Food addiction & cravings

Gabby lost weight, healed digestion and anxiety on a carnivore diet

Here’s my story: I’m a 40 yr old female new to the carnivore diet. A little back story. I have always had thyroid issues since my 20’s (Graves disease and Hashimotos). I was on several medications and nothing worked. In 2010 I listened to my doctors and had a complete thyroidectomy, a decision I regret every single day. After my surgery I gained 50 lbs and then went on a Paleo style diet. I felt “better” but still suffered with migraines, skin issues and severe hormonal imbalance and continued weight gain. Then I jumped into vegetarianism then eventually veganism. Then I started feeling worse with depression and feelings of impending doom. My anxiety was on a 100 and my teeth started aching. I ended up needing 7k in dental work. I realized veganism wasn’t for me. I then switched to keto. I started losing weight and feeling much better. I am a life long lover of vegetables and figured the more organic and raw the better. I bought every expensive blender and juicer I could find. I was always hungry and my hormones were out of control right before my menstrual cycle, so I cut all fruit. Fast forward I stumbled across the podcast with Joe Rogan and Shawn Baker and decided to give the all meat diet a try. That was 2 months ago and I haven’t looked back. Here’s what I’ve experienced after 2 months:

Starting weight: 230
Today’s weight: 203
Skin feels softer and more supple
Depression and anxiety are gone
I’m able to deal with minor inconveniences without wanting to cry
My digestion have improved 100%
No bloating or flatulence
No menstrual cramping
My hair and nails feel thicker and stronger
My teeth and gum health has improved
I no longer spend hours in the kitchen meal prepping
My gains in the gym have doubled and recovery is faster
I have no cravings for bad foods

Here’s what I eat:
Ribeye steaks
Veal liver twice a week
Egg yolk (egg whites don’t agree with me)
Turkey wings and necks (they are nice and gelatinous)
Wild Meats like ground yak and ostrich
Veal sweet breads (pancreas and surrounding organs)
Bone marrow
Wild Salmon
Sardines
Hydrolized Collagen

In closing: I have tried every diet out there on a quest to feel as best as I can given my circumstances. This way of eating has not only helped me lose weight but I feel stronger physically and mentally. I thank all of those who have gone against the medical establishment and conventional dietary guidelines to put their story’s out there. It has helped change my health and my life. I will never go back.

Kelly treats arthritis, digestion, cardiovascular health on carnivore diet

Today makes 60 days since I went on a Zero Carb diet!

You know those thin people who can always decline their favorite desserts, or not eat the free samples at the grocery store? I know people, but I most certainly was never one of them- until now!

Food no longer rules my life!

I seriously no longer think about my next meal all day long! I just eat (meat and eggs only) until I’m satisfied or full, then I don’t eat anything at all for many hours (often 8-12 hours) because I’m satisfied from my last meal.

I no longer care about recipes, having to list and buy ingredients for some food concoction I want to make, counting points or calories, entering my macros, nor do I longingly think of the next gathering or party I’m going to because of the food I’ll eat (Cake, anyone?)

I believe I have broken my food addiction!

My skin looks better than ever. My joints no longer ache with arthritis, the bloated belly, tummy aches, constant gas, constipation and pain are all gone!

My weight is steadily decreasing while my body is reshaping and putting on muscle and bone mass. My body is definitely restructuring and the fat parts are shrinking! Gone from an 18 to a 12 so far!

Before you ask, I did do labs as a plant based (vegan) dieter, and compared them to just one month of ZC and yes, there were marked favorable improvements in important things like Triglyceride/Hdl ratio and HgbA1C!

And I have discovered that “zero carb Zen” is a real thing! My normally anxious ADHD mind feels calm and settled and it is a new feeling for me.

I don’t think about food anymore. The thought comes along, “do I have meat at home to eat for the next few days?” And if the answer is, “yes.” I move on to thinking about other things and then just have a steak when I get home.

I know I used to think that plants were the source of ALL good health, but now I believe that plants are medicine, and just like one can be allergic to some medicines, one can be allergic/sensitive to plant foods and never do a full elimination diet to see how good it could feel to be plant free.

Hey, with all the science coming out today, it may be worth a shot to try something seemingly unconventional for once and just see what you think and how you truly FEEL physically.

