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Thread: Zero Carbs - Calorie Deficit

  1. #1
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    Default Zero Carbs - Calorie Deficit

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    I have a friend - 51 years old - who I’ve introduced to Starting Strength. Gave him the book and explained it top to bottom. That said, there’s an interesting situation in that he was diagnosed with insulin resistance/metabolic syndrome 10 months ago. He decided to stop eating carbohydrates - ALL CARBS - in an effort to fix his metabolic issues. He refuses to eat carbs again out of fear of falling back into the same problems. My question is what can he expect to accomplish with SS while eating zero carbs and being in a deficit? Obviously long term linear progress is out the window. What benefits can he get? What expectations other than being exhausted? Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
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    Jul 2007
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    He'll need carbs for recovery, and chronic soreness will be a problem if he's eating no carbs. Mention it to him, and just let him figure this out for himself.

  3. #3
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    Workout #1 is tonight. I'll be there to make sure it's done by the book. I believe, and will wager, his diet will not allow complete recovery from this very first session. I'm sure non recovery from workout #1 is rare - but I believe we will see it here. I'll report back.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2023
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    I think he can do just fine. There is no reason to eat in a deficit though, he can up the fat and get plenty of calories. I've eaten basically zero carbs for the past few years and my energy is better than ever, at 46.

    I think the trick to carbs is you either eat none or you eat a lot. The in between causes trouble with energy.

    Just make sure he eats enough.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
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    Quote Originally Posted by JosephMayoGolf View Post
    He refuses to eat carbs again out of fear of falling back into the same problems.
    I did a cut once, for similar reasons to your friend's, and tried doing it via keto. It worked really well for stripping off weight, and markedly helped me lose visceral fat. That said, I never intended that as a lifestyle, and I don't plan on doing it again. Sure enough, it tanked my lifts, which I expected, but it also left me beat down and sore all the time. I'm glad I did it, and I'm glad not to be doing it again.

    That said, if your buddy continues to go zero carb over time, despite mounting evidence and experience mitigating against it, then I'd say it's not an exaggeration to say he's sliding into the realm of an eating disorder. There's the old saw about, "A cat that sits on a hot stove once will never sit on a hot stove again. But neither will it sit on a cold one."

    Has he been carbphobic for the entire 10 months since his diagnosis? Has he been re-seen since then, and has the diagnosis changed?

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