My name is Chris Donohue. I am 44 years old, a Licensed Massage Therapist and Herbalist, and the healthiest I have been in decades since adopting a carnivorous diet. I am down around 120 lbs (and counting), and have had many health issues COMPLETELY clear up since going carnivore. I have tried every diet under the sun (was a vegetarian for a year and a half, low-fat, low-carb, keto, ate only cereal, even ate baby food for a few months, etc) and Meat-Only is the only diet that has really worked for me and healed my health problems.
Following a Standard Ketogenic Diet last year took me part of the way, and I was able to lose some weight. But it seemed I was always losing and gaining the same 50 lbs, had long stalls, and frequently gave in to my cravings. Cheat meals sometimes turned into cheat weeks. I was helping to coach some of my clients and friends with Keto but was not having the results I was after. Since going fully carnivore the end of 2017 I have consistently been losing 2-4 lbs a week, with some even bigger week losses! I have ZERO cravings and ZERO hunger. I eat meat when hungry and drink water when thirsty, and I don’t restrict either. My friends and coworkers are amazed my fat is melting away eating ribeye steaks, bacon cheeseburgers, and chicken wings!
Besides the weight loss the health gains have been amazing in so short at time! A Meat-Only diet has cleared up several conditions that persisted even on a standard ketogenic diet. These include:
CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH: My blood pressure is lower, shortness of breath is gone (used to huff and puff just walking short distances like across the house), and serious leg swelling (edema from venous insufficiency) for which I had to wear compression stockings is GONE!
DIGESTION: Meat-Only cleared up my diverticulitis! I would get frequent serious intestinal infections requiring antibiotics and was once hospitalized for a perforated colon. Doctors said I would one day require surgery to remove part of my colon. I now know that the recommended high-fiber diet I was following was CAUSING the inflammation, gas, bloating, and increased colonic pressure that caused the bulging and subsequent infections. All of that went away when i removed all plants from my diet. Meat is almost completely digested in the small intestine so the large intestine can heal. This is INVALUABLE for people with diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, IBS, etc.
FITNESS: Able to walk longer distances, workout often, and engage in many activities I used to not be able to do or enjoy.
MOOD/MENTAL HEALTH: My mood is greatly improved and more stable. My depression is largely gone.
RESPIRATORY: Shortness of breath gone, chronic cough and congestion gone.
SKIN: The serious rashes and infections (sometimes requiring ER visits and antibiotics) that accompanied my leg swelling is gone, as is frequent boils, athletes foot, some lipomas and skin tags.
WEIGHT LOSS: Losing 2-4 a week, down 120 lbs and counting!
UNCATEGORIZED/OTHER: Pre-diabetes gone, blood sugars normal and stable, prostate issues (pressure, urgency, etc) cleared up, and lifelong anemia resolved.
Truly… MEAT HEALS!
If anyone has any questions, or I can help in any way, please feel free to reach out to me. My passion is to share the benefits of a Carnivore Keto diet with people, especially with those struggling to lose weight. You can find me at:
2013: Age 32 living on a high carbohydrate low fat diet, mainly; noodles, rice, potato, chicken breast, tuna and all the vegetables I could handle. Started experiencing massive digestion issues, bleeding from the rectum, mucus discharge, incontinence going to the toilet 30 plus times a day. Eventually diagnosed with ulcerative colitis: first 35cm of colon badly inflamed and ulcerated.
Put on standard of care mesalamine in tablet and enema form was told diet had nothing to with the disease by an IBD “specialist”. The medication only seemed to make me worse so was later put on steroids, they offered temporary reprieve but as soon as i stopped taking them the the disease would come back stronger. IBD “specialist” informed that the next stage of action to get the disease under control would be to take immunosuppressive drugs. I did some research on them and thought holy shit I’m not taking them and started looking into diet.
2014: Discovered paleo diet – made my symptoms 75% better but still not great. Still had to take steroid medication periodically.
2016: Started meat only diet… Jump to 2017 – I am 99% symptom free and feel fantastic and a side effect is losing 2 stone [28 pounds] in weight and having abdominal definition again at the age of 36. I haven’t taken any medication in 2 years and have good my life back.
The rise of veganism is genuinely scary for me… I think that type of diet would most likely kill me in the end.
