I live in a small town in the middle of Wyoming, born and raised. A thirty year old with hunting, fishing, and the outdoors deeply ingrained in my way of life. Before this way of eating all started over a year ago, I ate a SAD (Standard American Diet) and really enjoyed my beer (what’s more American than that?!). By the age of 26, I had racked up a bill of health issues that were still lying dormant. I quit my job 5 years ago, and that’s when I had my first lipid panel pulled up for a screening for a new job. They couldn’t even wait until the results came back before they told me I had something seriously wrong with my blood, putting my head in instant fear for my life… I got to the doctor that same week and was given the balanced diet bit and got thrown on statins (again, what could be more American). My triglycerides were over 1200 mg/ dL and cholesterol not really traceable because my trigs were so high. And the newfound stress for my health. I lived this way for a couple years. The statins gave me several bout of joint pain and really made daily activity a thing of the past. I was just tired and lifeless 24/7.
I told my brother what was going on and he told me to eat meat… so… I love meat, but that can’t be good for me. That’s all he eats and always looks super healthy. He introduced me to a zero carb reddit, where I could read up on it. Within a week, I had given up all sugar and was pretty into IF (intermittent fasting), eating only once a day. I gave my beer up for vodka, and I was on my way to health! I’m feeling much better, with energy up the wall and 60 lbs lighter on the scale. Three months into the zero carb lifestyle and I wanted to see what my blood was doing so I went in and got tested. 2400 mg/ dL my trigs raised to! I’d also like to add that I quit those stinking statins without docs approval so here I am again in the same boat horrible numbers and stressed, so back to a plant based diet , fish, skinless chicken breast and everything I didn’t like eating.
Pretty much giving up over the next 6 months and gaining almost all my weight back even though I was pretty much starving myself, I didn’t understand… finally a bell rang (maybe it was the vodka!), so I did a bunch more research and decided to contact Charles Washington via a Facebook message, and a response almost immediately saying drop the vodka and my numbers would plummet! Well here I sit, 5 AM… no coffee, wide awake, and just want people to know that this way of life is really something special. No pain, no stress, tons of energy off my 7 hours of sleep and ready to make today mine!
I waited until 6 months in on this woe [ed: way of eating] and my trigs are down below 800 mg/ dL now and I’m sure still dropping, excited to see what a year of no plants does to my health! My trigs never really got below 1000 even while on statins… so it’s better. All joint pain is gone… I also forgot to add that I no longer do intermittent fasting and I usually eat between 2 and 5 pounds of meat a day, whenever I’m hungry but usually just 2 meals. I’m 6’1” and used to weigh right around 290 lbs in the beginning. I now weigh around 215 lbs and have been there since July, went from 31% body fat down to around 15% that I am completely happy with. I am never hungry like I used to be, all I used to think about was food. We’ll food and alcohol… haha. Also I don’t know if this way of life makes it easier to quit bad habits but both times I have been on it I have successfully quit my nicotine addiction! I was a chewer and a smoker as well for 10 years, feels so good to be free!
If you would have asked me before I started this way of eating where I honestly saw myself in five years I probably would have at least had the thought that I would be dead. I’m very grateful and excited to see what the rest of my life brings! I’m almost 30 years old and still got a ton of life left to live. If this gets posted anywhere, I’d like to make sure to give Charles Washington a huge thanks for being stern and believing in what you’re doing and Kelly Williams Hogan for being such a huge inspiration and getting all this helpful info out there. Also a huge thanks to you, Shawn, for trying to spread the word and make people healthy again! Our whole way of looking at nutrition as a world is so messed up.
On the first of the year, a good friend sent me a Joe Rogan podcast interview with Dr. Shawn Baker regarding the carnivore diet. As a healthcare professional and generally health conscious individual, I was intrigued with the logic and supporting clinical information. However, an important missing piece of evidence in my opinion were measurable lab results so I decided to give it a shot and see what happens.
After 2 straight months on the carnivore diet the results are finally in. My primary care physician who has 10 years history on me told me on 3/9/18 that this is the best my lab results have ever looked. Lowest Cholesterol ever at 197 and lowest LDL ever with terrific ratios 2.47 and 3.6. As an added bonus, I haven’t had to take NSAIDS in over a month now for general joint pain. As a 54 year old avid golfer, runner and mountain biker, NSAIDS have been a normal part of every day life for the past several years.
