This is Part 1 of The Switch from Low-Fat to Low-Carb Series.
Read Part 2 – What is Ultra Low-Carb (ULC)? | Part 3 – What is Carb Nite?
Alex Navarro's switch from low-fat to low-carb

We traded salads for bacon…

The woman sitting at the next table over is staring. She’s eyeing the plate of food that the waitress just brought over – a juicy, 8 ounce bunless burger topped with sharp cheddar and pepper jack cheese, 3 strips of bacon and garnished with a fried egg. You notice her look down at her empty salad with her low-fat dressing on the side and wonder what she’s thinking. Eating Ultra Low-Carb has its advantages and it also draws a lot of attention, whether it be from friends and family or from the woman sitting next to you at a restaurant. Maybe it’s the generous amount of fat (BACON!) that accompanies your meal or the heavy cream you ask for at Starbucks instead of Half n’ Half, because when it comes down to it, we all know that fat is bad! Regardless of how much research is out there about the benefits of a high-fat (low-carb) diet (more on this later) there will always be the fear of sauteeing your green beans in butter or ordering a rib-eye steak and not slicing the fat off before you gobble it down. We know there are other ways to eat and if what you’re doing is working for you, more power to you. We’re here to share why we’ve chosen this lifestyle and to share with fellow low-carbers (Carb Niters and Carb Back-loaders) what we love most about it – the FOOD. Food is unavoidable. It’s everywhere and we need it. The kinds of foods we choose to eat is a different story – that we have control over.

Eating was becoming a chore…

HangryMary and I often share stories about our PRE-Carb Nite and PRE-Ultra low-carb (ULC) lifestyles and the list of challenges we faced. We were afraid to eat fat, unless it was the occasional handful of almonds or a tablespoon of almond butter, dairy was a no-no and our schedules revolved around mealtimes. Looking back, I don’t know how I managed to plan out and prep all 6 meals every day. It’s a job in of itself. What’s stick out the most is how fixated I had become on my “next meal”. I watched the clock constantly, counting the minutes until I could eat again. My closest friends and regular clients learned to tell when my next meal was approaching…why? Because “hangry” Alex would slowly appear. You know what I’m talking about! Rrrraaarr! The Alex that I hated being, yet I felt I could never control…until I ate my next meal. Even if blood sugar wasn’t an issue, there was an even bigger challenge – having a life. Not only did our schedules revolve around meals, socializing did too. Something as simple as lunch with friends turned into a task. For Mary it was being able to choose the restaurant that best fit her dietary needs (which usually resulted in a chicken salad) and for me, I’d more often than not end up bringing my pre-made meal in tupper-ware and then deal with the embarrassment of pulling it out at the restaurant table. We’re lucky that our friends and family were supportive and understanding, yet the questions always came up at some point: “How long do you have to diet like this?” or, “When do you get to eat real food again?”

I’m suppose to have cookies? And eat bacon?! Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

It was something I thought about often. And the harder I tried to convince myself that I was in it for the long haul, the easier it became to sneak a few of my roommates cookies at night (sshhh…I still don’t think she knows) and then jump on the treadmill the next day, with the hopes of wiping out any damage I caused from the previous nights cookie binge. I felt guilty more often than I felt accomplished and it became harder and harder to preach that lifestyle to my clients (especially when I wasn’t living it 100%). Eating was becoming a chore and all I wanted was the occasional cookie…or 2, or 3. Enter The Carb Nite Solution® (CNS). A program designed to take a ketogenic style diet to the next level by boosting your metabolism, and thus your fat-burning potential with an evening of high-glycemic carb consumption. Wait…what? So, you’re saying that I can eat cookies? I’m suppose to have cookies? And I can eat bacon? SOLD! I started CNS as a competition prep diet three years ago and I’ve never looked back. And, I’m pretty sure Mary got on board when cookies were mentioned, because she’s a bit of a cookie monster like me. But seriously, she was intrigued by the program after witnessing fellow competitors drop body fat and reveal their awesome lean body mass with little to no cardio work, while consuming copious amounts of fat and indulging in sweet treats one night a week. Who could blame her? Most people are intrigued when they hear about how it works, yet still have a hard time believing that results like that are typical. Which is why we’re here, sharing our story and the love we have for this lifestyle. Okay, I’ll admit it. They had me at “cookie”. But, the results I saw and the way I felt after only a week of eating ULC made me believe there was more to it. And believe me, there is.