People should realize that the arrowheads that are found throughout the world from tribal civilizations were used to hunt for food. They certainly weren’t used for shooting at root vegetables! Agriculture and farming as we know it is a relatively new idea. Humans haven’t always had access to plant foods, but we all know and accept that they were all big-game hunters!

I can’t even explain what it feels like to have the food monkey off my back!

Thank you to people who have encouraged and supported us these past 60 days!

#meatheals

T. T. improves fitness, foot pain, joint pain, and mood on a carnivore diet

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.

Adam improved digestion, fitness, mood, mental health on carnivore diet

My name is Adam and this is my carnivore story… MEAT HEALS!

May 12, 2018

Background:

46 year old male slowly became 30 pounds overweight from eating and drinking too much and not exercising. Decided I wanted to get back in shape but despite increasingly strenuous workouts (from 30 to 45 to 60 to 90 to even 120 minutes over 6 months, mostly weight training), only lost 5 pounds and did put on some muscle but couldn’t see it well thru the middle-aged tire/fat. Sore constantly, injured myself 3 times in 6 months pushing too hard to improve my physique. Avoided sugar and processed carbs but still drank too much beer and had too many binge attacks where I would polish off insane amounts of bad food because of intense cravings.

My carnivore story:

Started reading bodybuilding articles trying to figure out where I was going wrong and stumbled onto Vince Gironda’s “steak and eggs” diet for bodybuilders to cut fat and get ripped. He was a trainer decades ago (reportedly once worked with Arnold Schwarzenegger). Just eat steak and eggs at every meal and have a cheat day once a week to replenish body carbohydrate stores. I was frustrated (and sore) and decided to give it a go.

Felt absolutely terrible the whole first week. Never looked forward to a day more than my first cheat day at the end of that week. Low energy, brain fog, diarrhea, aches and pains (more than usual), cold sore on my lip (only get when physical and/or mental stress) – basically felt like I had a bad flu. But I read a lot that week and learned that this was a temporary thing according to the crazy carnivores before me. On the morning my cheat day was to start, I had lost 5 pounds. I also didn’t really feel that hungry.

Ate like a maniac on my cheat day but vowed to try one more week, as many said after two weeks is when things start getting easier. Second week sucked. Felt terrible and told myself if I didn’t feel better by the end of the week, screw it. It wasn’t worth it to feel sick all the time! I still wasn’t very hungry and ate only twice a day (lunch and dinner) and drank black coffee for breakfast and water rest of day. By day 9, I noticed I didn’t really feel like having beers after work anymore (a 20 year habit suddenly gone?!).

When I woke up around day 11, the “keto flu” (as some call it; e.g., carbohydrate withdrawal) was gone. I had higher energy levels than I had felt in months. I felt fantastic! By this time, I stumbled onto this crazy (like a fox) carnivore doctor named Shawn Baker, Amber O’Hearn, the Inuit and others within the internet rabbit hole of forbidden dietary knowledge. I still had a cheat meal at the end of the 2nd week, but I didn’t really need it like I did the first week and I thought of it more as a reward than as a necessity.

It has now been 60 days since the end of that 2nd week. It is my lifestyle now, not a “lose fat” diet. I have already lost all the fat I need to and am now at what I feel is a healthy weight for me. I feel and look great and don’t ever plan on going back. This way of eating has changed my life!

Positive impacts on my life of this diet:

  • Lost 30 pounds in 45 days and now at desired body weight. All while eating until full and snacking when needed. No attempt to restrict calories at all. Most effortless weight loss ever (and I have tried many fad diets over the years).
  • No longer sore for more than a few hours after working out. Ready to go the next day. Seems easier to get stronger and bigger, too. Working out less and seeing better muscle gains.
  • Feel and look 20 years younger. Mentally and physically improved in so many ways.
  • No more heartburn. Ever. Used to pop Pepcid pills like candy.
  • Don’t feel like drinking alcohol any more, after drinking too much for about 25 years or so. Wasn’t part of the plan, but I’ll take it!
  • Don’t get intense cravings for food and no longer miss the foods I don’t eat. Doesn’t feel like I’m “on a diet”.
  • Don’t usually get hungry between meals any more, but happy to have some bacon if I do.
  • Energy levels more steady and still have energy left to spare after hard day at work. Don’t get sleepy after eating any more.