Some background: 52 year old male, business owner with an advanced degree, married with two teenage daughters, no health problems, always considered myself fit and health conscious, avid cyclist (around 4,000 miles per year mostly road and some mountain biking, resistance training off and on during the year, mostly body weight over the last several years. Diet-wise I would eat standard stuff, tried to stay away from french fries, eat my greens, etc. but nothing special. Since I ride a lot, I would do things like down a frozen pizza late at night after a hard ride. I have been a beer drinker from the word go so that often went hand in hand with post ride nutrition. Overall, too much alcohol over the last year or two with work related stress. With all that I did pretty well and my weight has always been around 170 lbs with decent body composition, maybe down to 160 lbs once or twice 8 years ago when riding a lot and training to race.
I first heard about Dr. Baker in October 2017 somewhere on the web, maybe referenced in an email from one of many subscriptions, regarding a powerful athlete that only consumed meat and water. This intrigued me and I did a quick search and found a podcast interview that he’d done. After that, I had to try it for myself so the first week of November I pretty much dove in to what was essentially low to zero carb with mostly meat. I also adopted the 100 push ups and cold shower protocols at that time. I started the squats protocol a few weeks later.
The results blew me away from the start. I’m estimating my weight before starting was around 167 and I had been riding a ton – 42 straight days in fact which was a long streak for me. I wasn’t trying to lose any weight on this protocol, but I dropped to about 155 in a week or so – probably some water weight I guess. I measure weight on occasion just for fun, but I believe that all anyone needs is a full length mirror – and after about 10 days I looked as good or better than I ever have, including years ago when I lifted weights for fitness. Anyway, I’ve settled out at around 151 lbs. and 15% body fat according to my home scale, but aiming to add muscle weight from there.
Athletically, there was an adaptation period with some brain fog (pretty sure I wasn’t eating enough) and I would be sort of fatigued on fast group rides but I still hung in there and did okay. Since winter arrived I’m riding less and can’t really determine how this will affect my cycling until spring. I was skeptical about my doing the 100 push ups per day since I thought I would get too sore. Not the case. Overall I cannot believe how rapidly I recover after exercising. There have been many days where I will do the push ups and squats in the morning and then hit the fitness center after work for a full body weight circuit (around 20 minutes) with around 240 total reps of various movements – and feel like I could keep going. For the protocol I’m now adding a weighted backpack, raising my feet for push ups, etc. I don’t believe I could have done that much work that often in the past without breaking down too much physically.
More significantly, my mood, sleep, ability to handle stress, and overall outlook on life have all improved enormously. My work is highly stressful – I’m a business owner and over the past few years I’ve faced a lot of difficulty in the business. I’ve essentially coped by riding my bike and probably drinking too much. Since starting these protocols, my emotional ups and downs have smoothed out, I have a much more positive outlook, and I have embarked on a personal improvement mission.
I am devouring podcasts about health, nutrition, business, etc. I am continuously going to the library to check out the latest book recommendation and have two to three going at any one time. Instead of sleeping until the last possible minute like I usually did, I am getting up much earlier as I have so much I want to do each day. Diet-wise, as Dr. Baker has indicated, I am gravitating toward exclusively toward beef and am finding other foods don’t quite do it for me. Also, alcohol is much less appealing to me. It used to be that one beer tasted like “more” and I might have 2, 3 or 4. Now I can envision myself cutting it our or going to just an occasional light beer or wine/spirit rather than at least 2-3 beers every day. That alone is shocking.
I can’t say enough good things about this WOE. I am sure that the exercise and cold shower protocols are extremely helpful (I will probably continue all of them indefinitely), but for me it all starts with the diet. I truly believe that the carbs, among other things, just messed up my brain and made it difficult to deal with daily life issues and move myself forward like I should. I wish I had found this much earlier, but I’m not looking back. My wife pointed out that one of the likely benefits is that I feel control over this aspect of my life. That, along with the other mental and physical benefits, is an incredibly powerful combination.
My goals for this year are to stick with the program (full carnivore in January) and see how I perform athletically (enter a bike race or two this spring) and just maintain my forward progress overall. Dr. Baker is the perfect person to promote this way of life using an intelligent and measured approach and exhibiting a lot of patience with the same questions over and over. Plus, he’s my age so I seem to identify with him well. I will follow along closely and encourage others as well.
There’s probably a lot more that I could say, but its time for some push ups and squats.
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
Back in high school I was your prototypical athlete playing football, running track. Best shape of my life, had the ripped six pack, could eat everything and anything. Just like most when high school ended everything changed except the way I ate. I continued to eat everything and anything I wanted. My metabolism kept up for the most part until I hit the dreaded 30 year mark. In 19 years I went from 5’11”-195lbs to 244lbs. I would look in the mirror or see pictures and think “This isn’t you”. That football body is still in there I know what to do and how to work out. Which is true, however between family, work, and just plain life the time and in reality the effort was not there. Every time I went on a diet of some sort I felt miserable and starving.
