Thursday, July 16, 2009

Beginning Proper Zero-Carb Test Tomorrow!

Ok, there are no more snackable nuts in the house, I bought even more meat from the organic butcher, and have asked them to keep bags of frozen pork fat for me to pick up (and later I can ask for suet etc, but that's in shorter supply since their beasts tend to arrive pre-trimmed). So from tomorrow, it's meat only! I will only be supplementing with eggs and some dairy if I'm not getting a 60/40 balance of fat to protein, minimum.

No point in photographing today's food for your viewing pleasure - two chicken drumsticks for brunch (missed breakfast, then couldn't wait for lunchtime), and two chicken leg quarters for dinner. Washed down with the last of the almonds.

I have also received my first shipment of Mark Sisson's Damage Control Master Formula - good timing in case my meat only diet doesn't meet all my needs despite my quality of meat, but bad timing since I won't be able to evaluate the diet and the supplement separately. However, I can say for now that after taking the supplement last night, I woke up this morning before my alarm and felt more refreshed than usual despite my delayed bedtime, and I did not have the weird headache sensation today like I had experienced every other day in the past few days. So something's working!

I'm going to weigh in and take all my measurements tomorrow, so I can track any progress properly. I hadn't taken measurements for a while, but I've been on the scales, yet while in the past couple of days my weight has gone up a little, I had an awful time finding a flattering outfit this morning since my favourite shirts weren't hugging my waist the way I like them to! And I couldn't find a belt anywhere! Maybe I should stop buying such nice, figure-hugging clothes until I have the figure I was made to have. Or, start splashing out on some nice black patent-leather belts... Hmmm, what a difficult decision... And then I'll need shoes to complement the belt... And handbags...

That's right, I'm on an all-meat diet, and I'm still so girly it hurts. :)


Yummy Gatherer said...

I like this carnivore experiment, very interesting!

Isn't it nice to have the problem of your clothes being too roomy? I have been having the same "issue" lately. Everything looks like a tent! Time for shopping! :)

Mark said...

I've been taking the Master Formula for a month now and I honestly don't feel any different. In the past I was taking a standard multivitamin. I'll keep with it for a few months though.

Mark said...

Curious - how will you really know if you are getting the 60/40 you are looking for? Fitday analysis?

I always thought any calorie counting/macro counting was a little voodoo-ish. How do you know really when most of these food count databases are so generic? Also, estimating portions is a drag (though easier I suppose if you are estimating on thing, like steak!)

One thing that caught my eye with the pemmican article on the carnivorous site was that it seemed pretty easy to control the ratio as the recipe is specific - 50% amimal fat, 50% low fat meat. I recall the author of that article mentioning how it was easier to control the ratio.

I'm curious to see how it goes! I might try it out some day and see if my nightly nut cravings (no doubt carb craving) vanishes...

Jezwyn said...

I have logged my foods using Spark People since the beginning of the year - it's not a perfect system, but it's good to get a grasp of what kind of figures correlate with weeks I show fat loss. As we know, calorie counts can be misleading but it's close enough to learn what amounts of food your body needs.

The point of zero carb is that you can essentially eat ad libitum - until you are satisfied. If you are trying to aim for pseudo-arbitrary figures for each macronutrient, then that's a little extreme as it ignores where those figures are coming from, how much can be digested, the amount of insulin circulating and what that does to energy availability, etc.

I wouldn't be brandishing any kind of food content tracking as voodoo - if anything, it overcomplicates aspects, and simplifies very few. Calorie counting can be over-simplification, but caloric restriction does bring about results (albeit through suffering, starvation, and metabolic disorder if merely restricting dietary fat). Carb-counting, as we know, can have significant positive effects without the need for calorie counting (to a point) as we can rely on our own internal hunger regulation.

Estimating portions is a drag? Eat until you are full. Learn how big your meal usually needs to be. Estimate your portion just so you don't keep wasting so much food, or stuff yourself unconsciously in a learned need to clean the plate. That's a drag?