Negatives:

  • The first 10 days totally sucked for me. I almost quit twice. Glad I stuck with it. I feel like I now understand what a heroin addict goes thru during withdrawal!
  • Going to eat outside the home is trickier. Let’s just say Brazilian steakhouses are my new favorite.
  • Getting weird muscle cramps sometimes, especially when running. Been trying to up my salt intake.

Thanks!
Adam

Bruce, despite ileostomy, improved ulcerative colitis on carnivore diet

A big thank you to Joe Rogan for having Shawn Baker on this podcast. This was a massive on my decision to change my diet and hopefully my life.

I have tried all kinds of diets and treatments and I wish I knew then what I know now and I might have avoided surgery.

I’ve had Ulcerative Colitis since 18 years old in 2005, and after medications all failed, that caused me to lose my colon.

I now have an ileostomy and I was told to avoid meat and fat throughout my entire life of this disease. Even after the ileostomy I was told to avoid too much meat and eat a balanced diet, but the interesting part of this, was I also should avoid roughage due to its difficulty to pass through the small intestines and out the ostomy. (This should have been a red flag right away.) If it’s so difficult to digest, why are we eating it at all? Especially in my case with an inflamed colon which brought me here to this ileostomy.

After eating poorly with an ileostomy, I decided to take control of my weight and diet. I attempted the keto diet and lost 70 lbs or so, but that diet consists of a lot of dairy, and allows for some nuts and insoluble fiber. This fiber tends to be a problem for people with an ileostomy due to the fact that it doesn’t really break down at all. I now only animal fat and meat and it’s a delight. The output of the ileostomy is simple to manage. It’s all liquid with little to no by products from the food I’ve eaten. I do not eat any dairy either. This is mostly due to the excess cravings that dairy tends to cause in me. Anyone that wishes to debate how red meat doesn’t digest well, can come with me to the restroom and I’ll show them that the only output I have is bile and water. The meat and fat are fully absorbed by the time it reaches the end of my small intestines.

The biggest change I’ve experienced on a diet of this restrictive nature, is the freedom, not the shackles. I control my appetite, I have no cravings for poor food choices, and I don’t find myself yearning for the next snack or meat.

I also think that this diet has revealed that I am a food addict, and I was chained to the drug of sugar. With most studies on addiction complete removal is usually the best medicine.

I plan to keep this up for the foreseeable future, and I hope to see how low I can go in terms of body fat, waist size, and weight. I’d like to maintain strength, but I want to know my limits.

The numbers:

  • 5 months (Starting on Dec 31)
  • Lost 14% body fat (56% to 42%)
  • Lost 100lbs (385lbs to 285lbs)
  • Lost 6-8 inches in my waist (48-50 pants to 40)

Sly improved her anorexia and bulimia on a carnivore diet

This is something I have never shared publicly. In the past I would mention I’ve struggled with an eating disorder but never in detail because of the shame associated with it. But I figured my story might help others so here it is.

During my early college years I decided to go vegan (thanks to some very persuasive vegan documentaries), and from there I wanted to “step up my game” so I went raw vegan. My diet prior to that wasn’t the standard American diet, it was very clean paleo – whole fruits, vegetables, fish, chicken, raw nuts and seeds. Switching to vegan didn’t benefit my physiology in any shape or form, it only made me feel good about “saving the planet” which is total BS, vegans do more harm to the planet than anyone else.

Few years of veganism and my bones weakened to a point where I was breaking my ribs by simply carrying a heavier box against my rib-cage. At that point I knew veganism wasn’t healthy, my hair was falling out, my skin had ash tone to it, I was looking anorexic but still felt fat (serious body dysmorphia), my anemia worsened. Despite all those issues I was encouraged by all the vegans to keep going, that I just needed to double down on spirulina and everything would balance. Well, things never balanced. I started craving meat and my cravings would get worse when my mom would grill some juicy steaks. One day I gave in to those cravings and felt so horrified. I was brainwashed into believing that by eating animal flesh I would “absorb” all the horror and emotional trauma the animal went through when it was being slaughtered and that my body would be infested with parasites and what not. I went into panic mode and wanted that meat out of me ASAP so I made myself throw up. From there I went back to “being vegan,” I was told to eat more to diminish cravings so I did. Meals turned into severe binges that made me feel uncomfortable and that led to purging which turned into 6 years of severe bulimia that almost ended my life.

