This blog is only 18 months old, but I have been Low Carb for 2 years. Happy Ketoversary to me!!!
For 20 months I would say I was 80% on Keto and 20% on a LCHF diet. For the last 4 months I have been on a Zero Carb Diet / Carnivore Diet. The best description of how I eat is probably “Paleolithic Ketogenic Diet” (that’s pretty pretentious isn’t it). Where I hit similar macros to people from the actual Paleo Era and maintain a fat burning engine, note this is nothing like the modern Paleo Diet bastardizations.
I am not going to discuss what I have been doing in depth as you can read my previous posts for that, this is more just random thoughts that have popped into my head about things I have noticed over the last year.
The (not so) Common Cold
I used to get a cold / man-flu 2-3 times a year, every year. I have been low carb for 24 months. I have not had one single bout of the Common Cold in 21 months. This might be a complete coincidence, and at the age of 37 I just randomly became immune to Colds.
If it is not a coincidence then my diet has impacted my ability to fight off colds by:
- Low Carbs – carbs negatively impact your immune system and inflammation, therefore cutting carbs has meant my immune system is less compromised.
- Moderate Protein and High Fat – provides a healthy environment and structure meaning your immune system is strengthened.
- A combination of both.
The reason I know it is diet related is that I have exercised in the past and still got regular colds. I am not saying I am immune to colds forever, but say I only get one cold every 2 or 3 years…. that’s would be awesome.
In fact I have not been once been ill in 2 years since going low carb, apart from some self inflicted occasions haha.
I played football a lot when I was younger, however I suffered numerous ankle ligament injuries. They became so common place that I retired from playing football regularly. I was 24 at the time, I have attempted the odd comeback but it would be halted by another ankle injury. The long term impact of these injuries was that I have poor ankle mobility, and in the morning’s when I woke up they would be stiff. It would take a little walking about before they loosened up a bit. So I had some level of arthritis and I was definitely resigned to have rather serious arthritis in my ankle joints when I was older.
My time on LCHF and Keto didn’t do much to resolve this, even though they both reduce inflammation to different degrees. However I noticed an improvement in stiffness within 2 weeks of been on Carnivore. After a couple of months on Carnivore my ankles are not stiff at all in the mornings! That is incredible. My ankle mobility isn’t markedly improved, and I would definitely re-injure them if I started to play football again. However to not be lumbered with stiff ankles every morning is amazing.
I also used to get a sore lower back randomly. Which I put down to driving or slouching etc. Again this did not improve with LCHF or Keto. However I have not had a sore back at all since going Carnivore. Coincidence maybe, but it seems to be whatever helped my ankles has helped my lower back. I do strength exercises and yoga but not consistently. Certainly not consistently enough to heal my ankles and lower back in such a short space of time.
However I still get the occasional sore neck. So maybe my ankles and back were at the mercy of inflammation, but my neck is an actual alignment/slouching issue.
In my first year of Keto I went from 15st 2 down to 13st. Then in the second year I dropped from 13st to 12st3. This second year weight drop happenend in the last quarter of the year. When I modified my keto diet to a more carnivore approach, with a bit less fat and a bit more protein. Even though I eat mostly meat most of the time, I eat fatty cuts of meat like mince and ribeye. This means I am still not eating a high protein diet as you might expect. It is still a ketogenic fat burning diet. My macros are generally 1% carbs, 34% protein and 65% fat. Its just that the fat is more animal fat now, rather than additional fat from butter and creams etc like it was on a more traditional keto. The Calories In Calories Out model is truly stupid, its more about quality of food than quantity.
The best thing about Keto is the flexibility it gives you. You can do any meal frequency pattern you want with effortless ease. Eat 6 times a day, 3 times, twice, one, multi day fasting, rotate them all, all without getting hangry and wanting to punch someones face in. The same is true for Carnivore, as you will remain fat adapted. However I do get hungrier on Carnivore a bit quicker than Keto, but my hunger signals are still effortlessly better than a Standard Western Diet Carb Rollercoaster.
