Monday, May 15, 2006

How About A Zero Carb, Carniverous Diet?

Essay by Owsley "Bear" Stanley inspiration for Zero Carb Path blog

One of the most widely published misconceptions about livin' la vida low-carb is that it people following this way of eating don't eat any carbs at all and most of what you eat on that diet is meat. Of course, this is simply not true for just about every low-carb diet plan that exists, including Atkins, Hamptons, Protein Power, and South Beach. I like eating meat as much as the next low-carber, but it isn't the ONLY thing I eat.

What would a diet be like that only consisted of meat, meat, and meat?

However, what about this idea of a ZERO CARB diet consisting of primarily meat? Is a zero carb, carniverous diet desirable or even healthy? That's exactly what The Zero Carb Path blog is all about and I found the information provided on this web site to be fascinating to say the least.

The author of the blog is a man named Rob who said he began his meat-eating diet on February 23, 2006 after reading an essay entitled "Diet and Exercise" by a gentleman named Owsley "Bear" Stanley.

In that essay, Stanley laid the groundwork for how to most effectively turn the tide against the "widespread prevalence of obesity, diabetes and heart disease."

"If there are no carbs in the diet, the body doesn't need the ability to make insulin, so [diabetes] was no bother ... Recently I have heard that there is a doctor in Hollywood who is putting entertainment people on this basic meat diet and getting phenomenal results in rapid weight reduction. The nice thing about this diet is that the human body does not seem to be able to store fat that is eaten in the food, so the fat you eat must be burned up. On the other hand, the body is totally unable to directly burn carbohydrates for energy, but must first convert them to fatty acids. (Guess where most of this fatty acid winds up!) ... Many people think that carbs are "energy food". Nothing could be further from the truth, but since insulin is highly simulating, the insulin rush feels like "energy" to the person who has just taken in some sugar. Actually the insulin stimulates all the fat storage cells in your body as well as your brain and the little buggers start to work overtime to remove the excess glucose from the blood as quickly as they can. It is one of the ironies of life that glucose, required by the brain in small, but constant amounts, should be deadly poisonous at a higher level! (Diabetic coma)."

There were plenty more eye-opening comments in that essay, but I think you get the gist of what he's saying from the above excerpts. Stanley believes people should not only eat an all-meat, carb-free diet, but he contends it is the healthiest way to control your weight and the associated diseases that come from obesity. Hmmmm.

Rob took everything that Stanley wrote to heart in 1998 and lost over 120 pounds following this diet plan. Unfortunately, Rob was unable to sustain it over the long-term ("My experience was no different than perhaps thousands of people out there") at the time and he gained all the weight back (I wonder if he just got bored with it -- I know I would have!).

Now he has recommitted himself to this zero-carb diet yet again after re-reading all the personal e-mails he received from Stanley so he can attempt to lose weight yet again.

The "zero carb path" is rather simple with just these 5 rules to follow:

1. Eat only from the animal kingdom.

2. Avoid eating carby animal food, like lactose (dairy) and more than a very small, occasional, few ounces of liver. Do not measure what you eat and do not worry about variety.

3, Do as little cooking of your food as you can tolerate. Eat the fatty part preferentially in each meal first, then finish as much of the lean as you want. Leftovers will keep.

4. You do not need 'recipes' or 'sample meals' to follow. When away from home, no matter if it is a restaurant, family or friends, or business meal, eat only from the animal kingdom, avoid the rest, practice doing this unassumingly and make pleasant, distracting comments if bailed up on it.

5. Learn to politely refuse alcohol.

That's it! That's the ZERO CARB diet in a nutshell for you. Does this sound appealing to you? How about a zero carb, carniverous diet? Anyone? ANYONE?

While I applaud Rob for enthusiastically embracing this interesting new lifestyle change to help himself get his weight and health under control, I know I could NEVER do this zero-carb diet. I would miss fruits and vegetables too much! But I admire anyone who has the convictions of their heart to do this plan without any reservations at all. That's a key ingredient to ANY weight loss program that is successful.

More power to ya, Rob! While I disagree with your "path" because I think you are depriving your body of essential nutrients you should be getting from foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and other low-carb staples, keep on livin' la vida no-carb, my friend, if that's what works for you.

Be sure to check out The Zero Carb Path blog for more information about this "meat"-y diet! :D


Blogger Newbirth said...

Sounds like Kekwick to me.

From Hold the Toast:
First of all, the skeptics all sound as if there had never been any previous demonstrations of this calorie-wasting effect of a low carbohydrate diet - yet there have been several studies, starting with Kekwick and Pawan, two well-established and respected English scientists who, back in the 1950s and '60s, showed that people who lost slowly on a diet with as few as 1,000 calories per day when those calories were largely carbohydrate, lost weight easily when those 1,000 calories were protein and especially fat.

Kekwick and Pawan did a second experiment in which they found that on a carb-containing diet of 2,000 calories per day, subjects did not lose at all, but that they did lose weight eating as much as 2,600 calories per day when the carbs were omitted. Then, as now, the medical establishment tried to come up with reasons why Kekwick and Pawan's results couldn't possibly be correct. I sometimes wonder where we'd be now if, instead of trying to explain away Kekwick and Pawan's work, medical researchers had set to work on discovering the mechanism involved.

5/15/2006 9:16 PM  
Blogger Lowcarb_dave said...

The problem I find is getting a cheap quality supply of fatty meat.

Heck, I would settle for any fatty meat!