Additionally I have lost 10 lbs and feel terrific. I haven’t seen any measurable improvements in sleep yet however my energy levels are definitely up. I’m currently training for another half marathon in late April and am experiencing continuous improvements in pace without any type of carb load. I’m still slightly skeptical how the longer 10 mile plus runs will go but so far so good at 7 miles.
I am an N of 1 however the carnivore diet has been a real success for me in just about every measurable way. For those looking for at least some evidence of lab results, I hope you find this helpful.
I hope someone reading this will learn from my trials. I will have succeeded if one person takes action. I don’t want anyone to experience the pain and struggles that I have gone through. Since I was 12 years I have been on a perpetual diet. I hit puberty and plumped up. My family had an obsession with being thin and my mom was always on a perpetual diet. At 12 I started that rollercoaster too.
My parents thought they were being helpful when they told me that they didn’t want me to get fat. According to the 80’s nutrition advice that meant I needed to cut the fat from my diet. I took the USDA’s advice and avoided ALL FAT. I have a family history of heart disease, so I avoided red meat and especially saturated fat. I ate cereal in the morning, sandwiches at noon, and pasta at night. I never reached my goal of being thin but I held of being super fat out of sheer will and determination. My whole life I never remember feeling good. I didn’t even know what feeling good felt like.
I stayed on that trajectory through college. I was always watching my weight. I was on a ROTC Scholarship and in the Army National Guard. The thought of of losing my scholarship was terrifying. After my commission I joined the National Guard. I didn’t want to lose the GI Bill that was paying part of my tuition. I stuck to the low fat diet and counted calories.
I met and married my college sweetheart. When I found out I was pregnant I decided to leave the National Guard. I didn’t have to watch my weight. I ended up gaining quite a bit of weight being pregnant. After having my son I never got down to where I was before becoming pregnant. Four years later I had my second son. I was even heavier than after my first child.
When my youngest started school I decided to train for a marathon. I believed that running a marathon would make me thin. Life would be perfect if I could run myself thin. I trained for the marathon and followed the prescribed carb rich diet. I didn’t end up losing any weight during my marathon training.
After the marathon I thought that I needed to do a triathlon, then I would end up thin. Nope, I was still fat. The triathlon training made me realize that I liked riding my bike. I took up cycling. I rode my first century bike ride. I was able to cover the distance but I was still fat.
I enjoyed endurance training. I made many friends and loved training with them. I figured that I needed to ramp up my training. Of course, that must by why I was still fat. I wasn’t training hard enough. I started training for the 70.3 distance triathlons, then I worked up to an Ironman. After the Ironman I was STILL FAT… UGH! WTF!
If the calories in/calories out model worked, I would be super thin. I was training 20 hours a week and eating less than 1500 calories per day. I had mild asthma that soon became chronic and uncontrolled asthma. I felt cold and exhausted all the time. I developed reactive hypoglycemia. On top of all that I still FAT.
It became clear to me that I was doing something wrong. Hours and hours of endurance training and eating a low fat, high carbohydrate diet was not making me thin. I must be doing something wrong. I started reading about Scott Jurek, and ultra-marathon runner and vegan.
I thought that was the answer, I needed to eat a vegan diet and train for ultra-marathons. The vegan diet was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. The vegan diet made my health worse. My asthma and allergies were worse. I added to my health issues horrible gas, injuries, and giant boils started erupting on my face. The one thing that stayed the… I was STILL FAT!
At that point, I sought alternative medical help. According to my regular doctor I was completely “normal” and nothing was nothing wrong with me. It is “normal” to have chronic asthma, a poor complexion, chronic injuries, and to be fat after doing an Ironman.
A concerned friend referred me to Naturopathic Doctor (ND). She order a slew of blood tests. I was almost afraid she would say that there was nothing wrong with me. I thought if she said that I was healthy like my primary care doctor, then I must be crazy. I didn’t think it was normal to feel as bad as I did.
The ND didn’t think I was healthy or normal. She measured my hormones, and informed me that I didn’t have any. My hormone levels were so low that they were not readable in the test. I hadn’t had a period in about year, and I thought that was from my birth control. But it was more likely from my poor diet and excessive training.
Thought this process I became obsessed with learning how the body works. I became a ACE Personal Trainer, and read everything I could on health and nutrition.
