By – Dana (4/2016), updated (12/17)
If the 30 day meat and water challenge existed when I started a Zero Carb diet, 10 years ago, I wouldn’t still be eating Zero Carb. I would not have made it 30 days.
The thought of just plain meat and water was repulsive to me. I was a foodie and a gourmet cook! I loved flavor, texture, color and variety!
10 years ago, when I started the Zero Carb, Carnivore diet, I ate all kinds of “non optimal“ foods and lost 50 lbs in about 2 years. I probably ate 1/2lb of cheese a day, hot dogs, spices, hot sauce, Best Foods mayonnaise, sausages, pork rinds, full fat dressings (blue cheese or ranch) to dip rolled up deli meats or pork rinds in. I despised ground beef and didn’t eat it, unless it was covered in cheese and spices, for a good 5 years! I regularly ate all those non-optimal ZC foods for 2-3 years and still lost weight and aged backwards. Little by little I lost the desire for variety. This seems to be common among those of us who have been ZC for many years. We eventually lose the desire for variety and will often eat the same meats,
cooked the same way, day after day. When starting out, most people do better including non-optimal Zero Carb foods.
In the beginning, due to blood sugar swings from eating too many carbs our entire lives, many of us are used to snacking or eating every 2-4 hours. It takes a week or longer to get over this. Eating lots of meat usually eliminates cravings and the need to snack, but not always, especially in the first few weeks. I liked snacking on salty crispy things, so pork rinds and cheese helped me satisfy those cravings. If you are craving sweets, full fat, unflavored, Greek Yogurt is a good choice. Just don’t over do it on snacking, remember to eat lots of meat!
Today, I eat unseasoned ground beef for breakfast every day and some kind of grilled, unseasoned steak (usually Ribeye) for dinner. If I eat lunch it’s usually, ground beef in my mini crockpot with cheese or sour cream on top. Snacking is a thing of the past.
You might be able to get through adaptation faster by sticking to meat and water, but if you are not enjoying your food you will NEVER make it through adaptation!
Gradually weaning off carbs is not recommended, it just drags out cravings and most people talk themselves out of ever trying ZC. Going 100% Zero Carb with less than optimal foods is a great way to start the Zero Carb diet as long as you don’t include any food or beverage that is sweet tasting. That means no stevia, or artificial sweeteners.
Including non-optimal foods will not make you less healthy than the person who was able to just eat meat and drink water. Meat and water is easier for some people, but those people are very rare. You don’t get extra points for being a “purist”. You may never want to eat only meat and water. There is nothing wrong with that. If you don’t like plain meat and water then that should never be a goal. Unless you are fighting a disease, there is no good reason for pure meat and water to be a goal, except, maybe, curiosity.
The goal here is to get as healthy as you can be, by eating an all animal based, Zero Carb diet, and reaping the amazing, healthy, healing benefits many of us have experienced from simply eliminating carbohydrates and all plant foods/oils from our diet.
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