Your First 6 Months: Setbacks & Breakthroughs


(Nathan Toben) #1

You know, there is SOME stuff on youtube and Meatheals about people’s first months on carnivore, but not much in the way of clear details and what to expect as a newbie. I am ZC 4 weeks and feeling like i would really appreciate hearing your stories of the first 6 months. Health improvements, weight loss/gain, energy levels, sleep, insulin sensitivity, blood sugar etc.

I have felt my cravings dissipate but i’m in this kind of blah headspace the last few days where my binge eating is trying to override the repetition of ground beef, bacon, ground beef, ground beef, bacon…and as a result, I’ve just been eating a lot (which is ok) and feeling a little off from it (reminants of trying to control calories) and would love some encouragement as i head into month 2. :orange_heart::orange_heart::orange_heart:

(Eleanor) #2

Hey Nathan, I hope some people give you some responses, as I’m about 3 weeks into this ZC lifestyle myself and would like to hear their feedback as well. Have you considered poultry or eggs to give a little more variety to your food choices?

(Ruth Beardsley) #3

I started ZC 16 weeks ago, from a long term keto diet. I went ZC to resolve glossitis.

I was HUNGRY from the start. The hunger settled about 8 weeks in. I used to fast regularly (once per month, 2-5 days) on keto, but not able to fast on ZC.

My bowel movements have been firm and much less in volume. I have experienced some liquid movements.
So my bowels have yet to work out wtf is going on.

I have gained about 8 lb over the past four months. I was likely a bit thin to start with. I am 5’7” and now weigh 138 lb. I would love to maintain at 130 lb.

I don’t have carb cravings, and don’t drink alcohol. I might drink for birthday or anniversary but other than that don’t take alcohol.

I am frustrated by the weight gain. My glossitis symptoms have improved slightly.

I quit coffee, then started again. I am going to quit again this week.

Coffee and cream irritate my tongue.

(Elizabeth Stern) #4

On keto you’re eating a lot of fiber when you go zero carb your colon takes sometimes several months to adapt to absorbing the liquid that the fiber used to take up. Sometimes eating a little bit leanner meat can help with that . However, if you’re hungry you need to be eating and even if its 4 lb of meat A Day hunger is a signal that your body wants nutrition. I gained 8 pounds the first month on zero carb after 2 years of keto, it is your body finally getting enough meat that you restrict when you’re on a ketogenic diet. I’m now in my tenth month and those pounds have just in the last month dropped back off. This isn’t a weight loss diet as you know it’s a way of eating and it looks as though you came here to be healthy, but what you want in your weight and what your body needs to be healthy may not be the same thing.

(Cathrine Helle) #5

I’m about 10-ish weeks ZC, perhaps three months now (I’m terrible at keeping track). I’m experiencing (still) some gut adjustments. Bowel movements are about every other day, but is not as firm as I would like. Oh well. I’ve lost some weight, but are still auto-immune (I have a skin-condition and one painful joint in one of my fingers). I’m thinking it’ll probably take AT LEAST six months before I see any improvements regarding this, as this has stayed about the same my whole life no matter how my diet’s been. It is, however, better, and I’m off the steroid creams :slight_smile:

So far what I’m enjoying the most is the simplicity of this way of eating. I can cook large amounts of lamb (the fatty and bony leg-cuts) that give me great meat and a wonderful fatty broth. Ideally I switch between this and steak on a daily basis, but steak is pretty costly here in Norway. So I also eat pork, eggs and some dairy.

I’m trying to limit (preferably cut out completely) coffee and dairy. Not doing great limiting coffee, but dairy is getting there.

This is BY FAR the best WOE I’ve tried in my adult life. I liked keto a lot as well, but I like this better :slight_smile:

(Nicole) #6

I found ZC to be slow on the breakthroughs. It took a few months before I was noticing that my pain was getting better. A bit faster on mental clarity and energy improvements.

The annoying part is how bad the symptoms are when they return after going off plan. I don’t know if it is because I am at a lower level of inflammation so I notice it more but yikes! I had some Halloween candy over 2 days, played some basketball and now my joints are all swollen and sore - very stiff - plus I had a knee injury. A month ago, without any candy or carbs, the only problem I had after working out was a very small amount of stiffness (very small) and some muscle soreness… DOMS is good! Joint pain that keeps me up at night is bad.

It’s amazing what some sugar can do! :frowning:

(Elizabeth Stern) #7

don’t go off plan? lol

(Alex) #8

how do you guys manage to do zero carb? is literally all you’re eating meat and eggs and certain cheeses? i try to stay as close to zero carbs as possible, but don’t think i would feel mentally right if i cut avocado and veggies out of my diet…

(Elizabeth Stern) #9

I eat 2-3 pounds of delicious fatty steaks and burgers, I don’t eat any cheese or eggs though- zc almost 10 months after 2 years very strict keto

(Alex) #10

i’ve only been strict keto for a bit over 2 months at this point. under 20g daily seems to be working well for me, for the time being, at least. what made you want to transition to zero carb versus under 20g?