I gave up on endurance sports and tried Crossfit. That is where I learned about about the Paleo Diet and Robb Wolf. I also learned that Crossfit was doing nothing for my health. My hormones were still a mess. After 18 months I still felt like crap and decided to ditch Crossfit.
I wanted to figure out how to feel better. I started listening to podcast. I found Ben Greenfield’s podcast. He talked following a low carbohydrate diet with endurance training.
I joined Ben Greenfield’s Become Superhuman Coaching program. I took courses and certifications with the C.H.E.K. Institute. The C.H.E.K. Institute and Ben Greenfield’s message was quite a bit different from the USDA advice. I switched to a Paleo Diet, then a low carb Paleo Diet. My body started to heal. My gas subsided, my face cleared up. Over time my allergies went away and then my asthma disappeared. I went from a size 16 to a size 12 with the Paleo diet. I dropped from a size 12 – a 10 following a low carb Paleo diet.
At the Become Superhuman Conference and met Peter Defty from Vespa Power. We soon became great friends because of our obsession with nutrition research. Peter referred me to Esmee La Fleur’s website Zero Carb Zen. I started an on again/off again Zero Carb/Carnivore Diet. I started to feel better and dropped to a size 8.
Even though I had good results with a zero carb diet I had problems sticking to it. I had such a hard time saying ‘NO’ to food in social settings. I felt like I was being rude. It wasn’t until I participated in the Carnivore Study that I felt empowered to say no. I dropped from a size 8 to a size 6 during the 90 day Carnivore Study. I also felt WONDERFUL!!!
I returned to my my love of cycling. I train every year with a group for Tour de Tucson. The bulk of my training this year was during the Carnivore Study. I didn’t want to mess up the study results so I stuck to Zero Carb. I used meat sticks during the longer ride. I added Sports Legs, electrolytes, and salt to combat leg cramps.
The lack of carbohydrates didn’t hurt me. I had a personal record at the last Tour de Tucson. My average pace in 2017 for 54 miles as a Carnivore was 18.45 mph. My average pace while still using carbs in 2012 for 60 miles was 10.06 mph.
Over the holidays I had a relapse. I ate too many chips, salsa and margaritas on a trip to Mexico. My size climbed back to a size 8. But what was most pronounced was how horrible I felt after my trip. I couldn’t believe how fast I went from feeling amazing to feeling like crap.
I am back to a Carnivore/Zero Carb way of eating since January 2nd. Since then I continue to get faster on my bike. My functional threshold power (FTP) when I was low-carb/Paleo was 135, now my FTP is 201. My FTP keeps going up!
The carnivore diet is a miracle for my health. I went from wearing a size 16 to now wearing a size 6. I had no readable hormones and no menstrual cycle to having a regular 28 day cycle. As a high carbohydrate athlete I was spending $80 a month on asthma medications. I am not on any medications now.
I am 48 years old. I don’t have six pack abs… yet. I have never felt better in my life. I still have extra fat to lose and more healing to do. I went from a lifetime of struggling with my health and weight to feeling good each and everyday. Soon, I expect to see those six pack muscles to show up. MEAT HEALS no matter how old you are or where you start.
I’ve suffered with stomach problems my entire adult life (about 23 years). I’ve seen a number of doctors who prescribe medications or remove body parts, including my gall bladder, hysterectomy, appendix, but have all refused to tell me WHY I had been so sick and nearly dead for so long. The illnesses range from acid reflux to IBS-C and includes a myriad of food allergies and sensitivities, painful bloating, painful gas, and distended stomach/intestines. I subsisted off OTC and RX medications several times a day for decades.
In January 2016, having had enough, I took matters into my own hands and adopted a Ketogenic lifestyle. This cured my acid reflux, inflammation, and chronic hip pain saving me from yet another surgery. Food heals! Although feeling much better, the one thing that still plagued me was IBS-C, bloating, debilitating gas pains, stubborn extra weight. So, November 2016, I decided to give Zero Carb/Carnivore a try. I allowed all forms of animal protein and limited dairy in my diet.
Within the first 3 week’s eating zero carb I had lost 10 pounds and reversed my IBS-C. After decades of using RX and OTC medication, fiber, green smoothies, salads and produce to alleviate my suffering all it had done was exacerbate the problem. Removing the fiber from my diet made me immediately regular and cured me of all my bloating, swelling, inflammation, and painful gas pains.
