Hi Sean and Team,
Please consider this version of my success story, it probably easier to read and in better English than what I sent Yesterday.
I am a 50 year old male living in South Africa. My name is Nick Tatalias. I started a journey of weight gain as a weight lifter and competitive powerlifter where I steadily put on more and more weight, initially competing at Powerlifting at 110kg (as it was then) and in weightlifting at 105kg. But as time went on I moved up the 120kg weight category because I was “getting stronger”. In reality I was just getting fatter.
I Started on a low carb diet in 2014 reducing from 123kg to 103kg over the course of a year. Initially I kept my weight constant but over time my weight had started to creep up. I told people I was 105kg but was closer to 108kg. Then I told people I was 108kg when that was the bottom of my range, probably more like 110kg. Snacking on cheese and never getting that satiated signal, I would often eat to much at meals. I did reduce my blood pressure medication but never came off that. Despite the weight loss I still had ankle and knee joint pain. I still had Tinnitus (a symptom of metabolic syndrome) which effected my aviation medicals (I am a private pilot).
After watching a video of Mikhaila Peterson presenting at a carnivore conference in 2019 and because of knee and ankle pains, I thought I would give carnivore a go. I steadily reduced vegetables but still suffered a bit from constipation, then I went pure carnivore for a week and see how it went. I was eating eggs and dairy and meat. It went well so I committed for the whole month in August 2019. In September I stopped dairy and went ruminant only (after re watching Mihaila’s presentation) with liver and kidney. But mostly only Steak. I started to feel much better and lose weight to the point that I was getting comments at work at how well I was looking. I started doing some limited body weight exercises, for the first time in 3 years (since I started my new business) because I had the mental energy again and the physical energy. The constipation cleared up without the veggies (the opposite was true at first but that settled down) My knee issue and ankle pains were almost a thing of the past. I had a medical for insurance purposes, my LDL (C) was up ( total “cholesterol”of 7.2 mmol/l and the insurance wanted to load the premiums, I repeated the blood (many results to share) and did the Feldman protocol. I just couldn’t eat 5000kCal for three days on the meat it was simply too much food. But Total cholesterol went down to 6.5 so insurance was reduced. I also did a CAC score which showed a zero on all but one of the coronary arteries and a 1 on the one artery which gave me a score of 1. This gave me confidence that the cholesterol wasn’t a factor. My cholesterol has always been high even before the Keto diet I had doctors trying to get me on Statins.
In early December I was down to 99 to 101kg range. I went on holiday in December to travel to Canada and the US. During the trip I wasn’t able to stay totally Carnivore but still Keto and only two meals a day. My weight stabilized but with the reintroduction of veggies and dairy my knees started to hurt again, so I will have to check if diary or veggies are the cause.
Since the start of January and a return to South Africa and return to the Carnivore I have lost more weight range now from 95kg to 97kg. I am 1.86m tall about 6’2″ tall and I haven’t weight this little since I was 30. I am now 50 turning 51 in March 2020. My knees are getting better again. I have just completed my annual aviation medical again. The Doctor loved my weight loss, my hearing had improved which surprised the doctor but I explained that my tinnitus had reduced so I could hear much better. Tinnitus is a symptom of metabolic syndrome – so Carnivore has helped where Keto hadn’t. My blood pressure was 120/67 also much lower to the point that doctor wants me to see if I can stop the medication for that. But my total Cholesterol was 8.2 and LDL 7.0. Triglicerides 0.5, HDL 1.7. HbAIC 4.8% or 29mmol/mol (lowest I have measured) and insulin fasted 4.1 and fasted glucose 5.5. The doctor nearly fell off his chair at the Cholesterol but I told him I was on a banting diet (what we call Keto in South Africa – didn’t mention the Carnivore will at my next visit). I also showed him my CAC score, and that with a healthy ECG he passed me with flying colours because of how well I looked to him and all the good things. We are now going to see if I can go off my blood pressure meds which I have been on for 12 years. We both agreed that once I hit my goal weight and the fat in circulation would stabilise and I would return the LDL to normal, although I may be a hyper responder or a lean mass hyper responder (although lean hasn’t described me in years but is starting to again)
My goal weight is to be 90 to 93kg and to start lifting again (weight lifting). on the whole my thinking is much clearer, my energy better and my mood is definitely much more upbeat even with the pressure of my own business in a very tough economy. Added benefits are that I can now fly with around 15kg more fuel in the plane which adds close to 45 minutes more reserve, loving carnivore. My brother is interested but he is a bus driver in Canada and not wealthy so he is trying to figure out how to do it too, he is on a Keto 2 meal a day regime currently.