The pemmican 50/50 is different to my 60/40 - 50/50 is the amount used in the recipe, whereas 60/40 is the percentage of calories each group makes up in my daily intake. With meat alone, I suspect I'll have to learn the percentages provided by certain cuts of meat (averages, obviously) and go from there. Supplementing with bacon helps.

There's no 'perfect' - we work with what we have. At the moment we have old-school macronutrient and calorie calculations, but I'm sure in the future that we'll know even more precisely the benefits and energy availability of all foods available on the planet - or, at least, of the foods we're actually meant to eat. :)

Mark said...

Estimating portions so that you can plug them into fitday for a calorie count or to figure out if you got 60% fat for the day is a drag (IMO). I've done it before and it is always guess work - how do you weigh everything if your meals are at all complicated? It would quickly get discouraging and forces you to avoid complex and interesting meals to get the numbers right.

I am all about eating until I am full. I keep filling my plate with #primal food and stop when I am done....what I don't eat, I save for later. Easy! It's why I think this way of life is doable over the long haul - no estimating, just eating the right (when actually hungry) things to satiation.

I guess I was just curious about getting to that 60%/40% F/P ratio - why do you care?

Lastly - I didn't see the 50/50 pemmican recipe as different. Yes, the recipe uses 50% straight animal fat and then a lean cut of meat for the other 50%, but the meat has a good portion of fat in it as well so that leads to at least a 60/40 F/P final ratio. I guess it depends on how fatty the meat you use to make the jerky is. If you are interested in seeing how a ratio of protein/fat is on body composition, the pemmician recipe seemed like the easiet way to get it (and something I could see myself doing if I wanted to try this). Otherwise you need to estimate each unique meal. This is admittedly easier when eating a straight carnivorous menu as there are only a few components but still, a "drag" IMO.

Even eating #primally, I still get carb binges (nuts are a problem). I wonder if those would completely go away if I moved to the diet you are trying...keep us posted!

Jezwyn said...

I have a kitchen scale, I use it if I'm trying a new food or new cut and haven't learned how satisfying or caloric/carby it is. Doesn't take that much effort. I am logging mine in Spark People so that I can learn what proportions I need in order to follow the ZC guidelines I have been given. The point of an experiment is to know what's actually being played with, so estimation is inappropriate. In terms of estimating how fatty a cut of meat is, I go on averages and then calculate according to weight.

I also weigh everything if I am creating a new meal - it wouldn't help people who want to try my recipes if I didn't list accurate measurements! It takes maybe 5 seconds to weigh and note each item - not that hard, no matter how complicated the meal. Did you see my Primal Lasagna? I've been tracking my food for six months now since I'm trying to lose weight - it's not discouraging. Don't generalise your own opinions to be the truth for others. If you cook your own food (and why wouldn't you?) it doesn't matter how complex the meal is - you can measure the ingredients as you go.

I only care about the 60/40 since I am trying to follow ZC as defined by the sources I originally linked to. It's important to be getting enough fat to result in fat loss, and also to achieve satiety without over-indulging in protein, which can trigger insulin production. So if I am meeting this guideline, I can more accurately analyse my own response to what is defined as Zero Carb.

The pemmican recipe is different. If you take 100g fat and 100g lean meat, you'll end up with 900kcal from fat (approx) and 400kcal from protein (max). That's not 60/40. Basic maths there, champ. The recipe calls for lean meat, so the fattiness of the meat should not be a variable, but if you'll notice, fat in the meat will push the fat % up, not bring the ratio closer to 60/40. Hopefully you already understand why 50/50 fat to protein is not desirable. Many of the ZC sources encourage ratios as high as 80/20.

If you are still addicted to sweetness, you really should try cutting it out altogether. Pretty much every sources I've read, from Atkins through to Eades and the ZC squad, reinforce that.