waist measurement||47.5 inches||44 inches = loss of 3.5 inches!|
|Fasting Blood Sugar||100-120||90 consistently|
|Digestion||Diarrhea, bloating and A LOT of very bad gas.||Gas is reduced by 98%! Diarrhea only about half the time, getting better but this area needs more work|
|Joint & Muscle pain||Always in a low level of pain (2-3). Took 6 Advil 3-4 times a week. If I exercised or did strenuous work, would be sore for days.||Joint pain 90% reduced. Only took Advil twice in 30 days. I can feel that I have more muscle.|
|Eyesight||Cannot see well in the dark, night blindness encroaching, fuzzy vision in the evening when reading||20% improvement but this area needs more work.|
|Thyroid||120 mg Armour thyroid per day||60 mg Armour thyroid - goiters reduced by half. Had to reduce medication at about day 15 due to heart palpitations.|
|Mental Clarity||Relied on caffeine and willpower for mental clarity to work. Had to schedule important things for morning hours when my brain was working its best.||Mental clarity can go even into the evening hours|
|Fatigue||A trip to Costco would wear me out. Woke up tired. Went to bed early every night.||I wake up in the morning and am awake and ready to go. My energy is steady throughout the day. If I do a strenuous activity, I rest and can then get up and do more.|
|Depression||Taking 20mg Celexa for depression, but still depressed.||Tried to go off of meds and crashed, so am back on them. Will wean off over the next month instead of going cold turkey! Depression is less frequent.|
|Hunger||Hungry all the time, even after meals. Ate 3 meals/day plus snacks.||Hunger subsided gradually over the first two weeks. Sometimes I can eat only twice a day and be fine.|
|Cravings||Major cravings for all kinds of food. Severe cravings especially in the evenings and the afternoons.||99% of the time have only had cravings for meat and fat. However, sometimes I missed the "behavior" of eating in the evening - the comfort of it. So I've had some grieving over food going on but that was 99% gone by day 24. Any cravings I had haven't been physical cravings but triggered by pictures of food. For some odd reason, smells of food do not bother me as much as pictures.|
|Sleep||Good but would occasionally wake up in early morning hours. If I didn't get enough sleep, I severely paid for it the next day. Slept 9-10 hours a night and more on weekends.||I sleep like a log. Every. Single. Night. Need a little bit less sleep than before at times. If I go to bed late, it doesn't automatically mess up my next day as long as I catch up. Sleep 8-9 hours a night including weekends.|
|Coffee||Drank 3-4 cups a day with cream. This is actually an improvement over what I used to drink.||Drink 1 cup a day - black. Considering giving it up altogether. This is really unprecedented for me as I've always been a coffee addict.|
|Allergies||My eyes would severely water in the mornings and I have also been susceptible to spring allergies.||Zero allergies even though it's an early spring here and the pollen is everywhere. No watering eyes.|
|Headaches||Headache / neckaches multiple times per week.||Only two headaches since I started ZC, and NONE for over two weeks!|
The Emotional Side of Zero Carb Living
Yes, I have had fabulous results. Yes, I want to continue. But please don't take all of the good shown above and think that it was easy. The planning, preparing, shopping and eating were simple and easy. There were very little physical cravings after 5 days. But my life has changed this month – which hasn't been easy. The emotional crutch of food was taken away. Mentally I had to deal with that, and there was a grieving process to go through. I dare say I'm still dealing with this as I'm sure this will take longer than a month to tackle. But what I can say, is that the grieving over carbs in the evening on day 14 when you REALLY just want the comfort of eating a piece of fruit (or worse) is worth the prize at the end. Increased health and weight loss are purely side benefits of this way of eating. The true prize is freedom from food!
Based on my results, I have decided to go another 30 days on zero carb (and longer), and then get some blood labs and a DEXA scan to check my vitamin and mineral levels. I will definitely share my results on this blog and keep you all updated, as I want you to have the best information possible on my experience with a Zero Carb diet. Have you started a zero carb diet? Or are you on a keto / ketogenic diet? How are you doing? Please let us know in the comments – your comment could help others!PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.