The world is not a good place at the moment. Generally people are sick, unfit and weak. The diseases of civilization are swiping a scythe through generation after generation. Obesity, diabetes, dementia, heart disease and cancer are almost the norm now rather than the exception.
Whose fault is it? Ourselves for having no control of what we put in our mouth? Our Doctors looking to pills, rather than prevention? Sugar companies funding studies to suit their agenda? A trend to promoting plant consumption, such as Grains? Increased consumption of Vegetable Seed Oils? Government organizations and charities doubling down on advice that seems to have made the issues worse, rather than solving them?
Well it is probably all of the above to a degree, as well as many other reasons. There have been many rocks thrown in the lake, and all the ripples are overlapping.
Is all hope lost? Or can we reclaim our health. There are many places to start. The place I choose to start was way back in the past, when the diseases of civilization did not exist. A time when humans were lean, healthy, could run long distances, could sprint, could jump and could throw.
You see nutrition is extremely simple; it has been complicated for profit and control. Nutrition is no more complicated than:
- What is our digestive system designed to digest?
- What were we eating to cause the evolution of the above design?
I believe if we eat a species appropriate diet, then we will recover our health. This will also happen a lot quicker, than you would likely imagine.
I will be documenting my Carnivore Diet over the course of a series of 13 ebooks. This fist 12 will be a complete journal of that month, plus a couple of chapters on my thoughts regarding the diet. The 13th eBook will be a complete overview of the year. Where I venture away from my own experiences, and jump into the science. I will summarize what greater minds have explained, and point you in their direction. By the end of it, you should have a greater understanding of why I eat in this way, how that can be applied to you, and how it would likely benefit pretty much every human on the planet. I will generally stay away from the moral and sustainability of eating meat, although I will touch on them occasionally. I will focus on why a Carnivore Diet could be good for you NUTRITIONALLY, I will not try to change your mind on the morals of eating animal tissue and I do not presume to know how to improve animal farming.
My Goals for the 365 days
My rough goals for these 365 days, is to use the Carnivore Diet to:
- Feel good, fit and healthy.
- Increase muscle mass, in the Gym.
- Be a muscular and lean 75kg or less.
- Compete in the sprint events of the Lightweight Concept2 rankings.
- Improve my running PB’s in the 5k and 10k. As well as post a 1 mile time I am happy with.
What is the Carnivore Diet to me?
Welcome to the carnivore diet, the easiest diet in the world and one we have spent millions of years adapting too.
- I will be weighing myself. Yet I do not take too much stock in scale weight, I normally prefer to consider how my clothes fit and how I feel. However I need to get to a scale weight of 75kg by the end of the year, so that I can compete in the Lightweight Category of the Concept2 Rower rankings.
- I will be taking measurements of my waist, chest, upper arms, thighs and calves. To see how much of an effect my gym time is having. I need to build strength but strip enough fat to get to 75kg.
- I will take photos for a visual take on how I am progressing.
What to eat
- Fatty meat and fish.
- You do not have to eat organ meats if you do not like them, but if you do then feel free as they are highly nutritious.
- If you eat lean meat or fish, cook in things like butter, bacon grease or lard.
- Coffee, Cheese, Eggs and Cream are allowed but avoid milk. If you think you are intolerant to these then phase them out.
- Buy a good quality Salt. Salt all your food religiously for the first month especially. Pepper is also allowed for taste if required.
- Supplements – no supplements are required at all. If you want to take them you can, but you would be better spending that money on more meat.
- Eat when you are hungry, it’s as simple as that. For the first month do not worry about intermittent fasting, macros or calories. For the transition period you must eat meat as much as your body demands. Otherwise the transition period will be harder and longer.
- You may suffer headaches, runny noses, digestive distress and fatigue. Stick with it and ride it out. The first 2 weeks may be rough. A lot of the problems are caused by eating too lean a meat or not enough fat. I will tell you now if you tell me you have had a headache for a couple of days, I will likely say are you salting your food? And are you eating enough?
- Plan what you are having in advance, so you are not left hungry. Then you will not be tempted to eat something bad. If you are stuck out on a limb. Find the nearest MacDonald’s. Order plain cheeseburgers, and throw away the buns.
- To start with any meat and fish goes, eat whatever you want. You will have physical and mental cravings. So do not make it harder by limiting what meat you eat. Eventually you will probably stop craving chicken and pork for example and just want to eat Beef and Lamb.
Quantity and Quality
- It may take a while getting used to eating a lot of meat, but stick with it.
- Generally you should be looking at around 1kg of meat a day. Try not to eat less, but feel free to eat more.
- There is very little difference between Grass Fed, Grain Fed, and Organic etc. The most important thing is to eat enough and to cut out plants. Everything after that is budget depending. You can eat grass fed ribeye steaks every day if you can afford it, but it is not vital that you do.
- The vast majority of my diet is 20% fat beef mince from the supermarket, at £3 ish a kg.
- Try to eat 60-70% minimum of Beef and Lamb.
- The rest can be Chicken & Pork etc.
- Oily fish like Salmon is better than lean fish like Cod.
- If you are eating Cheese & Cream, it has to be full fat without any added sugar.
The diet can be as hard or as easy as you want it, but the easier you make it the more likely you will stick to it.
So you could just stick a massive Beef Brisket in the slow cooker overnight, and eat that over a day or two.
Or you can cook a big batch of beef patties up, and eat them cold whenever you are hungry.
