I would like to try zero carb for a limited period of time. I did it yesterday - I ate nothing but bone broth, fat and some liver. I felt fine.
The reason for me to go zero carb is to bring my completely metabolically deranged body into some kind of better shape.
I need to lose some weight, but this is not my primary goal. My primary goal is for my body to become fat-adapted.
I am worried about developing hypothyroid because every time I go low carb I get chills, shivers, palpitations, insomnia, etc.
However, on my high carb days (about 60 grams of carbs total) I am completely drained, exhausted and just hibernate for most of the day.
What is a safe amount of time I can remain zero carb without messing up my thyroids? Would one week be too long?
Any advice is appreciated.
Vilhjalmur Stefansson did an experiment where he and his associate ate only meat for two years. They did fine. They considered eating organ meats essential, which does provide some carbohydrate. The amount of protein they ate would have kept them out of ketosis, btw. Also note that 1000 calories of fat will provide about 40 calories of glucose from the glycerol backbone of the triglycerides. Muscle meat contains some glycogen as well. So, zero carb is never really zero. And, of course, about half the protein you eat are amino acids that can be converted to sugar as needed quite easily.
My suggestion is that you stay at 50 grams or below and if you start to feel bad, eat a few more carbs that day. I really think the thyroid/low carb thing is a myth, but I've been wrong before.
Edit: spell checked his name - that's what happens when I try to remember Nordic names by heart.
I'm not sure that anyone knows the answer to this. I've eaten <25g for the past 9 months or so (with a short 30 day interlude for Whole30) without any adverse effects. In terms of macronutrients alone, I doubt that there is much difference between <25g and zero, the difference being slightly more gluconeogenesis (although since GNG + ketosis is a starvation protection mecanism, it should be able to cope with zero carb).
My concern about with eating zero vegetables would be micronutrients and antioxidants, I suppose you could cover this with a multi-vit, but I'd personally rather just eat some brocolli and spinach, both of which you can eat huge amounts of for 25g of carbs.
I know that some indigenous populations eat near to zero carb (the Inuit being the obvious example), but they do so by eating the whole of the animal, and not just a bit of steak and liver, so I'd try to eat a bit more organ meat if you can. The fact that these people have access to higher quality meat than the farm fed shit that we have to put up with is also probably a factor (I don't need to tell you to get the highest quality meat that you can), but when Stefansson did his zero-carb experiement he was probably eating "regular" meat too.
Being a pedant here, but I also doubt that the beef liver is properly zero carb. Glycogen and all that.
I'm interested to see how this work out for you. Good luck.
Dietitans rely heavily on the Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (Macronutrients) (2005) in providing nutritional advice. But even this publication says on page 275:
“The lower limit of dietary carbohydrate compatible with life apparently is zero, provided that adequate amounts of protein and fat are consumed.”
I noticed you saying you were sick. I went through kind of the same thing you're explaining. My suggestion would be to check out te GAPS diet. It might be interesting for you to see what kind of foods will help heal you..and see which carbs may not be good for you right now which could be helping to make you tired. The GAPS diet saved my life, seriously. And you can make it as low carb or as high carb as your body needs. It taught me how to really listen to what my body is saying. Google it and check it out! :)
You can do it for the rest of your life if you want.
The thyroid issues are coming from low calorie, not low or no carb. It is a good idea to count calories, to make sure you are getting enough. I'd go here for some calculations: Jenny Ruhl's nutrient calculator Other problems might come from not having enough variation in your diet and therefore not getting enough nutrition- but here again, this is an issue true of all diets. Here is an explanation of what happens with the thyroid on a low carb diet: Thyroid and LC
It is very likely you can handle more than zero- at least around 20g.
You sound like you might be metabolically damaged. Are you keeping track of your Blood Glucose with a meter? You might get some clues by tracking this. See how it correlates with how you feel. Read Jenny Rule's website www.bloodsugar101.com to see what your levels should be. Good luck.
Always respect your body's symptoms. If eating low-carb always gives you the symptoms you originally mentioned, that's a signal that something about your approach is not right for you. It might be worth the money to get a specialized thyroid panel, which includes a consultation with an alternative thyroid health expert. If you can't afford that, you can educate yourself about how to interpret such a panel on a site like stopthethyroidmadness.com.
If the GAPS diet doesn't seem to heal you, consider the FODMAPS diet.
Hey VB Owsley "The Bear" Stanley did it for 47 years I think. I'm in the process of adapting to lc right now for my own health reasons. I'm about 1 1/2 weeks in and I feel okay a little tired but not too bad I'm gonna keep at it for a month at least and decide if it's worth it to keep going.
You can try sipping on some lemon water in between meals to help support the liver/gallbladder that helps me from feeling really tired.
I'm not sure what length of time is safe for you, if it doesn't work out what about phd ratios? Or maybe eating more seafood to get some more iodine and selenium?
Sorry I don't have a real good answer but I hope it helps some, good luck!
Recovery from too few carbs 9 Answers