Emily Duvall

I began a low carb diet after having my first child 7 years ago. Then after the birth of my second I switched to keto. I am a scientific-minded person with a master’s degree, and spent a lot of time working in the medical field and military. I was in love with the science, the benefits, and the results. I always noticed small symptoms of inflammation when I ate large amounts of veggies (even low carb). I cut them out.

Once I went carnivore, I not only got leaner, I also completely cured life long anxiety and depression. I’ve put my 5 year old son who is autistic on this diet, and he is now speaking (previously non-verbal) and is social and may lose his diagnosis. There is something significant to this and while I understand there is no money in it, more research needs to be done.

Mitch A.

I tried it for 90 days and based on the positive results, I’ve decided to keep going. I ate 99% beef for the majority of this time, a little chicken, lamb, pork, fish. I failed a few times before getting the hang of it and have been strict for 90 days.

List of health issues:
* IBS (Mostly fixed)
* Depressions and Anxiety (virtually gone)
* Circulation (about the same)
* Dry Skin / pimples (lessened but variable)
* Fatigue (variable to IBS flare ups. Improved recently with D3 supplementation)
* Inflammation or general body pains (variable but improved)

Performance

It took me 6 weeks to adapt properly. Before that I would feel worn out halfway through my workout or shift. It was like I had a smaller gas tank and once I hit a point my body just wanted to rest.

I lost roughly 3-4kgs eating as much as I like. Caloric intake varied between 2,500 and 3,500 depending on how I felt. I would mostly eat two meals a day within an 8-10 hour window. After week 2 food cravings had subsided, what I used to think was hunger was really carbohydrate cravings. It’s no wonder your mood stabilizes on zero-carb/keto.

My strength in the gym has not been impacted. As long as my energy is ok then performance is good as ever. The weight-loss has lowered my body-fat % and I’m at my leanest (69-70kg). I’m very happy about my physique.

I feel more focused and driven as long as I’m not in a fatigued state. Fatigue had been ruling me some of the time but supplementing D3 has helped tremendously. I work evenings and we’ve just come into Spring, so it only makes sense. The mental clarity and lack of depression/anxiety is enough to keep me going with this diet. I don’t know whether to accredit that to ketogenesis, low inflammation, low allergy, nutrient dense animal foods or all of it.

Key Lessons

  • Adaptation takes 100% commitment.
  • You will fail. Try again.
  • 6 weeks strict is a minimum to test results.
  • Never make more than one change at a time. Stick to the foods you set.
  • Be cautious of rendered fat. Too much results in diarrhea for some people.
  • Be cautious of eating too close to bed time.
  • Keep a diary. Track your symptoms and food consumption every day.

T. T.

Life caught up with me in my 30’s – like it threw a rope around me and yanked me to the ground. I went from blissfully eating whatever I wanted on the SAD diet to desperately searching for the answers I hoped would save my health. I’ll explain.

Living in NYC gave me access to some of the most ‘exciting’ and tasty treats. I say exciting because eating and drinking is like a sport here and I bought right into that culture. Food became the first thought on my mind each morning as I anticipated that DOUGH Donut or Brooklyn Blackout Cake slice I was going to allow myself to indulge in. That initial excitement would quickly turn into panic, anxiety and inner pleading within myself while I desperately tried to find ways to talk myself out of making bad dietary choices, or, at least delay them as long as I could. In the end the craving always won. I was horrified and frankly scared at what was becoming my inner food landscape because it was worsening year by year and I realized I was powerless to say no to sugar.

No one else was worried about me. In fact, friends and family would giggle at me when I admitted I would sometimes down 3 pints of B&J’s ice cream in a week saying, “You’re tall and thin don’t even worry about it.” or “It’s okay, you deserve a treat sometimes. You work really hard. Maybe it’s stress or hormones.” But this was not okay; I knew I must be hurting my body massively with every bite of refined sugar. I actually wanted someone to flip out and humiliate me about my habits because I thought perhaps that would be some sort of catalyst to finally make me stop.