Some meats are better than others cold or reheated. If you have to take cold meat to work for lunch: Chicken legs work well for example. Brisket works better than a roasting joint. Patties are decent but not as good as when freshly cooked. You will just have to play around with it.
Example Day –
Breakfast – Bacon and eggs
Lunch – Chicken drumsticks
Dinner – Steak
Breakfast – Cooking Bacon
Lunch – Beef Patties
Dinner – Lamb Chops.
Reasons to try the Carnivore Diet
Typically the Carnivore Diet is meat and fish only, with maybe a few spices, seasoning and butter for cooking. Carnivore and Keto are certainly brothers in the eating world. They both require you to eat fatty meat and limit carbs. It’s just that you pretty much scrap carbs altogether on Carnivore, although there are trace carbs in meat and eggs for example but it is very low. Hence why calling Carnivore a zero carb diet isn’t strictly true.
I do have a method for these diet changes. I try to eat more often and a bit more than I think I need. Your body may already be freaking out from the diet change, so you do not want to freak it out more by eating a calorie deficit or doing intermittent fasting. Under Keto conditions I would naturally eat twice a day, 1pm and 7pm ish. However I started out on Carnivore by eating 3 times a day, this is just to make sure my body is comfortable in the knowledge it will be getting fed regularly. Then once I was settled into the diet, I went back to eating twice a day.
6 reasons to try the Carnivore Diet:
- Body Composition – If you are overweight, you will lose weight. If you are underweight you will gain weight. This is because your body will find it’s natural weight, it’s healthy weight.
- Time saving – we live in a hectic world filled with decision fatigue. Do you have time to be constantly counting calories, counting points, adding up syns, writing meal plans or walking into a supermarket with a food list 2 pages long. I don’t. I buy meat, fish, eggs and cheese. On top of this I usually do all my cooking in a cast iron pan or oven. I even just eat with my hands now, as I can’t be bothered to wash the knife and fork afterwards.
- Feasting – when you eat fatty meat. It fills you up but you also stay full. So you generally end up only eating twice a day. There are numerous benefits of intermittent fasting, and it occurs naturally on a Carnivore Diet. If you find yourself grazing constantly, it is a sign your diet is not optimal.
- Amino Acids – animal protein contains all the essential amino acids you require in the exact ratios you need. The easiest way to build animal tissue, is to eat animal tissue.
- Vitamins and Minerals – animal protein comes with built in animal fat, this contains all the vitamins and minerals you need. A lot of people are unaware that a lot of the main vitamins and minerals are fat soluble. So they need to be absorbed into your body within fat.
- Omnivore – we are rightly classed as an omnivore because we can survive on animals and plants. However just because we can, does not mean we should or have too. Our digestive system is primarily designed to eat meat, we can live on plants but it is not optimal. The standard western diet provides around 70% of its calories from carbohydrates, we are currently the sickest and most overweight version of humans ever.
Month 1 – May 2018
So I started this diary on the 1st of May to coincide with the Concept2 Indoor Rowing season. This is possibly the worst month that I could start something. I do not do foreign holidays, I do lots of mini camping holidays throughout the year. When I am away camping I do not stick to Carnivore, but I do maintain a LCHF diet. I also enjoy the old alcohol quite a bit when I am away haha. The problem and also the bonus of May is that there are two bank holidays. So that is two long weekend camps that are always booked in. It is also my birthday month, so you have to enjoy you birthday too. So it was always going to be difficult to get off to a good start but I did alright.
Food – for the most part I stuck to Carnivore really easily, and even the days I wasn’t strict Carnivore. I still was definitely still Keto and/or LCHF. So it wasn’t like I was going out and eating Pizza. Plus even on the LCHF days I was still eating a nice quantity of meat. I find Carnivore really enjoyable and satisfying, at no point have I grown bored of only eating meat. That might happen at some point but it hasn’t happened yet. Over the month I average a daily calorie intake of 3456, which seems high but I actually lost weight. I averaged 199g for protein, 228g for fat and 70g for carbs.
Fasting – as I was Keto before Carnivore, I find fasting easier than some might find it, and I never snack. I rotate around 3 meals, 2 meal aka 16/8 and 1 meal a day 23/1. One Meal A Day is the one form I have the least experience in. So there is some messing around to be done with this. To start with I was eating too much in the one meal and had some digestive distress, trying to get a boat load of calories in. I am learning this is unnecessary. You do need to eat a big meal and it does have to be energy & nutrient dense but you don’t have to go crazy. In June I am going to add in a 12/12 fast as an experiment. Which will basically be a breakfast, no lunch and a meal at night.
Biometrics – weight went from 81.6kg to 80.5kg aka a 3 pound loss. My body fat also went from 18.9% to 17.5%. I consider that to be steady progress for the first month, which I should be able to keep a similar weight loss going. Towards my target of 75kg.
Exercise – I have mainly focused on Gym work this month, I have started off with relatively light weights. This will give my ligaments and tendons time to get used to lifting. I have planned my own schedule. Basically at least 3 times a week in the gym which includes weight lifting and rowing. The weight lifting is rotated between a Size week (GVT 10 sets of 10 reps), a Strength Week (5*5), Conditioning Week (Vince Gironda’s 8*8) and a High Intensity Week. It is working well so far and has prevented me from becoming bored with working out. If I do not complete the full sets, then I stay at that weight the next time I do it, if I do complete it then I move up a weight next time.
I hope you enjoyed the post, and I hope it provides inspiration.
All the best.