I’ve eaten 2-3lbs of meat a day since 2020— and no vegetables or grains. Carnivore diet.
I only eat red meat (mostly beef- skirt, flank, chuck, etc), salmon, salt, water, and occasionally, honey, eggs, and berries. I also consume offal (e.g. 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 also recently had a micronutrient panel done and I learned a few things but otherwise I’m not concerned. I am pretty young, however.
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 beef 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 beef (usually in two meals a few hours apart) and go the rest of the day without thinking about food. (Note: 3lbs of beef 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 like beef does.) 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 daily energy levels are significantly more consistent now than they were 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 ~2 years prior to carnivore 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.
2022-08-03 update: I’ve gotten some more medical tests recently, and something seems off with my gut. Unclear which way causality is here. Going to try eating more fiber lol.
2022-08-19: I haven’t noticed any salient effects from eating potatoes (~8oz/day) so far! The only thing I’m suspicious of at all is that I may have gained a very small amount of body fat.
© Midjourney. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International. Retouched.
- 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.
- 2021-05: Actually lately I have gotten a bit bored, I think probably because I’ve been eating a smaller diversity of cuts lately. If I eat more organs, however, this abates.
- 2022-07: Yes every so often lately I’ve gotten cravings for fruit, but if I eat some beef liver then this goes away.
- 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. Shrug, fiber doesn’t seem necessary in my case.
- 2022-08: I could be wrong here though. I’m currently experimenting with eating some amount of fiber via potatoes to maybe feed my gut bacteria and see if I feel even better.
- Isn’t it expensive?
- It doesn’t need to be! Chuck steak is especially cheap and still fatty. Pork is also generally inexpensive too.
- 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. (E.g. An ex of mine tried it on her own and failed, but once she lived with me it worked.)
- 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 15-20 minutes.
© 2020 – 2022 Chris Lakin
- See my most recent essays on my Substack.