Hi Dr Baker and team,
Coming out of high school I had never considered what I was eating, and had never deliberately exercised. I wasn’t overweight, but I was soft. By the time I was 22, I was overweight, tired, lazy, probably depressed, at 6’ 235lbs. I tried a low carb and low fat diet, with lots of chicken and egg whites, which was popular at the time, and after some ups and downs I eventually got down to 165, which was leaner than my high school days. This is when I started lifting and experimenting with carbs again, and by about 24 years old I was 200 lbs of lean hard muscle and finding a lot of success with a sort of paleo diet— lots of avocado and nuts with my chicken breast and blueberries. By 26 all of the “good” eating habits were out the window, gym sessions were rare, and my weight was steadily increasing as my muscle was melting away. By 30 I was severely depressed, I couldn’t for the life of me get back into chicken/veggies, and especially couldn’t get myself into the gym. Every day I was looking at a big burger or a steak with an IPA for 20 minutes of enjoyment after a long hard day. I felt a little guilty about the beers and potatoes, but I felt really guilty about the steaks. That’s how brainwashed I was. I had vegan friends and family members influencing my thoughts but I wasn’t doing any reading. Steak was a guilty pleasure and I blamed it (and the beers to a lesser extent) for my decline— I even tried having plant based days and weeks here and there thinking it would help (it didn’t, it made me hungry and sad, even with a grain, a green, and a bean on every plate). That routine lasted about four years, until late 2019, when I hit a soft 230, then to avoid passing 235 and being at my “worst ever” I simply decided not to eat anything that comes with a side of guilt. That was my new diet plan, whatever was guilt free.
Being back on chicken and veggies for a month, with no alcohol or caffeine, I felt really good, and I dropped like 9 lbs. Usually a month was my breaking point for chicken and broccoli and I feared that I was going to cave soon, as I was craving a beer or a whole cake. A few months prior I met a woman who’d lost 80 lbs on carnivore, and I thought she was crazy, or lying. Curious, though, and worried my chicken and spinach diet was going to fizzle out, I researched carnivore and found Dr. Baker. After buying his book and reading half of it I switched from chicken/veggies to steaks and eggs. I thought I felt good on chicken with asparagus, but I felt REALLY good on carnivore.
Within a week I had dropped another 9 lbs or so. I didn’t feel hungry ever, my mood and energy were at a constant 90% or higher, just STABLE. After another week I started to notice my anxiety, while still there, was attached to real problems (like running late, etc) instead of just being constant and for no apparent reason. My appetite was super steady and consistent, I knew a steak and four eggs for breakfast would leave me SATISFIED for 8-10 hours. This made life easier, especially while traveling, or looking after my 10 month old daughter. It’s a lot easier to be a super busy business owner, a good husband, and a good father when you’re not worried about feeding yourself. I stopped obsessing about calories and macros. I stopped feeling guilty. I stopped craving alcohol, sweets, cheese (crazy, right?), or even bread. Bread was hard to give up for chicken and veggies but not hard at all for steaks.
I’ve been almost completely carnivore for seven weeks and they’ve been the most colorful and exciting seven weeks I can remember. Today I weigh just over 190 lbs and I still haven’t gotten back in the gym or taken two steps into a run— but now I’m actually craving it. I plan to get my fitness straightened out very soon and I imagine it’ll be a breeze with how much better I’ve been feeling. Right now a steak makes me feel like I have a pump, it’s pretty much euphoric.
When I was posting pictures of baked potatoes covered with bacon and cheese next to a Guinness, my friends would comment that it looked amazing. Now when I post a rib eye with a side of porterhouse they message me “concerned about my health.” This diet is insane, people think you’re nuts, but for every one “worried” acquaintance I have, I have a dozen who say I’m glowing. I don’t know if I’ll stick to this forever, but I do know I’m keeping it in my back pocket to fall back on in case I ever slip into horrible habits. This has been the EASIEST and most rewarding approach to my physical and mental wellness I’ve ever tried. Thank you, dr. Baker, the Petersons, and joe rogan for sharing about this crazy diet!
Hi Dr Baker,
2001. My story begins when I joined the Navy . When I got to bootcamp I was constantly tired but so was everyone else. They are very strict and watch you constantly so you can’t take naps. You only get the sleep when they allow you too and being sleep deprived is a training tool. When I left bootcamp and got to my training school it was different. I was able to get more sleep but I was still very tired all the time. Looking back on that now I feel that was when my health started to take a turn.
