I’ve eaten 2-3lbs of steak a day since 2020— and no vegetables or grains. Carnivore diet.

Today

I only eat red meat (steak like skirt, flank, and ribeye; in addition to other cuts like chuck), salmon, salt, water, and occasionally, honey, eggs, and berries. I also consume beef organs like liver daily.

Besides berries, I don’t eat any plants: no vegetables, no grains. I also haven’t used any supplements while on this diet.

I was skeptical about messing up my health, though, so I had a metabolic panel and nutrient test done last week; here are the results.

  • (Click here to view highlights I've picked out.)
    • hs-CRP (marker for cardiovascular risk), below average (good)
    • fasting glucose: normal but high
    • salts: normal
    • Vitamin D, deficient
      • oops I live in the Northern US. Maybe I should supplement.
    • Copper: low
    • Magnesium: normal
    • Hemoglobin: normal
    • Hemoglobin A1c: normal
    • all immune system markers: normal
    • B vitamins: some are high
    • Total cholesterol: slightly high
    • Triglycerides: normal
    • Iron: normal
    • Vitamin A: normal
    • Vitamin C was not tested

Chronology

In 2020 September I stopped eating plants (including vegetables, grains, and fruit) to try to heal an issue with my skin. Instead I switched to a diet of almost entirely red meat, mostly beef. For the first few months all I ate was beef, seafood (mostly salmon), butter, eggs, salt, and water. This included eating liver everyday, which I still do. (I later removed butter, cheese, and milk from my diet.)

I have eaten plants a few times since 2020, though— The first time I ate vegetables again I soon developed some kind of lethargy, but it was familiar, and had once been common. I realized that since I had stopped eating plants, I had not felt this at all. I thought it was just normal to eat dinner and not want to do anything for 1-2 hours? But when I only eat meat, I don’t get this. Eating plants, even just a bit, makes my stomach feel bloated— But I can eat 2 lbs of steak in one sitting and feel great.

I essentially never feel bad after eating anymore (once every few months?). If anything, eating plants now feels to me like it an unreliable and risky act— too much can go wrong, and meat rarely fails. (Times meat has failed: Two times I ate ground beef where I subsequently threw up, so I stopped eating ground beef and this never happened again. Also I think I got salmonella from eating raw eggs, so I stopped eating raw eggs.)

With this diet my skin healed quite a bit, though not entirely. However I have observed much more activity on my skin the times that I have eaten vegetables— once for several weeks following consumption of ~1 cup of rice and ~1 cup of cooked greens.

Other aspects of my body seemed to get healthier over this period, too, though it’s hard to tell.

About a year ago I added honey and berries to my diet, both of which seem to work in small quantities. Also, for whatever reason I eat a lot of salt.

I feel much more satiated on this diet than I had known from anything before. I happily eat my 3lbs of steak (usually in two meals a few hours apart) and go the rest of the day without thinking about food. (Note: 3lbs of steak is 2.5% of my current body weight.) When I travel, I choose not to eat and I’m fine. (Note that I don’t eat chicken. It doesn’t feel balanced. Steak feels balanced, however.) Meanwhile when I ate paleo, I was eating something every two hours. Moreover, with paleo a few times a week I would get cravings that I didn’t know how to satisfy. Now when I do get cravings (and this happens ~10x less often now), I can resolve them by eating either more liver, or honey and berries. When I started this diet, I quickly forgot that I could eat plants, and also experienced no cravings for them.

I also suspect that my energy levels are much more consistent now than it was before.

A friend named my diet “the bear diet”, which seems fitting.

Note that I experienced these benefits coming off of a ‘paleo’ diet: what I previously been eating for the ~2 years prior was essentially just eggs, leafy greens, ground beef, salmon, chickpeas, cheese, milk, and occasional fruit. I haven’t eaten any ‘processed’ food (including anything with added sugar) in more than 4 years now.

FAQ

  • Doesn’t eating the same food everyday get boring?
    • I eat the same food everyday, but so far it hasn’t gotten monotonous at all. It’s hard not to like steak. I also experience far less cravings now than before.
    • I also eat a diversity of cuts, and they all taste different.
    • Note: I also don’t use spices or rubs. Just salt.
  • Don’t you need fiber?
    • I can’t recall having any constipation whatsoever. I have, however, gotten diarrhea the times when I’ve eaten too much fat. So, no, fiber doesn’t seem necessary in my case.
  • How to start?
    • I’ve accidentally persuaded too many people to try this diet already. But if you are interested, Amber O’Hearn is an IMO sane carnivore person to look to.
    • Starting carnivore is hard, however.
      • (But maintaining it is easy: I buy the same foods, and I cook them with almost no effort via 350° F in an air fryer or convection oven for about 20 minutes.)