I tried many things to end the vicious cycle of bingeing and purging. Every day I kept telling myself this is the last day but last day would never come. I’ve read many books on the brain and behavior and would try many different approaches. Every book said when you get the ‘urge’ go do something else instead of binging, but I guess none of those authors went through this because when you get that “urge” there’s nothing you can do to turn around, it’s almost like something takes over your brain and dictates to you what to do, while the other you – the rational you – is paralyzed. There was nothing in those books on “HOW NOT TO GET THE URGE” in the first place.

It wasn’t until I came across Dr Jack Kruse and his leptin prescription diet blog, which was basically keto/carnivore way of eating, that I was able to break the habit. It took me two weeks on carnivore to get rid of the “other voice” in my head that let to my binges. After six years of my severe bulimia I was finally free and all thanks to carnivore diet. After about a month of eating that way my eating disorder brain seemed to have fixed so I figured I “needed” vegetables and other plant material to stay healthy plus all the research pointed how unhealthy high protein diets were so I started playing around with the traditional ketogenic diet – lots of green veggies, lots of healthy fats, little fish and meats here and there. Despite all that I would still have binge days, severe binge days, I wouldn’t purge anymore but the binges made me feel really shitty emotionally.

Fast forward to now, what started as a 30 day experiment early this year is now month three on carnivore and I finally feel free, I mean TRULY free! No binges, no counting calories, no portion control, no counting macros or other bs! I eat when I’m hungry and no need for snacking. My bones are getting stronger, my anemia is gone, I finally got my period and libido back, my skin is better than ever, and my gut is finally healing. The longer I go on carnivore the more benefits I’m noticing. The only side effect (as I have mentioned in the past) is that damn high libido and being single  , other than that no complaints.

Thank you Dr Baker for everything you do. All the knowledge you provided made me confident that carnivore diet is the way to go as well as it encouraged me to do more of my own research. Now that I have finally healed my mind and body I’m able to focus on coaching others into health and inspire others through posts on IG. Thank you again, let’s heal this world one steak at a time! 

Shawn lost weight and improved his mental health on a carnivore diet

Starting weight: 327.5 lbs.
Mood: Depressed, lifeless
Activity: Does playing Xbox and struggling to roll over in my bed count?

I had tried over and over differing ways of losing weight. Nothing stuck, nothing felt right. I was sick all the time. Found the Carnivore diet on the Rogan podcast. It actually made sense. After 42 years, it actually made sense to me. I ate meat… Lots of meat… For the first time in my life I felt full and stopped eating. At no point did I try to over indulge because I actually felt full. Also I didn’t crave ANYTHING… I just ate.

Three months later, I am down 45 lbs, and I feel amazing. I have a life again. People talk trash about my eating habits and try to dissuade me. But numbers do not lie!

Thank you

Warren improved his mental health and addiction on a carnivore diet

I am extremely happy with my results while eating the Carnivore Diet. I’ve been a health conscious individual with a pretty heavy sugar addiction for the most of my adult life. I’ve tried different diets and supplements over the years, with the goal always being the same: to rid myself any depression, anxiety, or brain fog, and to just feel comfortable in my own skin.

I’ve probably spent thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of green powders, supplements, therapy, and everything else that you could think of to better my performance. Most of these things I have tried, and they seemed to have worked for a short duration, but then after a few months, I would be back at the start line again, face down in a pile of candy bar wrappers. It seems that I might have a powerful placebo reaction to things, because I believe so intensely in what I am currently trying (I’ve finally realized this about myself, lol).

I’m 39 years old now, and have been eating like a carnivore for approximately 2.5 months. My plan was to add other foods back in after 1 month of eating like this, but when the end of the month came to a close, I felt so good that I really didn’t want anything to change. I’m still working on analyzing my results, but here’s what I’ve noticed so far:

  • Improved confidence
  • Improved mood
  • General feeling of happiness throughout the day
  • More energy, both mental and physical
  • More resilience against cold and flue
  • Less anxiety
  • Ability to stay calm in hectic situations
  • Physical strength is improved
  • Digestion is great

One of the best things I’ve noticed about this diet, is that my sugar cravings are gone!! I am so happy about that. It actually feels fairly easy to avoid sugar on this diet! This alone is a major benefit for my health as falling asleep in a sugar coma night after night can’t be good, lol.