My iron levels are all normal except the Ferritin, but this has been high since I started measuring it during my Keto time. I guess I will have to donate more blood. I had hoped this would come down with a reduction in the chronic inflammation that had been hanging around. CRP was below 1 so no issue with inflammation any longer.
I am so happy with the carnivore diet and recommend to people to try it for a month seriously commit and see the benefits. Interestingly I never seem to grow tired of steaks, I never thought it would be such fun.
MY SUCCESS STORY
Hi Dr. Baker & fellow MeatRx members,
I started the Carnivore diet July 2019. I was desperate to find a solution to the GI symptoms that I was having. Chronic constipation, painful gas, bloating, and indigestion were making me feel miserable. My husband started a Carnivore diet several months prior that resolved his eczema and regulated his bowel movements. He encouraged me to give it a try, but I resisted his advice for several weeks. Why? Because I couldn’t wrap my head around not eating veggies! I just kept thinking, “I have been eating healthy and exercising the last 2 years, why do I feel so bad?”
Thank god I eventually came around and decided I had enough! I saw no other option but to eliminate all foods from my diet other than animal products. Within a few days of being on the diet, my bloating and gas were improved. Although my bowel movements became less frequent, I was no longer constipated. No more laxatives and suppositories! I felt so much better.
This diet has given me freedom beyond what I could ever imagine! It’s not only healed my gut, but also improved my mental health and eliminated my sugar cravings and stress eating. Animal based nutrition along with routine exercise has allowed me to wean off my prescription medications for anxiety, depression, and migraines. I’ve taken these meds since I was a teen, and the side effects are horrible (insomnia, decreased libido, weight gain, grogginess). Being off them has changed my life.
Other benefits that I have seen are increased mental clarity, increased energy, improved performance in the gym, decreased body fat, increased strength, and muscle growth. I also have a better relationship with my husband because we support each other as we live this Animal Based Lifestyle.
Thank you, Dr. Baker & MeatRx for allowing me to share my story. I hope it helps someone else who is struggling in the same way. I am grateful that I gave the Carnivore diet a chance, and that I found the MeatRx community. This way of life is not widely accepted and not always easy. Your platform provides valuable info, resources, support, and connection with other like-minded Carnivores. I have a place to call home
– Lori MeatRx Coach
It’s New Year’s Eve 2018, and this time last year I was making lists and action plans for how I might once-and-for-all get to the bottom of my digestion problems. “This will be the year,” I would think as I would set out at the top of that willpower mountain only to make a steady trail downwards and backwards. I would tell myself, I will drink more water than ever, I’ll eat kale, collards, and spinach, I’ll cut down on meat to once a week max… I’ll have my plate be mostly vegetables. I tried soaking my grains, slow cooking my food, juice fasts, bone broth fasts, water fasts, I tried yoga postures for digestion, a regular evening walk, going vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, gluten free, grain free, paleo… I did the Whole Life Challenge three times, the Whole30 several times a year, I tried staying on the Whole30 for 100 days… I did the GAPs diet, I tried eating only once a day; eating 3 times a day; grazing all day; not eating after 4pm, I tried the Low Fodmap diet, the SCD, I saw doctors and specialists, I had abdominal x-rays, ultrasounds, a colonoscopy… I worked with a nutritionist (for a year!), received regular acupuncture, took Chinese herbs, went to naturopaths, did colon cleanses, saw Mayan Abdominal massage therapists… At one point I tested positive for SIBO and stuffed myself with supplements like goldenseal, oil of oregano, bitters and all manner of digestive enzymes, Berbercap, 5htp, ABD5, Interphase, Floradix. I did two rounds of Rifaximin and Neomycin but the SIBO kept coming back.