Supermarkets and butchers all seem to promote the lean cuts.

We are still in the grips of low fat fever!

5/16/2006 2:01 AM  
Blogger Viking Dan said...

I can usually get 80% lean ground at my supermarket.

The meat and water diet may seem insane, but some people swear by it for breaking stalls.

5/16/2006 7:44 AM  
Blogger Shayne said...

Thanks to my severe metabolic resistance, it's one of the few ways I can lose weight. On Atkins induction, I can maintain whatever weight I am... even going from a carb binge to induction. So, I rotate, several weeks of meat and eggs only, then a regular LC lifestyle for a few weeks, then back to the meat only. The other way I can lose weight is Atkins fat fast - but one can only stand a few days of that before being totally grossed out.

5/16/2006 12:47 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

Just to clarify for the record, When I lost all that weight in 1998 I did it within the realm of 30-50g of carbs per day. That I lost that much weight on that many carbs shows how sensitive I am to glucose. That so many people experience the same things I did, the stalls, cravings, inability to stay on the traditional low-carb diet, shows how even modest carbs in the diet will set you back. The closer you can get to zero the better off you are. That's what Bear espouses and that the conclusion I came to after 8 years of frustration and failure.

5/16/2006 1:01 PM  
Blogger Kent said...

I am not in favor of no carb diet as I would lose a lot of the variety (which apparently doesn't or shouldn't matter) in my diet. I still eat a lower carb (20g-40g) than probably others at Maintenance, but I certainly prefer my green peppers, cabbage, and cauliflower options as well.

I would go along with statement that it does not seem as if the intake fat is necessarily consumed by the body in its entirety. My experience said much of that was passed on through. If you are following this WOE, I would hope a good vitamin is in your regimen and the #6 unwritten rule is to exercise.

5/16/2006 6:31 PM  
Blogger Newbirth said...

80% is the most available and cheapest meat at my grocery store. Since I have to watch calories, I have to pay more for the leanest beef.

I maintain well at about 60g of carbs. Since I am always trying to lose fat and gain muscle I need to stay below that.

40g is my cutoof for cravings. I stayed at about 40g over the holidays and had no cravings at all. Most of the time I'd rather have the mild cravings that come with a slightly high carb intake (50-60g).

5/16/2006 7:58 PM  
Blogger Newbirth said...

I was reminded this week what else happens when I cut back to 40g of carbs, and why I need to stay above that: headaches. I had a headache last night and again this morning at the gym. My carbs have been fairly low all week.

I'd rather deal with cravings than daily headaches.

5/17/2006 8:14 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

While I doubt I could live on this diet permanently, I have gone several days of only eating meat, eggs and cheese. Many raw fruits and vegeables upset my stomach, and I'll cut out almost all when I have problems.

Not sure if it's the "best" way to live, I too like variety (although probably not as much as most), but i do firmly believe that completely cutting out carbs is MUCH healthier than mostly cutting out fat or protein. And eating only animal products is definitly healthier than eating no animal products!

5/18/2006 7:13 PM  
Blogger Willeke said...

You can easily cure the headache that some of us get at a low carb diet, by drinking plenty of water. I'm always glad when I get it, for then I know that ketosis is really in full swing. I drink one or two big glasses of water and it's gone.

5/31/2006 2:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with low carb or no carb is that once you lose the pounds when u make the odd slip up and start eating carbs again the pounds pile back on faster than ever b4.
Low carbs lower your metabolism to much.
I did the low carb diet for a year and the headaches and low motivation irritability never left me, Low carb dieters like Aktkins tell us insilin production is bad. but are bodys are designed to make the stuff so there designed to use carbs maybe ? also are bodys realy like to store fat even when we diet they are bodys try hard to hang on to the stuff. Must be part of our evolutin and survival to keep fat stores. I'm not anti low carb put complete no carb is crazy I mean no veg is not a good thing. Are teeth are made to chew veg and meat.

8/03/2008 8:41 AM  
Blogger Anarky said...

just wanted to contribute

ive been on zero carb for 3 years off and on since i never needed to lose weight, but at one point i went 2 years on nothing but fried pork, hot dogs and some light cream

its a great diet but for me being an ectomorph i came to the conclusion that i needed some carbs to maintain an optimal energy level (might have something to do with the fact that ectomorphs have significantly less muscle than mesos and endos on average); i have a suspicion that this is not the case for endomorphs and mesomorphs but obviously cannot test it

also energy levels suffer but become much more stable

another thing is since i started 3 years ago i have not touched any fruits/vegetables or nuts and have not had the least craving for any of them; in fact i find myself slightly repulsed and angry when i think about how my parents used to force me to eat vegetables when i was young

one thing about eating only meat is that while it is more boring you do NOT get repulsed by meat no matter how long you eat it; i was always looking forward to my next meal of pork and hot dogs (cooked together in a skillet cut up into cubes), try eating any other item exclusively for two years except meat for 2 years straight and i guarrantee you you will be repulsed by it

ok to sum this up briefly:

ectomorph - meat + 50g carbs, no fruit no vegetables, no nuts (basically whatever carbs come in meat and liquid carbs are fine); example: a glass of orange juice with your meat

mesomorph - meat + 20g carbs, same rules

endomorph - meat + 10g carbs or 0g depending on how desperately you want to be thinner, same rules

the most important thing i learned from Bear wasnt about zero-carb it was his theory on intestinal scarring from rough plant food leading to nutrient malabsorption and accelerated aging

12/15/2008 9:25 AM  

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