So here I was at the ‘young’ age of 32 battling a raging sugar addiction, watching my once clear complexion develop into a non-stop rotation of cystic acne and losing my youthful look as I visibly began aging more rapidly. I could no longer control myself around foods I knew were detrimental to my health. I woke up exhausted every morning no matter how many hours of sleep I got and I felt stiff and creaky. I began noticing new aches pains that seemed to come out of nowhere – just me living my normal life. Things felt bad and on top of it all, I was horrified to realize that my body just wasn’t healing at it’s normal rate – things were taking months and months to heal.

Naturally, I found myself trying to justify it, “Oh well, this is what happens as you age.” Honestly, since when is 32 considered old? I thought if this is my life now how could I possibly enjoy the rest of my life as my health continues to deteriorate?

I discovered Intermittent Fasting which led me to the Keto and LCHF diets. I jumped into fasting pumped that this would be my magic bullet – fasting just made complete sense to me. Using IF, I was finally able to steer my diet in a better direction for the first time in many years. I began enjoying eggs, dark-meat chicken and bacon drowning in olive oil, avo oil, coconut oil or butter with lots of low-carb veggies cooked in these delish Keto-approved fats.

The weight began melting off and I was ecstatic. I dropped so much weight I had to buy new clothes -”Yay!” I thought, “This is the answer I’ve been looking for!” Still my sugar addiction roared on but in a slightly muted fashion.

I was careful to only eat whole Keto foods keeping it simple with cheese, veggies and meat cooked in fat, I stayed clear of processed foods and carb-mimicking creations like cauli-pizza or Oopsie bread or fat bombs of any sort. I was fasting obsessively and fully intended to maintain this lifestyle, no problem. I convinced myself that I actually enjoyed fasting and the hungry feeling. Looking back this may not have been the healthiest thing for me but I figured it would be a short amount of time before I became fat adapted and then fasting would become easy and natural and provide the healing I was looking for.

Finally, I moved out of a stressful living situation and into my own apartment happily keeping up with Keto and daily OMAD – I was often hungry and wouldn’t allow myself to eat outside of my eating window. I did more research and decided that I simply needed to up my fats and incorporate bone broth – still I never felt as though I achieved the elusive fat adapted state everyone was writing about. I never felt truly satisfied. My skin had improved but not by much. I took another honest look at my inner food landscape and sadly admitted to myself that this wasn’t working as well as the testimonials I was reading seemed to talk about. Though I thoroughly enjoyed all the Keto foods in each and every meal I had to resort to leaving my credit cards at my apartment to stop myself from buying desserts on my way home.

As the months passed I noticed that I was still waking up exhausted, foggy, irritated, achy and full of pain in my joints. I wasn’t as enthused about fasting because, quite honestly, it did not seem to be healing me as much as I expected and I was tired of feeling hungry but forcing myself to power through. To my dismay, slowly my weight began creeping back up despite daily OMAD and strict Keto. I couldn’t motivate myself to go on the 2 to 3 day fast I knew it would require to get my weight back down again.

ZC/Carnivore tidbits would crop up in my daily search for answers. At first, I thought it was too extreme but as it continued to surface I became mildly curious. I dove in and began Googling. The research and personal testimonials slowly began to cast ZC in a new light: isn’t this what humans are supposed to eat? It seemed stupidly simple and yet completely impossible for food to be this easy. I longed for food to be simple and for my disordered eating to melt away – but come on – every single one of the females in my life struggled daily with food, dieting, weight and cravings. How could it actually be simple?

I knew I had to give it a try. Interestingly I began to feel drastic improvement immediately and it dawned on me that I hadn’t been fully aware of how bad my health actually was.I had learned to sort of push through or ignore pain because it was always there and I didn’t know what it was like to live without it.