I’ve been, for the most part, Zero Carb for 16 months and have never felt better, looked younger, had more energy, or mental clarity in my life. Oh, I still like to occasionally dabble in the dark arts of produce or nuts, but my body rejects it immediately and all my symptoms return reminding me why Carnivore is the lifestyle for me.
I am 57 years old. On July 17, 2017, I was weighing 270 lbs. I am 5’10”. I started on a ketogenic diet on that day. I started on my carnivore diet on January 1, 2018. At that time I was 223 lbs. During the 6 weeks I have been eating carnivore I have lost an additional 18 lbs and have lost 4 inches off my waist, which is equal to the 4 inches I lost in my 5 months of the Keto diet.
Also I have osteoarthritis in my left hip. It had been painful to get up from a chair and I have not been able to put on my left sock for the last three years. The pain when I get up is gone. I still can’t put on my sock but pull my sock up once I get it over my heal. I’m hoping soon I will be able to put on my sock.
I upped my exercise level when I started keto but felt tired after my workouts. I know workout 3 times a day and have much more energy.
I have been an insomniac for at least 15 years. I haven’t slept a full night in my bed for years. Almost immediately after I started my carnivore diet I have been sleeping all night on my bed. I had been waking up 3 to 4 times a night to urinate. The last 3 nights I have not got up to urinate once. I wake up full of energy and immediately start my morning workout. I usually sleep 5 to 6 hours a night now. I have a Fitbit that records my sleep before carnivore I was sleeping maybe 3 hours a night.
On January 6, 2018 my father died unexpectedly, during this period I did not fall back into stress eating, which had been my habit in the past.
My normal eating is coffee with butter and heavy cream before morning workout at 4:30am. At 9:00am, I usually have about a pound of some type of beef. At about 5:00pm, I will have between 10 oz to 1 lb of beef. Early on I was having pork for dinner about every 3 days it was not filling so I now am almost exclusively beef for dinner. Saturday morning I usually have 3 to 4 eggs and about 3/4 lb of bacon. My intake is constantly changing I eat until full some days I eat more than others.
I found you on Twitter because Amy Berger (@TuitNutrition) mentioned you. I had just been insulted by two friends within 24 hours, both of whom said I was fat.
In addition, I had been told by basketball officiating observers that if I wanted big games and tournament assignments, I needed to lose weight.
One of the big problems for me was the head-spinning, confusing ways of going about it. Paleo and most LCHF diets require an encyclopedic-like recipe book. I HATE that. I want simplicity.
So, I was at a bad point. I was paralyzed into inaction by the complex recipes, going to the grocery to buy a thousand ingredients, but I was also very angry that I not only allowed myself to get so out of shape and wasn’t doing anything about it. Vicious cycle.
Then, I started following you on Twitter. It was a blessing from God, man. So simplistic to eat all meat (in my case eggs, too), yet it seemed it might be effective. I decided to give it a genuine shot. No cheating. No “kind of” doing it. I was all the way IN.
At first, it was weird eating steak for breakfast. But I followed what I saw you saying to others.
That was 20 weeks ago. In 20 weeks, I have…
Lost 49 pounds *
38-40″ waist to 34″
Increased my energy (I used to want to take a nap at about 2:00 every afternoon. Now I feel energy throughout the day.)
Better sleep (Used to wake up at about 3:00 AM, and now sleep 7-8 hours straight)
Increased my cognitive sharpness (recall, analysis, etc.)
Improved my emotional state (Things that used to easily get me down now don’t)
Eliminated plantar fasciitis, which had bothered me for two years
Eliminated almost all of my knee pain
Increased my weight lifting numbers
Increased my desire to do work throughout the day
My diet every day is as follows:
Breakfast – 4-5 scrambled eggs and as many strips of bacon as I want, water
Dinner – 16-ounce steak OR 3 1/3-pound chuck burgers (occasional cheese added) OR 1 pound of roast beef OR a whole chicken from Costco or Boston Market with no sides, water (occasional ICE brand flavored water)
I don’t have to go to the store and buy a lot of things. I don’t have to look up recipes. I turn on the stove top or the grill.
I have no intention of stopping, as I enjoy every meal.
I can’t wait until the “friends” who insulted me see me again. Let’s see if those a**holes are as quick to compliment me as they were to rip me. Same with the basketball officiating observers.