Warren

Filip improved back and joint pain on a carnivore diet

These are my health improvements after 1 year of cutting out all plants and dairy from my diet:

  1. Healed knee: I had a bike accident as a kid and have always felt a slight pain in my knee since then. My knee is now completely healed. The healing process took 6 month and my body performed something akin to surgery on it self: my knee got really swollen during the healing process and I felt something (which I believe was a tiny piece of gravel left from the bike accident) was being pulled out of my knee.
  2. No more back pain: I would wake up every morning with cramp in my back muscles. it’s all gone now.
  3. No more stiff muscles: most of my muscles used to be really stiff.
  4. Better bowel movements, no more diarrhea, no more bloody stool.
  5. Better digestion.
  6. No more night sweats. I would occasionally wake up during the night and my pillow would be soaked in sweat. No more.
  7. Not tired when I wake up in the morning. I’ve become a morning person.
  8. Not tired after eating.
  9. Better eyesight: everything is much sharper and colors are really vivid. I used to have to squint on sunny days before. Not anymore.
  10. Ocular migraine is gone: I think this is due to quitting coffee.
  11. Cleansed sinuses: my sinuses always used to be clogged up. now they have been cleansed. I have felt my pulse in my sinuses for the last 12 months.
  12. Regained sense of smell: directly after starting zero carb I noticed that I could smell the perfume of people on the streets. This had never happened before.
  13. No more anxiety: I used to get stressed out over stupid things. Now I’m the calmest I’ve ever been. I think this is due to quitting coffee.
  14. Better memory.
  15. Better cognitive functions.
  16. Constantly high energy levels.
  17. Better sleep and better dreams. I have not had a nightmare since I started with this diet.
  18. No more dry skin.
  19. No physical fatigue: I feel stronger than I’ve ever felt before.
  20. No winter cold: this is the first year in +10 years that I haven’t had a cold.
  21. No more nosebleed: I used to get nosebleeds on a regular basis. It’s all gone now.
  22. Happier: I’ve never felt this happy in my life before. Now I get sudden bursts of euphoria from time to time. 🙂
  23. Better fine motor skills: playing the piano has never been this easy.
  24. No more red hands: my hands used to occasionally turn red. Not anymore.
  25. No more white fingers (Raynaud syndrome): I think this is due to quitting coffee.
  26. No cravings for food: I used to get cravings for e.g. ice cream and chocolate. Now I only feel hunger.
  27. No more pain between toes (Morton’s neuroma).
  28. Gaining weight: I’ve always been tall and skinny and has never been able to gain either muscle mass or body fat. Now I’m starting to gain weight as my body is absorbing the food I eat.
  29. Quick recovery after physical exercise. I play squash, do TRX, and ride racing bike and recovery has never been this quick. Hardly any muscle soreness.
  30. More stuff has happened that I cannot put into words: I just know that my body feels better and that something has healed that I don’t know what it is. I just feel that I have increased my life expectancy by many years.

All of this happened just because I stopped eating plants and dairy! Better yet, I haven’t paid a penny for it and haven’t been to an MD 🙂 The Internet has been my only resource.

That being said, the healing process was quite intense. I certainly got the keto flu and was many time questioning if I was doing the right thing. I want to thank everyone who has gone through this process and has shared their stories on the Internet. Without having access to all these personal stories I don’t think I would have continued all the way through. Heck, I wouldn’t have come across this diet to start with if it wasn’t for the Internet! This is why I want to share my experience with everyone.

Filip

DISCLAIMER: I’m not an MD and have no training or education in nutrition whatsoever. This is purely anecdotal information. As such, I do not give any dietary recommendations. You will have to decide yourself what diet you chose to have. I’m an engineer and academic researcher, and as such the only thing I recommend is that you experiment with different diets and listen to your own body and how it reacts to the food you eat.

Udo lost weight and improved mental health on a carnivore diet

12 months a carnivore

Nothing but this

If you are like most people out there, you may clutch your pearls at the thought of somebody eating nothing but or mostly meat. And when it’s not meat it is exclusively from the animal kingdom. And NO fruits and vegetables!

Turns out there are lots of people like this. Not only are they doing fine — they’re thriving on it!

I am one of these freaky weirdos and here is why and what it is like.

