I have been somewhat of a diet elitist and have been lifting weights for 15 years now. As science would tell you my diet begun with a high protein, high carb, low fat diet.
Whilst being at that time in my 20s it worked, but calories wise, I had to eat around 1800 to get to the body fat I wanted along with going through the motions of constant hunger, irritability and still struggling to lose that last bit around my waist.
Then about 7 years ago I stumbled on intermittent fasting and began eating in an 8 hour feeding window. This way of eating freed me from food and eating every 3 hours as we are told as bodybuilders. I had never felt better and mentally and physically had made significant improvements. As I dived deeper I realised my body was inducing a state of ketosis so about 5 years or so ago I began a keto diet and had noticed even greater physique and mental benefits. These benefits included reduces waist size and body fat whilst getting stronger, with almost super cognitive function and a greater sense of well-being.
One thing I had always felt in my keto travels, however, was in my day of eating when I would only have fatty cuts of meat with no other oils, butter or added fat, I would wake up the next day with more energy and actually look and perform much better. I now fast from 20 to 24 hours a day depending on my schedule and have been following your carnivore diet for 3 months now.
I just wanted to thank you Dr Shawn Baker for your words of wisdom. My body has transformed before my eyes and my performance is on another level. People are consistently commenting, and I now train full body every day with a ton of volume. I am strong and have a crazy amount of work capacity. I have made more improvements in the last 3 months than I have in the last 3 years, all due to this way of eating. I am never sore and even my little aches and pains have completely disappeared. I can actually get by now with less sleep and feel almost superhuman. I now eat anywhere from 5000 to 6000 kcals a day which consists of usually 2.5 kg of meat, usually in one sitting (with pink salt added). My taste buds and body make me crave this way of eating, and I now believe I have found the most optimal way of eating.
I first heard about the carnivore way of eating from my son, who had heard Shawn Baker on the Rogan podcast. I really thought he was nuts. At the time though, I had just been dealing with the start of Adhesive Capsulitis aka Frozen Shoulder… such horrific pain I was dealing with and no end in site.
I am a determined person and face things head on. I decided to research more and then after reading about the carnivore diet being anti-inflammatory, jumped in. This was February 10th 2018. Frozen shoulder can take years to resolve. I am now in the last stage of it, thawing out they call it. No more pain and range of motion returning. I did have a saline injection and some PT which also helped, but I am recovering much much much faster than a normal case.
I have also lost a solid 10 lbs, am losing inches, fitting into pants and buckling belts tighter. These are also good side effects! I love the simplicity of this woe [ed: way of eating]. I truly think it has helped heal me. 48 yrs old.
Loved your podcast with Rogan! I decided to try out the carnivore diet for one month to see how my body would react. Let’s just say my body loves it and I will be sticking with this diet forever! I feel amazing, I have seen a change in my body fat percentage and my over all health has improved. I suffer from asthma and have gluten and dairy intolerance. My gut & lungs have never felt better taking those products out of my life! Thank you!
I took some before and after pics of my one month experiment. I went from 194 to 180lbs.
I’m 87 years old and have finally gotten my health back, or at least what I could. My diet now consists strictly of animal products. Beef steaks, liver, eggs, and bacon. No foods from plant sources. I have at last returned to my high school physique. Same weight, same pant and shirt sizes, namely 32-32 pants and medium shirts.
I have suffered from hearing loss, eye cataracts, slow heart rate that have been dealt with hearing aids, cataract surgery, and a pacemaker.
Prior to my dietary epiphany nearly 20 years ago, I ate lots of carbs. Pizza, pasta, doughnuts, rolls, buns, toast, cakes, potatoes, corn, beets and everything that was recommended by dietary guidelines. It was a disaster for me. My transition to avoiding all plant foods was gradual as I slowly learned how dangerous to my health they were. Fortunately I caught it before being diagnosed with diabetes. Now Zero Carb for almost 33 months.
