Zero carb diet is something I get asked about almost every single day! In order to demystify it, I will seek inspiration from the ancestors. In particular, Ancient Greeks and Romans created many proverbs for life under different circumstances. Now, if a proverb would describe a Zero Carb Diet it definitely would be the famous:
Audentes Fortuna Iuvat
Fortune Favours The Bold
If you are a person who wants to drop your body fat percentage to a single digit, this diet is the most efficient weapon to get chiselled! Not only that the results will come quicker than with any other diet, but the success is also guaranteed! In general, Low Carb Diets have a reduction of carbohydrate intake as a goal. If Low Carb Diet would be “the police for the carbs”, then Zero Carb Diet would be “the special forces”!
How does Zero Carb Diet work?
In the past 80 years, the majority of people keep consuming a high-carb diet predominantly! This carb overdose leads to a rapid blood sugar skyrocketing and the secretion of enormous amounts of insulin. This happens several times during the day! Of course, the insulin is an anabolic hormone and it transfers the nutrients into the muscles for recovery. When it comes to fat loss, things are more complicated. The secretion of insulin will eliminate any chance to burn fat and it will work quite the opposite. Any time we consume food we spike the insulin. This is one of those “de facto” things!
In order to burn fat, we need to have the lowest possible insulin level
At the same time, we need the secretion of glucagon from the pancreas. Glucagon in combination with human growth hormone and other hormones will be the companion we need in this fat loss journey! When it comes to Zero Carb the body is depleted of carbohydrates, aka glycogen. At this point, the body needs an alternative source of energy. That would be the fat. Of course, this is a well-known fact for Ketonians.
Keeping your carbohydrate consumption strictly below 10 grams per day, will force your body to target the lower abdominal section.
Why is this so?
A lot of insulin receptors can be found in the abdominal area. As time is passing you will get much leaner! The nutritional fats play a crucial role in this diet. In fact, if we are consuming a big amount of fats the body will just rely on them. At this point, our body will start producing ketones and it will not burn our own fat. The best solution is to slightly decrease the amount of fat we are consuming. This way the body will adjust to the new nutritional environment. By following these steps, our body will not have another choice but to start burning its own fat.
What if we start to lose our muscle mass?
The body may look for protein energy source. This might lead to our own muscles! In fact, our body will break down muscle tissue into amino acids to keep supplying itself with the necessary energy. This process is called catabolism. If we keep supplying our bodies with quality proteins, which are offering positive nitrogen balance, we will prevent any muscle loss from catabolism. Catabolism can take place only if we have a negative nitrogen balance.
If you don’t know what is nitrogen balance I will try to explain it as simple as possible. In order to make several functions, the body needs nitrogen. Furthermore, nitrogen is available only in one macronutrient – protein. Now, the proteins are structured from two kinds of amino acids. The essential and the non-essential amino acids. Our body needs to receive essential aminos through nutrition. On the other side, even though we need to intake non-essential aminos also, our body can produce them on its own.
I mentioned before that we need high-quality proteins in order to prevent the catabolism. If we are consuming proteins with great amino profiles we will have a positive nitrogen balance. This brings all the positive effects along. If you are experiencing the negative nitrogen balance, it means you are not receiving enough of proteins.
When you are protein deficient, the body doesn’t have another alternative but to attack its own muscle tissues. It will extract nitrogen from there to keep making the proper functions. Of course, this means catabolism. What would be the exercise and nutrition without rest? Rest is the catalyst when it comes to results! If rest could be described through the mathematics, it would be equal to recovery.
How does Zero Carb Diet look?
This diet shares the same goal with a ketogenic diet or low-carb diet. The only difference is that we need to eliminate the carbs to almost a zero point. Zero Carb Diet will exclude all the fruits, vegetables, cow’s dairy and even hen eggs. Quail eggs would be a better choice due to very low carb content. Literally, it is focusing on foods that don’t contain any carbs. This leaves us with meat, fish and fats.
The sources of your food should be always healthy and organic. You really don’t need anything artificial or with industrial additives. Forget the stabilisers, emulsifiers, lecithins etc… Even though you think that things are more than strict, here’s a list of Zero Carb friendly foods:
- Sea Food
- Internal Organs
- Goat Butter
- Cows’ Butter
- Cod Liver Oil
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Of course, you can consume water, coffee, tea and mineral water. I think it would be only beneficial for the organism to receive minerals and all the health benefits through coffee and teas.