My story — how I became a carnivore

My low carb “career” started, when pants I had bought for a trip to Argentina started to not fit any more. Although I would explain it away, or tuck in my tummy, I knew that this was not ok.

Everybody has a certain self-image. And mine was definitely not that of a fat and lazy arse. I clearly remember one day when I went to the supermarket that I could feel the fat dribble around my belly.

It’s not to say that I was obese, not even remote. I was rather slim by the standards of most people but I could feel I was drifting slowly away from my self-image. Unless I did something about it.

I had remotely heard something about carbohydrates being responsible for growing fat. I thought that low carb was just one of many diet crazes that regularly swash across the pond.

I was heavily influenced by certain Joe Weider bodybuilding magazines from the early 1990s which advocated for eating lots of carbohydrates, especially pasta and stuff. Which I did. In hindsight it is really a wonder I did not grow fat — although I could never really get rid of my belly fat. Despite running and all.

With this background, reducing carbohydrates striked me as odd. Until I stumbled upon Gary Taubes’ “Good calories, bad calories”, that is (thanks Gary for that! Someday I will translate your book into German — promised.).

We all know this quote which is attributed to Einstein that the definition of madness is that you do the same over and over again always expecting different results.

I had also come across a book by a German cancer-researcher who advocated for low-carb in the treatment of cancer, Dr. Johannes Coy. The book I read was “Die neue Anti-Krebs Ernährung” (The new anti-cancer diet).

I thought: “What the heck? — let’s give it a try!”. I followed Coy’s rule of thumb to reduce carbohydrates to 1g per kg of bodyweight per day.

Results of my low carb journey

I dropped weight and reduced belly fat. I remember losing 5 kg bodyweight within the first week or so. That shocked me. Until I found out that there is a lot of water lost — carbohydrates drive inflammation. Inflammation drives water retention. Reducing inflammation means losing water. This explains most of the rapid weight loss in the beginning and is actually a good sign.

It was not long until I re-fitted into my pants bought for the Argentina-trip again. It is to this day my favorite measure of body-composition.

As most low carbers I first tried to stay as close as possible to “normal eating” — i.e. also eating low carb cakes and stuff. Although I never bought franken-food and always did it myself (I am a hobby-cook so not problem here) I believe that this way of eating does do no service.

For one thing it is hard to get away from your sweet tooth this way. This automatically leads at some point to “Ah, what the heck … let’s eat this chocolate — it’s dark and healthy” or “Come on, one potatoe is not much, is it?”.

So after a while I noticed that belly-fat was creeping in again — then again I had to reduce carbs.

One day — somewhere around my birthday on a hot summer day in August — I believe it was 2012 — I came across a long thread in a low carber forum entitled “The real human diet is a totally carnivorous one”.

In this thread Owsley Stanley, soundman of the Greatful Dead, known as “The Bear” talked about his carnivorous lifestyle he had been on for 47 years! This long thread with lots of interesting (and sometimes hostile) comments took me a few days to read. And I read every single page.

For some reason this idea of a totally carnivorous diet stuck in my head.

A year later I read the whole thread again. It again stuck. I started to eat my steak rare (or “bleu” —fried just one minute from each side).

It was only in 2017 that I stumbled upon Shawn Baker on Twitter who just had started a meat-only diet and posted regularly about it. Meanwhile he has turned into a kind of social-media celebrity with, at the time of this writing, more than 16,000 followers (it was less than a 10th of this when I started following him. Unbelievable!).

At this point I had pondered an all-meat diet for quite a while — and thought that I could try it too.

I also discovered certain carnivore websites which recommend to try an all-meat diet for 30 days (meat and water). I thought I could try it for 30 days.

Damn! I believe the authors of these website know exactly that once you start out on a zero-carb carnivorous journey, you won’t go back.

At least that’s what happened in my case. I have sticked to this all-meat regime since. With the only exception of a piece of low-carb cake on my birthday.

What I eat and drink

  • Ribeye or entrecote
  • ground beef
  • ground beef/pork (50:50)
  • chicken (especially chicken wings)
  • all kinds of pork
  • eggs
  • liver every now and then

I drink water, raw milk, and kefir. Also homemade bone broth. Meanwhile only occasionally coffee — mostly on weekends.

