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  #1   ^
Old Tue, Jan-13-09, 12:24
addict1000's Avatar
addict1000 addict1000 is offline
at peace with myself
Posts: 1,202
 
Plan: Healthy choices
Stats: 201/191.6/144 Female 5 ft 8n
BF:
Progress: 16%
Location: guilt free state
Default Is a zero carb diet sustainable?

There have been bits and pieces of this discussion all over the board. I personally would like to see an all out discussion on a level that the average person can understand.

The pros that I have heard for ZC are:

1. insulin levels are held in check and no carbohydrates (from food) enter the fat cells (meaning you can't gain on ZC)

2. You do not get cravings

3. Every nutrient you need can be found in meat and fat



The cons I have heard are:

1. It is not sustainable and it can be unhealthy (endocrine system issues, lack of nutrients, electrolyte imbalances?)

2. Some people gain weight on it.



I am sure there are more....but would anyone be interested in talking about it...all in one place... in a civilized manner? I went ahead and put it in the war zone just in case
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  #2   ^
Old Tue, Jan-13-09, 12:36
LessLiz's Avatar
LessLiz LessLiz is offline
Registered Member
Posts: 6,938
 
Plan: who knows
Stats: 337/204/180 Female 67 inches
BF:100% pure
Progress: 85%
Location: Pacific NW
Default

Hell yes a zero carb diet is sustainable -- look at Martin Levac and some other people here who eat zero carb.

The better question to my mind is "are you a person who can eat zero carb forever?" My answer to that is no -- I prefer life with broccoli and don't feel very good on zero carb. Most people's answer to that question is no. Doesn't mean everyone's answer is no.

And for most people on this forum an even better question may be "Is zero carb better for weight loss than low carb?" That can get into a whole lot of areas -- sustainability, diet vs lifestyle, rate of loss, health impact, etc. That, in fact, seems to be the question that is argued.
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  #3   ^
Old Tue, Jan-13-09, 12:40
addict1000's Avatar
addict1000 addict1000 is offline
at peace with myself
Posts: 1,202
 
Plan: Healthy choices
Stats: 201/191.6/144 Female 5 ft 8n
BF:
Progress: 16%
Location: guilt free state
Default

I know that some people have eaten that way and are happy...I have also heard of many that have had some serious problems with it.

I just had to come up with a title...maybe sustainable wasn't the best word...I was just trying to come up with a word that encompassed all the issues that are being brought up.

On some of the other threads...beliefs are thrown out there and not always defended.
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  #4   ^
Old Tue, Jan-13-09, 12:54
Fauve Fauve is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 1,123
 
Plan: Carnivore
Stats: 000/000/000 Female 63
BF:
Progress: 94%
Location: Victoria, BC
Default

Personally, I like zero carb, I feel my best when I forego carbs completely. I am not completely convinced that it is a healthy way to eat though, so I add some veggies or some fruit once in a while; invariably then, cravings start happening and I increase the carbs, and I gain weight; I then return to zero carb, lol.
Also, to lose weight, I need to reduce calories around the 1200 number; higher than that, I do not lose weight. So it is hard, it feels like starvation; I don't know what else to do.
So there you have it, this is my experience.
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  #5   ^
Old Tue, Jan-13-09, 12:59
addict1000's Avatar
addict1000 addict1000 is offline
at peace with myself
Posts: 1,202
 
Plan: Healthy choices
Stats: 201/191.6/144 Female 5 ft 8n
BF:
Progress: 16%
Location: guilt free state
Default

So Liz...in what way do you not feel good when doing ZC? What about having more carbs makes you feel better?

and Fauve...why are you not convinced it is healthy? vitamins? fiber?

I am the same way ....I have to drop my carbs and calories to get weight loss. I am not hungry..but sometimes I worry. I guess that is why I want to hash everything out. I want to know without doubt that I am on the right path for my body.
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  #6   ^
Old Tue, Jan-13-09, 13:40
LessLiz's Avatar
LessLiz LessLiz is offline
Registered Member
Posts: 6,938
 
Plan: who knows
Stats: 337/204/180 Female 67 inches
BF:100% pure
Progress: 85%
Location: Pacific NW
Default

Low level, chronic nausea and diarrhea (which I can tell you is *not* low level in any way!) are the worst parts for me. Other issues include frequent headaches -- like once a week, lack of energy, depression, very low blood pressure. Gotta explain that low blood pressure -- I have low blood pressure period but on zero carb it is extremely low so that I pass out rather easily and have to be very careful when standing up. This would be a benefit to someone who is naturally on the other end of the blood pressure scale.