I was “being so good”, doing everything I was supposed to be doing! I’d see slight improvements but eventually all of my symptoms would return. Nothing was actually healing me. And not only was I chronically constipated, I had all kinds of mysterious health issues about which doctors would always shrug and say, “Let’s just watch it and see”. I was always getting “benign tumors” including a lump under my arm, a lipoma on my shoulder blade, an enchondroma in my finger that caused the bone to fracture, a uterine fibroid, fibrocystic breast tissue… I had mysterious skin rashes, rosacea, vision problems, and constant whooshing (tinnitus) in my left ear. I had problems falling and staying asleep, I had bizarre inflammation flare-ups in my joints including one in my knee that was so debilitating that I could not walk without a cane for several months. I had interstitial cystitis, irregular cycles, headaches (including ocular migraines), and I was also depressed, anxiety-ridden and anemic. There were days when I could manage to go to a barre class only come home and sit parked in the driveway for half an hour or more trying to muster the energy to walk to my front door. I was miserable. I was red-faced and so bloated that I looked 5 months pregnant. I would wake up with a day planned and by 10 in the morning I would have to start cancelling things because I was so inflamed/in pain/bloated/exhausted and emotionally drained. I was missing out on time with my kids, with my husband, my friends, my life.
I felt I had tried everything and I was miserable. And then I tried going keto. I started seeing a slight shift in regularity, I started having more energy and better moods, I was sleeping better… I started learning everything I could about ketosis and macros! I was tracking and peeing on sticks and trying amazing keto recipes like graham crackers with cream cheese frosting!! Then I heard about micronutrients and slammed on the breaks. The fear set in and I was worried that I might not be getting what I needed if I wasn’t eating my greens and other “superfoods” so I added collards back in and immediately the tinnitus came back. I added in berries and avocado and I became constipated again, my energy dropped, the moodswings returned. Then one night I was listening to Anthony Gustin’s podcast and heard Dr. Shawn Baker talking about carnivory. I thought, you know what? I have tried EVERYthing else… What have I got to lose by trying one more thing? So, I threw my hands up and went carnivore.
That was September and now, 4 months later, every single one of those symptoms I mentioned above have disappeared. In six weeks went from 156lbs to 127lbs (and have now stopped weighing myself because I couldn’t care less about the scale). I went from CIC (chronic idiopathic constipation) to having several -at least two- bowel movements every day. I can make plans with confidence because I am no longer a slave to mysterious physical and mental health issues. Today my diet is simple. There is no guesswork, recipe scouring or fretting over whether this dish is “legal”. I eat mainly beef, pork, elk, and fish. I can have small amounts of cheese but I don’t do well on eggs or yogurt. I do not miss anything that I used to eat. I do not feel left out when others partake in things I cannot eat because I have my health back and that is way more delicious than anything else imaginable!
I have always been heavier but over the years with yo-yo dieting I kept getting bigger and bigger. I always went on a crash diet, lost 30 pounds, celebrated by eating junk and then inevitably gaining back 40lbs. After my daughter was born I even lost 75 pounds with a low carb diet. I hit my goal weight and then went back to eating “normal” and over a year and a half I gained 100lbs. Genetically I was on my way to thyroid issues and diabetes. My mother and grandmother had both and I guarantee by the time I was 35 I would have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
My main source of food came from gas stations and fast food restaurants and I typically finished each day with a pint of ice cream. I used food for entertainment and a source of comfort. In Feb 2018 I had knee surgery for a torn meniscus that was 100% due to my weight.