Diet: Standard American Diet
Weight: 230 lbs
Atherosclerotic coronary disease (CAC score: 99)
Gout: right great toe
Autoimmune Inflammatory conditions
Neuropathy due to peroneal nerve entrapment after left knee replacement
3 Anti-hypertension medications
1 thyroid medication
Limited ability to walk any distance due to arthritis.
Limited ability to stand longer than 5 minutes due to neuropathy.
I started my carnivore eating in the 90 day Carnivore Challenge in August 2017.
My weight after 90 days: 192 lbs
I have tried so many ways of eating. From Weight Watchers to Nutrisystem to Jenny Craig to Low Fat. I just got fatter and fatter. I was put on more and more blood pressure medication. I had more and more arthritis, swelling and pains. One knee joint was so bad, I had a knee replacement. That set off another series of inflammatory issues and more health issue. Sad indeed.
I followed the Autoimmune Protocol diet to resolve my AI Hepatitis after my knee replacement. I also tried the ketogenic way of eating, but it wasn’t until I only ate meat did my issues start to change. And wow, did they change dramatically! I am no longer on any antihypertensive medications. I take 1/2 of my thyroid medication every other day. No more joint pain in knees, fingers, hips, or great toe, so I am no longer take any anti-inflammatory medications. My anxiety dramatically improved. I can walk long distances again. My left lower leg no longer goes numb. I can actually stand without worrying of falling or stumbling when I walk. My post Carnivore 90 Day blood work showed some improvements in a few of the lipids.
7/17/2017 – 5.9
11/17/2017 – 5.1
I am no longer pre-diabetic. I am tracking the dyslipidemia and coronary calcification. I will have additional testing for both next August.
I will continue to eat meats, drink water, coffee and an occasional wine.
My health journey continues and I will keep you updated as to my cardiac improvements!
I was a pretty fit guy before 2015. In November of that year I started having intense crippling pain in my joints and connective tissue. Over the course of two years I started losing the ability to move and exercise or even dress myself.
I searched for answers for two years, going to doctors, neurologists and some rheumatologists, I even had a surgery on my right elbow thinking I had a pinched nerve. I watched my body and my youth melt away. Love handles and a spare tire showed up the less I moved. I was only 29 but my body became so old and sore. In December 2017 I found out that I have severe Rheumatoid Arthritis and began treatment with methotrexate.
On almost the same day listened to the Joe Rogan podcast with Dr. Shawn Baker. I was curious and desperate enough to try this wacky diet. Wow… The photo of me below was taken yesterday. I do not exercise or do crunches or anything like that. I just eat steaks, between 2 and 4 of them a day. I mountain bike once a week now and feel like I could walk on water. I’m going for the rest of the year. I hope this inspires and help some of you. Shawn Baker and his tribe have reshaped my life. It appears that I am a carnivore folks…
I am a 21 year old male. I currently weigh 297lbs. After listening to Dr Shawn Baker on JRE, I was convinced that the Carnivore diet would be worth a try for me… whilst I was overweight this was a very low issue on my list.
At 18 years old I had set 9 powerlifting world records and won 3 classes at the world championships. I was extremely proud that I had maintained a weight below 275lbs (265 was my average weight) despite smashing meals as I wished, priding myself on high consumption levels being offset by my training intensity.
But a year prior I had torn my left glute, I had not let it heal correctly and continued to train. I regularly needed time off in order to cope with the pain level I’d be in, often unable to walk. Thankfully my sport requires standing, laying and standing.
After becoming a world champion, this pain just got worse and worse. Starting a full time job, I suddenly had a requirement to be able to walk to and from work. This was a struggle. I dialed down training intensity until I trained no more and lived every day in pain. My eating continued, both to console my pain and because it was the only thing I could still do. I shot up to 450lbs eventually. Fat, unhealthy, and in pain. Even sitting in my car was a struggle!
After many visits to doctors… many returns to the gym and a lot of pain management… I got decently OK at managing my pain. I was back in the gym daily and once again the pain intensified. No more gym but at least I had started to take some control. I had started to lose weight. Back down to 340lbs… not great, but better than before! To give an idea of what I considered to be a manageable amount of pain: I couldn’t walk 100 yards without physically needing to stop and rest. By the end of the day, crawling up the stairs would usually lead to me crying in pain. I would lie in bed, need the toilet and had to continually decide between spoiling the bed or facing the pain… I’m happy to say I kept what dignity I had left. But that was me every day.