Takes a few weeks for me to hit that point. First couple of weeks I feel great, then it fades. By the time a month has come and gone I feel like garbage. Believe me, if I continued to feel as good as I do initially I would likely switch to zero carb for life even though I have a love affair with broccoli.

Dunno if it means anything but it seems that most (not all) zero carbers are male. What I mean by that is that it may just be that it appears to me most zero carbers are male but it's pretty equally followed by men and women.

I'm pretty sure we have some people around here who have eaten nothing but meat and fat for several years and are healthy. I think the vitamin/mineral arguments for eating veggies are mostly a lot of hooey -- I know some of them are found in only very small quantities from animal sources but those small quantities are totally bioavailable. Certainly entire cultures have diets that are essentially zero carb -- we talk about the Inuit a lot. And I admit that one of my favorite meals is meat with seafood and poultry on the side. But I fear I like that diet better than the diet likes me. And, as I said, I do have this thing going on with broccoli...
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  #7   ^
Old Tue, Jan-13-09, 14:53
pamlynn's Avatar
pamlynn pamlynn is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 639
 
Plan: LC
Stats: 248.4/245.4/170 Female 5' 6 "
BF:
Progress: 4%
Location: Michigan
Default

I have tried several times to do VLC and I just cannot do it. My energy level gets to the point where I feel like I'm going to pass out. But I keep V-8 juice at work and at home and about 30 minutes after I take it, I feel better - and this happens every single time. Now I have to add that I am diabetic, but when this happens I do check my blood sugar and it is within normal range.
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  #8   ^
Old Tue, Jan-13-09, 14:59
daisywench's Avatar
daisywench daisywench is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 626
 
Plan: atkins modified
Stats: 225/162/160 Female 5'9
BF:
Progress: 97%
Location: MA
Default

I do very low carb, I'd say 5-7 days of the week I do zero carb (except for cream in my coffee, and a glass of white wine). I find I'm never hungry, can go almost the entire day without eating, but usually throw down some protein just because I feel I should. I throw in some veggies the other 2 days to keep my bowels moving.
I wake up with a headache every day, so vlc isn't what does that. I never feel nauseous, as a matter of fact, I feel great. I do get cotton mouth ALOT. I have to have water by my side 24/7.
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  #9   ^
Old Tue, Jan-13-09, 15:23
BoBoGuy's Avatar
BoBoGuy BoBoGuy is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 1,178
 
Plan: Low Carb - High Nutrition
Stats: 213/175/175 Male 72 Inches
BF: Belly Fat? Yes!
Progress: 100%
Location: California
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by daisywench
I do very low carb, I'd say 5-7 days of the week I do zero carb (except for cream in my coffee, and a glass of white wine). I find I'm never hungry, can go almost the entire day without eating, but usually throw down some protein just because I feel I should. I throw in some veggies the other 2 days to keep my bowels moving.
I wake up with a headache every day, so vlc isn't what does that. I never feel nauseous, as a matter of fact, I feel great. I do get cotton mouth ALOT. I have to have water by my side 24/7.

VLC = Very Low Calorie
White Wine = Cotton Mouth
Red Wine = Resveratrol
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  #10   ^
Old Tue, Jan-13-09, 15:55
Sagehill's Avatar
Sagehill Sagehill is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 13,434
 
Plan: Longer-term IF, Dr. Fung
Stats: 250/150/140 Female 5'3"
BF:
Progress: 91%
Location: FL
Default

The real question one should ask is: What do you replace your carbs with? There are only three macronutrients, so are you replacing those zero carbs with protein (ie, low-fat/high-protein, which leads to nausea, diarrhea, weakness... aka rabbit starvation) or are you replacing them with lots of fat? I think insufficient fat may be the basis of problems some people have with zero-carb.

I've been zero-carbing off and on for over a year, on again for the last week and I feel great... lots of energy, sleeping well, continuing weight loss, don't miss carbs, etc. BUT, I keep protein around 15-18%, 1-2% inescapable carbs (yes, coffee is inescapable, LOL), with the balance in fat, around 80+%. With enough fat, you don't need fiber, at least I don't.