Thank God I found you, Shawn. I appreciate your insight, effort and encouragement to all of us trying to get better.
* Update: This post was written in mid-December 2017. Since then, Thom is now down a total of 57 pounds from his original weight.
I have 6 children – 6 thru 42 – and the one joke I hear all the time is about my ‘diet’: ‘So what are you eating now, dad??’ All my life, I’ve been curious to try different foods and regimens, to see what works for me and doesn’t. I’d be embarrassed to admit how much time I’ve spent reading and researching over the years; even now, at 65, it continues all the time. Fact is, there wound up being an overall direction to it (if a bit meandering), and it doesn’t change quite as frequently as perceived, but they do have a legitimate critique.
I’ve been through lots of ‘phases’: when I was in my teens I followed some of the early Atkins ideas, then in my late 20’s, early 30’s, I followed a strict vegan regimen: used to make my own bread with organic stone ground wheat. tofu and sprout sandwiches, supplemented carefully with spirulina, brewer’s yeast, etc. After (as near as I can remember) a year or so, I had some trouble with fatigue when I was 30 – I was running 5+ miles every day, and I finally started to add in some dairy. Not sure that was the issue, but things did get better, and then I followed a pretty strict vegetarian diet for several years. One of my children, born during that time, is still vegetarian.
I had struggled with seasonal, then year round allergies since I was 19, and chronic (worsening) headaches in my 30’s, and 40’s. Additionally, my weight fluctuated: I would ‘buckle down’, count calories, or restrict types of food; over those years my weight ranged between about 165 and 220. And I had bad sugar cravings: chocolate, sweets, a genetic predisposition for sure, but I would work so hard to cut it out, and then one evening, I would implode and clean out every sugary treat, every half-opened, age-whitened chocolate bar, or frosted over long-forgotten reduced-to-goo ice cream from the back of the freezer. Why? I always felt helpless, and made up my mind again, till the next binge.
With a lot of reservations (shifting from years of veggie to red meat?!) , I tried the re-packaged version of the Atkins diet that was popular in the late 90’s – I was well into my late 40’s. It defied everything I had believed for decades, but sure enough, I lost weight, felt better. I shifted to South Beach (a bit hipper version with lean meats, and more ‘correct’ foods), and had the same results. I couldn’t keep my results, though – I would drift back into the weight roller coaster, gird up, lose some weight, then stumble and start again. But I noticed that on the ‘induction phase’ of both these diets – when I was eating NO grains, I always felt conspicuously better. After those initial couple of weeks, as I added back in the brown rice, whole wheat (NEVER processed), that good feeling dissipated.
A few years ago, my wife mentioned a conversation she had about the Paleo diet: no grains, no processed food. I jumped into that, researched everything I could. Dropping the grains was a positive move – can’t speak for one other person on Earth – but for me there was a palpable difference. I generally felt better, much less stomach and gut goings-on, and I was better able to control my weight and my diet. For a couple years, I was doing well.
But I continued to read and explore: I came across more and more about the ‘keto’ diet. As usual, I first thought it was ‘too radical’, and I was just plain afraid to try something that out of the norm. But I was piqued, and in September 2016, I jumped in and followed a rigorous keto diet, no more than 25-30 net carbs per day, huge leafy green salads, and of course no processed foods, no grains, no sugars, etc. I recorded my weight and every ounce of my food every day.
This was the first time, I think, that I was finally able to control my sugar cravings – I don’t think I’ve ever had a ‘cheat’ meal since then. I had started mountain biking with a friend a few years earlier, and I use an app that records every ride, my heart rate, etc. (I’m ridiculously fastidious about recording things.) My buddy is a really strong, experienced mountain biker, and 15 years younger, so I can never keep up completely, but it paces me and I managed to improve. I had started at 200/210 lbs., and with the keto diet, careful calorie counting, and meticulous supplementation (electrolytes, vitamins, etc. – about a dozen pills a night, plus electrolyte powders and regular fiber supplements), I managed to methodically drop my weight into the mid 150s by December 2017 – less than I’ve weighed since before puberty. My biking got stronger, and I also got to the gym when I could, so my upper body strength didn’t drop off too dramatically with the weight loss. Along the way I implemented intermittent fasting, which, again, improved my stamina riding, and my health, mood, etc., got better again.
