By – Dana (4/2016), updated (11/21)
If the 30 day meat and water challenge existed when I started a Zero Carb diet, 14 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!
14 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. But 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 weeks 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 or Ricotta Cheese 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 (Ribeye, Tritip, Pork Chops) 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 plain meat and water, but if you are not enjoying your food you will NEVER make it through adaptation! Your goal should be to stick to the diet. Eat what you have to eat in order to get through the first 6 months or so and get comfortable with eating all of the Zero Carb Carnivore foods before thinking about cutting things out.
Gradually weaning off carbs is not recommended, it just drags out cravings and most people end up talk themselves out of ever trying full ZC. Going 100% Zero Carb with less than optimal foods is a great way for foodies 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. (No, honey is not part of this diet.)
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 Carnivore diet, and reaping the amazing, healthy, healing and anti aging benefits many of us have experienced from simply eliminating carbohydrates and all plant foods/oils from our diet.
For more information about a Zero Carb lifestyle please join us, people who have been eating this way for over 10 years, in our Facebook Groups; Zero Carb Health (Private Group) and Zeroing in on Health (Public Group).