So, Low Carb Turned Out to Be Really Hard
After five years of eating only low-carb foods, I had lost more than 120 pounds. I had been over-weight my entire life and had even become officially obese in adulthood, so I was ecstatic about my new size! But I was less than thrilled with how hard I was working to stay that way.
I was fighting constant cravings for sweets and carbs. I was trying to satisfy my relentless sweet-tooth with sugar-free Franken-foods and cases of diet sodas, spending a ridiculous amount of money on Atkins bars, Jello, and Diet Dr. Pepper.
I was working out two hours each day, just trying to hold steady and not regain the pounds, and I was completely overwhelmed at the idea of keeping up this lifestyle for the rest of my days. Was being skinny really worth all of this?! Yes? Maybe? Kind of? Okay, it was, yes. But not by a large margin.
And just when I felt like my grip on the rope was slipping, I happened to find a website completely dedicated to a Zero-Carb lifestyle. It was a large and very active forum, composed exclusively of people who ate a zero-carb diet with NO allowances for sweet tastes or “sugar free” products at all.
This forum wasn’t about finding low-carb and sugar-free recipes, as was the case with most low-carb websites. These people simply ate from the animal kingdom. Meat, eggs, and dairy. Nothing complicated. No recipes or fake food products needed.
These “Zero-Carbers” reported that they were completely free from carb cravings and had lost all desire for carbs.
And these folks weren’t there to discuss work-out routines, either. In fact, they didn’t work-out to lose weight at all. And they looked good. Really good. Like, washboard abs, clear skin, and excellent physiques. REALLY good.
But…How Do They Poop?
I was immediately interested. I already knew that I felt my best when my carb intake was at its lowest, but I had no idea that there were people out there who were thriving without any carbs at all. But there they all were: pages and pages of journals full of testimonials about the amazing effects of eating an animal-based diet with no carbs at all.
It sounded so crazy, though! It was all so opposed to everything I had ever heard about nutrition. I mean, what about the freaking Food Pyramid, people?! No fruits? No vegetables? What about all the vitamins and nutrients that we all supposedly need? I mean, how do these people not have scurvy?!
And everyone’s favorite question: WHAT ABOUT FIBER?? How do they poop without fiber?!!
Even though my head was full of questions, something about this also spoke to my own experiences and successes on a low-carb diet, so I wanted to read more.
I found writings by Vilhjalmur Stefansson, who had determined that one full year of eating a diet comprised of only high-fat meat had caused him to look and feel his absolute personal best. And that led me to read some really interesting research about WHY carb elimination works. I read study after study that showed that the lower the carbs, the quicker the weight loss. (Some really cool studies can be found here and also on Zero Carb Path.)
From all of this reading, I learned: There have been entire cultures of people throughout history to live–and thrive!–on all-meat diets (namely, the Inuit Indians and the Eskimos). And that there are currently people all over the world who eat no carbs at all and look and feel amazing.
I read about how insulin is the real root cause of weight gain. By eliminating carbs and sugars, your blood sugar can stabilize, your insulin can self-regulate, and your body can begin losing weight.
Spikes in insulin cause your body to store fat. When your blood sugar and insulin hold steady and in-check, your body can start using fat for fuel, and you will start losing weight.
3 Findings From Eating a Zero-Carb Diet
After seeing the many journals of zero-carbers worldwide and after reading a large number of studies, history, and research, I decided to leave behind my low-carb diet and begin my zero carb life. And here are my top three observations: (Pay attention, because these are kind of huge.
1) Without ANY sweets or carbs (including artificial sweeteners), I was able to finally rid myself of a sweet tooth. I stopped giving my body, mouth, and brain those little hits of sweets, which led me to no longer want it at all. Seriously, NO MORE DESIRE FOR CARBS AND SWEETS. Huge, right?
2) I had far more energy eating very high-fat meats, versus the leaner meats that I had been eating while on a low-carb diet. I, along with most people who eat a zero-carb diet have found that eating a LOT of fat is key. I know it sounds counterintuitive. Fat makes you fat, right? WRONG. Fat gives you tons of energy and makes you feel amazing! Also, eating fat causes you to lose weight. Fast. Like Heidi Klum on maternity leave!
3) I no longer needed to rigorously exercise to lose weight. (Hallelujah and AMEN!) Without ANY carbs or sweeteners, I didn’t have to kill it in the gym to stay thin. This was reason enough to put down the diet soda and kiss the carbs and sweeteners good-bye forever!
After five years of losing weight on a LOW carb diet, I had finally found the key to losing weight and keeping it off! without ever having cravings. Without having to exercise. Without having to starve myself.
Just eat ZERO carbs and taste nothing sweet. Ever.
Did you catch that part? Never. No cake on your birthday. No pasta when you go to Olive Garden. No sugar free gums, diet sodas, or Atkins bars. Nothing sweet I repeat: NOTHING SWEET.
That was the key to finally killing my relentless sweet tooth, stabilizing my blood sugar, and allowing for quick and effortless weight loss. Just eat meat and avoid all sweets.
It’s so easy, and yet, so difficult for many people to wrap their heads around. Trust me, I understand.
People often ask, “What do you actually eat?!” Well, I eat foods from the animal kingdom, which means, almost exclusively MEAT. And not just any meat. I try to eat the tastiest, most high-fat meats that I can get my greasy little hands on. I’m talking about bacon, untrimmed steaks, fried chicken wings, bacon, juicy burger patties, chicken thighs with skin, pork chops, bacon, beef roasts, and, of course, more bacon. (MMmmm…bacon…)
People want recipes, tricks, menus, and yes, even pamphlets. But I can sum it all up real quickly: Eat meat if you’re hungry. Drink water if you’re thirsty. And avoid all carbs.
And then, enjoy your life.
Oh, and go buy some smaller pants.
NEXT: My life on a zero-carb diet was exciting and new, but then I visited my doctor, and when she delivered the news, I immediately worried about whether or not I should continue eating the way I was.