So what changed? Well it’s only been around 3 months of a 90% carnivorous diet and I have blown my health out of the water, so to speak:

  • Cravings – Mostly gone; if I do have cravings they are now manageable and I walk right past the sweets that used to control me every day. Oh! And I no longer have to leave my credit card at home to keep myself on the straight and narrow. I haven’t touched B&J’s, DOUGH Donuts or Brooklyn Blackout slices since I started ZC. I leave the fries untouched while I dive into my bunless burger at restaurants. This still blows my mind.
  • Eyesight – My eyesight was getting more blurry each year. It has now improved and as an added bonus, my eyes no longer tire after a full day of staring at a screen.
  • Energy – Steady and stable; I don’t feel tired, depleted or exhausted.
  • Hair – Growing more quickly. My stylist recently commented (unprompted) on how soft my hair felt. I have been going to her for over two years.
  • Skin – Complete 360! I barely even break out around my cycle. Not only have my breakouts diminished but the quality and color of my skin is beautiful now – I feel radiant.
  • Nails – I used to have endless hangnails and painful cuticles that would not heal. My nails barely grew before and if they did, they inevitably broke. Since ZC, my nails have been growing so quickly that I have to file them every few days. I haven’t had a single broken nail and my cuticles are 100% healthy – no more pain.
  • Digestion – Perfect – no gas, pain or bloating! #happytummy
  • Food Stress – Let’s see I went from 24/7 food obsession and fear of calories to complete ease. Grocery shopping is a cinch: I complete my shopping in one 3-minute swoop through the meat department and I’m done. Cooking is a breazy 10 minute routine and I enjoy every single meal.
  • Sprained Ankle – I sprained my ankle at least 8 months ago doing yoga and it simply would not heal. I thought Keto or Fasting would give my body the break it needed to heal-nope. Three months of ZC, and my ankle is completely healed.
  • Joint Pain – 95% improved – especially my knees which were bugging me walking up and down the subways steps.
  • Foot Pain – I actually forgot I had foot pain until I read my notes because it’s now completely gone.
  • Hand Numbness – I used to have pain and numbness in my left hand whenever things would get really stressful at work. Not only is that gone but it doesn’t flare past a dull throb when I’m super stressed. It is noticeably improving still.
  • Brain Fog – I went from being easily stressed out and lacking confidence to kicking ass and taking names. I’m now more enthusiastic, clear-headed and productive at work. I’m no longer leaving the office feeling like the life was drained out of me.
  • Anxiety and Depression – Literally gone. I always thought my daily struggle with that down-in-the-dumps feeling was just my personality. With ZC the anxiety disappeared and the depression melted away. People keep complimenting me randomly and I know it’s because I’m in a fabulous, chill, happy mood bouncing around and enjoying everyday life. I’ve noticed the direct connection to my diet as this is the first thing to go if I eat sugary treats. Now that I know what affects me there is no going back, is there?

The only (temporary) downside I have had is a bit of initial weight gain, however, I think this will work itself out in time. Looking back on my life knowing what I now know, I realize that I have starved myself of anything nutrient dense for years. I was completely prepared for the possibility of weight gain after reading Kelly Hogan’s story and I was willing to chance the weight gain because I feel so dang good – you can’t bottle this feeling.

Happily – Healthily,
T.

Grant Manhart

I kept asking my orthopedist “What did thousands of years of wrecked knees do before total replacement in the 1960’s?” His and everyone else’s answer was “Men died younger then.” Comforting. A total knee replacement surgery after 4 years of toughing it out was scheduled for fall if I could make it through summer. In May I agreed to a cortisone injection into the knee to maybe get me through an active summer. It helped 20-30%, but pain returned full bore by mid-July. Surgery was waiting. Icepacks and ibuprofen and a heavy limp all summer got me to August. I heard Jordan Peterson’s video on his total meat switch. I was interested in the losing weight part, so I took nothing but meat and water and a little vodka (and ibuprofen, ice packs and ace bandages) on a solo 3 day fishing trip on August 1.

