Essentially the Zero Carb Diet is an all meat diet. Only food from the animal kingdom is consumed. No plants at all. It is a carnivorous diet.
I think the term Zero Carb is slightly misleading as you will find minimal carbs in most food, and there are some plants that have next to no carbs. The term ‘Carnivorous Diet’ is probably closer to what it actually is. However, the term Zero Carb is what was chosen and its stuck. Plus, it’s easier to spell!
So, you eat meat and drink water. No diet soda even if it is zero carb soda. No salad, even if it has zero carbs. You can eat only from the animal kingdom. So for get about Avocado and Coconut Oil and the magical MCT oils that cost a fortune, ifs its not an animal then it’s a no go!
Here is a list of approved foods:
Organ meat – Kidney, Liver, Heart
Animal Fat – Lard, Tallow, Bacon grease, Butter & Ghee
Here is a list of foods that are allowed, but need to be eaten in moderation or not at all by some depending on if your body tolerates it or not:
Processed meats – You need to check the packaging on processed meats. They use fillers such as sugar and breadcrumbs in some processed meats. You are always best off picking meats that are not processed, this way you know nothing has been added.
Spices & Herbs – Spices and herbs are plants, but in small amounts for seasoning is acceptable. You need to use your own judgement on this. If this is going to help you in the early days then it is worth using. If you can it is worth trying to take this out your diet. A big part of the zero carb diet is listening to our body, to see when you are hungry and feed yourself and to stop when you are full. Seasoning can make you eat more meat than you need.
Dairy – If you are going to have cheese or cream then make sure its always the full fat, and any processed cheese (like spreads) its always worth checking the packages. It may slow down weight loss for some people, and some people are fine. Milk is a no go. It is high in Lactose which is a diary sugar, use full fat cream instead on the zero carb diet.
Mayonnaise – Mayo is made with vegetable oil and so isn’t optimal for this diet. Also, most mayo is made with soybean which is believed to be detrimental to health. This is one I would cut out, but if you mix small amounts with egg or tuna and that helps you through the induction phase of the zero carb diet then its better then falling off the wagon completely.
There are lots of recipes out there use animal fat instead of vegetable oil. It may be worth trying some of those.
Coffee – Some people on the zero carb diet have coffee and are fine, and some cut it out. It is an appetite suppressant and will mess with the signals of hunger in your body. If you enjoy coffee try and save it for after meals when you are already full. Black is optimal, but cream is ok if you are having dairy. I would put tea in this category also.
Here is a list of absolute no go foods and is not included in the zero carb diet in any amount:
Vegetable oils – This includes Avocado oil, Olive oil or Coconut oil
We do not include anything that is sweet in taste. Including soda/fizzy drinks with artificial sweetener. If you keep these in your diet you will never lose the craving for sweet. Because of their sweetness it will also incite an insulin response. Artificial sweeteners have addictive qualities and will make this diet harder for you.
When starting this diet, you need to decide which items for the second list you are wanting to include or exclude. It maybe that to start you will continue with cheese and coffee to make that transition easier. Then over time you may look to phase these items out of your diet. As you progress and your body gets healthier and you recognise what you need easier, your tastes will change and you might naturally take these out of your diet.
Its all about seeing what works best for you. Make sure you eat as much of list one as you need, then supplement with list two if you wish but NEVER have anything in list three.
At the start you will question a lot about certain foods that are zero carb and wonder if that would be acceptable. I would say if its not from the animal kingdom then its likely a NO, if its not in this list its likely a NO. If you are still not convinced then find a group on Facebook and ask your question there. Someone would most likely have asked already so you can do a search and find out.
If in doubt remember: Eat Meat. Drink Water.