My First 2 Months on Zero Carb by Anne Engel

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Anne on Day 1 verses Day 60 of Zero Carb.

My story began in 2007. I was massively obese that time – over 500 lbs at 30 years old – and with no hope for change. I have been following the the standard diet suggested for weight loss: the whole grains, low fat, and no fun diet. I started to research other options and discovered low carb. I followed a low carb diet for 5 years, until 2012. Then, I decided to try a ketogenic diet which was higher in fat and even lower in carbs.

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Anne pre-low carb weighing about 500 lbs.

For most of the year, the only carbs I consumed came from leafy greens. However, during the summer, I included strawberries and tiny amounts of pumpkin, peppers and few other relatively low carb plant foods which did not normally eat on keto. I remained on a ketogenic diet for another 3 years, from 2012 until April of 2015. During the past 8 years of low carb and ketogenic eating combined, I successfully lost half of my body weight, or 250 lbs.

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Anne pre-low carb weighing about 500 lbs.

In the beginning of this year, I became very frustrated though, as I was working my ass of at the gym, eating really healthy food, and sticking to my diet… but I could not seem to lose anymore body fat. My weight would fluctuate two pounds down and then five pounds up, even though I was watching my macronutrient ratios, total calories, ketones levels, blood sugar numbers, etc. It was making me me completely crazy!

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Zero Carb Meal: Lamb chops, egg yolks, bacon, and water.

My feeling of frustration was so deep that I enlisted for a gastric bypass at the end of this year. Then, one day, I came across Kelly Williams Hogan‘s blog and read her story. This was my first introduction to a Zero Carb diet, and I was intrigued the moment I read about it. I spent a few days for researching it and was eager to try it for one reason in particular: when I was a kid I hated everything veggie and my mom had to push them on me. (To read all of the details of Anne’s Zero Carb journey, I recommend starting with her first post.)

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Zero Carb Meal: Steak cooked medium rare.

I always loved and wanted meat, but was often deprived of it. As a fat kid in the 1980s during the middle of the low fat craze, I lived with the pressure to lose weight and guess what? I was fed healthy whole grains with no limit and was only allowed tiny portions of meat. So reading about a way of eating that allows me to only eat what I really was extremely tempting.

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Zero Carb Meal: Raw pork and raw egg yolks.

I decided to jump in with both feet and started my Zero Carb journey two months ago. My transition to this lifestyle was pretty smooth. For the first few days, I suffered minor headaches and was tired – but nothing major to complain about. When I switched from moderate low carb to a ketogenic diet back in 2012, the adaptation phase was much, much worse and took me a lot longer to adjust.

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Zero Carb Meal: Pre-cooked beef for the office.

The hardest part of the transition, for me, was the social aspect. When people tell me I looks so healthy now and ask what I have done to lose weight, I have learned that It is best not to explain how I eat. For some strange reason, it always ends up in weird side effects, like people pushing cake on me with the lame excuse that it contains essential nutrients. (See Anne’s blog post: The Odd Case of “Vitamin Cake” Deficiency for more details on this bizarre phenomenon.)

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Anne’s loose skin shrunk from 3.6 cm to 2.8 cm over a two week period.

Socially, I am still in a bit of a fight with this situation that my so beloved and relaxing carnivorous lifestyle is a taboo and ends up in stupid ethical discussions. Or in discussions about how I am going to become deficient in vitamin C. Most people are too lazy or set in their ways to read and educate themselves about the advantages of eating this way. However, the great benefits of this diet make it worthwhile to go through the social transition as well.

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Anne on Day 1 verses Day 60 of Zero Carb

Here are the major improvements I have noticed so far: First, I lost almost 8 lbs. of fat in the first 30 days of Zero Carb. I had a DEXA, so I know exactly that it was in fact fat that I lost and not just water. In fact, My percentage of water actually increased. So that was exactly the thing I wanted to see… Zero Carb has restarted my weight loss. And with ease! In 10 days, I have another DEXA and cannot wait to get the results. I am certain I have lost more body fat during the second month, as my clothes fit better and I look trimmer.

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Anne on Day 1 verses Day 60 of Zero Carb

Another benefit is the wonderful sleep I now experience. I love lifting heavy weights at the gym, with emphasis on heavy. I always wanted to sleep more for better regeneration and results. I made time for more sleep, but I just could not sleep more that about 6-7 hours. Now I sleep 10-12 hours on some nights and that is really wonderful because It has improved my performance in the gym.

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Anne on Day 1 varses Day 60 of Zero Carb

My skin glows and I look very healthy. A lot of people have noticed this recently and have commented on it.

Also, I have had knee pain for years – the only effective remedy was to swallow 24 capsules of fish oil per day. Not only was that expensive, it was also disgusting. I stopped that routine a while ago because it just grossed me out and the knee pain returned in full force. On Zero Carb, the pain in my knee got worse for a few days and then suddenly disappeared completely, it is truly amazing.

Additionally, I just had my second period on Zero Carb, and it was both painless and quick. I don’t remember ever having a pain-free period. It is absolutely remarkable and makes life so much better.

And best of all, my thyroid blood test came back great for the first time in years. I have a normal, very good T3 reading now, yay! Before Zero Carb, it was close to the bottom of the normal range, and now it is close to the top. This way of eating seems to be healing my metabolism as well.

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Zero Carb Meal: Raw beef, raw pork, whole egg, coffee with heavy whipping cream.