Then in early December of 2017 I came across the Joe Rogan podcast with Dr. Shawn Baker. I must have watched it 20 times as it intrigued me. Here is this doctor not necessarily pushing his diet, just talking about how for almost a year at that time he had only eaten meat and drank water. Dr. Baker’s results weren’t what intrigued me, it was how he talked about it. The fact he said multiple times different things work for different people do what works for you. I thought to myself, “I love steak!” In fact the only time I ate vegetables or fruits was as a topping on my pizza or burger. So on December 11th, 2017 I told my wife I was going on this carnivore diet. To which she rolled her eyes as if to say here we go again, another diet that won’t last.
In the beginning I found myself hungry as usual. I was eating a variety of chicken, fish, pork, and beef, eating cheese cubes as snacks. Once I hit the third week I found my body only responded to beef. Nothing else gave me energy or made me feel full and satisfied. From that point on it was steaks, steaks, and occasional ground beef. No need or want for cheese cubes anymore, I was feeling the best I have felt in years. I was dropping weight at an amazing pace even though I average eating 3lbs of beef a day. Probably because I was obese for my size and frame. For the first time ever, I saw my goal coming into reach. I sit here today having surpassed my goal of 195lbs. I am 192lbs and have never felt so amazing. I love what I eat (ribeyes) and how I feel. Thank you so much to Dr. Baker for unintentionally inspiring me to try a new way of life!
My advice to anyone thinking about trying this is the same I took. Try it but in the end do what works for you.
At 28, I was diagnosed with arthritis in my hands.
At 29, I had my first colonoscopy and diagnosis with diverticulitis.
At 32, I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation.
I powerlifted through my 20’s, but at 35, I couldn’t run or push hard for fear of a-fib.
I got fat. At 27, I had man boobs and love handles. I couldn’t walk flight of stairs and had very few solid bowel movements.
I began cutting stuff out and realized that every time I cut a grain or veggie, I felt better and got leaner. Exactly 18 months later, I am approaching 37 years old and have 8.5% body fat and run 3.5 miles/day. I have lower blood pressure, higher good cholesterol. Zero a-fib issues. Zero diverticulitis issues. I require less sleep (4.5 hours), and I get more done during day.
And, I’ll tell ya, the benefits in the bedroom with the wife are off the charts.
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!
I’m a 24 year old woman who has been eating a carnivorous diet for almost 6 months! I eat mostly beef and pork with some dairy, eggs and bone broth. Prior to adopting a zero carb lifestyle I was eating a TON of vegetables on a low carb Paleo Diet. I even went so far as to only eat natural, pasture raised, grass-fed and free-range meats. I ate that way for a few years. Then my mom told me she was switching from keto to carnivore and felt amazing! I was skeptical but sick of having painful cystic acne and mood swings. I was ready to try absolutely ANYTHING.
Within a DAY of eating zero carb I noticed a difference in my mood. Heaps of energy and euphoria! I didn’t know I was lethargic before, but looking back, I certainly was. I woke up the next day with NO new acne and existing acne already improving! This was plenty to get me hooked on meat. That was in August 2017. I started carnivore at about 115 lbs 5’2″ and I now fluctuate between 107-110 lbs.
I have noticed the following improvements: overall leaner body composition, increased libido, CLEAR SKIN, softer skin, more restful sleep, zero cravings for sugar or alcohol, more energy, hair / nail growth, more visible muscles, increased strength, better stamina, confidence, a feeling of being calm or even zen (I would have described myself as panicky and anxious 6 months ago.) My cycle has regulated itself. Two years ago I was diagnosed with irregular periods! I now have a very predictable cycle with next to zero cramping and much milder mood swings. The list grows.
Grocery shopping is a breeze. Hardly need a list! I went from spending 20+ hours a week meal prepping/cooking for my boyfriend and myself, to maybe 8 hours a week. I can go longer between meals! I eat twice a day on average and I still drink coffee in the morning with heavy cream. When I started carnivore I was still occasionally smoking cigarettes and a few weeks in, my nicotine cravings vanished. I quit cold turkey!! My whole life has improved and I completely attribute it to replacing vegetables with a TON of meat. #meatheals and I have to thank Dr. Baker for his commitment to this movement. Without this way of life I’d be surviving but not thriving the way I am now!!