The doctors found I had degenerative disc disease, causing sciatica, and there was nothing they could do. This pain was what I faced for the rest of my life. Up until December 2017. Then carnivore began… now I walk regularly, going from an average of below quarter mile a day to averaging 3-4 miles per day (6,000 to 7,000 steps), including a steep 1 mile uphill walk daily! On top of that, I now cycle places I would often drive to, and I don’t have to make my fiancée take breaks every 20 seconds whilst walking. I’ve lost another 50lb and my muscles feel full and strong despite little to no weight training.
I can visit zoos, go shopping, and most importantly, enjoy life.
A year ago I was 20 years old, severely obese, in constant dire pain and had doubts I’d make it past 50 years old. A life that short would seem like a death sentence, but for me, 30 more years of this… that’s what seemed like a punishment!! Now I look forward to every day! I can’t wait to be in good, healthy shape! To make the most of my life and make the most of it with my beautiful fiancée who I can only thank for being so patient and helping me through this journey.
Thank you Dr Shawn for the new lease of life you have given me, and good luck to everyone else who is looking at this way of eating. The changes it makes to you may be big or small, but I hope they are as positive for you as they are for me!
Starting weight: 327.5 lbs.
Mood: Depressed, lifeless
Activity: Does playing Xbox and struggling to roll over in my bed count?
I had tried over and over differing ways of losing weight. Nothing stuck, nothing felt right. I was sick all the time. Found the Carnivore diet on the Rogan podcast. It actually made sense. After 42 years, it actually made sense to me. I ate meat… Lots of meat… For the first time in my life I felt full and stopped eating. At no point did I try to over indulge because I actually felt full. Also I didn’t crave ANYTHING… I just ate.
Three months later, I am down 45 lbs, and I feel amazing. I have a life again. People talk trash about my eating habits and try to dissuade me. But numbers do not lie!
I grew up in a family where the dad ate protein, and the family ate potatoes, vegetables, and bread, and drank dehydrated nonfat milk. As a child I was chubby, had digestion and elimination problems, and was always taking medication for ear infections, sore throat, or hay fever.
In 1992, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, later changed to psoriatic arthritis. In 1998, I discovered Atkins (low carb) and learned that if I ate carbs, I woke up the next morning feeling like I had been run over by a road paver. After about six months, I realized that my hay fever was gone. Seemed strange but didn’t ring any bells. I spent years living on Ibuprofen while my hands and feet turned into weird gnarled sticks that hurt a lot and were unusable.
On February 14, 2017 I got the best Valentine’s gift ever when a Joe Rogan interview with Dr. Shawn Baker appeared on my iPad. I listened to it, and it made sense. My son was in the room, and he heard it too. At the end, I said I wanted to try it, and my son said he would also. He went and got us steak for dinner that night and we haven’t looked back.
Bacon & eggs for breakfast and steaks for lunch and dinner every day. Six days in, I had more energy, no swollen joints, and my feet didn’t feel like someone was holding a flame thrower on them. I started wearing shoes again. At 22 days, I realized that psoriasis had disappeared from my shins and forearms, and I could move the fingers on my left hand individually. At 30 days, my right fingers and toes were showing signs of life. We’re currently 34 days carnivore. The other day my son asked me if I remember what it was like to feel good (not sure I remember, if I ever did), and my answer was that I didn’t know, but that I am happy feeling nothing. I sleep well and wake refreshed. I have no digestion or elimination problems, no aches, pains, headaches or gut issues. Meat heals. I am perfectly happy feeling nothing, and I plan to be a carnivore as long as possible. By the way, I am a seventy year old female stroke survivor.
If you are like most people out there, you may clutch your pearls at the thought of somebody eating nothing but or mostly meat. And when it’s not meat it is exclusively from the animal kingdom. And NO fruits and vegetables!