It seems that a carnivorous diet somehow reduces your tolerance for alcohol. Even small amounts may give you a slight hangover. Automatically this leads to a reduction in alcohol consumption. I consider this to be a positive effect. I still consume an occasional glas of dry red wine or carb-reduced beer (for you German guys out there: Freiberger Schankbier or Köstritzer Spezial — only 4–5 grams of carbs per 500ml).

I eat my steaks fried 3 minutes from each side, so basically rare to medium rare. I season with smoked sea-salt and pepper or red pepper.

I consume plant-matter only in terms of condiments: pepper, basil, garlic, onions, lemon.

My current favorite “protein-shake”:

  • 200ml raw milk
  • vanilla powder
  • 2–3 raw eggs
  • put in blender and mix well
  • drink

Recently I have bought my first crock-pot. I love it. It has opened a whole new culinary realm for me.

I have also come to love “smashed burgers”. Which I had never come across before my carnivore way of eating. But they are incredibly tasty.

Butsch’s recipe for smashed burgers:

  • 500g of ground beef and ground pork (50:50). You can also use beef-only — but this way the burgers will be even jucier.
  • A handful of chopped, fresh basil.
  • 1–2 garlic cloves — chopped.
  • Teaspoon dried italian seasoning
  • Teaspoon of salt (I prefer smoked sea salt)
  • Pepper
  1. Mix well until you have a nice meat dough.
  2. Take a steel pan and make it really hot. Form a meat ball the size of somewhere between a golf ball and a tennis ball.
  3. Put meatball in pan and press it flat. I use the downside of a pot. You do not have to use extra fat.
  4. Fry for 1–2 minutes then turn around and fry again 1–2 minutes.
  5. Take out the burger and start with the next one
  6. Enjoy

Funny thing about carnivory is that you start to want to eat the same over and over again. I could it ribeye, smashed burgers, and chicken wings every single day and not get tired of it.

Recently find myself gravitating towards experimenting with raw meats — but “pssst!” don’t tell my wife!

My carnivore results

I am 46 and am now have the lowest bodyfat percentage since my early 20s. I feel the urge to workout more than I used to (what I do is intensive kettlebell workouts for 15 minutes and 2 x 20 seconds sprints every now and then).

I am essentially free of pain. Not that I was in pain before — but I somehow feel that my overall connective tissue quality has improved. Which is no wonder given that 15% of your body’s dry mass is collagen. Eating meat means consuming collagen which then can be used by your body to repair any tissue lesions. I believe that lots of pain-patients could relieve most of their issues by simply adopting this way of eating. This is also reflected in lots of anecdotes by people on a carnivore diet (see e.g. meatheals.comzerocarbzen.com).

Mental clarity. Many people note a certain mental clarity when on very low carb or ketogenic diets. Carnivory, at least in my case, pushes that by a margin. I see clear pictures and am even more outspoken than before.

Clean teeth all the time. I have virtually no plaque on my teeth. They are so clear I sometimes even forget to brush them. Really. Makes me think that dentists are totally superfluous (well honestly: I believe that doctors are in general totally unnecessary — unless in an emergency. Surgeons are probably the only medical “species” of any use.).

I have lost any urge to eat sweet stuff. It simply is not appealing to me any more. Even if it is right in front on me I have no problem ignoring it. To me it is simply no human-appropriate food.

I have lost any left trust whatsoever in any “health” authorities — be it doctors, nutritionists or scientists. All of them have no fricking idea what they are talking about. I can see it from their body composition and also from their body structure. No doctor with a pot-belly is going to tell me what healthy eating is — because he himself is proof that he has no clue.

And , no(!), I have not developed scurvy!

The poop question

One question that seems to really concern people is “Can you poop without fibre?”.

People seem to be kind of obessed with their poop (what would Freud say?).

I normally am reluctant to discuss my poop or poop frequency in public.

But as this is apparently so important to most people I have to cover this here sigh.

Basically not only is fibre not necessary for regular stool — it might even hinder frequent stool and also cause constipation.

As a carnivore for the last 12 months I can definitely say that fibre is not necessary for frequent stool.

What changes on a carnivorous diet is the amount of poop and probably the frequency. When there is no more fibre left in your diet which sucks up lots of water and thus increases in size up to 5 times its original size, then it is logical that the amount of stool is reduced.

A reduction in size may also lead to different frequency of defecation. In the beginning it was in my case only every 2–3 days. Which did not bother me at all.

