By – Dana Spencer
This post is mostly for people who have been on this diet for at least 6 months. If you have been ZC for less than that, you just have to be patient. Removing plant foods from your diet and getting into a ketogenic state is a major metabolic change. Your body needs time to adapt.
Most people lose fat on the Zero Carb Diet, but some people gain weight. As frustrating as this is, there really is no quick fix and for some it may be something you just have to accept if you want to be healthy.
The body seems to like being in the upper range of Normal on the BMI scale. From an evolutionary point of view this makes sense. More stored energy would be beneficial for survival.
If you have been eating Zero Carb and are stuck in the upper range of normal on the BMI scale, you are not overweight. If you want to be thinner, you are going to have to starve yourself or regularly do some sort of strength training to look the way you want to look.
If you are truly overweight a BMI of 27 or higher and have been eating a Zero Carb Carnivore diet for 6 months or more and are not losing, or gaining, here are a few things to think about.
Were you restricting protein, counting calories or fasting? If you came to ZC from a restriction diet you will likely gain weight. Your body is starving for nutrition and you just have to feed it until it is sure you are not going to starve it again.
Were you vegan? Your body is a mess, it NEEDS the building blocks of animal protein and fat to rebuild and repair the damage done to your body by not feeding yourself the proper human diet.
How much meat are you eating in a day? It should be at least 2lbs, if you are already eating that much, then try eating more. Many people are simply not cooking enough. Try this experiment, cook up 5 pounds of your favorite meat and try to eat all of it. You probably won’t be able to eat all 5 pounds, but you might be surprised how much you can eat. Then you will be surprised at how good you feel for the rest of the day since you properly nourished yourself.
How much fat are you eating? We don’t normally advocate tracking your food, but if you are not seeing the results you expected, you might want to punch a weeks worth of meals into a food tracker to get a general idea on how much fat you are eating. If your average is below 70% fat (70% of your calories coming from fat) then you should try eating fattier meats to get that number closer to 80%. If you are already close to or above 80% then you might want to work in a couple of days of leaner meats or stop adding fat.
Are you adding too much fat, eating fat bombs or putting butter or oil in your coffee? Stop that.
What are you eating? Our default is unseasoned meat and plain water. If you are gaining, then trying 30 days of meat and water is a great way to figure out if those other foods/seasonings (dairy, coffee, spices, salt) are causing problems for you. Zero Carb sweeteners are not part of this diet, so if you are consuming sweet anything, there’s your problem.
How often are you eating? If you are still snacking and eating 3 or more times a day, that can be a problem, especially if you are insulin resistant. Your hunger signals may be off, or you are not eating big enough meals. Try eating bigger meals so you can naturally go longer before getting hungry again.
When are you eating? Are you forcing an eating window, fasting or meal frequency (OMAD)? If you are gaining or not losing, then obviously, that’s not working for you. Let go of trying to control hunger. You will never learn true hunger if you are trying to force eating times. Eat when hungry. Learn your new hunger signals.
Our default for any issues on this diet is always “Unseasoned Meat and Plain Water”. Eat as much and as often as you like, but the meat must be unseasoned. Many people are addicted to salt, so you may be eating more often or more food than you really need because of the seasonings.
The Zero Carb Carnivore diet is a lifestyle, not a quick fix temporary diet. If you are genuinely concerned about being as healthy as you can be, then you need to make this a lifestyle, enjoy the journey and just be patient.