Turns out there are lots of people like this. Not only are they doing fine — they’re thriving on it!
I am one of these freaky weirdos and here is why and what it is like.
My story — how I became a carnivore
My low carb “career” started, when pants I had bought for a trip to Argentina started to not fit any more. Although I would explain it away, or tuck in my tummy, I knew that this was not ok.
Everybody has a certain self-image. And mine was definitely not that of a fat and lazy arse. I clearly remember one day when I went to the supermarket that I could feel the fat dribble around my belly.
It’s not to say that I was obese, not even remote. I was rather slim by the standards of most people but I could feel I was drifting slowly away from my self-image. Unless I did something about it.
I had remotely heard something about carbohydrates being responsible for growing fat. I thought that low carb was just one of many diet crazes that regularly swash across the pond.
I was heavily influenced by certain Joe Weider bodybuilding magazines from the early 1990s which advocated for eating lots of carbohydrates, especially pasta and stuff. Which I did. In hindsight it is really a wonder I did not grow fat — although I could never really get rid of my belly fat. Despite running and all.
With this background, reducing carbohydrates striked me as odd. Until I stumbled upon Gary Taubes’ “Good calories, bad calories”, that is (thanks Gary for that! Someday I will translate your book into German — promised.).
We all know this quote which is attributed to Einstein that the definition of madness is that you do the same over and over again always expecting different results.
I thought: “What the heck? — let’s give it a try!”. I followed Coy’s rule of thumb to reduce carbohydrates to 1g per kg of bodyweight per day.
Results of my low carb journey
I dropped weight and reduced belly fat. I remember losing 5 kg bodyweight within the first week or so. That shocked me. Until I found out that there is a lot of water lost — carbohydrates drive inflammation. Inflammation drives water retention. Reducing inflammation means losing water. This explains most of the rapid weight loss in the beginning and is actually a good sign.
It was not long until I re-fitted into my pants bought for the Argentina-trip again. It is to this day my favorite measure of body-composition.
As most low carbers I first tried to stay as close as possible to “normal eating” — i.e. also eating low carb cakes and stuff. Although I never bought franken-food and always did it myself (I am a hobby-cook so not problem here) I believe that this way of eating does do no service.
For one thing it is hard to get away from your sweet tooth this way. This automatically leads at some point to “Ah, what the heck … let’s eat this chocolate — it’s dark and healthy” or “Come on, one potatoe is not much, is it?”.
So after a while I noticed that belly-fat was creeping in again — then again I had to reduce carbs.
In this thread Owsley Stanley, soundman of the Greatful Dead, known as “The Bear” talked about his carnivorous lifestyle he had been on for 47 years! This long thread with lots of interesting (and sometimes hostile) comments took me a few days to read. And I read every single page.
For some reason this idea of a totally carnivorous diet stuck in my head.
A year later I read the whole thread again. It again stuck. I started to eat my steak rare (or “bleu” —fried just one minute from each side).
It was only in 2017 that I stumbled upon Shawn Baker on Twitter who just had started a meat-only diet and posted regularly about it. Meanwhile he has turned into a kind of social-media celebrity with, at the time of this writing, more than 16,000 followers (it was less than a 10th of this when I started following him. Unbelievable!).
At this point I had pondered an all-meat diet for quite a while — and thought that I could try it too.
I also discovered certain carnivore websites which recommend to try an all-meat diet for 30 days (meat and water). I thought I could try it for 30 days.
Damn! I believe the authors of these website know exactly that once you start out on a zero-carb carnivorous journey, you won’t go back.
At least that’s what happened in my case. I have sticked to this all-meat regime since. With the only exception of a piece of low-carb cake on my birthday.
What I eat and drink
Ribeye or entrecote
ground beef/pork (50:50)
chicken (especially chicken wings)
all kinds of pork
liver every now and then
I drink water, raw milk, and kefir. Also homemade bone broth. Meanwhile only occasionally coffee — mostly on weekends.
