After three weeks on the carnivore diet, I’ve gorged on meat from across the animal kingdom and lost almost 5 kg.
My carnivore diary: 4-11 November
I’m often asked if I’m craving vegetables. Apart from last week when there was a delicious looking roasted tomato and gooey roasted garlic directly in front of me, I’ve not had any cravings or desire to eat vegetables or fruit. Instead weekends are marked by cravings for a beer or wine, though this feels like a what-else-do-you-do-on-weekends-thing?
My third week on the diet has been marked by bizarre dreams where I binge on junk food. In these dreams, I feast on cookie times (delicious, large cookies from New Zealand) and pizza and, in full denial, declare them to be carnivore friendly products! Consciously however, I’ve not had cravings for cookies, though the more I write about them the more I could cave if presented with one.
After today I have another 8 days on this diet before I complete 30 days on the 19th of November.
Forgive me, but I have sinned again. I made a transgression against the rules I set out at the beginning of the diet. The fantastic steak tartar and tuna tartar I had on Wednesday night had Quail eggs in it. Apart from this, my diet continues to be both strict and pretty tasty.
However, I have started to feel a bit bored with just having cooked, roasted or grilled meat. While I’ll never get tire of a succulent steak on its own, Lamb shanks aren’t quite themselves without a nice gravy or glass of red wine, similarly roast Chicken is just better with a gravy.
In the first two weeks I lost a net weight of 3.8kg. This was 2.6kg in the first week and 1.2kg in the second week. The rate of weight loss continues to slow, but only slightly to 1kg this week. That’s a total loss of 4.8kg in three weeks.
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28 October – 3 November
My carnivore diet (exclusively meat, salt and water) continues to go well. I’m gorging on as much meat as I want and continue to watch the scales drop to lower figures (see the weight section below).
I’ve felt great on this diet. Concentration levels are high, and despite eating less overall I’m feeling fuller for longer. In the gym, I’ve maintained my strength and my running, after a serious drop off in speed, is back to normal. However, there have been a few struggles:
- Teeth: Meat is getting stuck in my teeth and flossing is now twice a day.
- Bad breath: I can sense how bad my breath is at times and the meat stuck in my teeth probably doesn’t help.
- Peeing: More often that not I’m getting up in the night to relieve myself. This could be a consequence of the diet but equally it may be because I am drinking a lot more water than I used to.
But the struggles are pretty minor, well perhaps for some of us. On Thursday night I stumbled across Jack Crosbie’s (of Men’s Health) experiment with the carnivore diet. Not only was his interpretation of the diet far more flexible than mine but he failed on his third day (he fell to the sweet potato succubus). That’s weak Jack, really weak.
If I was to succumb to anything right now it would have to be a glass of red wine with one of my regular steaks. On Thursday night, before I came across Jack’s article, I was at Boxcar and Butcher in Marylebone. The only thing I could eat was the T-Bone steak I was having along with my treat for the evening: sparkling water. My friends were having red win, the smell was captivating and I had to really restrain myself from downing it.
Social situations are tricky, but I have stubbornly stuck to my guns. I avoided an office party as well as a Halloween party so that I did not succumb to peer pressure. Sometimes it’s a little sad sitting at home on a Saturday night writing a carnivore diary when I could be on an intoxicated ice-cream crawl of my local corner stores.
This week’s diet
Despite my hankering for some red wine, the meat I’ve devoured has been amazing. This week I got through a lot of steak, a fair bit of seafood as well as a lot of lamb. The schedule is below, if you have any question about the food schedule just ask.
I’ve had a couple of people ask me why I’ve combined intermittent fasting with the carnivore diet. There’s two key reasons:
- I’m not a morning person. It’s hard enough to get out of bed, let alone cook as well.
- Before starting the diet, I had breakfast very irregularly.
So the goal of “IF” for me is not to lose weight but to better control my experiment with the carnivore diet.
Last week I lost 2.6 kg in a week. The weight loss was a consistent downward trend. This week my weight has swung quite dramatically from day to day but with a net loss of 1.2 kg, which brings in a 3.8 kg loss since starting the diet two weeks ago.
I’ve had a number of people suggest that my weight loss is just water loss. My scales record water percentage and the trend for this has been flat (fluctuations, but no upward or downward trend).
I started my carnivore diet a week ago. I was expecting a challenge, but it’s been remarkably easy. Almost too easy. I’ve indulged in entire lamb shoulder, wrapped a lot of food in pancetta, eaten enormous steaks and baby back ribs and not just felt amazing, but lost weight as well. In fact, I think I’ve discovered meatopia.
I was expecting to have cravings for my usual poisons of ice-cream and bourbon, but not only have I strictly followed the diet, I haven’t had any sugar or alcohol cravings. But I have woken up in the night thinking about meat.
In terms of exercise, I’ve felt improvements in strength training (clear focus, more energetic and able to complete more sets), however I’ve recorded slower times (about 15 seconds per km) on my regular run.
Reactions to my diet have been funny: most people think I’m crazy, including one vegan. When I pointed out that our diets were the exact opposite of each other and therefore equally extreme, I was met with disbelief. I guess the carnivore diet is just a little more avant-garde.
Like Noah, I’ve welcomed animals from all walks of life into my vessel. I’ve accommodated mammals, birds, fish and moluscs. If you’re on a meat only diet I don’t really see the point of eating the same meal every day so I’ve tried to keep my diet as interesting as possible.
I’ve listed my diet for the week below. If you have any questions on what I’ve eaten or how I’ve prepared it, just comment below.
While I have been very strict with my adoption of the diet, I’ve made a couple of indiscretions. These are:
- Having a small amount of olive oil on a steak at a restaurant.
- Eating sausages. Sausages often have a lot of other ingredients. But, I had cravings for sausage, so at the Ginger Pig I spoke to the butcher and fortunately got sausages with very high pork content and a tiny amount of seasoning/herbs.
A few people have asked me about uh, what’s going on downstairs. My expectation was to spend a bit of time in the bathroom during the first week based on what Adam Gabbat experienced as well as what others have reported. (spending half the day in the bathroom).
Fortunately, after one week, I’ve not had any trouble. If anything, I’m having to make ‘bathroom visits’ every other day. Initially I was concerned that a backlog was forming, but a little googling later I came across a well written article basically saying that the body is incredibly efficient processing meat and as a result I should expect my visits to the bathroom to be less regular and also smaller.
If you’re considering the diet and wondering what will happen to you, it’s really hard to know. Everybody is different. You may be more fortunate like myself or otherwise become more acquainted with your bathroom.
Weight loss on the carnivore diet
I’ve lost about 0.3kg or 2/3 of a pound each day. It seems counter to prevailing wisdom that an all you can ‘meat’ diet would result in rapid weight loss. But my weight loss has been both considerable and consistent. My baseline weight on Thursday 18 October was 82.3kg, but my weight on the day I started the diet was 82.6kg. As at Sunday morning 28 October my weight has dropped to 80.0kg. You can see my daily results on the chart below.
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