Once I got to the Naval Fleet my weight jumped from 180 lbs when I was in boot camp to 220lbs. I also started to drink quite heavily. I was able to get alcohol from coworkers until I turned 21 but drinking was part of the culture. We would have big parties and I drank almost every day but really heavy on the weekend. Around 18 drinks per day.
The first health problem other than the constant fatigue that I was suffering from began on a deployment to the middle east. I began getting really bad acne on my fore arms. I went to medical several times for it. They would always give me a cream and send me away. They never diagnosed me with anything. But it wouldn’t go away.
2005. I got out of the Navy. After the Navy my weight jumped up from 220 to 285 in a matter of 6 months or so. I got really bad stretch marks all over my sides and I started to get man boobs. I had really tender nipples and I even went to the doctor and got an ultra sound and they never found anything. The tender nipples subsided after about 6 months on it’s own.
2006. I was drinking constantly because I was just going to school part time. I would have a 12 pack of beer a night. Around this time my ability to control my mood and my thoughts were beginning to slip which is challenging with a newborn around. I would have trouble not getting angry for no reason. I didn’t want to go in crowds. I even spit at a lady who wouldn’t let me into Costco because my wife was already in the store with the card.
2007 when I was in trade school I started to have incredibly itchy skin. When we were outside working on a project and I couldn’t even stand still because my legs were so itchy. I kept rubbing them together when I couldn’t reach down and scratch them. It was maddening. But a Zyrtec would stop the itchy skin.
2009 I got a good Job, I would limit my drinking to a 6 pack a night during the week, but every day all I could do was think of that beer, plus I would look forward to the weekends all week long so I could get fucked up.
2010 I started to hear my family doctor telling me that my blood pressure was borderline. I never told them about my alcohol abuse. I even had a doctor tell me that my weight was fine because her son was a big boy and I was like him, just like a corn fed southern boy. And of course this was what I wanted to hear anyways. I just kept drinking and eating everything I wanted. But no matter how much I ate or drank my weight stayed around 285. I learned now thought looking back that I had reached my own personal fat threshold. A very bad place to be!
2013 now my doctor is telling me that I need to go on blood pressure medications. Also my fasting blood sugar is 105 and that I needed to watch that. They also put me on a statin. I became incredibly preoccupied with my health and became obsessed that I would get some disease like cancer. I even got a hair cut and the lady nicked my neck and I was positive I got Hep C. I went to the doctor and demanded to get tested.I was so worried about the Hep C because I feared I would have to give up drinking. My anxiety at this point was worse than ever. I even had to leave work after a few panic attacks. It was taking everything I had to hold my life together.
2015 my mom dies from type 2 diabetes. At this point I was drinking more than ever. I was put on 2 blood pressure medication. My blood pressure was 190/110. When I would ejaculate my head would pound so hard I felt like my eyes are gonna pop out of my skull. My doctor tried to put me on an anxiety medication but I refused. I also started having dizzy spells and would almost faint. As a 285 lb man I would get these soars between my legs that would hurt and leak puss.
2016 around December I started my journey back to health. My moms passing away put the fear of god into me. I had a few friends at work doing Keto and after I saw Doctor Sarah Hallbergs Ted talk about diabetes and how poorly my mom was treated for her illness. They basically did everything completely backwards. I was PISSED off. I knew I didn’t want to end up like her.
I went from 285 lbs to 200 lbs in about 8 months. I was doing a Doctor Berg style Keto at the time. My blood pressure dropped like a stone. I stopped my blood pressure meds and the head pain during ejaculation and the dizziness went away. I no longer was tired all the time. I began having boundless energy. I would have a drink once in a blue moon. After cutting sugar out I didn’t really crave it anymore. My soars on my legs went away. I stopped my statin on my own. My moods had become more stable. I quit drinking completely on thanksgiving day 2017. I had a few drinks after dinner that night and I was just over it completely. It brought me no joy anymore. It never even crosses my mind now. I truly believe diet and nutrition are deeply related to addiction.
2018 I decided to give the carnivore diet a try. All the big salads and vegetables which were working for me for a while became incredibly irritating to my digestive system. I couldn’t eat anything without having massive diarrhea. The first thing I noticed on carnivore was my digestion was absolutely flawless. When I would eat I felt satisfied, not full and bloated. The acne on my arms is now gone. The itchy skin still continued until I removed dairy. I no longer have anxiety, I’m always happy. My relationship with my wife and daughter is so much better now. I can be the husband and father that they deserve. I feel incredible all the time.