We like how we feel!

So why do we continue to eat this way? It’s simple really. We like how we feel. We’ve never felt more in control of our health, the decisions we make around food and knowing what our bodies need and want. Sure, it didn’t happen overnight and I don’t doubt that we’ll have moments, or events that may throw us off our normal routine, but that’s life. And I don’t know about you, but we want to enjoy life, food and all. We want to try out new restaurants and experiment with new ingredients or combinations of classic favorites. We get a kick out of watching the Food Network and brainstorming ways to turn the dishes we see Guy Fieri eat into Ultra low-carb versions (we’re dorks, we know). We get excited about herb-infused butter and flavored bacon and if you’ve read this far, then maybe you’re excited too!

Alex Navarro AbsWe’re here for the food and all the magic that comes with eating for health and longevity.

With all the variations on keto-style diets and Atkins-like programs we’ll be sharing the guidelines we use and why they work for us. Cooking ULC is our priority here at FitLivingFoodies and every recipe you find have under 10g of usable carbs. That’s not to say that we’ll never post recipes from our epic Carb Nites, but they won’t be the highlighted recipes. And since we all know that “abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym” you can expect to find tips and tricks to make your mealtime creations as easy as possible. If you’re looking for more immediate answers on why we do what we do here, we encourage you to check out our products page to learn more. We love hearing from you, so if you have questions about a recipe, or have one you want to share here, drop us a line or leave a comment below.

Until next time!

This is Part 1 of The Switch from Low-Fat to Low-Carb Series.
Read Part 2 – What is Ultra Low-Carb (ULC)? | Part 3 – What is Carb Nite?
  • Mike Chu
    Posted February 5, 2014 9:28 am 0Likes

    This is awesome!!! Hi Alex!! Hope to see ya soon!!! Hope all is well 🙂

  • Susan
    Posted February 28, 2014 12:47 pm 0Likes

    Hi Alex,

    So, with CNS, do you need to be ultra low carb all through the week? So, definitely in ketosis? I’m just wondering if I can take my carbs up to like 50 on a daily basis or if I have to stay at like under 20 all week and then have carb night. With carb night, how high to you take your carbs? Thanks!

  • Susan
    Posted February 28, 2014 1:55 pm 0Likes

    I mean, I guess to clarify, I eat a ton of non starchy veggies with some carrots thrown in as well. So, do I need to worry about that as far as being too high in carbs? And I’m talking like a whole plate full of steamed veggies with possibly a big pile of sauteed greens with meat and a TBS of ghee or coconut oil. All those veggies do really good things for my colon, so I don’t want to stop!

  • Alex Navarro
    Posted February 28, 2014 2:11 pm 0Likes

    Hi Susan,
    Yes, with Carb Nite and a goal of fat-loss, it’s ideal to be Ultra Low-Carb all through week. Your “usable carb” count can go as high as 30g, but higher than that is not ideal while using CNS. I understand wanting to keep the fiber intake high, so perhaps you can keep the bulk of your veggie intake to dinnertime, especially the “starchier” veggies. If you’re primary reason for eating all those veggies is for gut health, try focusing more on the less starchy veggies and more on the high fiber ones, which will mean lower “usable carbs”.