It’s funny but sometimes you don’t notice when chronic pain slowly leaves. No ice packs no ibuprofen since August 3 when I returned from fishing. The pain went away so gradually I did not notice! Today I walk absolutely normally and pain free… Still bone on bone, no “healing” a 60 yr old cartilage that is gone… but the pain is gone except for a shadowy “dang this used to really hurt when I did this” feeling… I can even jog a bit, ride a bike! I am an old hockey player and skating was the last exercise my failing knee could do, but the pain would stop me after 10 mins last winter on the pond. I have not run a step or biked in 4 years. I stopped pheasant hunting on opening day with friends all due to dread of pain, for at least 4 years, where due to immobility I gained 20 lbs. Already lost 12 of them… and it is still August!

Note I only tried the meat to lose weight… the knee was completely unexpected.

Phil W.

I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2002. I took the pills and ate “healthy” until 2009, during which time I cotinued to have polyps and inflammation in my gut every time I went in for a colonoscopy. In August 2009 I decided to spend a year eating only meat. In August 2010, my colonoscopy showed that my gut inflammation had disappeared. Haven’t had a polyp since, and more recent colonscopies show no sign of the disease.

Since that time I’ve added back in much of the food I eliminated, but still avoid gluten, grains and try to avoid too much starch at any given time. If I feel like I’m having trouble, I fall back to all meat for a couple days and I’m able to reset back to no symptoms.


You can read more about Phil’s story over at his blog, Crohn’s Carnivore.

Max M.

In March, of this year, I had a minor health scare. I was not in good shape and my weight was way too high, it caused some physical problems for me. My dad then told me about the Carnivore Diet, and showed me this website. Soon after, pardon my french, I got my shit together and really got into it. That health scare was a blessing in disguise.

Starting the Carnivore Diet was easily the best decision I ever made for myself. It was the easiest and simplest diet, and I love it. Months after starting it, my energy greatly improved (without caffeine), my skin is almost back to normal, and my weight has greatly decreased as well. I feel like a new man!

In March, my peak weight was 361.2 pounds. Today, 5 months later, I weigh 296.4 pounds and in the best shape I have ever been in my adult life. The Carnivore Diet was a God send for me and I can’t think of a better way to lose the weight than I have with this. Just eating all meat and losing weight may seem ludicrous to most, but it works. #MeatHeals isn’t a gimmick, it’s legit, and I’m one of many who prove that. Losing 64.8 pounds in a little over 5 months is something not a lot of people can say, and I’m proud to be able to say that.

I’d like to sincerely thank three people. The first being Dr. Shawn Baker. Thank you for putting this diet on the map. It truly was a God send for me and I am truly grateful for it. The second person I’d like to thank is my father. He was the one who told me about this diet and he was there for me every step of the way, and I’m so happy he was there for me in this journey. The third person I’d like to thank is my stepmother. She was there for me as well in this weight loss journey and her motivation truly did help me.

I may be 40 to 50 pounds away from my target weight, but this a huge step in where I want to be. If a 22 year old guy with autism can lose this much weight, then I’m certain many more can too. Congratulations to everyone on here and I wish you the best in your continued progress to a better life!

Beau Hammock

Hi Doc,

I’m a 34 year old male. I used to weigh over 400lbs. After getting my life together and doing BJJ, Muy Thai Kickboxing, and intermittent fasting I lost 165lbs. The past year I had a rough year and blew back up 50lbs.

When I heard about the Carnivore lifestyle I decided to give it a try. It’s been about three months with a couple of backslides but I’m back down to 235lbs. I’m still overweight but I can’t begin to tell you how much better I feel. My back that I had surgery on 12 years ago feels better. My joints, especially my bad knee, have been slowly improving. And any time I’ve been weak and eaten outside of the diet I feel like I have a hangover the next day as well as joint pain and inflammation. I’ve been strict carnivore again for two weeks with no plans to stray anymore.