I can go for 16 hours or longer without hunger. I never think of food during that time. On Keto I would think about all the things I was gonna eat when I got home. Food Is really just nourishment for me now. Thats not to say I don’t enjoy it, but I feel free from the addictions I once had.
I was already into mountain biking from my time doing Keto but on carnivore I am faster, climb better, and have endless endurance. I even beat people 10 years younger than me. I still weigh around 195 lbs but I have definition in my chest and a v shape from my chest to my waist.
Going Keto and then ultimately carnivore has made me realize I was not living life before, but going through the motions. I am truly living now and it’s the best feeling in the world. I have no plans of going back.
Eating carnivore for roughly 17 months now.
Always been in pretty good shape – former Bahamas National Rugby team player for 15 years; however, when my 40’s hit I was finding it harder to maintain a level of fitness and health that I wanted. Found carnivore and the rest is history. Turning 44 in August, eat carnivore 85% of the time, have the odd night of drinks, followed by a cheat day of rubbish food, workout 3-4 days per week for about 25-40 mins and feeling pretty damn good! Definitely enhanced mental clarity (has to be something to animal fat being a key nutrient for the brain), great strength in the gym and generally just feel healthy. Best part is grocery shopping and eating is so simple. I take zero supplements, zero vitamins, zero medications. Just food, water and sometimes alcohol.
Again, I probably have too many cheat days (social events and dinners), but that hasn’t stopped me from achieving some great results.
Carnivore may not be for everyone, but I have helped a few people in my small circle achieve some pretty amazing results – backed by Doctor visits and blood tests.
Keep spreading the word man – you managed to reach little ole Bahamas.
Oddly enough, HIIT seemed to make me no longer need any asthma medication. When I started, I could barely run 400m without needing an inhaler. After about 6 months I had stopped taking my daily meds and only the worst metcons even gave me a tingle of asthma. I woke up every day at 5am and trained like it was my job, but I needed something to pay the bills. I wanted a career that would allow me to continue my fitness journey. I had been a sick kid all my life and I desperately wanted to cling to my newfound drug-free existence. So I joined the Army as a medic. I loved being a medic; I loved the job, I loved the mission. My duty station was a little cold in Fairbanks, Alaska but I was determined to make the most of it.
When I deployed to Afghanistan 2011-2012 I started the deployment with a robust fitness plan in place. My starting weight was 180lb. My lifts were going up and we had access to a great gym every other week. On the other week we used a makeshift gym and got our lifts in that way. Though the name “Globo Gym” and its motto, “where we’re better than you and we know it” were pretty much a giant troll on the Crossfitters, I was extremely grateful to the creative carpenters who fashioned it, and shared the place with the rest of us. It was all in good fun.
Unfortunately we got traded to another battalion after the first three months. We spent the rest of the deployment moving from place to place and tearing down small combat outposts in Kandahar Province. We were constantly were without equipment, and I resorted to squatting my best friend Z and lifting blocks of concrete.
Overseas It was getting harder and harder to stay fit on MREs and crappy food, little sleep and constant movement. Some of us had a harder time than others maintaining our fitness overseas and I was one that gained 30lbs.
Some was muscle. Some was definitely not. I blamed poor food and my bad attitude for the problem and when I was given time off on our return from Afghanistan, I vowed to get myself back in gear because my symptoms of the long-gone asthma were returning.
However, I found that it was increasingly difficult after deployment to lose weight and keep it off. I was having energy problems, focus problems, and really strong bouts of anxiety. And I know what you’re thinking; maybe it’s PTSD! No, it wasn’t that kind of deployment. I did get my CMB (combat medical badge) but it was for a minor injury and none of my friends were hurt. I was not mentally traumatized. But I was sick. At the time I didn’t know with what.
So things continued as normal until I got a really cool job at the Brigade Surgeon Cell, basically I assisted in outpatient procedures every week and updated a tracker for following up with the status of the injured soldiers from our deployment. I learned a lot in this job, but I was having the hardest time focusing. I went to see behavioral health to find out if anything was wrong. They gave me a battery of tests and I scored above average in every category except one: focus/attention. I scored 30% in that test and was diagnosed with adult onset ADD. So I started taking Methylphenidate. Well, I was able to do my job, but my anxiety got worse….and the underlying condition seemed no closer to being handled. So it was now time for me to leave the Army and I was honorably discharged in 2014. I did my 4 years, now I was going to school. In the meantime I was health hacking. I was trying to get to the bottom of whatever it was that was wrong. I was starting to not be able to recover from workouts…a simple Workout of the Day would render me cripplingly sore for two weeks or more. I was just kind of stumped.