But I had read about ‘zero carb’ – at first it just had a morbid fascination: here again I was looking at something that defied everything I thought I knew. This created more fear: what about scurvy, would I be painfully constipated, somehow permanently ‘ruined’? I toyed with it, looked into it, but never seriously considered taking that leap.
When I happened to watch Shawn (Dr. Baker) on the December Joe Rogan podcast, it suddenly felt down to earth, not so scary. I made up my mind to try it and started December 11, 2017. I wanted to be very clinical about it, and not confound my results, so I determined to drop, on that day, all my vitamins, supplements, psyllium husk (i.e. fiber supplement), and I also decided to drop my long time nasal spray, which I had taken for decades to address my chronic headaches (I have NEVER been able to stop that without vengeful headache repercussions). The only things I continued, at first, were my morning coffee, and my Claritin. I’d taken the Claritin for decades, year round – for headaches and allergies, and had never been able to stop it. A few days without it in the past caused severe itching all over my body, and I just assumed I’d take it till I died.
I continued and participated in the January study on Track-Well.com, and then just kept going. I tapered the coffee completely, as well as the Claritin. As of today (2/19/2018), I have been free of the Claritin for about 4 weeks. I tentatively planned to go back to my keto diet – I still have fat bombs and low carb, homemade bread patiently waiting for me in the freezer (which my family probably won’t eat) – but as of now I have no plans to stop the carnivore WOE (way of eating).
I eat mostly beef, occasional pork, a little chicken, eggs every few days, occasional cheese, but I’ve felt better when I drop the cheese entirely. Aside from that: water. I eat when hungry, surprisingly never get tired of the steak (or hamburger for economy), and it usually happens about twice a day.
I realized that, generally speaking, as I cut out carbs at every ‘phase’, I just felt better. Suddenly it didn’t seem unreasonable to cut them out entirely, and just see what might happen. Of the three ‘macros’ (carbohydrate, protein and fat), only protein and fat are ‘necessary’. Hey – tomorrow I may decide on a different route, but as long as it goes this well, I’m staying on track.
Here’s what I’ve noticed:
Weight: my weight dropped in the first couple weeks from 153 to 147, but since then it’s slowly built back up to 162. Most is muscle weight, not fat – my waist, etc., hasn’t really changed.
Joints: I’ve had some chronic problems with neck/shoulder pains since my 40’s, but those really disappeared almost immediately after I started keto. I’ve had occasional twinges in knees and joints since, nothing to complain about, but since starting carnivore, these are rare and temporary.
Headaches: these diminished pretty quickly, and the minor ones I’ve had seem now to be associated with dairy, especially cheese. This is a kind of ‘elimination diet’, and as such, it becomes easy to isolate ‘trouble’ foods. (I’ve had multiple MRI’s and CAT scans, as well as several types of doctors working on this issue for me over the years. If this diet eliminates that lifetime issue, it’s really huge for me. Allergy season could be an issue, but I’m going into this spring sans meds and willing to see what happens.)
Stamina/strength: Within the first few days, my energy jumped considerably, even over the keto diet – I just wanted to go work out. When I could make the time I was sometimes working out in the gym, followed by a pretty strenuous kettlebell or rowing workout, and then, in the evening, a couple hard hours of mountain biking. Since then the energy has settled somewhat, and I realized I was doing TOO much for an old man, but I still feel as good as ever, and my biking and workouts are all improved. I track all my weights in the gym, and they’ve steadily improved since I started, and much faster than any time since college. My recovery time seems shorter as well. In terms of cardio shape and stamina, I can climb familiar hills, gulleys, etc., that I sometimes couldn’t climb before. ‘Burst’ (anaerobic) energy is just as good or better, not just aerobic exertions.
Intestinal: whereas I had been supplementing with psyllium husk to get a consistent 30 grams of fiber a day and a daily bowel movement, I suddenly cut this out entirely. Now I am very regular, though less frequent, and the bloating, rumbling, and gas I always had before is pretty much gone. I never feel constipated – I’m never aware of my digestive track at all, really. It just works. I spend a fraction of the time I used to in the bathroom (stopped even bringing my phone in…. 🙁 ).
Coffee: In the past I had given up coffee for stretches, but I had to taper over a few weeks because I’m very sensitive to caffeine withdrawal. It seemed much easier on this diet, and just took a few days.