It seems that a carnivorous diet somehow reduces your tolerance for alcohol. Even small amounts may give you a slight hangover. Automatically this leads to a reduction in alcohol consumption. I consider this to be a positive effect. I still consume an occasional glas of dry red wine or carb-reduced beer (for you German guys out there: Freiberger Schankbier or Köstritzer Spezial — only 4–5 grams of carbs per 500ml).
I eat my steaks fried 3 minutes from each side, so basically rare to medium rare. I season with smoked sea-salt and pepper or red pepper.
I consume plant-matter only in terms of condiments: pepper, basil, garlic, onions, lemon.
My current favorite “protein-shake”:
200ml raw milk
2–3 raw eggs
put in blender and mix well
Recently I have bought my first crock-pot. I love it. It has opened a whole new culinary realm for me.
I have also come to love “smashed burgers”. Which I had never come across before my carnivore way of eating. But they are incredibly tasty.
Butsch’s recipe for smashed burgers:
500g of ground beef and ground pork (50:50). You can also use beef-only — but this way the burgers will be even jucier.
Take a steel pan and make it really hot. Form a meat ball the size of somewhere between a golf ball and a tennis ball.
Put meatball in pan and press it flat. I use the downside of a pot. You do not have to use extra fat.
Fry for 1–2 minutes then turn around and fry again 1–2 minutes.
Take out the burger and start with the next one
Funny thing about carnivory is that you start to want to eat the same over and over again. I could it ribeye, smashed burgers, and chicken wings every single day and not get tired of it.
Recently find myself gravitating towards experimenting with raw meats — but “pssst!” don’t tell my wife!
My carnivore results
I am 46 and am now have the lowest bodyfat percentage since my early 20s. I feel the urge to workout more than I used to (what I do is intensive kettlebell workouts for 15 minutes and 2 x 20 seconds sprints every now and then).
I am essentially free of pain. Not that I was in pain before — but I somehow feel that my overall connective tissue quality has improved. Which is no wonder given that 15% of your body’s dry mass is collagen. Eating meat means consuming collagen which then can be used by your body to repair any tissue lesions. I believe that lots of pain-patients could relieve most of their issues by simply adopting this way of eating. This is also reflected in lots of anecdotes by people on a carnivore diet (see e.g. meatheals.com, zerocarbzen.com).
Mental clarity. Many people note a certain mental clarity when on very low carb or ketogenic diets. Carnivory, at least in my case, pushes that by a margin. I see clear pictures and am even more outspoken than before.
Clean teeth all the time. I have virtually no plaque on my teeth. They are so clear I sometimes even forget to brush them. Really. Makes me think that dentists are totally superfluous (well honestly: I believe that doctors are in general totally unnecessary — unless in an emergency. Surgeons are probably the only medical “species” of any use.).
I have lost any urge to eat sweet stuff. It simply is not appealing to me any more. Even if it is right in front on me I have no problem ignoring it. To me it is simply no human-appropriate food.
I have lost any left trust whatsoever in any “health” authorities — be it doctors, nutritionists or scientists. All of them have no fricking idea what they are talking about. I can see it from their body composition and also from their body structure. No doctor with a pot-belly is going to tell me what healthy eating is — because he himself is proof that he has no clue.
And , no(!), I have not developed scurvy!
The poop question
One question that seems to really concern people is “Can you poop without fibre?”.
People seem to be kind of obessed with their poop (what would Freud say?).
I normally am reluctant to discuss my poop or poop frequency in public.
But as this is apparently so important to most people I have to cover this here sigh.
Basically not only is fibre not necessary for regular stool — it might even hinder frequent stool and also cause constipation.
As a carnivore for the last 12 months I can definitely say that fibre is not necessary for frequent stool.
What changes on a carnivorous diet is the amount of poop and probably the frequency. When there is no more fibre left in your diet which sucks up lots of water and thus increases in size up to 5 times its original size, then it is logical that the amount of stool is reduced.
A reduction in size may also lead to different frequency of defecation. In the beginning it was in my case only every 2–3 days. Which did not bother me at all.