There have been times on my journey where I infrequently had runny stool. THAT bothered me. And this is how I fixed it:

  1. I reduced my intake of fluids, i.e. drank LESS. Thing is that it might well be that we need far less water than usually recommended (hey, nutrition “scientists” and medical docs are wrong on practically every single nutritional advice — why would they be right here?). There are two sources I got the idea from: The chapter on “water” in the book “Fiber Menace” by Konstantin Monastyrsky and also from Tim Noakes’ extensive book “Water logged” — if marathon runners just need 1 liter of water when running in warm weather (or can even drink nothing at all) and do fine, even improve performance, then why would Average Joe (or Jane) drink 2–3 Liters per day? Does not make sense to me.
  2. I reduced coffee intake. Not that I have been much of a coffee drinker. Compared to standard folks I am (was) a moderate coffee-drinker. But nonetheless I felt that this is somehow interfering with my digestion. We do not know much about coffee healthwise. All we have is some epidemiological data linking coffee to a number of health benefits. On the other hand we have alarmists like Stephen Cherniske warning of coffee in “Caffeine Blues”. Caffeine raises cortisol levels — which means putting your body under constant stress. Also caffeine messes with regulatory processes in your cell. Reducing coffee intake, almost abandoning it, feels good in my case. As coffee is also comparatively unnatural it is probably a good idea to reduce intake.
    My personal impression is that some advocates on coffee being soooo healthy try somehow to rationalise their own caffeine addiction, citing shitty epidemiological data they would otherwise laugh about.
  3. I added raw milk and kefir. I was lucky to find a source of raw milk just a 10 minute drive from my home. At 1€ per liter it is rather cheap (ok, adding fuel for getting there it is more like double the price — but that’s ok for me). As raw milk is packed with minerals, enzymes, vitamins and good bacteria I thought this could be a good idea. Same goes for kefir — we have some russian-style kefir in our local supermarket. It’s sour, thick and creamy and incredibly tasty.

This fixed the poop-thingy for me.

I am regular, i.e. I poop almost every day. There might be 2–3 days still without pooping. I don’t care much about this. I trust my body to do what’s right. (Butsch’s first axiom: Your body never does anything wrong!). My stool is consistently Type 4 according to the Bristol Stool Scale. I do not need much toilet paper and it is rarely smelly.

Ok, enough embarassing poop stories for now!

What does it all prove?

James DiNicolantonio, the author of the book “The salt fix”, once asked on Twitter what it is that some people are so keen on restricting their diet in such a way.

Well, James, here is the answer:

It’s fun to prove to yourself that practically everything you have been told about nutrition is complete bullshit.

As there are:

  • Eat lots of carbs.
    Wrong! Carbs are not essential. They cause obesity and diabetes, destroy your complete metabolism and hormonal balance.
  • Meat is bad.
    Wrong! If there is anything like a superfood — it’s meat. Full of proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins. Try compare mineral or vitamin content of any plant with meat. Meat will always be way superior.
  • Avoid the sun.
    Wrong! Sun is essential for producing Vitamin D — which is extremely important to your health. Your body knows best. There is surely a reason why everybody exposes himself to the sun after a long winter, don’t you think?
  • Avoid salt.
    Wrong! Salt is essential for your body. And it does not raise blood pressure.
  • Saturated fat is bad.
    Wrong! Saturated fat is essential for your body to function normally. On the other hand vegetable oils — touted as “healthy” — are highly inflammatory and bad for your health.
  • Veggies are healthy and neccessary.
    Wrong! If 12 months of meat-only showed anything then that veggies are not (again: not) essential in any way. And how could they be? In terms of vitamins or minerals they are inferiour to meat in any respect. They also contain anti-nutrients which hinder mineral and vitamin absorption. In addition they contain phyto-chemicals which are potentially harmful to your cells ( I mean, hey: When these chemicals can kill cancer cells in a petri dish — they could kill healthy cells, too, right?). Read more about this here.
  • Drink lots of water.
    Hmmm … maybe wrong. The more you drink, the more you pee. The more you pee, there more minerals you are washing out of your body. The more you have to drink. The more you pee … and so on. Not only does drinking lots of water deplete your body of minerals — it also stresses your kidneys.

The simplest dietary advice ever?

  • Eat meat when hungry
  • Drink water when thirsty

Could it be that simple?

Originally published on Medium

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