No Carb Diet - A Detailed Guide

The No Carb Diet is the strictest and most effective diet in the family of carbohydrate reduction diets. The idea is to go completely without carbs. Carbs are basically complex structures of sugars. They are the preferred energy source for your body, which also means that body fat won't be reduced as long as carbs are available.

When you cut the carbs to zero, your body will be forced to change its metabolism to burning fat. This requires some body processes that time a while. It is normal to feel tired in the first few days.

If you want to try it - and I recommend that you do - here is a very comprehensive guide for you.

What happens during a No Carb Diet?

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In a No Carb Diet, you change your eating habits. You eat food that closely resembles the stone age way of eating - because people in the stone age did not have noodles, bread and other manufactured foods that were unnaturally high in carbs.

But to go one step further, you are also doing without those foods that even stone age people might have come across rarely - like fruits. By leaving out these things, you achieve two things: The burning of fat is at its maximum, since there are no sugars in the way of a constant fat reduction, and your body has the strongest need to shift to a fat burning mechanism as quickly as possible.

On a biological level, once you cut off carbs completely, your body is in a state of surprise. It used to get energy from carbs, and now, all of a sudden, you are telling your body that "the good times are over". This is the equivalent of a stone age person running into a period of limited food supply. Your body knows: It's no longer time to store fat, it's time to burn fat.

While your body burns fat, it's necessary to make sure that it doesn't burn muscle tissue too much. The body will like to burn muscles, but we can counter this development by giving your body protein. Protein is the building material for muscles. Fantastically, many foods that have zero carbs also have a lot of protein for rebuilding muscles!

How long does it take to get used to a no carb diet?

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There is a stage that I like to call the "crawling stage". It happens when you give your body a cold start at the low carb diet, going from the normal to zero carbs instantly.

This phase has several side effects you should be aware of, but not worried. One effect is what I previously called "crawling". Well, I use that word in a humerous way. You may feel like it's easier to crawl around the house than to walk - because you feel very tired. Feeling tired is actually a good thing - it shows that your body has a challenge to face: The challenge of not having sugar available. This means the diet is working.

Another thing that happens is that your view may get black or turn dark. It's like what happens when you are about to faint. Sometimes, this occurs when you try to get up from bed or from sofa after having rested for a while. Try to go easy on yourself and avoid physical activities. The No Carb Diet is one of the few diets that does not require sports activities to lose weight.

The crawling stage takes, from my experience, about two to three days. That means that your best time to start this diet is the very beginning of a weekend (precisely the time you leave work on a friday, for example).
Once the first few days are over, you still won't feel great, but at least you can cope with the situation because your energy level is more balanced, as your body gets used to things.

The next stage is already the final stage of transition. It takes between one and two weeks. It's the time when you still feel tired and as if you can't perform to your maximum both mentally and physically. It's important that you endure in this time of hardship. I can comfort you by saying that it's not necessary to suffer hunger or pain - you are just tired. It passes at some point and you feel better.

When the time of getting used to the diet is over, you are going to feel great. You suddenly have energy available and can even go long periods of time without food. Your colleagues will be wondering how you can be okay without food, and you won't depend on food as much as before. Another great thing: You will be able to walk through a grocery without constantly being bombarded with cravings. You will feel indifference towards sweet temptations!

By the way: If you are not comfortable with feeling extremely tired and want to start your diet smoothly, check out my post about a smooth transition into the no carb diet.

How exactly do I plan my meals and my daily routine?

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Now it's time to talk about how you are going to set up your diet.

Let's begin with your daily routine. You just go about your days as you always do, the only restrictions are about food and, depending on how you feel, physical activity (go easy on yourself, and once you feel better, you can go for walks - only if you want to).

If you have to get up early in the morning and go to work, the easiest way to start your day with zero carbs is to drink a protein shake. I made a review on one protein shake that has less than 1 g of carbs, therefore you can count is as zero. Your shake must be prepared without milk! Milk has many carbs and doesn't work in a no carb diet. Use water, it has absolutely zero energy and is always a good choice.

As part of your daily routine, it's also necessary to only eat every four hours or less (which means that five hours is also okay). Although it is occasionally okay to not eat for more than five hours, this should be an exception. Of course you don't have to wake up at night to eat. But as for other times, if you wait for too long, your body will go diet will go into a stall if you deprive yourself of food altogether.