I have thought about this for a while, and I have seen it continue. People are realizing that they have been listening to nutritional guidelines and doctors, and their health is still poor. So they are going out and reclaiming their own health, and they are teaming together in forums and becoming more knowledgeable. This is terrifying for these nutrition and health bodies who have been making millions of pounds a year through sponsors and partners from grain, sugar and drug industries. So what will happen is that the Low Carb community will be attacked more and more, serious money will be spent to break us down. Money usually wins, but I hope not in this case. I am just going to carry on documenting my journey, and if I can continue to get stronger, fitter and healthier as the years go by. Then people will be able to consider the implications of that themselves.
Hangovers are indeed troublesome on Keto. I get drunk quicker, and when it hits it hits hard, plus the headaches the next day are brutal. I have found these things to be twice as bad on Carnivore. So I have finally found a use for carbs afterall… pre and post binge boozing.
No word of a lie, I now get phantom shin splits when I consume carbs before running. I noticed this a few times, but it was really pronounced one weekend. I went out for a meal on a Saturday night, then was on the drink all night, had a bad hangover on the Sunday, so stuffed my face with takeaways. Went for a run on the Monday night, and I had terrible shin splints, this lessened as the runs went on during the week. I have never has shin splints on weeks where I have eaten cleanly. So a combination of the carbs and booze is clearly causing inflammation around my shins.
99% of the time my bowls have been great on Carnivore. I still poop everyday even though I am consuming no Fiber. However there has been a couple of times where I thought oh I need a poo soon, then within a minute I really needed a poo immediately. Then I was fine again. I cant remember what I ate at the time, but if it happens again I will note it and see if it reoccurs. In the Carnivore forums some people have occasional issues with fatty Pork, so it may have been something like that.
I fart less, I am less bloated, and I snore less. All three things return instantly when I drink booze or eat veggies.
I also know if I have been eating poorly or drinking too much. I get very dark circles under my eyes, which isn’t caused by lack of sleep. These are hardly ever noticeable on Keto or Carnivore.
I was strict Keto for 3 months or so to get fat adapted initially. However then I would have occasional cheat days, mainly revolving around social reasons. I was able to do this and bounce back into Ketosis within 24 hours or so. So far it has been a bit harder after cheats on Carnivore. I get bad heads and rumbley guts. Again passes in 24 hours or so, but is a more brutal 24 hours. So the bad news is its harder to cheat, good news is its harder to cheat!!!
There are no noticeable improvements in my running from Keto to Carnivore, but I haven’t got worse either. So I am still able to do all my running fasted and fat adapted. So I will have all the health benefits associated with that still.
I have always been a good sleeper, but it is even better on Keto/Carnivore. I fall asleep immediately and wake up at the sound of the alarm.
I am not a communist, and I don’t want to live in a nanny state. However it is one thing making a food product and trying to sell it, it is another thing to pay scientists and dietary associations to a) hide the dangers of your product b) blame other things for what your product is causing. How many people have followed the healthy wholegrain & low fat dogma and still have diabetes, heart disease and cancer? I am not allowing that to happen to me.
Keto can be a smidge difficult to deal with day to day, especially if you like making fake keto versions of lasagna etc. I was a little more relaxed about it, but I still had to do some mental arithmetic in supermarkets to make sure I wasn’t going crazy with the carbs. Carnivore is so easy. That joint of beef is half price. Mint. I ll have that.
A lot of “normal” people will clearly think just eating meat is ridiculous. I fully understand this because I would have raised similar concerns previously. For example check out the hyperlinks:
You are missing out on Vitamins and Minerals: Nope
You need Fiber: Nope
You need Vitamin C: Kind of
You need Carbs to exercise/live: Nope
Overall it has been an excellent year physically, dietary and emotionally. I truly believe that diet is the key for a lot of things in life. Treat your body right. There will obviously be a lot of people thinking about diets over the coming weeks. Whatever you decide to try, vegan, vegetarian, calorie in calorie out, weight watchers, slimming world, mediterranean, paleo, primal, ketogenic diet, zero carbs or carnivore: I have 3 tips for you =
- Limit grains
- Limit processed sugar
- Eradicate vegetable oils completely
- Seeing where this carnivory takes me.
- Manchester Marathon in April, then I ll decide what runs to do after that.
- Need to do a bit more strength and flexibility work, but I always say that and never truly stick to it. Maybe 2018 will be different. In January I will attempt to do 100 press ups and 25 pull ups for 30 days. 2nd – 31st. So we will see if I can do that to start with, then see what else I fancy doing.
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