There have been times on my journey where I infrequently had runny stool. THAT bothered me. And this is how I fixed it:
I reduced my intake of fluids, i.e. drank LESS. Thing is that it might well be that we need far less water than usually recommended (hey, nutrition “scientists” and medical docs are wrong on practically every single nutritional advice — why would they be right here?). There are two sources I got the idea from: The chapter on “water” in the book “Fiber Menace” by Konstantin Monastyrsky and also from Tim Noakes’ extensive book “Water logged” — if marathon runners just need 1 liter of water when running in warm weather (or can even drink nothing at all) and do fine, even improve performance, then why would Average Joe (or Jane) drink 2–3 Liters per day? Does not make sense to me.
I reduced coffee intake. Not that I have been much of a coffee drinker. Compared to standard folks I am (was) a moderate coffee-drinker. But nonetheless I felt that this is somehow interfering with my digestion. We do not know much about coffee healthwise. All we have is some epidemiological data linking coffee to a number of health benefits. On the other hand we have alarmists like Stephen Cherniske warning of coffee in “Caffeine Blues”. Caffeine raises cortisol levels — which means putting your body under constant stress. Also caffeine messes with regulatory processes in your cell. Reducing coffee intake, almost abandoning it, feels good in my case. As coffee is also comparatively unnatural it is probably a good idea to reduce intake.
My personal impression is that some advocates on coffee being soooo healthy try somehow to rationalise their own caffeine addiction, citing shitty epidemiological data they would otherwise laugh about.
I added raw milk and kefir. I was lucky to find a source of raw milk just a 10 minute drive from my home. At 1€ per liter it is rather cheap (ok, adding fuel for getting there it is more like double the price — but that’s ok for me). As raw milk is packed with minerals, enzymes, vitamins and good bacteria I thought this could be a good idea. Same goes for kefir — we have some russian-style kefir in our local supermarket. It’s sour, thick and creamy and incredibly tasty.
This fixed the poop-thingy for me.
I am regular, i.e. I poop almost every day. There might be 2–3 days still without pooping. I don’t care much about this. I trust my body to do what’s right. (Butsch’s first axiom: Your body never does anything wrong!). My stool is consistently Type 4 according to the Bristol Stool Scale. I do not need much toilet paper and it is rarely smelly.
Ok, enough embarassing poop stories for now!
What does it all prove?
James DiNicolantonio, the author of the book “The salt fix”, once asked on Twitter what it is that some people are so keen on restricting their diet in such a way.
Well, James, here is the answer:
It’s fun to prove to yourself that practically everything you have been told about nutrition is complete bullshit.
As there are:
Eat lots of carbs.
Wrong! Carbs are not essential. They cause obesity and diabetes, destroy your complete metabolism and hormonal balance.
Meat is bad.
Wrong! If there is anything like a superfood — it’s meat. Full of proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins. Try compare mineral or vitamin content of any plant with meat. Meat will always be way superior.
Avoid the sun.
Wrong! Sun is essential for producing Vitamin D — which is extremely important to your health. Your body knows best. There is surely a reason why everybody exposes himself to the sun after a long winter, don’t you think?
Wrong! Salt is essential for your body. And it does not raise blood pressure.
Saturated fat is bad.
Wrong! Saturated fat is essential for your body to function normally. On the other hand vegetable oils — touted as “healthy” — are highly inflammatory and bad for your health.
Veggies are healthy and neccessary.
Wrong! If 12 months of meat-only showed anything then that veggies are not (again: not) essential in any way. And how could they be? In terms of vitamins or minerals they are inferiour to meat in any respect. They also contain anti-nutrients which hinder mineral and vitamin absorption. In addition they contain phyto-chemicals which are potentially harmful to your cells ( I mean, hey: When these chemicals can kill cancer cells in a petri dish — they could kill healthy cells, too, right?). Read more about this here.
Drink lots of water.
Hmmm … maybe wrong. The more you drink, the more you pee. The more you pee, there more minerals you are washing out of your body. The more you have to drink. The more you pee … and so on. Not only does drinking lots of water deplete your body of minerals — it also stresses your kidneys.