    In regards to high-GI carbs on Carb Nite, the amount varies a lot from person to person and for your goal. Women tend to do better with lower amounts of carbs, ranging anywhere from 150-300g. It’s a number you’ll have to play with week to week. It’s a topic we hope to touch on in a post in the near future.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Susan
    Posted February 28, 2014 3:38 pm 0Likes

    Thank you so much Alex!!

  • haengekoejen
    Posted March 5, 2014 3:17 pm 0Likes

    Hi there
    I would like to start Carb nite. I already eat pretty low carb, but I have PCOS and have been struggling to lose weight ever since I remember. Currently I am doing the “5:2 fast diet” – where I actually “fast” 3 days a week (eating 500 calories) and eating 1400 calories on non-fast days. I do lose weight on this – however, I leaves me energy-drained due to the low overall calorie intake. 
    So now my questions is: do I need to take some time off fasting, before I start carb nite?
    And: is there any idea in caounting calories on carb nite? (I dont have a natural sense of feeling full due to years of dieting and PCOS).

    I am afraid to gain weight, since I have been eating low calorie for months now. The PCOS does not help either. I have looked into reverse dieting, where you slowly add back calories in order to restore/maximize your metabolic capacity, and thought about if I needed to do that before carb nite.

    Would love to hear your thoughts.
    PS: I workout 4 days a week, heavy strenght training and recently started 3 HIIT sessions pr week. Looking to go fra 144 pounds to around 115 at 5’5. I used to be 200 pounds. 

    Kind regards


  • Alex Navarro
    Posted March 21, 2014 1:15 pm 0Likes

    haengekoejen  Hi Chloe, 

    I’d love to answer your questions and perhaps offer you some guidance on where to start. Send me a message via our contact form and I can tell you more about what your options are!

  • J_N_MM
    Posted March 24, 2015 9:46 am 0Likes

    Hi Alex,
    My wife and I are starting this program (we don’t have the book yet) but we’re going ULC and so far it seems ok except for when we  used to get our typical cravings…….about 930 at nite watching TV.  How long do the cravings last (meaning how long does it take for your body not to crave them), and …what are good ideas for evening snacks?  
    P.S.  We prefer crunchy / salty over sweet
    Thanks!  J&N

  • Alex Navarro
    Posted March 24, 2015 4:00 pm 0Likes

    J_N_MM That’s a tough question to answer as everyone is different. Some people lose their cravings within the first week and others it takes a little longer. It’s also something that may come and go as you go through the process. It’s often associated with female cycles and stress, so paying attention to when the cravings come will help you deal with them better. Without getting carried away with ultra low carb snacks, you could try having pork rinds with salsa! We also have a tasty ULC chocolate treat that’s salty and crunchy, which you can find in our dessert book, and also a few samples in the FREE dessert sampler! I hope that was helpful!

  • J_N_MM
    Posted March 25, 2015 5:20 am 0Likes

    Alex Navarro J_N_MM
    Thanks Alex!  When you say pork rinds, are you referring to what you get in a store, in a bag?  If so, great.  I’m assuming mixed nuts would be a good ‘crave stopper’ also?  If I understand it all correctly, …ULC stuff doesn’t include bread, pasta, potatoes, etc.   However, … some simple carbs are ok (less than 30g / day) … yes?   We’ve been ULC for 2 days + and honestly, already feel better.  Thanks for the insight!

  • Oscarb10485
    Posted March 29, 2015 8:53 pm 0Likes

    Is 30g of carbs enough when strength training/powerlifting???? doesn’t seem enough food for this type of training. I’m willing to try it but I’m Leary on the food intake. Any suggestions?

  • CassieWinkert
    Posted September 30, 2016 6:02 am 0Likes

    Hi Alex, I just started the carb nite solution about 5 days ago.  The first 4 days were brutal- I felt so gross, sweaty,and had a lot of headaches. But today I feel great! I guess i was under the impression that sweeteners like stevia were still not CNS approved- but I see it in a lot of your recipes.  Is stevia okay?

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