I hypothesized that perhaps it was the ADD meds that somehow were keeping me in a sympathetic nervous system dominance of sorts. So I discontinued the meds but the damage seemed to be done. In Afghanistan, I got up to 220 and I got back down to 185 after I left the service, but it was a flabby 185 if I’m honest. I was just inflamed and not the best version of myself when I came back. I was distracted, anxious, even without the meds now, and I was gaining weight. I tried pretty much everything I could think of. I spent the next 4 years studying health and building on the knowledge base of paleo and CrossFit which didn’t seem to be enough anymore.
I tried keto and the neurosis got worse, unbearable. I tried supplementing with powdered greens to get every kind of trace mineral and phytonutrient known to man. I supplemented iodine, 3 or 4 versions. I supplemented vitamin D, emulsified, bioavailable, etc., every permutation. I tried different amino acids, co-factors, fish oils, krill oils, algae oils. I learned that most of what I tried was oxidized so I tried again with different sourcing. I tried alkaline water and it was weird. I did lab work. I did a DUTCH test to see where my hormones were. Estrogen: Super High. Testosterone: Super High. What should I do about that? I don’t know. Probably take a giant box of more supplements. I took binders and detoxes and cleanses. I ordered crazy shit you can only get from Europe. I turned off my router at night and started using my phone on speaker phone in case it was frying my brain. I didn’t use a tinfoil hat but I came close…. I bought a fancy bed because it didn’t off-gas flame retardants. I bought a sauna, I did hair analysis, I bought another round of different forms of every supplement I tried before. I switched toothpaste, soap, and deodorant, anything I could think of. I bought a deep freezer and filled it full of local grass-fed, grass-finished beef I couldn’t afford. Some of the things I tried, I still use, but it was exhausting, and I wasn’t getting results.
Nothing really even touched the problem until I tried digestive enzymes. All of the sudden my cravings for alcohol went away. At this point, I was pretty bummed and I’d started drinking with little regard to my health, so this shift was kind of a big deal. I had been starting to give up. I had swelled up to 225, a new PR! But the enzymes were a little ray of hope. Masszymes was the brand, developed by a vegan no less; turns out he couldn’t digest a wet paper bag without the help of these superpowered enzymes. And don’t get me wrong, they work, but I question their necessity. I started getting my life together again. I was trying to lose the weight and I found this really interesting guy on YouTube named Jordan Peterson who said I might try pulling my head out of my ass and getting my life together. Well ok I said, I’ll give it a whirl. And so I did. I cleaned my room. I did laundry. I washed more than the minimum number of dishes to get by. I put my house back together and finished up a never-ending remodeling project. I started looking for something meaningful I could do with my life besides just keep burning up my GI Bill getting paid to go to classes.
Well here I was starting to get a hold of my life and look for a way to not be the biggest turd on the planet, and around that time we had a family reunion to see the solar eclipse. I realized, to my shame, that my cousin’s wife had been wasting away with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease for the last two years. The last I heard about it, someone else was trying to be a donor, so in my self absorbed pity party I had kind of forgotten about it.
So I was sitting across from her in front of my family’s pool and thinking, “she looks pretty sick still. I wonder whatever happened with the liver thing. Well, she’ll probably be annoyed that I’m asking her two years later. But oh, what the hell, the worst that could happen is that she’ll tell me to f*** off and let her die in peace.” So I ask. First off she’s not offended, I’m a total dweeb. Furthermore she said she’s blood type A+. I’m type A+. So we talked, she told me how the last two people including her daughter weren’t matches, because it turns out being a living organ donor is like winning the lottery. Most people die waiting for donors, she explains. And there are lots of things that can happen to make you lose your place in line. Her MELD score wasn’t high enough to get an emergency status so she was slowly dying in agony, vomiting blood, and experiencing all sorts of nightmarish symptoms. Seemed like she was in a real hell on earth. And a living donor was her best chance at life.
Well, I had been asking for more meaning in life; here was the opportunity. Time to take on a little responsibility and make the world a better place. So I said, let’s try and see if I’m a match. I figured I’m getting a hold of this digestion thing, I’m cutting back on booze, sorting myself out. I was looking for meaning and here was finally a chance to really save a life and feel like I earned my CMB. So I did it. I was a perfect match at literally everything. I was a first-time go at every station and from the August conversation I was green-lit by Christmas, in large part because she would certainly have died if we didn’t do it soon. I lost 20 lbs doing strict keto and going cold turkey with no alcohol at all. Because come on, I can’t pollute the thing if I’m giving part of it away. It went very smoothly. I was able to walk out of the hospital in 4 days. I felt a good deal better in a week. I felt normal in a month and in 2 months I felt as strong as I was before. Really not the big deal physically that I hyped it up to be. However emotionally and spiritually still deeply meaningful. Probably the proudest moment of my life.
