How I Lost 17 Pounds In One Month On The Carnivore Diet

Have you heard of the carnivore diet?

What’s with people eating only meat – no sugar, no breads, no pastas, not even vegetables?

My wife and I tried it for a full month and we’re convinced that calling it a diet is a bad idea.

We prefer to call it a new way of life.

Here’s what happened.

When I first heard Joe Rogan mention on his podcast that he was going to have a doctor on his show that ate only meat, and had been doing it for several years, it got my attention.

Many of us struggle to find healthy eating habits that fit into our busy schedules.

You may find yourself going through the drive-through at a fast-food joint when you’ve only got thirty minutes for a lunch break.

If you’re a busy professional you may not even get a lunch break and you have to make do with vending machine snacks or gas station burritos.

The result is that many of us are far from a healthy weight.

That’s what appealed to me about the idea of going on a carnivore diet – the ability to get to a healthy weight.

Honestly, I was also intrigued by the idea of eating only meat because I enjoy steaks and burgers.

The smell of a steak being grilled on the barbecue has been one of my favorite summer memories ever since I can remember.

I’m Not a Doctor, But Shawn Baker Is

Dr. Shawn Baker was on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast on December 7, 2017.  You can check it out here.

It’s well worth a watch or a listen and I encourage you to do so.  (Pro tip: you can speed up the playback to get through it faster.  Just click the Settings icon that looks like a little gear.)

Dr. Baker is an orthopedic surgeon who is a world record holder in weight lifting and a phenomenal athlete at over 50 years old.

And he only eats meat.  Mostly steaks.  He loves steaks.

Follow him on Twitter or Instagram and you’ll see frequent photos of him buying, cooking, or eating steaks.

His experience in medicine and in his personal life led him down a path that ultimately led to him talking to Joe Rogan and Joe’s millions of listeners about the benefits of going full carnivore.

100% Meat, 100% of the Time

Make no mistake, Dr. Baker is not advocating eating mostly meat and few carbs.

He’s not even suggesting eating a high-protein, low sugar diet.

Dr. Baker is a proponent of the radical notion of eating all meat, all the time.

No sugar, no bread, no fruit, no vegetables.

Occasionally, maybe some eggs.

Cheese if you dare.

Otherwise, that’s it.

After listening to the podcast I was hooked on the idea.

Dr. Baker proposes that the benefits of going full carnivore include reduced inflammation and lessened joint pain, more energy, less foggy-headedness or none at all, stabilized mood, increased libido, and weight loss.

There may be others that I’m forgetting.  You really should listen to the podcast, Dr. Baker explains this all very well.

I told my wife about it and we listened to the podcast together on a long drive.

We both made the decision that we were going to go all-in on full carnivory for a full month.

A Full Month Of Eating Only Meat

raw steak

This is what a perfect meal looks like, minus the sprig of rosemary and red chiles. Ground peppercorns and a little salt are actually ok.

Part of Dr. Baker’s plan of spreading the word about the benefits of carnivorous eating was to set up a website to track the results from people who participate in this way of eating.

You can visit nequalsmany.com and register to track your results in order to participate in a group study of the carnivore diet.

This is a chance for you to contribute to the advancement of science while eating delicious, grilled meat.

There’s also a public Facebook group you can join to learn and share what you’ve learned with others.

My wife and I joined both and started our adventure on January 1, 2018.

We committed to trying this out for a full month and seeing the results for ourselves.

Plan Ahead When Eating Only Meat

Going fully on the carnivore diet required a change in our grocery shopping and cooking habits.

We followed our own advice to help us with these new habits.

We stocked up on beef roasts for the Crock Pot slow-cooker, steaks for the grill, and pre-cooked frozen hamburger patties for when time was short.

For our two children though, we kept their eating habits unchanged.  They would join us in eating steaks and roast beef when they wanted, but they were also free to eat salads, fruits, potatoes, and vegetables.

This required a bit of planning ahead so that we didn’t run out of food for the kiddos and force them to eat according to our plan or run out of meat and be tempted to snack on the kids’ non-meat food stockpile.

