What is Ultra Low Carb

What is Ultra Low-Carb (ULC)?

This is Part 2 of The Switch from Low-Fat to Low-Carb Series.
Read Part 1 – Why We Switched From Low-Fat to Low-Carb | Part 3 – What is Carb Nite?

Our decision to make the switch from low-fat to low-carb was easy.

We had tried just about everything out there and nothing gave us what we ultimately wanted – freedom. Freedom to eat delicious food that would also provides us with what our bodies needed for our goals, our health and a sustainable life.

We used to think that in order achieve a goal we would have to sacrifice something – which was almost always something we wanted. Maybe you or someone you know has had a similar experience. I think we’ve all been there at some point – sacrificing something in order to achieve a goal. But what we found while using The Carb Nite Solution® was that there really wasn’t a sacrifice involved. At least not for us. Yes, we limit our carbohydrate intake most days of the week. But, what we replace the carbs with is something we, and so many others love including in their everyday meals – FAT – which you can read more about here.  
heart-shaped bacon strips
Please pass the bacon!

So what does Ultra Low-Carb (ULC) mean?

You’ve probably heard of “low-carb”, so what’s the difference? Ultra Low-Carb means that your total usable carb count does not exceed 30 grams a day, whereas most “low-carb” programs have limits as high as 50-60 grams a day.

Why so low?

Here’s an excerpt from The Carb Nite Solution® to help explain the difference:

The Carb Nite Solution“During an ultra low-carb diet, the body stops making some very special and bothersome enzymes. These enzymes convert carbohydrates into fat, which can then be stored as body fat. The ultra low-carb diet cuts off the one avenue available through which carbohydrates can become body fat, guaranteeing that an overdose of carbs has no possible way of heading to your stomach or thighs in the form of body fat. On the other hand, with their extra carb allowance, simple low-carb diets trigger the production of these carb-to-fat converting enzymes making it possible to store all those extra carbs you thought you were enjoying as fat.”

Benefits of Ultra Low-Carb:

The list of ULC benefits seems to grow longer every day, but some of the most important and obvious benefits are:

  1. The preservation of lean body mass (muscle – which gives us curves and shape in all the right places),
  2. ULC + high fat turns your body into a fat-burning machine.
  3. Unlike traditional diets which are generally stressors on the body, ULC keeps cortisol and insulin levels low making it more difficult for your body to produce new fat cells.
  4. Controlled ghrelin levels (the hunger hormone), which means you’ll feel fuller longer and clear of any “hangry” episodes.

“What else can I eat if I’m not suppose to eat carbs?”

carb-nite-alex-navarro
Ultra Low-Carb for a few days then Carb Nite!

Turns out the list of yummy foods that you can eat is way longer than the list of foods that you just have to wait on. For me, I actually prefer the foods that I eat on my ULC days over the carb-rich foods I devour on my Carb Nites. Don’t get me wrong, Mary and I LOVE Carb Nite, and we thoroughly enjoy the treats we eat, but we don’t feel as good as when we’re eating ULC.   When we’re ULC we feel better overall. Our minds are clear, our bodies run like well-oiled machines and  we’re not slaves to food. We feed our bodies what they need and in doing so we’ve learned more about what they actually need versus what they want. Plus, we love the types of foods we can eat on our ULC days and have a blast brainstorming new ULC ideas. Bottom line: We want to eat like Queens, regardless of what our macronutrients breakdown should be for our goals and our life and we think you should too! This is why we created Transforming Recipes – The Ultra Low-Carb Edition. We eat well everyday and there’s no reason you can’t too. Sure, some might still call this a “diet”, but we simply call it “the way we eat”.

We don’t feel restricted and neither should you.

Just take a look at what a normal ULC day is for us:

Example of Ultra Low-Carb Meal
  • Morning: Cup of coffee with heavy cream and coconut oil (I like them blended together a little for a frothy morning treat)
  • Late breakfast/lunch: Whole Eggs cooked with butter and several pieces of bacon or sausage
  • Afternoon snack: Pork rinds, cheese sticks or slices, handful of nuts, salami with spicy mustard
  • Dinner: Grass-fed beef with veggies cooked in butter or something like our Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf
  • Late evening snack or ULC dessert: Chocolate milk made with coconut milk and unsweetened cocoa powder or something like our Butter Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

What if I eat out for most of my meals?

