Hi All! So I’ve been doing this Zero Carb thing a whole week, and wanted to share WHY I decided to try it, some of the science behind it, what I have been eating, how I feel, and how long it will last.
*** Disclaimer: This is my personal experience with information I have found… I’m not going to judge other people who don’t agree with this decision. I am here to share my own story and sources that have helped me.
WHY Zero Carb:
Ok, so I began a Ketogenic diet just over 5 weeks ago and really loved it (you can click on the link to see why I chose Keto). As I was talking to a friend on instagram ( @ketohollywood ), she mentioned Zero Carb. This was a completely new idea to me — Don’t we need fiber? How do we get vitamins? Will I feel full? Is it sustainable?
So I did a little searching, and stumbled onto some Zero Carb tips from these “Carnivore Diet” people.
It did appeal to me in the senses of
- It doesn’t make sense and sounds completely crazy, which is something that I have been trying to take notice of after hearing the Adam Robinson interview on the Tim Ferriss Show – this episode is totally worth listening to btw- but here’s the quote that has stuck with me:
- One of the key things to investing, and I think this is a life truism, is to be aware when you hear a voice in your head that says, and you usually squint your eyes or you’ll hear someone say the following words: that doesn’t make sense. And that’s always a sign of something really powerful. – Adam Robinson
- The simplicity of it — eating 1-2 times a day, and basically the options are meat/cheese/eggs… maybe heavy whipping cream and butter
- Less food to buy — meaning less trips to store and less $$
- It promised to optimize digestion (still sounded weird to me that I don’t need fiber)
- Most people don’t need supplements on it (aside from electrolytes that zero carb athletes/workout peoples use)
- After 2-3 days of doing it, I felt GREAT. Despite being skeptical of it, I gave it a shot while I kept learning about it and just love it. (And I’m now skeptical of everything I’ve learned in Nutrition up to this point.. )
Science Behind it – Fiber, Health, RDA’s
I’m definitely not the expert, but here are some of the facts that I found (with links) and GREAT resources on it:
- Here are the facts I’ve found (sources are below):
- Fiber is actually the cause of most “gut” issues and we function better without it
- All the vitamins/minerals we need can be found in meat
- It is less expensive. Yes, meat can be more expensive to buy but when you look at the per calorie cost of buying produce vs beef, meat will win.
- It helps alleviate brain/mood disorders, improves mental health
- One trusts their ‘hunger’ signal more and is less hungry overall
- Energy increases during the day, and workouts improve (after becoming fat-adapted)
- Most people will think you’re crazy
- The best podcast I’ve heard on it so far – an interview with Amber O’Hearn on Keto for Normies who has been doing ZeroCarb for 8 years (episode 24). She gives a great intro to ZC – what it is and how she started; why we don’t need plants/fiber; cholesterol differences on keto/zerocarb; what she eats and what supplements she uses; and how RDA’s for different micronutrients were determined. Amber has a website as well dedicated to FAQs on ZeroCarb, how to get started, etc.
- Here is a site with Dr. Georgia Ede where she discusses the psychological benefits (with scientific studies referenced)
- ZeroCarbZen is another site I’ve looked through.
- Kelly Hogan is another ZeroCarb-er whose site I have perused – here’s her answer to pooping LOL… (there’s more below in the Fiber section)
“Believe it or not, our bodies can make poop perfectly well without the use of fiber. Once carbs are removed from our diets, I (and many others around the world) have found that bowel movements actually improve. Many zero-carbers find that they may “go” less often, but only because meat and fat are more efficiently digested, leaving behind less waste. Having bowel movements less often does not necessarily mean constipation, though, as it does when your intestines are crammed full of fibrous materials, which leave people feeling uncomfortable or even pained.”
Working out on Zero Carb:
- Check out the episodes 25 and 21 on the Keto for Normies with Danny and Maura Vega (both of them are super fit and ZC’ers- in photo above with Amber). They also happen to be 2 of the coaches in the KetoVangelist Group that I joined. 🙂
- The Ketogenic Athlete Podcast is dedicated to training information and interviews with scientists/athletes who study and train on a low carb, high fat diet. Episodes 74 with Chris Irvin, 73 with Jason Wittrock, and 71 with Trent H. have been some of my favorites so far!
The impact of a low-fiber diet on the digestive process is recognizable from the relatively rapid reduction of side effects caused by excess fiber: the disappearance of heartburn (because there is less indigested food inside the stomach), the absence of bloating (because there is less bacterial fermentation), the easy passing of stools (because the stools are smaller), the reduction of hemorrhoids (because there is less straining), and the gradual vanishing of nagging abdominal discomfort (because of all of the above). You can’t miss these signs.
The progress doesn’t end with just the relief of side effects: as the quality of digestion improves, your body begins to absorb more essential nutrients from pretty much the same diet you consumed before, because fiber is no longer there to impede their assimilation. The improved availability of nutrients accelerates tissue regeneration throughout the body, rejuvenates the endocrine system, and increases the output of digestive enzymes. This, in turn, accelerates the healing of the digestive organs, which in turn improves digestion, and in turn accelerates the healing… well, you get the picture.