On March 12th 2018 I had a wake up call, my “baby” was almost 2 and I weighed than I did when I went into labor with him. I had hit an all time high of 263lbs. I immediately went on another “low carb diet”. I lost weight right away and was counting down to my first cheat day. This time I was introduced to Carnivore and Fasting. That cheat day I was planning came and went (no cheats), I was feeling so good that other foods didn’t tempt me the same way. I ate meat on my Birthday, my Anniversary, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. All of these Holidays and family events that usually were all about food ended up becoming more about actually enjoying my family. The longer I stayed Carnivore the better I felt and more I realized this was a long term permanent solution to my weight issues. In addition I had healed some life long issues with my digestion that I thought were just “normal”. I didn’t realize how much my anxiety was triggered by food until I removed those foods.
I lost 120 pounds in less than a year and have made the Carnivore diet my new “normal”. For the first time in my life I am in the “normal range” for BMI. I eat 2 pounds of beef a day, exercise, and am feeling better than I ever even knew possible.
Starting date: March 12th 2018
Starting weight: 263lbs BMI 40
Current weight: 140lbs BMI 21
* Joint pain
* Constipation/digestive issues
* Low energy
* Constant mindless eating
I’ve been zero carb for 6 months and I couldn’t be happier or healthier.
I’ve been a ketogenic lifestyler for several years, however something just always felt ‘off’. Since going only meat and water, everything changed.
My physical and mental performance is the best it’s ever been. I am getting stronger in the gym day in day out, building muscle and maintain a lean physique year round. I have unlimited focus, clarity and improved memory and mood.
ZC helped me recover from adrenal fatigue and several eating disorders. It also cured my chronic constipation which I suffered for several years.
I have had several blood tests done over the last year, and since going ZC my total testosterone went up 50%, free testosterone went up 250% and I got my libido back. My triglycerides are 44mg/dl. And virtually all other blood markers are optimal levels.
Being a health and wellness coach, stumbling upon such a bizarre (against popular belief) and simple way of living really came as a shock. I cannot personally recommend it enough as it has completely changed my life.
I was born on March 21, 1973, in Germany. Based on my parents’ accounts of my early years, I had skin issues, constant bloating and digestive problems, constipation in particular, pretty much from the start. By the age of four, I was diagnosed with severe seasonal allergies. From then on, antihistamines, wearing gloves to stop me from scratching, having my arms wrapped up in bandages because my continued scratching led to infections, and not being able to go outside to play during the spring became the new normal. I fell asleep in school because the daily dose of antihistamines knocked me out. Topical steroids in mega strength became the go-to methods of dealing with my constantly itching skin. In high school I was made fun of because my neck looked like that of an old woman.
When I was in my early 20s, I saw an alternative practitioner who told me to avoid wheat and dairy. So I went on my first elimination diet, which did not do anything but aggravate my symptoms. Lacking information and consequently not being strict enough, I was frustrated with this approach and considered her a charlatan. In retrospect, she was the first person who actually had hit the nail on the head with her diagnosis. A dermatologist scoffed at this alternative “crap”, recommended to eat whatever I wanted, and to apply more cortisone to help with the inflammation and itching. I would follow his advice for many years, almost ruining my skin in the process.
I do not recall when I first knew that I was experiencing every month is premenstrual syndrome. For a while, I just assumed it is normal to turn into this vicious hulk without any control over my temper. Breast pain, forgetfulness and mind fog, pimple outbreaks, worsened eczema, water retention, constipation, sugar cravings from hell, and mood swings comprised the collection of my symptoms. Pretty much ten days of each of my cycles were spent like this, every single month, for more than 30 years. Another hint at a serious hormone imbalance was the way I used to store body fat. I have always been lean, but whatever fat I had I predominantly stored around my hips, butt, and thighs. I could train as hard as I wanted – I was an avid step aerobics and dance aerobics instructor – and it would not shift my body composition.
