The Zero Carb diet is an all or nothing diet. There is no “almost ZC” or 90% ZC, or ZC 4 days a week. If you are cheating and eating plant foods and or zero carb artificial sweeteners, you are not Zero Carb, you are Low Carb. It takes several weeks/months of 100% Zero Carb to become completely fat adapted and realize the amazing benefits that a plant free, chemical free, diet can do for you.
The Zero Carb Carnivore diet is similar to AA, Alcoholic Anonymous. ZC is basically AA for carbohydrate addicts. ZC is a diet for carb addicts and Zero Carb Health is a recovery, support and educational group for people (addict or not) trying to give up carbohydrates and get healthy.
When I started this diet 10 years ago, my carbohydrate addiction ended when my blood sugar stabilized. Blood sugar swings from eating carbohydrates is what drove my addiction. So, once they were gone, this diet was very easy for me. I never wanted a carbohydrate after my blood sugar got under control.
I soon learned that this was not the case for many people. Eliminating carbohydrates did not cure their carb addiction, like it did mine. This is when we realized that some people have a real addiction to carbs, just like alcohol/drug/smokers are addicted. This is why we are so strict about keeping images of carbohydrate “trigger” foods and posts about cheating, out of the group. Just like an alcoholic doesn’t want to hear about other alcoholics giving into drinking or seeing pictures of their favorite drink all over the place. We try to keep ZCH a carb free, safe zone.
Carbohydrate or sugar addiction is no different than an alcohol or drug addiction. The addiction infects every cell of your body and your brain. It takes about 90 days for the brain to break free of the immediate effects of an addictive substance. So, if you can’t make it 90 days or so of ZC then you are not even close to overcoming your addiction and becoming fat adapted. It takes the body weeks and months or years to detox from the damaging effects of years and years of the over consumption of carbohydrates and sugar.
When you keep cheating and feeding that addiction your body remains in a state of turmoil. Your body will not adapt to clean fat burning if you continue to feed it carbs. You think that 1 piece of dark chocolate or avocado or whatever, once a week or once a month has no effect on you, yet here you are complaining and upset because you are not seeing the results you want. Guess what? That 1 bite of sugar is obviously a huge problem for you! The fact that you can’t stop yourself from cheating should be a clue that you have a problem. But, that is why we are here, to help you get over your addiction. We are not here to give you gold stars for being ZC for 100 days. We want to help people ditch their sugar habits, but we can’t help anybody unless they are honest.
Not all of us are addicts. Those, like myself, who pretty much had an easy time transitioning to meat only, are not addicts. Those of you who keep cheating with sugar are bonafide addicts. Every bite or sip of sweetness is completely derailing any progress and putting you and your body right back at day 1.
So, stop fooling yourselves. If you cannot control cravings and continue to cheat over and over, you are not ZC and this diet will not work the way it is supposed to. You are “trying” to be ZC. There is nothing wrong with that. Your cheating experience is valuable because it is the most common problem. The struggle is real. Your honesty can help open up the discussion on how to help others with the same problem.
This diet is not easy. Most people have a very hard time. Most people can’t do it for very long. Don’t beat yourself up, just do the best you can and be honest about it. We are here to help you. If this diet makes you miserable and you see no benefits then it’s simply not for you.
For more information about the Zero Carb Carnivore Diet, join us in our Facebook Group.