I have eaten an all meat zero carb diet for 7.5 years. After about 3 years of eating a Zero Carb Diet, my life got crazy…really crazy. My stress level was high before, but it went through the roof for about 3 years. I learned what “burnt out” means.
All my old symptoms, prior to my Zero Carb Diet, came back. I was gaining weight, brain fog, no energy, joint pain, insomnia, hair falling out, panic attacks, easy bruising, memory loss and if I did anything strenuous I was miserably sore for an entire week instead of my typical 1 or 2 days. I decided it was time to take time for myself and slow down. So, I did. After about 6 months things got a little better, but not much. I figured my age was catching up to me (I’m 48).
When I first started gaining weight I tracked my food, thinking maybe I am eating too much. I learned I was only averaging 1200 calories a day! I was “listening to my body”. I ate when I was hungry, or so I thought. Obviously, I wasn’t gaining because I was eating too much. I certainly couldn’t eat less, and figured it will work its self out and didn’t give it much thought. Then, shit hit the fan and my life was turned upside down on many levels.
Fast forward 3 years. – The ZIOH forum shut down, so I became active in the FB group. It was here that people were talking how much they ate in pounds. We really didn’t talk about how much we ate in the ZIOH forum. We ate when hungry and until we were full. I saw women in the group who ate 3x what I was eating and for the first time, I thought maybe I need to make myself eat MORE. I started eating a minimum of 1lb ground beef with all the fat in a bowl every morning. I felt great for about 7 hours, then I would hit a wall and fatigue set in. I would go home, too tired to eat and either wouldn’t eat or eat 1/2 ribeye and go to bed. I never ate lunch. I decided I needed to take time to eat lunch.
This is when I discovered one of my favorite Zero Carb appliances, the Crock-Pot SCCPLC200-R 20-Ounce Lunch Crock Food Warmer.
I just throw some beef in there (fits up to 1.25lbs of ground beef), plug it in when I get to my office and it’s done by lunch time. No mess, no smell, no problem. It says “food warmer”, but it will cook beef.
Wow! Now, I had so much energy I kept working and wouldn’t get home until 8pm! LOL But, once again, I wasn’t hungry so wouldn’t eat dinner. My energy levels bounced around for a while then I started forcing myself to eat 3 meals a day. I don’t choke down food. I can always eat if the food is in front of me, I just had a bad habit of not taking the time to eat. I have better things to do than eat. But, I learned the hard way, I can’t do those things, unless I eat!
After 5 months of increasing my food, I finally feel fantastic again! I have energy, my memory is back, hair is thick again, I sleep like a rock, no more bruising, joint pain is gone and I can work out and only be sore for 1 or 2 days again. (So, it has taken 5 months to undo most of the damage I did by under eating)
During my crazy stress time I got the bright idea that I needed to run to help ease my stress. I live and run in the hills on dirt roads. When winter came I joined a gym. First day on the treadmill…POP….POP….I tore both Achilles tendons. (feet not used to running on flat surface) It took over a YEAR for me to be able to get out of bed and walk normally. I still had pain, just not excruciating. Last winter I did something to my shoulder. It felt like a torn rotator cuff. For months, it continued to get worse and I thought I was going have to go to the doctor. I lost all strength in my right arm. I lift big heavy boxes all day and this was scary for me. I need to be able to lift and carry boxes. My husband had to do it for me. I just realized my shoulder pain is 99% gone and I have my arm back! My Achilles tendons are not 100% but, much improved.
I thought stress caused all my problems. I now think not eating enough, caused the problems and made my body not able to handle stress. I believe, had I been eating more all along, I could have handled the stress better. Things got bad. Even my husband thought the STRESS was seriously killing me. Now, I know it wasn’t stress, it is the fact that I was not eating enough, that was slowly killing me and made me unable to handle stress properly.
(Note: I have increased my food from about 1lb per day to 2-3lbs a day. I have not gained any weight, in fact I am starting to lose again.)
Comments or questions? Please join me in the Zero Carb Health Facebook Group.