I am fascinated by new ways of eating. I’ve lost over 100 pounds in the last few years, so I’m getting experienced.
How I Lost 109 Pounds
I tried Keto. I tried meal replacements. I tried low-carb. I tried working out. I tried long-term fasting (and all the other varieties of fasting).
I do a lot of research before I start a diet. It’s easy to force yourself to lose weight. It’s called anorexia. I wanted to make sure my chosen diet plan was something healthy that I could adopt long-term.
In some cases, I found my chosen diet to be unsustainable for me. You need to find something that works for you. Something you can stick to for the rest of your life. Otherwise, you’re asking for a Yo-Yo. You, my friend, do not strike me as the yo-yo type. You strike me as the “make a decision and get it freakin’ done” type.
My uncle heard that I was planning to go on a long-term fast. He freaked out (because of conventional wisdom) and did a bunch of research. He found out that (gasp!) it’s actually good for you. He’s gone deep, and he practices what he learned. He’s down over 100lbs, as well!
He’s the one who said to me, “Have you heard of the Carnivore Diet?”
Nothing But Meat?
When I heard about the carnivore diet, it sounded nuts. Can it be healthy? Reality check—a bunch of people are doing it and not dropping dead. Eskimos in the Arctic have been eating this way for hundreds of years, and they’re not all wiped out.
Take a breath. All right. Maybe I shouldn’t be taking my health advice from politicians and big money. We don’t live in a society that would sell me down the river to make a profit. That would be horrid, right? Washington is filled with decent, honest folks, right?
What about vitamin c?
This is the point where most people on the Carnivore Diet will roll their eyes. It’s not a stupid question but it comes up often.
Let me repeat. No one is dropping dead here.
The biggest “proof” given by the grain-eaters of the world are the old-timey sailors who got scurvy. Fact: Fresh meat contains plenty of Vitamin C. The main problem is that it is water-soluble. Our YMCA members were eating dried meat.
Meat Lesson #1: Don’t try to live on jerky.
What about the other missing vitamins?
Queue second eye roll. Yesss. Feel the anger. Strike me down.
You are correct. Meat slabs, though tasty, do not include the vital vitamins and minerals you need to be healthy. Meat organs, by comparison, have those missing happy bits.
I can’t bring myself to chomp down on some cow brains, but I sure will pop a pill (or six). I used to take a handful of pills for breakfast and a handful of pills for dinner. I switched handfuls. I take my meat organs in pill form (no affiliation).
There’s still a couple of pills I take for other reasons (mood/focus), but no longer a multivitamin.
Meat Lesson #2: Eat your brains, boy! Don’t you want to be a big, strong zombie like me?
What is my opinion of the diet?
Much like Keto, it’s satiating. You’re teaching your body to live on fat. Fat is has great “staying power.” I have no problem going through the whole morning on a single Bullet-Proof coffee.
Yes, coffee is from a plant. For the hardest of core Carnos, this would be taboo. That’s my only modification. Carnos also vary on opinion when it comes to dairy products (egg/milk/cheese). They are technically allowed, but they are excluded by many for two reasons:
1. Milk/Cheese are a little higher in sugar (in the form of lactose). Even lactose-free products are a bit higher in carbohydrates (which turn to sugar in your body). I tried some lactose-free milk and it was sweet to the taste. Turns out I have a bit of milk intolerance, which brings us to the second point.
2. The Carnivore Diet is the ultimate form of the Elimination Diet. You cut everything from your diet that you might be allergic to, and add items back one at a time. A lot of folks have an allergy to eggs/milk/cheese.
How do you know if you have an intolerance/allergy?
Allergies are pretty easy to spot.
– skin rashes
– head flakes
– face bloating
– stomach pain/discomfort
– achy joints
In the very worst case, your throat swells shut and you can’t breathe (anaphylactic shock).
These are the folks that have to carry a needle around with them “just in case.”
You already know if a peanut can cause you to stop breathing.
But what if it is a minor reaction? It could be face bloating or a stomach gurgle?
The Carnivore Diet has a small adjustment period. After that, it will be amazing. You will notice how good you feel and how smooth and effortless your food digestion is. It’s like butter. You can see if other foods feel less than perfect. Your food should not hurt to eat. You should not gurgle. You should be energized after eating—not tired.
Milk products did not agree with me
Remember the two points from above? I hit them both. I am trying to lose weight and milk products don’t quite settle right. Cheese is better than milk, but there’s a heavy caloric load there. I tried lactose-free milk, but that didn’t settle right, either. Now I don’t drink milk and eat cheese on occasion in small amounts. Butter (even grass-fed), doesn’t feel quite right.
It’s all about how it feels.
I picked up a stick of lard at the store. This is the very first time I have ever purchased lard.
Here’s three things I learned about lard:
1. It’s almost devoid of taste. It’s much like drinking your coffee with coconut oil. Where coconut oil tastes faintly like coconut. Lard tastes faintly like meat.
2. It is shelf-stable. You can find in the aisle with the shortening and other cooking oils. I guess this makes sense—you and I don’t need to be refrigerated.
3. It digests well. This is the way a morning coffee should be! I didn’t have to rush to the bathroom.
4. It’s very inexpensive. Cheaper than butter, in fact. I didn’t know what to expect. Guess the low-fat craze has kept it cheap.
What about eggs?
I don’t know yet. Today is the day I try to reintroduce them. I am going to eat nothing but eggs and check for a reaction. There is hope even if I do have a reaction. I learned most people with “egg allergies” are actually allergic to the egg whites and not the yolks. That’s the best part, for me!
If it comes to that, I’ll learn to separate eggs.
Eggs are a staple in most Carno diets. They’re cheap, tasty, and full of good nutrients. If I can eat eggs, that will be amazing.
Great. Now I’m hungry. My first meal wasn’t supposed to be 2:30 or so. It’s only 11am. I want to go eat 6 eggs.
Diary of a Carno
I have detailed my journey day by day. I wanted to gauge my experience, my mood, my weight, and any food reactions I had. I have noticed some amazing things:
Day 3: Skin clearing up on face. This is an indicator that I had an undiagnosed food allergy.
Vision sharper. I thought I had just been getting old. My long-distance eyesight was getting fuzzy. I could see longer distances than before.
Day 4: I have been taking melatonin to sleep for years. I am now able to sleep without medication at all.
Depression much improved. I have been struggling with severe anxiety and depression for a few months. It is much, much better. I had a day where I actually got stuff done! I’ve had some ups and downs since, but the lows are not as low. My productivity is high.
Day 5: Libido improved. I don’t want to get too personal, but I’ve had some issues in this area. I feel 10 years younger.
Day 7: 3 pounds down.
Day 8: Muscles more defined on my whole body
Day 9: Starting to fat adapt. Appetite and cravings down. Easy to go longer time without eating.
At this point, I played around with adding some milk products back into my diet. It did not go well. I feel like I’m just now back on track. It’s a good thing to figure it out, though. All these years, milk might have been one of my weight problems.
I’m now on day 18.
Should I try the carnivore diet?
Yes. If you haven’t yet found the “diet for the rest of your life” then you should keep trying new diets.
This diet is working great for me so far. I’m getting wonderful results.
It might or might not work for you.
What can it hurt?
I’ve heard of some people that have been on the Carnivore Diet for years. They haven’t dropped dead yet.
There’s something beneficial for them there. If not, they would have dropped it years ago.
Any long-term Carnos out there that want to leave a comment?