The Inuit marvel
I completely understand if you think this is madness but let me introduce you to Inuit. No, Inuit is not an alien race but a group of people known as Eskimos living in the Arctic territory of Canada, Alaska and Greenland. What is making Inuit remarkable, is their ability to adapt and survive in an extremely cold environment. But food and survival are interlaced since the existence of our race! Inuit were able to make fat adaptation and low-carb or even non-carb living into an art.
The proof from Arctic explorers
A US Army Lieutenant named Frederick Gustavus Schwatka had been sent in 1878 to find the lost Franklin’s expedition and had been assisted by the Inuit. Why is this important? Here lays the proof of Zero Carb diet efficiency! This expedition lasted eleven months and seven days and they covered 4,360 km or 2,709 miles.
Besides that this expedition was the longest which ever happened, the expeditors were eating exactly the same food as the Inuit. In his personal calendar, Schwatka wrote that during the adaptation to this diet, they were starting feeling sick and tired. But after a few weeks, these symptoms disappeared. They were feeling good to travel again.
Another example is, the famous and honorary member of the American Polar Society Vilhjalmur Stefansson. He lived among an Inuit group during the 1920s. During his stay with the Inuit, he observed that this low-carb diet had not only any negative effect to Inuit people, but also to himself! This traditional diet of Inuit does not contain any plant-based foods because of the extreme cold. This gives us the chance to see, not only the Zero Carb Diet but also the zero fibre diet in real life.
In some of my previous articles, we talked about fasted training and the energy systems of the body. Of course, the performance in the past decades has been “carbonised”. The carbs became the performance synonym! Bananas, oats, potatoes, rice, pasta, energy drinks, pre-workout supplements and all these performance boosters have flooded our nutrition. All this in order to make athlete’s performance better.
A different perspective
As a Keto athlete or Zero Carb athlete, I can see things from a different perspective. I passed through a big carboholism and supplement addiction in the past. Now, things are completely different and professional measurements or mirror image are giving the truth.
When I started my Ketogenic journey I had 14,3% of body fat. This is equal to 14,5 kg or 32 Lb. My main goal was to bring body fat down to single digit. Now, pay attention! If 1 kg or 2.2 Lb of body fat contains 7,000 calories, how many calories I had stored up to me? Yes, I had 101.500 calories stored as a reserve in my body! The amount of calories is astronomical, isn’t it? By implementing HIIT, IF, strict and clean ketogenic diet with maximum 30g of net carbs, I reached 9,8% of body fat. This is 8,8 kg or 19 lb. of body fat. The calories form 101.500 now went into 61,600.
Can you imagine what is it to run on fat?
What actually means to be fat adapted? All this super concentrate energy is available to us at any moment to use. All this without the need to replenish it externally by consuming food and raising insulin like sugar burners.
Besides that, whenever we raise the insulin we stop the fat burning process. The liver and muscles are not capable to store more than 2,400 calories all together. Of course, this means in less than 2 hours you will run out of fuel. You will have to refuel your body with food, stop the burning process and raise insulin.
Do we need insulin at all then?
Yes, we need insulin for vital functions. However, our main goal is to be insulin sensitive not insensitive. This will give us the ability to recover much faster than anyone else who runs on glucose. The less insulin we produce, the most we will take out of it. We actually want our pancreas to secrete glucagon which works the opposite from insulin.
Glucagon is a hormone that promotes fat burning. But this is happening because glucagon gives the advantage to another hormone which is called hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL). This is enabling us to burn fat.
While you are doing fasted training, hormones like human growth hormone will stop the catabolism. There is not the reason to fear the muscle mass loss. Another key component is the ketone body beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB). This ketone body will spare your muscle mass work and stop a pathway called leucine oxidation.
In the end, not only you will not lose mass, you will burn fat and your performance will be on the pick!
If you are interested in learning more, maybe switching to Zero Carb diet or if you would like to obtain a meal + exercise plan designed by me, don’t hesitate to send me an e-mail at [email protected]