By – Caitlin Tilton
We’re learning “body” hunger instead of “head” hunger!
Head hunger will tell you that _____ carbs are what you are hungry for, right? We think we’re fighting cravings when we stand firm and don’t give in to those kind of signals. Or we feel like a failure if we do give in to those signals and eat _____ carbs.
We MUST begin to realize that this is actually “body” hunger. On a mixed diet, including carbs, and especially on a low calorie or restricted diet, our bodies are starving at the cellular level. They’re not getting the optimum fuel. So our cells cry out for fuel! It often takes the form of carbs, right? A candy bar, bread, juice/soda, pasta, etc. (Usually I avoid naming carbs, so overlook this, for the purpose of this discussion.)
When our mind/head suggests a certain carb, we call that a craving. Often it is so strong that we cannot focus on anything else until we locate that particular food and satisfy that craving.
Think much broader than that, now. Your body is starving at the cellular level. Especially if you are ill, overweight or obese, have thyroid or hormone imbalances, or have been on restricted diets in the past.
You must feed your body optimum fuel. When you get cravings, eat more meat. It is the absolute best thing you can do. And 1-2 pounds of steak or burgers will quiet ANY cravings in your head, I promise.
If you’re ill, eat more meat. If you’re active/athletic, eat more meat. If you’re nursing or pregnant, eat more meat. If you’re obese, eat more meat. Low energy? Fatigued? Cranky, depressed? Eat. More. Meat.
Always fix a meal and take a few bites before you conclude that you’re not hungry. You don’t have that empty, low blood sugar crash that most of us associate with hunger. It’s because your insulin levels are stabilizing. It’s a good thing!
However, a big part of adapting to a meat only diet is learning these other hunger cues. Or learning that you simply NEED a certain amount of fuel every day.
“Eat to hunger” really does take on a new meaning.
And as BJ (a long time zero carber) has eloquently said many times, this process can take years!
We don’t want anyone stuffing themselves or eating simply because you’re trying to reach a set amount of food per day.
BUT, the biggest danger to new people in the early months of adopting a Zero Carb Carnivore diet is not eating enough. The sharp hunger cues are not there, so people think they don’t need to eat, and within days or sometimes a few weeks – they get fatigued, they lose energy and strength, they can’t fight cravings, and they conclude that Zero Carb just doesn’t work for them.
These are the times to err on the side of too much meat. Fix three meals a day and take a few bites. If the smell and taste of meat doesn’t trigger an appetite, fine. Put the food away and try again a little later.
Trust me, your body is hungry and needs a lot of good fuel. It will let you know! Fatigue, grouchy mood, headache – these are some of your new hunger signals!
If you ask yourself, “What would the long-time ZCers say?” Guess what? Almost invariably, our answer will be, “Eat more meat!”
So try that first. If the problem persists, then come and ask, ha ha.
But for most of the issues in the first 6-12 months, yeah, we’re probably going to keep repeating, “Have you tried eating more meat?”
See the pattern? 🙂
For more information about the Zero Carb Carnivore lifestyle, please join us in our Facebook Group.