I’ve learned my lesson. Humans are meat eaters.

Connor Sullivan

I went keto in February 2018, and after learning about Dr. Baker and hearing his story I went primarily carnivore with the help of a close friend who was also experimenting with the diet. When I say primarily carnivore I mean about 90% of my daily caloric intake comes from red meat. I still introduce small doses of carbohydrate due to the fact that I’m a type 1 diabetic and am still experimenting with how low I can go in terms of carbs per day while still keeping my blood sugar high enough. This has involved experimenting with lowering my total daily dose of insulin, and I’m happy to say I’m down for 40 units a day to 15.

Even more impressive, my A1c has gone all the way down to 5.4, prior to this diet it was 7.6. Standard deviation, calculated by my constant glucose monitor, is also down from 50 to 20 mg/dL. In other words my type 1 diabetes is under incredible control, and my sugars have never been as stable as they are now. Furthermore, the rest of my bloodwork has improved as well, and my blood pressure has gone down to normal levels.

In 2010 I blew out my right knee very badly, and blew it out again in 2013. My surgeon said I would never squat with weight again in my life, and as a gym rat this was pretty upsetting. I’m happy to report though that I can now squat heavier than ever, and go running and sprinting in the very same day, and still be able to deadlift without pain the day after. All of my other injuries, including a partially torn rotator cuff and an injury to the quadratus lumborum on my right side now no longer bother me, even with heavy and frequent squats deadlifts and bench presses. Also, my waist size has gone from a 36 to a 32, while at the same time gaining six pounds and getting stronger (I’m a skinny guy).

I also haven’t been sick since starting this diet… which is a big deal for me, a guy who has experienced sinus infections so bad that I was frequently on antibiotics 4-6 times a year.

Thanks, Dr. Baker. Meat Heals.

Adam Viskovich

I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis (UC) in 2005 at the age of 29. The diagnosis came after a steady decline in my digestive health through my late 20’s. My symptoms were 5-10 uncontrollable bowel movements per day, bloody stools, pain weight loss and lethargy. I was treated with immunosuppressant medication that helped manage my condition but brought with it a range of unwanted side effects. Despite my treatment I was never able to maintain long term remission and over the last 13 years I have regularly had to take high doses of steroids to control flares.

As well as treating my condition with pharmaceutical medication I also saw a naturopath and started looking at diet and lifestyle solutions for my illness. I had adhered to a mainly vegetarian diet since I was 18 and continued to pursue this as the best dietary strategy based on the advice I was getting.

In 2010 I found out about the raw vegan diet which I then switched to for 6 months, I then tried a fruitarian diet for another 6 months. From then on I then attempted every dietary intervention I could find; GAPS, specific carbohydrate diet, low fodmap, ketogenic, ketogenic vegan, paleo, paleo vegetarian. Over the years I’ve spent thousands on supplements like probiotics, herbs, fish oil and different vitamins and minerals. Nothing worked to manage my condition and I continued to need the expensive pharmaceutical meds costing thousands of dollars per year.

Finally I came across Dr Shawn Baker on a podcast in July 2017 and became interested in the carnivore diet. I tried it for 6 weeks starting early August and found that it improved some chronic joint pain and psoriasis and reduced some symptoms of my UC namely no more blood and mucus and less urgency.

Unfortunately I had diarrhea and saw this as a sign that my disease was still active so in late September I started including some vegetables back in my diet. Over the next few months I noticed that my joint pain and psoriasis returned and that I kept needing to increase my immunosuppressant medication for UC.

So Christmas 2017 I started on the carnivore diet again. I had seen some people say that their diarrhea was temporary, theorising that it was related to adjustments in their gut microbiome. I also learnt that by increasing the lean meat content of my diet I could manage the diarrhea. It took about 6 weeks for my digestion to stabilize and since then I’ve had no issues.

