Interview with Dylan & Andrea
1) Introduce Yourself
Nice to meet you. We’re Dylan and Andrea, also known as The BBQ Diet. We’re a married couple who met in law school and are both practicing lawyers. Our diet is primarily BBQ meats that we smoke ourselves in our backyard. Andrea grew up in North Carolina and Dylan has roots in Texas, so BBQ sauce runs in our veins.
2) How did you eat before Carnivore.
Andrea was a vegetarian for 9 years during her teenage and college years. Before that, she ate a typical Standard American Diet (SAD). Dylan ate a mostly SAD diet throughout his life, with some brief forays into vegetarianism and veganism.
Dylan was the first of us to experiment with a ketogenic diet. He learned about keto from a bodybuilding perspective as an easy way to cut weight. Andrea was originally very skeptical (and not a fan of the keto breath). Around that time, we started learning about zero-carb and the Carnivore Diet. We listened to Dr. Shawn Baker’s first interview with Joe Rogan. We were intrigued and began doing some research of our own. At the end of 2016, we decided we would try the keto diet, this time together, as a New Year’s resolution. We originally planned to eat keto for 2-3 months until we cut some weight. At that point, we were going to ramp up our weightlifting routine and go back to carbs to bulk.
After a couple of months, we were in love with keto. Andrea cured lifetime issues with hypoglycemia and mild epilepsy. We both felt amazing, with tons of energy and a no more brain fog at work. We were able to begin incorporating fasting into our routine, which we loved. We continued doing research and learning more and more about the low-carb way of eating. We became more and more convinced that keto was an optimal way to eat.
After 2.5 months of eating a keto diet, we went to a family reunion. We had lost a bit of weight and decided it was time to execute our plan: quit keto and begin bulking and lifting heavy with carbs. We thought it would be too hard and awkward to keep up the keto diet around family and while traveling. We spent the reunion eating the carbs we thought we missed during our 2.5 months of keto. We felt awful. We got major sugar hangovers. We lost our ability to fast. Hunger came back. We hadn’t been hungry for months. We suddenly remembered what it was like to be hangry, to have food cravings, and to be a slave to constant eating.
So we decided to go back to a ketogenic diet indefinitely. We looked into keto bodybuilding and bulking and decided to try it. In our research, we kept running across the Carnivore diet and how it was superior to keto in some ways. We started following some Carnivores on Instagram and becoming interested in Carnivore for gaining muscle and getting some additional marginal health benefits.
3) Why did you try Carnivore to begin with.
After researching it obsessively, we tried Carnivore for a couple months completely strict. We enjoyed the strict diet and didn’t mind the restriction. However, we did miss some things. Since then, we have oscillated between periods of strict Carnivore and periods where we eat about 95% animal products and 5% keto additions like vegetables, sauces, keto desserts, etc.
4) How do you personally approach the Carnivore Diet.
We are lucky to not have any serious health issues. Therefore, we do not need to be very strict with our diet. We do not notice any adverse health effects from occasionally eating things like dairy, some vegetables, fruits, nuts, or artificial sweeteners. Some vegetables do give us some issues like bloating or gas and we avoid those. We avoid processed foods and processed sugar at all costs. These things make us feel awful when we try to incorporate them again.
On workdays, we eat one-meal-a-day (OMAD). This saves us a ton of time. We don’t need to wake up earlier to make breakfast and eat breakfast. We don’t have to worry about complicated meal prep or packing lunches. We can work through lunch breaks and leave work early. Then we get to come home and feast all night on delicious smoked meats. We absolutely love how simple and time-saving it is. On the weekends, we usually eat more meals because we have more time.
5) What benefits have you seen since starting the Carnivore Diet.
Andrea always suffered from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and low blood pressure. If she didn’t eat every few hours, she would get dizzy, nauseous, and eventually pass out. She always carried snacks with her, just in case. She would get way hangrier than your average person because when she got hungry and her blood sugar dropped, she began feeling extremely sick. Since going keto/Carnivore, she has been completely cured of these issues. She can now easily fast until dinner. Longer fasts are not an issue, either. We have both done multiple 24-hour and 48-hour fasts. We have done a handful of 72-hour fasts and one 96-hour fast. Andrea can do these extended fasts without experiencing any of the symptoms she used to experience when she would go without eating for a mere 4-5 hours.