Sometimes we find that to be even easier than preparing meals at home. Here’s an example menu when we’re traveling or eat out with friends:

  • Morning: Cup of coffee with half and half (Starbucks carries heavy cream, you just have to ask for it!) or you can always add some butter to it too!
  • Late breakfast/lunch: Whole eggs any style with bacon or sausage, or a protein-packed omelette with cheese, or even a bunless with burger with cheese and the usual fixings. (I love the Colorado Omelette from IHop – it’s loaded with bacon, sausage, shredded beef, onions and peppers and topped with salsa – Just be sure to ask for REAL eggs when ordering their omelettes because they add PANCAKE BATTER to their eggs!!!!!!)
  • Afternoon snack: Same as above. Even stopping into a gas station or convenient store you can always find mixed nuts, beef jerky, pork rinds and sometimes even cheese sticks to snack on.
  • Dinner: Chicken or steak salad, fajitas minus the tortillas, blue cheese and bacon bunless burger, or maybe a salmon steak with seasonal veggies cooked in butter. (Texas Roadhouse’s 11oz. sirloin steak is a fave of mine. I’ll get it with green beans and ham hock.)
Example of Ultra Low-Carb Meal Steak and asparagus
In and Out Burger Protein Style

Being able to eat out anytime and just about anywhere, has been one of the biggest advantages of this lifestyle. We’ve learned how to navigate the various menus – something we’ll share more about soon -and can enjoy meals out with friends and family with ease.

Stay tuned…

We know starting something new is going to have its challenges, especially when it comes to changing your eating habits. We want to help make the transition as easy as possible, which is why the actual Carb Nite is so exciting! So stayed tuned for our next installment of Why we made the switch from low-fat to low-carb, where we’ll explain the importance of your Carb Nite, why it works and some of the delicious ways we enjoy ours!

This is Part 2 of The Switch from Low-Fat to Low-Carb Series.
Read Part 1 – Why We Switched From Low-Fat to Low-Carb | Part 3 – What is Carb Nite?
Alex Navarro on Instagram
Alex Navarro
Alex Navarro is a nationally-renowned personal trainer, fitness competitor, and nutrition programmer utilizing macronutrient time, The Carb Nite Solution® and Carb Backloading™. She has helped hundreds of clients—and thousands more online—reach their fitness goals through a combination of workout programming, nutritional planning through both protocols, and food science education. To consult with Alex on a one-on-one basis, or to become one of her clients, visit our contact page.
5 comments
CourtMorgan
CourtMorgan

I started carb nite 3 weeks ago and I feel amazing. I believe this is the diet my body has been craving. Sure, eating those good bad foods on carb nite is a bonus but eating low carb is just as enjoyable if not more. I haven't lost weight. I'm fluctuating between 124 and 126. My goal is 110 I feel like I could be losing fat but I have a few theory's of why I'm not getting the results that I'm capable of. Here are my questions: 1.) Am I eating too much on carb nite? When it says 6-8 hours I took that as I should be eating as much as possible in that time frame which has made me sick and made me feel like I gained 5 lbs the next day. I have a good idea on what to eat but how much? 2.) Kinda goes with my first question. Am I eating too many calories? I logged my bulletproof coffee and breakfast/lunch and it was 560 that just seems like a lot for the beginning of the day and I know I rack up way more throughout the day. How much fat and protein should I be eating? Thanks for sharing your carb nite experience! You look fantastic!

fitlivingfoodies
fitlivingfoodies

We understand your frustration and we'd like to help! Please send an email to info@fitlivingfoodies.com and we can go from there :) Thank you! Alex and Mary

deathefrog
deathefrog

I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, I would like to lose 20 pounds, and then maintain. I was wondering if the Carb Nite lifestyle change would be detrimental to me. For the last 3 years I have been maintaining my weight by eating 1300 calories a day, mostly fruit, veggies, yogurt, lean chicken, and the (very) occasional sugary baked treat. I don't exercise much as it saps what little energy I have and I ache so bad afterwards! So I need an eating plan that will up my protein without making me pack on the pounds again (I previously lost over 120 pounds). I am peri-menipausal and my weight is climbing. My style of eating isn't working anymore!

Alex Navarro
Alex Navarro

msfish  The Carb Nite Solution book will discuss general macro guidelines, but more specifically keeping the carbs below 30g/day. You will find a few example menus though, which should give you an idea of where to start. More specific macros were not included since ratios vary from person to person. You'll have to play with your numbers a little to find what works best for you. Some do well with very high fat, while others do better with higher protein levels. It also depends on your goal and where you're starting. Choose a place to star, pay attention to how you feel and then adjust from there.  In regards to training, the book does not go into any detail nor prescribe a training regimen as it's primary focus is to educate on the food portion of fat-loss. Kiefer did create the Shockwave Protocol which is the perfect supplemental training program for Carb Nite users. It's a program I've used since day one and found it easy to adjust to my schedule, needs and energy levels. It's also the program I use with clients, all with great results. In terms of training volume and frequency of lifts while on CNS, just do as much as you can and you feel good doing. In most cases, more is not necessarily better!

msfish
msfish

Alex...I am on the verge of purchasing CNS, but I also have questions that I wonder if they will be covered in the book. One is,will the macro count be advised? I know it will not be free for all fat fest. Also, how about training, as I will typically train 4x a week of resistance. Will it outline a plan that implements CN? I see that you train 5x, so is that resistance? Thanks