It is now late August 2018 and it’s been almost 8 months that I’ve been on the carnivore diet. I stopped taking all my medications in February and have had no symptoms of disease since then. I enjoy a diet of fatty beef with a daily coffee and cream. I occasionally eat some cheese and egg yolks. I have no problem sticking to the diet and look forward to and relish every meal.

I’m am thankful that my long journey of experimenting with diet has finally brought me the healing that I sort. I now hope that the word gets out and others suffering from “incurable” autoimmune diseases have the opportunity to give it a try.

Adam Viskovich
Twitter: @admandv
Perth, Australia

In eight months on a carnivore diet, all of Adam’s ulcerative colitis symptoms are gone, and he is off all medications.

Scott X.

Long-time vegetarian for about 9 years (heavier on fiber, whole grains, and nut/seed fat), but not against eating meat, just avoided it at home due to “ethical and sustainability” concerns (yes, I bought into the propaganda).

About 4 years in, I noticed some subtle, but consistent itches/rashes on some small areas of my skin shortly after eating, they would not heal or go away.

The symptoms would worsen over the next 5 years, causing me to cover up full-time due to the unsightly sores/rashes/tears/psoriasis/swelling all over my limbs/finger/face/back/body.

I was not able to work out/train/sweat without intense itching and pain, and stopped working out altogether years ago.

My pro-vegan and fitness GP Dr did his best, and ended up only prescribing me steroid/antibiotic creams to manage the symptoms, referring me to an allergy specialist, who after his tests, eventually added immuno-suppressants and anti-biotics (due to staph infections from the exposed skin tears), and more steroid/antibiotic creams.

2 years ago, at 5’6″, 155 lbs, I attempted a cleaner diet, removing processed foods and the meds, and focusing on whole plant foods, which steadily decreased my weight 10 lbs to 145 lbs. My symptoms remained.

I began practising meditative breathing (Wim Hof method), intensely hot/cold showers, and intermittent fasting. This provided great relief from my symptoms, but did not heal them. My weight steadily decreased another 10 lbs to 135 lbs.

Eventually, I sought a Naturopath with experience in resolving skin inflammation and auto-immune issues. He basically gave me a long list of foods to avoid, and to my surprise, they were all vegetables! Specifically, soy, brassicaes, nightshades, and starches.

I went hard and said FUCK it, I’ll just eat eggs and quinoa… for a month, see what happens.

Low and behold, all my symptoms went away. Unfortunately, I was still not able to discern or find any reasoning for the change.

I would experiment for a year further, cycling between getting intense flareups, and healing.

Eventually, as an avid listener/viewer of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, I saw/heard Dr. Shawn Baker talking about the Carnivore diet, human history with it, and his arguments for them. What he said piqued my interest, seemed reasonable, and I began to add meat back into my diet on a consistent basis. My symptoms continued to persist though, as I was still experimenting with various vegetables/foods.

After 6 months of a whole food diet of meat/plants (still avoiding vegetables noted above) with some success, I decided to just cut out vegetables entirely. During that time, I was listening to Dr. Shawn Baker on various podcasts/outlets, and especially the conversations between himself with Zack, and their guests’s on the Human Performance Outliers (HPO) podcast.

It’s been 2 months since I started eating a beef/bacon/egg, salt, and water focused carnivore diet (I still eat about 10% in berries/fruit).

My wounds are healed, I’m itch/rash/psoriasis free with no auto-immune symptoms, I get better sleep, require less sleep, have more energy than ever, and my mood/attitude/thoughts/productivity has greatly improved

I can train again without any issues, I heal faster (I think?), and I can wear tshirts/shorts again (or go shirtless), also, I dropped another steady 9 lbs to about 126 lbs (highschool weight), which I have since increased to 131 lbs by just eating way more meat and building my muscle in the gym.

Simply put, #meatheals.

Thank you, Dr. Shawn Baker.