I usually eat two meals a day. I have beef with every meal and combine it with other meats or eggs when I want some variation. I have better energy levels on beef than on any other meat or animal food, so I need it at least once a day to be happy and stay fit.

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Zero Carb Meal: Steak cooked medium rare.

The amounts of meat depend on my appetite. Some days, I will have almost a pound in one sitting, but on other days I can barely eat half a pound. I eat eggs occasionally and have some cheese in small amounts when I feel like it. I drink coffee with a spoonful of heavy whipping cream after breakfast just for the taste.

In the beginning of Zero Carb, I worried a lot about eating the right amount for weight loss, but after my first DEXA I trust my body to tell me how much to eat. That is one of the biggest benefits of Zero Carb in my experience. I feel calm and deeply relaxed about my food. I don`t have to stress out about weighing food, calculating calories, macronutrient ratios, or even measure my blood for ketones or glucose. It is such a relief to be free of all that and still be able to feel so healthy and vital AND finally lose weight again.

To continue following Anne’s Zero Carb journey, please see her blog Bad Ass Carnivore.

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Typical Fatty steaks and ground beef that Anne eats.

Please visit my Testimonials page to read the stories of others following a Zero Carb diet.

If you are interested in meeting others who practice an All-Meat diet, please feel free to join us in the Facebook group Principia Carnivora for support.

My First 5 Weeks on Zero Carb by Teresa Dutton

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Teresa and her husband Dan

1) What kind of diet were you following before ZC?

Which year? LOL! I have been over weight since having my first son 23 years ago. In the last 23 years, I have tried almost every diet out there at least twice: Very Low Carb, Weight Watchers, Atkins, HCG, and too many diet pills to list (over the counter and Rx). I never stuck to anything for very long, usually because it was too restrictive and I would give up. In the summer of 2014, I did low calorie diet and lost about 45 pounds. But over the last 6 months, I started gaining it back. So, before I started ZC five weeks ago, I was on your typical SAD diet.

2) Why did you decide to try ZC?

To be totally honest….I am going to Cancun, Mexico in December of this year (2015). It is a trip of a lifetime for me, and I don’t want to be overweight when I go. I also am just sick and tired of not having the body I want, and I am really not happy with myself. I have known for a long time that carbohydrates don’t agree with me. Even on my low calorie SAD diet I didn’t eat a lot, but my diet was mainly carbs. I am almost 42 and I feel like it is way past time for me to make a change and “get it together, so – when I heard about Zero Carb – I was in the place where I was ready for it

3) What was your transition to ZC like? Easy or hard? Symptoms?

My first two weeks on Zero Carb was very easy. I had no cravings, my energy was excellent, and I felt really wonderful over all. However, the second two weeks were really hard. I tons of cravings, no energy, no motivation, and I felt really horrible overall. I also experienced allergy-like symptoms such as watery eyes, sneezing, and nasal congestion. I thought of quitting every 10 mins. Literally. By the beginning of week five I started to feel a lot better. The cravings vanished and my energy returned. My skin has become noticeably oilier on this diet as well.

4) What benefits have you noticed so far?

Unlike so many others doing Zero Carb, I have no major health problems. My primary issue was simply excess body fat, and I have already lost 20 lbs since beginning this way of eating. My starting weight was 188 lbs and today – five weeks into Zero Carb – it is 168 lbs. I still have about 30 more lbs to go, but I see myself getting there with no problem. Additionally, my moods are much more stable, and I am almost always in a good mood now. After being on sleeping medication for years, I am finally off of them. I discontinue them by the end of the second week, and it is possible that many of the negative symptoms I experienced in weeks 3-4 were do to me stopping this drug. I now wake up at 5:30 AM every morning ready to go, no more dragging. Also, my hands and feet are rarely swollen anymore.

5) What does your daily food intake look like?

As far as my personal Zero Carb food choices go, I follow what my body tells me it wants. Before Zero Carb, I was a chicken addict, but now all want is beef addict. I usually only eat 2 meal a day. Around 8:00 AM I will have 10 pieces of bacon and then at 2:00 PM I will have 1-1.5 lbs of steak (usually top sirloin) with a couple tablespoons of butter or lard. I am still drinking coffee with a small amount of heavy whipping cream each day. Sometimes I feel like having chicken or shrimp, but not very often. I don’t eat grass-fed, I just buy whatever is least expensive.

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Teresa when she began a Zero Carb diet and again after 5 weeks into it.

When you start ZC, you will get frustrated, it will be hard, you will feel bad, it will be awkward, you will think about quitting at times. But it does get easier, you will begin to feel better and get healthier. If you want this, don’t let anyone derail you! Everyone’s journey if different, try not to compare yourself to anyone. This is for you, so just do you and let yourself do you and you will succeed!

I love how easy it is to eat Zero Carb. No counting, no calculating, no recipes. When I am hungry, I walk into the kitchen, throw a steak in the skillet, and 5 mins later I am eating that steak. It is so easy. I have had amazing results in just 5 weeks. I can hardly believe it myself. I don’t work out, and I don’t stress over not working out. I have not had a problem with social events or eating out. I am just doing what I need to do for me and not worrying about what anyone else thinks or does. I still have a ways to go before I am at a normal healthy weight, but in the mean time I am eating my meat, enjoying my progress, and being happy about life in general. I love Zero Carb!

Please visit my Testimonials page to read the stories of others following a Zero Carb diet.

If you are interested in meeting others who practice an All-Meat diet, please feel free to join us in the Facebook group Principia Carnivora for support.