Skin: I notice I usually don’t need deodorant now (could change as summer approaches, I’m open to friendly feedback), and I also notice my skin is generally just a little better hydrated. I rarely use (or need) soap on my skin anymore. I have always had some chronic skin breakouts on my chest and back, dermatologists had tried to address over the years, but early on I noticed this was entirely gone. Some things happen that you aren’t expecting, and it’s a pleasant surprise.
Mood: I noticed that I generally had become a good bit calmer and less reactive (my family’s observations may vary..), even on the keto diet, and that continued on the zero carb regimen.
I’ve learned, over the years, that ‘conventional wisdom’ is often 99% convention, and 1% wisdom. The money and resources spent these days on persuasion, the stakes being high as they are – it’s more important than ever to avoid confirmation bias and the emotional sort of ‘cult’ identification (‘I’m a CARNIVORE!’ ‘I’m a VEGAN!’). I try to avoid ‘us-against-them’, whether it’s carnivory, or veganism, or any labeling that artificially divides us by point of view, or way of eating, etc. And there is SO much conflicting ‘research’: I can support any view now by simply Googling the results I want, and the ‘debate’ is endless. I don’t have the time to spend or interest in researching why that’s so (I have theories ;-), but I responsibility for my own personal health rests with me, and I’m reluctant to cede that authority blindly to another person or institution. When possible, I test for myself; I prefer ‘evidence-based’ knowledge over authoritarian-certified dogma. Trust, but verify – rather than trust alone. If one option makes sense, but the other is based on a ‘study’ I opt for the one that makes sense – and when possible, test. I trust implicitly the true scientific method, but I don’t automatically trust every claim paraded noisily about as ‘science’. Sadly, I know so many people who could possibly be helped by changes in diet – with joint issues or autoimmune conditions, but who are intimidated by the shrill, alarmist voices out there, scaring them off. There’s a treasure chest of good information supporting the carnivorous and LCHF diets out there now, enough to help a reasonable person ask good questions, if they have a true interest in open minded learning.
Thanks to Shawn and Matt and everyone else who’s made this interesting, and a bit humorous at times, but mostly for giving people confidence – without arm-twisting – to experiment for themselves and share. It’s all fun to try new things, and learn.
I’m a few weeks from turning 42 and I have never felt better in my life. I’m a little over a month into this carnivorous journey, and I’m still in shock how my mind and body have responded to this diet.
I was an overweight and depressed teenager. I knew nothing about exercise or diet. Sick of not getting any attention from the girls, I decided to basically starve myself when I was 20 to lose the flab. A few years later I started lifting weights and I fell in love. Over the years I put on some decent muscle size but always struggled with body fat, especially the “spare tire” I could never shake.
Over the years my weight was like a yo-yo and I tried all the different diets… low carb, high carb, Atkins, Keto etc. with little success. I figured I’d be stuck with this “donut” forever.
About 5yrs ago I started having reactions to all kinds of different foods out of nowhere. Veggies, fruits and grains were provoking crippling pain and causing me to throw up. Believe me, I would have preferred it to go out the other end lol. I underwent some tests but Doctors couldn’t do anything for me. I learned to live with it and stayed away from certain foods but sometimes I would eat the wrong thing and boom. Smoking a joint was the only thing that saved me from the pain.
2018 hit and I decided to do a modified Keto. I never felt right and I kept thinking back to that meat eating Doctor that was on Rogan. I said f@&k it…I’m gonna give this Carnivore thing a shot. Best decision I’ve made! Within days my body started to change as well as my mind state.
Here is what has been happening:
• Mood – I feel amazing. Confidence way up. Was on cannabis CBD oil for anxiety, no longer needed. I look forward to each day!
• Fat loss – down 10lbs, waist down almost 3”. Spare tire disappearing by the day!
• Performance – I’m an animal in the gym. Strength waaaay up. Crushing PRs. Putting on muscle. Lots of energy during the day.
• Digestive health – never better! Bloating gone. No gas. Regular bowel movements with very little waste. Feel great!!
• Joint pain – annoying tweak in shoulder and elbow… gone.
• Skin – I live in Calgary, Alberta so it is very dry this time of year. My skin is soft and glowing… so my wife tells me 🙂
• Libido – let’s put it this way, I feel like a teenager again.
• Alcohol – would have 2-7 drinks a week, now it doesn’t appeal to me much. I’ve drank once in 5 weeks.