This process of recovery is the direct opposite of the harm fiber causes. The harm starts with fiber’s interference with digestion: as digestion becomes less efficient, so does the body’s ability to resist harm. As the harm increases in scope, digestion becomes even less efficient, and the harm more apparent. This step-by-step decline of health accelerates with aging. (from Fiber Menace)
What I eat:
- Food: I basically eat meat, cheese, some eggs, heavy whipped cream. This was my grocery list as well as what my typical “meal” at work has been (middle photo), and “dinner”….
This is what my ‘meal prep’ has looked like — I use either the oven, crock pot, or air fryer and cook a bunch of meat to store in the fridge and eat during the week. I posted my most current crockpot recipe here. I am using the “Carnivore Keto Meal Plan” that is available with my Ketovangelist Unlimited membership. 🙂
I used this ‘macro-calculator’ to get a guideline for my macros, and it seems to work well – I’m usually under or over it slightly (give or take 200kcals), but I’ve been hitting at 70% or more fat macros and 25-30% protein macros daily since I began tracking. Here is a sample from my my.macros plus app.
- I haven’t used many: I don’t believe I’ve used the digestive enzymes/probiotics I usually take, and haven’t been using a preworkout supplement either.
- What I have been using (I’m not sure if I actually need them or not, but this is what I’ve been taking):
- Magnesium supplement (from Slap Nutrition or Natural Calm)
- Exogenous Ketone (BHB salts) — I found a couple on Amazon that I’ve used called Keto Burst and more recently Samsara …
- I don’t like Coffee, but do like to mix Mocha BCAAs with hot water and the ketones (note: these do have a carb, but I don’t count these.. just me though)
- I think that is all.
How I feel:
- Daily energy: I have a nice consistent energy during the day, all day. My moods are much more constant, and I have a lot more focus.
- Adjustments: The TOUGHEST adjustments have been getting used to less meals and less volume. Now that I’ve done it a few days, my brain is more used to seeing the smaller (more calorie-dense) portions and less frequent meal breaks.
- Working out: I still jog in the mornings but have been lifting in the afternoon. I have great energy for both. Usually I am drained by the end of teaching all day, but I’ve been suprisingly raring to go lift after work. I’ve been lifting heavier and longer as well — currently I am testing out a new workout plan with 45minute lifts to do 4-6 days a week.
- Digestion: Similar to what I posted above from Kelly’s site — no issues. I haven’t used the enzymes to ‘help’ either. I haven’t felt backed up at all.
- Cheat Meals: I don’t feel any need to ‘cheat’ nor do I want to right now. I feel really good and am enjoying my simple/minimal approach to food that is satiating me and providing me with more benefits than I imagined. Per folks of the Zero Carb Lifestyle “cheat meals are not part of it”. It sounds strict, but totally fine with me and makes sense. My ‘cheats’ I guess are my BCAAs and mayyybe some peanut butter on occasion.
- Nike (my pup) LOVES the zero carb diet and is always trying to score some food from me .. haha
Future on Zero Carb for me:
- Modifications I will be making to my intake after 1 week:
- eliminated plant oils/fats — I didn’t realize until after listening to Amber’s podcast that these oils can effect us negatively. So, I’ve used up the last of my coconut oil and will be nixing the bits of peanut butter I added in a couple times this week.
- Do I miss HIGH Volume eating?
- I did, but now I’m good! I figured out this works better, but also I can get more done when I’m not eating all the time.
- How long will I do this for?
- as long as it makes sense for me! 🙂
WORKOUT Plans updated:
Like I mentioned above, I’m working on a new lifting plan, but I did take a few minutes to update my other 3 workout plans — more concise, no ‘supplement’ recommendations, and took off the ‘iifym/macros’ stuff I had in there 🙂
You can check them out if you’re interested in lifting plans that are 15 min/21min/30min/40min ! 🙂 The tabs are still above or you can just click below to get the PDF’s
- Healthy Life Training:
- 15 minutes lifts that are designed to fit into a healthy lifestyle easily. These are gym workouts (although much of them can be modified and done at home).
- I also updated these to fit someone more advanced – aka make the lifts 30-40minutes and more intense.
- There’s also a general “cardio” prescription in it too
- Carve 2.0:
- The reason I created these workouts is because I couldn’t find a program like this. As a runner/athlete, I want to improve my strength & speed, and as a fitness model, I wanted to have a lean/cut physique.
- Carve is composed of full body workouts that work and challenge the major muscle groups to stimulate muscle growth, and get the heart rate up to burn fat!
- *9 lifting workouts: they are 30-40 minutes each & challenging
- 5 at-home workouts that correspond directly with the 5-day lifts
- 3 interval cardio workouts
- Video demonstrations of gym workouts
- 10min. stretches & recovery exercises to do daily to improve flexibility & reduce risk of injury
- 21 Minute Lifts (for runners/athletes)
- Lifting weights is one thing that I believe every runner/athlete should incorporate (for strength and injury prevention), but lifting till I can’t move or lifting for a long amount of time just isn’t feasible for me – mentally and timewise.
- These lifts are something simple and concise that I could do each day that would help build strength, get the hormone benefits of lifting, and be a little different each week.
That’s all! Hope everyone has a GREAT Day!!! Here is a prayer from one of my daily devotions that I liked so much, I put it into a PDF/photo! You can download a printable PDF here.