The most important thing to eat in a No Carb Diet is protein. And as we have established before, it is possible to get protein without carbs.

One thing is always possible, and that's the protein shake. Whenever you don't have time for a meal, or you don't know what to prepare for yourself, you can't go wrong with a protein shake with water.

The other option is to prepare a meal without carbs. I made a list of my personal top 5 no carb recipes. By the way these meals are composed, you quickly get an idea of what you should and shouldn't add. You will notice that no carb meals usually consist of either a meat or cheese, while butter is also allowed. On top of that, you will notice that vegetables and fruits are missing. The reason for that is that vegetables and fruits always have some carbs.

The only trick you can use to keep your meal at zero carbs is to use a very low amount of plants. For example, you can use onion, broccoli, cucumber and the like, but only very little since the low amount of plants will add up to a forgettable amount of carbs. In other words, the carbs that are in those foods are already burned while you prepare your meal! That's what you can call no carb!

Another trick: Be very generous with herbs and also with spices. They weigh so little and have so little energy in them, yet they add so much flavor. You can feel very free about these two ingredients!

Is "no carb" really without carbs?

Some people try to make a No Carb Diet look bad by saying it's actually never really no carb. The reason for that is that foods always have micro traces of carbs. A piece of meat that officially has no carbs may still have slightly below 1 g of carbs. And once you add a handful of vegetables, you may also have a handful of carbs.

But this should not annoy you. You see, while you prepare your meal, you already burn sugars. And even tiny amounts of carbs don't immediately stop a diet. It would be ridiculous for your body to go through the effort of changing from fat to carb burning just to burn those 2, 3, 4 carbs that find their way into your meal. So you can be glad that there is a margin of tolerance.

If you are very nit-picky about carbs, just jump up and down for ten seconds while you are in the kitchen. I guarantee you, now you have just gotten rid of the energy that's going to be added back to you later.

What about vitamins?

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By now you have noticed that plants are mostly missing in this diet. You might be thinking about vitamins and minerals now. How are you going to stay healthy if you can't eat vegetables?

There are two ways you can go: You can allow yourself a bowl of salad a day. The salad should consist only of vegetables, and you may sprinkle sesame seed or lax seed on top for better digestion (they also have no carbs!).
Eating salad turns your No Carb Diet into a Low Carb Diet. This does not mean that your diet is less effective. By adding vitamins, your diet might even work better. So it's really up to you and I encourage you to eat lots of vegetables.

However, if you want to stay really strict, it is okay for some time to go without vegetables. But then, you need to make up for the lack of vitamins and minerals with supplements. Dietary supplements can help get what's missing. They can be considered no carb since one pill or tablet is really small and contains very little sugar, if any at all.
To increase the effectiveness of things like vitamin C, you should consider squeezing a lemon and drinking all your vitamin supplements with lemon juice. I know it tastes very bitter, but then just drink a glass of water after that.

For how long can I keep going like this?

A No Carb Diet can be applied for as long as you like. Most people sooner or later go for a less strict low carb diet so that they can enjoy tasty meals with few carbs again. The No Carb Diet is designed as a temporary form of very quick weight loss, and not as a permanent way of living.

If you allow at least one bowl of salad a day, your diet is safe for several weeks without problems to be expected. But as I said, it's more than likely you will voluntarily return to a low carb diet in order to enjoy healthy meals that taste good.

Why not have some low carb and some no carb days? That's another way how to go about it in the long run.

How much weight loss can I expect?

A number of factors play a role here. You can read more here: How much weight can I lose in a week, a month etc.

Of course, there are other ways how you can maximize your results. The No Carb Diet is the cornerstone of an extremely fast and effective diet. If you add more pieces to the whole picture, your diet can make you lose weight super fast. Here are some further tips on very rapid weight loss.

So in the end, what you can say is that you can lose a lot of weight without having to exercise, but if you are very motivated, you can put more effort into weight loss.

I personally recommend that you start with a no carb diet that you keep up for at least one week. This will speed up the process of your body getting used to burning fat instead of sugars. Everything you do after that is up to you.

Finally, I would like to let you know that I lost almost 25 % of my weight, and my brother even lost a third of his weight. I strongly believe that low carb and no carb are the ways to go.

Please check out my other posts. They are all about this topic and give you a complete picture of all the little things that might help, including psychological advice and tips and tricks you don't find so easily on other websites.
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