Generally I eat twice a day and don’t snack. I look forward to and enjoy each meal! I love not being a slave to food. No more constant food prep and eating 4-6 times a day.
Like most people I thought eating only meat was crazy when I first heard about it. Now it all makes sense.
I’m forever grateful for Doctor Shawn Baker and what he has done for me and so many people worldwide. He is the perfect person to lead this revolutionary movement. We’re just getting started!
Thank you Dr. Baker! Now go eat a damn steak!! #meatheals
I’m Amy van Oostende. I’m 43 years old, married with 4 children (4, 13, 21, and 24). I’m a nutritional therapy practitioner (NTP).
Before I became a nutritionist I was a personal trainer. Food and nutrition has been my passion for many years. However, I grew up on the standard American diet. After the birth of my first baby I fell for the “fat free” scam and subsequently became super depressed and gained tons of weight. At which point I got pregnant with baby number 2 and proceeded to gain an additional 67lbs!
I spent the next 6 or 7 years miserable. Counting calories. Trying to starve then binging on food. Laying in bed every night hating myself for screwing up. Vowing “tomorrow would be different!” Exercising the whole time, mind you! Many thousands of hours spent on the elliptical or treadmill!
Years passed. I thought I was “normal” with my daily headaches (there’s a king size bottle of Tylenol at Costco for a reason, right?!), heartburn, knee pain, depression, irritability, PMS, debilitating cramps, awful skin, breakouts, skin tags (eww), gray hairs starting in my 20’s, frequent colds, the flu and an epic string of strep throat (8 times in 15 months! And yes, antibiotics every single time… I shudder at the thought).
I didn’t lose weight in any miraculous or healthy way initially. I tried Metabolife and it certainly worked. I drank coffee all day and starved myself. This went on for awhile, I did give up the Metabolife thank God but kept on counting calories and fat grams and hours at the gym. At 5’5″ I hovered around 140lbs doing this.
Fast forward a few years, I started doing CrossFit and Paleo. I attended a nutrition seminar held by Robb Wolf and committed to “30 days of Paleo”. That was over 8 years ago. And believe me, the early days were full of many mistakes! Cheat days, sugar free popsicles, nasty chemicals, splenda in my coffee, you name it!
Since then I’ve spent most of my years on a keto/paleo template. I did tinker with higher carb paleo for a year. That was awful. I gained about 10 lbs of solid fat. Didn’t feel any better and my strength did not improve one iota!
I really only tried a carnivore diet out of sheer curiosity! (I thought that Baker guy was nuts! Lol) I already felt “pretty good”, or so I thought… however:
I had random gallbladder pain
my hair was falling out!!
my strength was stalled. I hadn’t improved any of my lifts in years (I do powerlifting. For fun, not competitively)
my mood, while better wasn’t great
my joints were a little achy especially if I sat in the same position for a long time. Which I chalked up to normal.
I was still fairly lean but not quite as lean as I had been previously. I’d pretty much lost all visible abs. Which I attributed to a reduction in exercise. And age.
my cycle was ok, although it took takes to “get going” – start, stop, start, stop.
I had adrenal fatigue (low cortisol all day)
I actually love veggies (with loads of fat, of course!) So, I figured I would try the carnivore thing and maybe last a week.
Within 8 days (I think) I got my first pullup EVER. Keep in mind I’ve been training seriously for over 20 years and never gotten a pull up before!
This almost surreal zen feeling came over me… I can’t explain it, but I knew I had no desire to stop! I started losing weight and body fat… my abs came back! At 5’5″ I went from maybe 130lbs to 117-120lbs and 13% body fat.
My heartburn, gone
My gallbladder pain, gone
My hair QUIT FALLING OUT
My mood and energy shot through the roof
Zero joint pain/stiffness
My cycle is perfect! Starts like normal, no cramps or PMS at all!
While I have not tested my cortisol levels again, all my symptoms of adrenal fatigue are gone!
Cooking and shopping is SO EASY! I have a family of four and we all eat basically the same.
After over 6 months I continue to see improvements in the gym. I eat primarily beef, pork, chicken. A little bit of cheese and eggs. I generally eat twice a day. Around 2lbs a day on average. I drink alcohol a few times a month (tequila). I don’t cheat at all. I have no desire.
For a nutritionist, this is a huge paradigm shift! But, all you need is an open mind and a willingness to experiment!