In 2006, I moved from Germany to Los Angeles for my postdoctoral studies, met my husband, and stayed here. I still shudder when I think about all the crap I used to eat after I got here: cookies, fast food, soda; free food was always available on campus and it still is. Over the years, I had times where I paid a bit more attention to my eating habits, but mostly, I just did what everybody else did, until the fall of 2013. Around that time a friend of mine told me about LCHF and her success with it, which led me to start the classic journey from the standard American diet via low carb and keto to eventually zero carb. Over the course of this almost 5-year dietary experiment, I cut out the usual suspects like flour, grains, sugar, and in conjunction seed oils. I of course baked all sorts of low carb bread, cookies, cakes, and other sweet goods and used dairy, coconut oil and low carb sweeteners in abundance.
Over time, I had been able to weed out serious offenders, while still clinging to almond and coconut flour, sweeteners, and dairy. After reading that dairy could be a culprit for chronic coughs, runny nose, and weepy eyes, I performed a dairy elimination experiment. After an entire month of dairy abstinence, I started coughing immediately upon reintroduction. My runny nose and weepy eyes returned as well, putting the nail in the coffin for diary. The following year, I experienced my first spring without seasonal allergies!
With dairy gone and my base line much lower, it was easier to track my skin condition and bloating. Over the course of another 1.5 years, I learned that sweeteners, coconut flour or any kind of coconut products, and almond flour either bloated me or made my skin itch like hell. I also learned that PMS causes eczema flares, especially around my eyes. The next natural step was to eat meat and veggies. At this point, I suspected as much but still did not want to face the fact that all the yummy low carb veggies I liked hated my guts, literally.
When I came across Shawn’s tweets about eating only meat I was at the same time intrigued and disturbed, but mostly intrigued. Following him on Twitter was probably the best thing I could do. Not only was he documenting his progress, but other people who tried it out chimed in with their successes and improvements. Rationally, it all made sense to me. Taking the leap and trying it for myself took until the first 90-day carnivore challenge with Nequalsmany. I knew I did not want to compromise my data collection, so the challenge was a good incentive to keep me on the straight and narrow.
Coincidentally, my period started on Aug 15, 2017, the first day of the challenge. It was a fantastic opportunity for me to observe how my PMS issues would behave. I was blown away with the almost complete lack of any symptoms during the first cycle. Barely noticeable breast tenderness and some eczema around my eyes were the remainder of my symptoms. My hope for reproducibility was not disappointed. Now, six months into zero carb, I have zero PMS. Zero! In addition, I can observe my body composition changing; my thighs are getting more defined, my quads getting visible, and my hips and bum are getting slimmer. I hypothesize that my hormone imbalance has been resolved.
Bloating after eating is a thing of the past, as is chronic constipation. I seem to be more resilient toward colds. In the past, I used to catch everything that was going around. I am observing no sunburns (in SoCal) and easy and quick tanning, just like when I was a kid. My mood has been even keel; zero carb serenity is truly a thing and keeps the hulk in check. I get less or not sore at all after workouts. My training is more intense. I have explosive speed for kickboxing despite the lack of carbs. My eyesight has been improving recently. I had to start using my previous pair of glasses (-3/-3) because my most current one had become too strong (-3.5/-3.25).
The most recent success is the remission of eczema. As of today, I have no visible signs anymore after 44 years of constant itchiness and severe discomfort. Even my scarred neck is healing, something I had thought not possible (see attached picture, no make-up, no photoshop, no moisturizers). It took about six months to get to this point, with sometimes going one step forward, two steps back. This feels new and fragile. I am fully aware that any kind of missteps, may it be food (chicken is a suspect) or the fabric of new clothes, can trigger a flare; however, I now have the opportunity to really figure out all my triggers and to fight habitual scratching.
Thinking back how I had, unknowingly, mistreated my body over the years, I realize a couple of things that might be of help for others who are at the cusp of starting their journey. First off, I wish I had taken the alternative practitioner seriously. I was out for instant gratification, but that is not how resolving decades of health issues works unfortunately, in most cases anyway. Secondly, the human body is an amazing machine that can withstand a lot of dietary abuse, for a while at least. It has incredible repair capabilities if one lets it and gives it time to do what is has been evolved to do with the right nourishment. I am looking forward to discovering what other health benefits this way of eating will bring.