We have both experienced body composition improvements on the Carnivore diet. We have both gained weight but it seems to be almost all muscle. Some say that you gain body mass in the form of bone density, etc. This could be. All we know is that we gained, but it does not seem to be fat.
The Carnivore Diet helps us to feel our best while being so simple and satisfying. Because we are both lawyers, we are very busy. We have very little free time. The Carnivore Diet simplifies our entire life. We grocery shop about once a month. When we do, we do not have complicated grocery lists. We go straight to the meat department and buy up what is on sale to freeze. Every week, we pull out what we want to eat from the freezer. Cooking becomes extremely simple. We usually smoke 15-20 pounds of meat on the weekend and then eat that throughout the week. We come home, heat up leftover barbecue, and eat. We supplement with things that are easy to prepare quickly, like eggs, ground beef, cheese, and heavy cream.
We love everything we eat. Smoked meat, steaks, eggs, cheese. It’s all delicious. We never get tired of eating these things. We never get bored. We’re excited to eat every time we sit down to a plate of meat.
6) What negatives have you found with the Carnivore Diet.
We experience some judgment from our families. They worry that we are being unhealthy.
Occasionally, we want to attend a social engagement or have foods we used to love. This isn’t a huge negative for us, though. We are lucky to not have any serious health conditions that would be affected by a cheat. For Thanksgiving at Mom’s house, or when friends are going out, if we want, we just “cheat” and enjoy the meal.
7) Do you exercise on the Carnivore Diet, if so how do you find it and what do you do.
We both try to exercise frequently. Dylan does Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. We have been in the process of moving, starting new jobs, and buying a house for the past 6 months. We have been transient. It has made it hard to commit to any gym or serious lifting program. We prefer to lift heavy but have been settling for an inconsistent kettlebell routine while we’re moving around. Next month, we are investing in a home squat rack and some other home gym amenities. We are very excited to get back into a consistent lifting schedule.
8) What piece of advice would you give someone who is interested in trying this diet, but hasn’t taken the leap yet.
Do it! You can do anything for 30 days. If it doesn’t work out for you, you only spent a month trying it out. You have the chance that Carnivore will cure you of some issues or conditions that you thought were chronic or incurable. You will likely see many benefits like clearer skin, more energy, and better brain function. You have a lot to gain and not really anything to lose.
If it would help you, try going keto first. Keto is much more manageable at first. You don’t have to give up everything you love right away. We think going keto first has some advantages. Keto is generally higher fat and can help you adapt to burning fat quicker.
Whether you go straight to Carnivore, or try a low-carb or keto protocol first, be sure to give your body plenty of time to adjust. You will likely experience some negative symptoms at first, like digestive issues or tiredness, while your body is adjusting. This is normal. Just push through and try to experience what it is like to become fully adapted to this way of eating. Drink plenty of water in the first couple of weeks and consider supplementing with electrolytes. Research the “Keto Flu.” Most of your negative symptoms (cramps, aches, headaches, lethargy, etc) are likely caused by a water or electrolyte imbalance.
The reason that everyone recommends a very strict first month is because cheating in that first month can affect your adaptation to burning fat and make your adjustment symptoms a lot worse. If you cheat, you will not be breaking your addiction to carbs and sugar. You will be continuing to feed the addiction. Instead of experiencing a release from constant cravings, they will likely persist.
It takes about 4-6 weeks to fully adapt to burning fat for fuel. Do not try fasting before you are fully adapted. Do not judge how you’re feeling on the diet until you experience full adaptation.
Once you are adapted to being in ketosis, you can try adding in some foods you miss, if you like.
9) Do you think Carnivore will ever be accepted as a mainstream diet.
We don’t think that Carnivore will ever be mainstream but we do hope it will become more normalized and accepted. Unfortunately, there are so many bogus fad diets out there that most people are skeptical of anything labeled as a “diet.” Therefore, we think many people will continue to view Keto and Carnivore with skepticism until they try it out for themselves.
Keto and Carnivore are truly different from other “diets” because your entire body metabolism changes. You switch from burning carbs for energy to burning fat for fuel in ketosis. This shift is accompanied by myriad hormonal and neurological changes that do not occur on any other fad “diet.” Perhaps if enough people experience ketosis for themselves, the word will get out that these ways of eating are not “just another diet.” We hope so!
10) Anything you would like to add, and where can people follow your journey.
Follow us at @thebbqdiet on Instagram!!
If you’d like to get in touch or ask us any questions, Instagram is the best place. Send us a DM there or leave a comment!
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