I first heard about the carnivore diet on the Joe Rogan Podcast. It’s a diet where you only eat animal products. Though there haven’t been any long term scientific studies, a number of people have tried it and reported some pretty significant health and performance benefits.
Why do I care, and why should you?
Since switching to the Paleo Diet back in 2003, I’ve been fascinated with how nutrition works. I ate only paleolithic foods for years, and I’ve done Paleo and Zone simultaneously. I’ve experimented with the Ketogenic Diet. Most recently I’ve done flexible dieting with IIFYM, which works great if you get your macros right and stick to them. When I heard some people were eating only meat, naturally, I was intrigued.
Joe talked about an MD, Shawn Baker, who had been eating a mostly ribeye based carnivore diet for over a year AND had been crushing indoor rowing records at 50 years old. This could be us.
Sounds pretty amazing, right? Eat steak and dominate. Fuck yes.
Of course you’d want to participate in a bit of mild research first. Don’t worry. I got you.
Over at Onnit (Joe Rogan is part owner), Sean Hyson wrote a great article about the diet, The Carnivore Diet: Is Eating ONLY Meat Healthy, or totally F@#$ing Crazy? Give it a read, then come right back. Let me know what you think.
My first thought? This shit is crazy.
My second thought? I’d better try it.
A very short experiment
So I decided to try it for up to 30 days. If I still liked it after 30 days, I’d go 90, and then do blood work. Well, after 2 weeks, I knew everything I needed to know about the carnivore diet for myself. Yes, I felt good. Yes, my body comp started to improve. Yes, my face and head were greasy as hell.
This was all familiar to me. It felt very similar to the ketogenic diet I experimented with for a year back in 2015/2016.
When I was “keto”, I had very consistent energy, and felt like I could do cardio forever. The problem was that I lost that extra gear that allowed me to go over 90% on my heavy lifts. I hated that, so I added carbs back in. I got stronger and fatter instantly. Bread is bad, bread is bad…
Abandon Ship (aka way to be a quitter, Jason)
Back to the present.
Like I said, 2 weeks into the carnivore diet, I felt myself going somewhere I’d already been before. There was no need to go down with that ship again. I knew I wanted the carbs back, but I wanted to be more responsible about it to avoid getting too fat. I went with sweet potatoes and greens. I added coconut oil. And just like that — BAM! I felt better and stronger, and my body composition continued to improve.
But wait a second.
Isn’t that the Paleo Diet? Oh shit, yes it is. Meat, sweet potatoes, vegetables, coconut oil. All plants and animals that have been around for a long time. Wow, full circle.
A New Hope
So what about the carnivore diet then? Is it good for people?
Probably for some but not for all.
I love the idea, but I don’t think it’s optimal for me. Try it if you want. Let your doctor know. Do blood work. It might be okay for you, it might not.
At this point it’s safer to think of the carnivore diet as a belief system and not an actual diet. So, in that respect, it’s like the vegan diet…except awesome.
In closing, you could live on meat alone. It’s probably better for you to keep eating plants with your meat though. Just avoid any plants that don’t make you feel good.
Feel free to comment below. Especially if you’re a vegan and your mom still loves you. Love you guys.
Be Strong. Be Fit. Be Indomitable.
If you’re struggling to drop inches off your waist check out to Lose Unhealthy Weight One Day At A Time