By the way, it's hard to truly zero-carb unless you eat nothing but meat and most fish... no eggs, organ meats or shellfish, among other things. I've been eating about 3-5 g carbs, mostly from eggs, coffee and 1-2 oz/day of cream for said coffee).
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  #11   ^
Old Tue, Jan-13-09, 16:49
LessLiz's Avatar
LessLiz LessLiz is offline
Registered Member
Posts: 6,938
 
Plan: who knows
Stats: 337/204/180 Female 67 inches
BF:100% pure
Progress: 85%
Location: Pacific NW
Default

I don't think eating a 65% fat diet could cause rabbit starvation, do you? I can say that I become grossly ill if the fat content of my diet reaches 75% or more.

People want to say that it's lack of fat or too much protein, but that doesn't square with what I ate which ran 65 - 68% fat.
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  #12   ^
Old Tue, Jan-13-09, 16:59
Cajunboy47 Cajunboy47 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 2,899
 
Plan: Eat Fat, Get Thin
Stats: 212/162/155 Male 68 "
BF:32/23.5/23.5
Progress: 88%
Location: Breaux Bridge, La
Default

Addict1000,

Since a few posters have restated your question.....

Can you define what you mean by "sustainable"?
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  #13   ^
Old Tue, Jan-13-09, 17:10
2bthinner!'s Avatar
2bthinner! 2bthinner! is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,339
 
Plan: Paleo Gluten free
Stats: 14/14/130 Female 5'7.5"
BF:too/dang/much
Progress: 0%
Location: Florida
Default

I'm doing it. I feel good right now, but it's early. I don't really have a love affair with broccoli, mine would unfortunately be the potato!! I do like fruits, but if this helps me get to a healthy weight, those can be very occasional. I do miss my wine. I haven't had any since, well, before New Years. I still get cotton mouth too, so I don't think wine is the only cause of that. And I don't think ONE glass would be either. One bottle, maybe...
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  #14   ^
Old Tue, Jan-13-09, 17:58
ReginaW's Avatar
ReginaW ReginaW is offline
Contrarian
Posts: 2,759
 
Plan: Atkins/Controlled Carb
Stats: 275/190/190 Female 72
BF:Not a clue!
Progress: 100%
Location: Missouri
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by addict1000
There have been bits and pieces of this discussion all over the board. I personally would like to see an all out discussion on a level that the average person can understand.

The pros that I have heard for ZC are:

1. insulin levels are held in check and no carbohydrates (from food) enter the fat cells (meaning you can't gain on ZC)

2. You do not get cravings

3. Every nutrient you need can be found in meat and fat



The cons I have heard are:

1. It is not sustainable and it can be unhealthy (endocrine system issues, lack of nutrients, electrolyte imbalances?)

2. Some people gain weight on it.



I am sure there are more....but would anyone be interested in talking about it...all in one place... in a civilized manner? I went ahead and put it in the war zone just in case


As with any other dietary approach, results will vary and will be influenced by what it is you do eat.....we don't just eat for calories, but more importantly for essential nutrients - if we fail to meet our micronutrient needs, it doesn't much matter what we're eating, we're still malnourished at the end of the day.

That said, it is possible to eat a diet free of plant-based foods if you're paying attention to your nutrients (unless, of course, you're already part of a tribal culture that has figured out the finer details without knowing why it works) since it takes more than just the muscle meat and fat to meet nutrient requirements.....things like organs, eyeballs, bones, bone marrow, brain, etc. all contribute nutrients not found in the flesh and fat of the animal.....and eating a variety of animal foods is also helpful since eat land animal and/or fish/shellfish has different nutrient profiles, so you have a greater ability to meet nutrient needs with more than one animal in your dietary repetoire.

Even populations known to consume an animal diet consume some carbohydrate - even if it's a small amount.....so maybe a better distinction is plant-free diet or something along those lines since animal foods can and do provide some carbohydrate (depending on type of animal and part eaten).

Sustainability is a whole other issue - only the person attempting such a diet can say if it's sustainable or not....for some it can be, for others it's no way, no how.
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  #15   ^
Old Tue, Jan-13-09, 18:42
deirdra's Avatar
deirdra deirdra is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 3,518
 
Plan: HF/vLC/GF,CF,SF
Stats: 197/136/150 Female 66 inches
BF:
Progress: 130%
Location: Alberta
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pamlynn
I keep V-8 juice at work and at home and about 30 minutes after I take it, I feel better - and this happens every single time.
V-8 makes me feel good quickly, but I think it is because of the salts/electrolytes & possibly the variety of trace minerals. If I make salt-free vegetable juice or soup with the same amount of carbs & calories, it has no effect.
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