Well, now I was healed up, but I was stuck at 200lbs and I wasn’t losing any more weight. The anxiety was coming back and being strict for this long without an excellent motivator was starting to wear on me. My wife and I were eating a giant box of fresh local vegetables every week as part of my recovery plan on keto. I couldn’t figure it out and these enzymes were $300/month. I had previously figured that the weight gain was due to alcohol, and I wasn’t terribly worried because beer drinking and having a beer gut seemed like a fair deal from the universe. However after 9 months alcohol-free, I was still experiencing digestive issues. Something was still not right even with the enzymatic support.
So I did microbiome testing. I found out I had dysbiosis and lots of different opportunistic pathogens! However this does not paint a very detailed picture, so I also did an RNA-based test which shows percentages of different bacteria’s RNA transcription, to determine relative activity. I saw that 58% of all activity was one microbe called Acinetobacter baumannii. So I Googled it. “Iraqibacter” is its nickname. It’s an antibiotic-resistant pathogen that is endemic to the desert that’s famous for killing wounded soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Crap. That doesn’t sound good. If it’s resistant to almost all forms of antibiotics how do you kill it? I found some seriously dangerous treatments but there was a common theme; I needed to get much worse before I qualified for these dangerous interventions. So double crap. I realized that one potential source of this problem might be our prophylactic for malaria; doxycycline. We were ordered to take a dose every day for the entire year long deployment. So having dysbiosis and an antibiotic-resistant infection kind of fit my story. But then the question was why did I seem to have health problems that other soldiers didn’t have? I realized later that most of my fellow soldiers were flushing their pills after the first week because it was making them feel sick taking them. Unfortunately, I was a boy scout and took them almost every day. In the Army’s defense, I did see malaria in the region, and it’s a real battlefield threat that has killed lots of soldiers throughout history. So I don’t blame the Army, even though it created difficulties for me personally.
So I started doing my research again. Ironically, the only folks who have experience with unknown crazy gut infections, biofilms, and detox protocols were vegans. (Another red flag along with the enzymes.) The vegan Youtubers led me to diatomaceous earth. I tried it. I had crazy reactions and it’s just silica, should be innate. Ok, I was onto something. I took that for a while, and tried coffee enemas trying to get whatever was in there out and killed. It worked, honestly. The vegan community was onto something with their infection mitigation and detox stuff. It begged the question though, why is this peculiar knowledge so prevalent and common among vegans and why is all this health hacking necessary if they’re eating so healthily? I came across turpentine and that’s when I saw some crazy stuff happen. Things started to die but I felt like I was dying too. I found Vegetable Police on YouTube – he has the most hilarious video about turpentine you will ever see. So we were looking at digestion as a potential primary cause of my symptoms.
Then I found Stan Efferding who says basically you can’t digest all those veggies. Like the giant box of organic co-op veggies I’ve been eating faithfully every week for 9 months and paying out the nose for? Those veggies? YEP……ugh. So I cut them out. I felt better. I dove deeper and before I could get any further down this weird cure of avoiding vegetables, I saw Jordan Peterson on the Joe Rogan show, talking about his daughter Mikhaila’s diet and the results he was getting. Sold, totally sold. That fit everything I’d been studying – it made sense with keto, digestion health, and a plan to starve out the infection. After starting on the carnivore diet, I began to feel the effects almost immediately. I lost another 20 pounds, my anxiety plummeted, my energy exploded, my mood was lifted. I felt so much better, I felt like a new human. This part of the story is pretty typical. Just everything went so much better, it’s unbelievable. So unbelievable, I don’t like talking about it, because I sound crazy. Vegetables are the problem? Well, that explains why the vegans know so much about mitigating their effects. It also explains why meat eaters think it’s crazy BS. So that brings me to today. I’m 9 months a carnivore and doing great. I’m still losing weight each week. My vanity doesn’t want me to upload this story quite yet, but I’ve made a lot of progress, and I’m always going to be a work in progress. So here is my before and after.
Give me 6 more months I’ll look even better. Thank you all for promoting this way of eating. It’s these kinds of stories that encourage others to keep pursuing their health and to find real and lasting changes, whatever path it takes for them. My path led me to meat. And though I am no doctor or scholar, as an n of 1, I sure feel like I’m healed. #meatheals
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!!