(Elizabeth Stern) #11

I defined zero carb as the absence of any plant materials including plant oils. It’s not necessarily a zero carb all food has some carbs but it is pure carnivore meat based only. That being said, while I had success in losing some weight on keto, I had some health issues like lower leg edema some eye issues and just not generally feeling healthy even though keto is doing great. But the fact that I was starving all the time eating 1500 calories and just wanted to eat more meat, now I’m eating almost twice that in calories and I’m losing weight again. I did gain 8 pounds the first month of carnivore, I went a little crazy but I’m now in my tenth month and have just dropped that in the last 6 weeks. But I can’t see myself ever eating plants again. I just feel too good. and I did not change my quantity or the kind of meats I was eating my body I guess just decided it had prepared what it needed to and dropped that weight it had put on. But even if I stay where I am right now which is about 30 pounds overweight, I’m perfectly happy at age 62 being the size I’m in right now.

(Alex) #12

thanks for the info :smiley: and congrats on your success!!!

(Nicole) #13

Carnivore is just not much fun for me. I tolerate meat - don’t love it - so I’m always hoping I can eat other foods too. I stay on plan for a few months and then “try” some food - unsuccessfully.

(Elizabeth Stern) #14

Not everybody can be carnivore or even needs to be, why don’t you try and modified keto?

(Nicole) #15

Thanks. But I’ve been Keto for years. It helped with many things but time moves on, the body gets older, and now I’m looking for more help than it can give. Modified carnivore works well right now. :slight_smile: it just does nothing for my palate. :wink:

(Jodi) #16

I’ve been ZC/carnivore for just over 10 weeks. I eat only meats, no eggs, water only. Tried small amount of cheese twice but don’t really like the way my stomach felt after so probably won’t eat it very often. Don’t eat much processed meats, bacon is pretty much the main one. I keep my food pretty simple, and don’t have much variety…steaks, pork chops, chick wings and sardines mostly. Only salt to season food, and I notice I’m adding less than initially. I don’t count/track anything, but I’d guess I average at least 2 lbs of food a day.

Most of my cravings are gone, if I feel them returning at all I will literally just go eat some meat. I’ve noticed it seems to be a sign of hunger for me, which I think is weird but whatever, lol.

I had zero energy and was in a spiral of depression when I started. I don’t feel like the energizer bunny, but I have a nice, consistent energy and positive mood throughout the day. I was taking naps every day…usually 2-3+ hrs at a time…can’t remember the last time I even felt the urge. I started an anti-depressant a week before ZC, and fortunately I’ve already been able to wean off. To be honest, I’m not sure I could’ve started and stuck with the first couple weeks ZC without them because I was a mess. I also quit coffee 2 weeks before and I can honestly say I don’t miss it. I’d been drinking coffee over 20yrs.

Physically I am much stronger already, I don’t work out much yet, Zumba once or twice a week for fun primarily. I had no serious physical issues other than feeling progressively (a lot) weaker over the years. I am losing inches and weight, but the inches are all I really pay any attention to of those 2 measurements. And they are just a plus to Feeling like I have my life and myself back!

Bowel issues are fine. I seem to be able to go without for quite awhile…a week or so even, and then it seems they completely empty out over a day or three. They are all “normal” consistency.

Anytime I consider eating something not ZC I just remember how bad I felt right before I started. I have zero interest in a repeat experience.



(Ruth Beardsley) #18

My :poop: drives me nuts. I can go 3-5 days with no :poop: and then “go” 3 days in a row. My :poop: is still firm, needing some pushing. No amount of fat seems to make a difference.
Otherwise, my blood sugar is 4.8, my ketones are only .2.
I am still sitting about a kilogram heavier than I was going in. My weight has slowly come down after a 3 kg gain.

(Ruth Beardsley) #19

I was 9 st 7 when I started ZC, after 5-1/2 years keto. I was maintaining at 9 st 4 - 9 st 7, but have gained to 9 st 12. Weight is starting to drop. I am feeling much stronger in the legs. My waist is the smallest it has ever been. I gained an inch on my hips since going ZC.

I since bought digital scales. They are ruthless.

(Krishna) #20

I’m now at 7 weeks ZC, doing it for the second time: first time I was ZC for a little over a year, and improved, but didn’t lose weight. I’ve been Keto for about 5-6 years.

This time around I’m keeping it simple - just meat and water. 90% beef, some beef Liverwurst and bacon. Raw egg yolk for a little added nutrition. I started out eating a little over 2 pounds of meat a day, but I felt stuffed at times, so now I’m doing a little over a pound and a half. Eating 3 meals a day.

The first month was good. Reduced pain, better sleep,more mental clarity and energy. For the last 2 weeks, increased pain, weight is back up (I initially lost, then regained 5 pounds), sleep is worse. What has stayed good is my digestion.