We also had to plan ahead on how to avoid temptations at workplace potlucks and other social gatherings.

I found that the phrase, “Thank you, but I’m taking a break from doughnuts” (or whatever was offered) was a quick and easy way to politely turn down offers at work.

The First Week Was Easy, But Then…

The first week it was actually not that difficult to stick to the plan.

January 1 was a Monday and that’s when we officially started.

That week I had scrambled eggs for breakfast, took tupperware containers with slow-cooked beef to work, and had steaks for dinner.

Some days I would skip lunch or dinner if I wasn’t particularly hungry for that meal.

I thought I would crave sandwiches or burritos or desserts and I thought maybe I would have a hard time adjusting, but it turned out to be pretty easy and I breezed through the first week.

But then the weekend came.

On Saturday I found myself craving something sweet after the lunchtime steak.

The craving just wouldn’t go away no matter what I tried, so I ate slow-roasted beef until I was stuffed, to try to squash the desire for dessert.

It kind of worked.

The next day I experienced the exact same thing, except it was about ten thousand times worse.

All I could think about the entire day was eating a candy bar or some ice cream or a slice of pizza.

No matter how much meat I ate the craving wouldn’t go away, even though my stomach was full.

That’s when my eyes were opened to the power of addiction to sugar and carbohydrates.

That’s when my eyes were opened to the power of addiction to sugar and carbohydrates.

My wife was suffering through the same thing.

We commiserated and joked about it, and together we made it through the day without breaking down and cheating.

The Worst Was Over

The next day was the beginning of the second week, and the cravings disappeared, thankfully.

It was back to eggs, steak, and roasts.

Occasionally a rotisserie chicken.

It was a little more difficult this week to plan meals ahead due to our work and school schedules, so I found myself going to an emergency backup solution several times that week.

That solution was Wendy’s fast food burgers.

Did you know you can ask for a burger without the bun and Wendy’s puts it in a nice little container for you?

Through testing I learned that my favorite carnivore-only menu item from their drive-through is a double stack burger, no bun, with two pieces of bacon for sixty cents extra.

Wendy's double-stack

Wendy’s double stack burger, no bun, bacon added for sixty cents extra. Perfect for an emergency meal on the carnivore diet. Delicious and carnivore-friendly.

They’re delicious, and three of them fill me up for the next six hours or so.

The Results of a Month on the Carnivore Diet

As the days and the weeks went by I was excited to see the results paying off on the scale.

When all was said and done I had lost seventeen pounds and about an inch and a half off my waist.

My pants were fitting very loosely and I had to tighten my belt several notches to keep them on.

I woke up refreshed in the mornings and was actually needing less sleep than before.

My mood stabilized.  I didn’t get as worked up about problems that would arise at work.

I felt steady energy throughout the day instead of a rush in the mornings with my coffee followed by an afternoon crash.

I also saw a reduction in random pimples on my face and body.  (Occasionally throughout the month when I would eat some cheese I noticed a few pimples the next day, so I suspect I may have some kind of dairy allergy.)

Drawbacks to the Carnivore Diet

It takes more planning than you may be used to.

Cooking meat requires time and the options for microwaveable or fast food quick fixes are very limited.

Steaks and roasts can be expensive.  Rotisserie chicken already cooked can be a time saver and it’s reasonably priced, but your food budget will probably need to be increased.

It might be difficult to avoid temptations at social gatherings and workplace potlucks and such so you’ll want to have a plan in place for that.

I didn’t tell anyone that I was doing this.

Only my wife and kids knew because I hate long explanations and I prefer to wait until I’ve fully tested something before I talk about it.

You may or may not feel the same way, so take this into account.

steak

This was dinner almost every night. After a week or two, steak is extremely satisfying and cravings for everything else pretty much disappeared.

What’s Next?

February 4th was the Super Bowl and my wife and I had decided we would let ourselves eat whatever we wanted that day at our family’s annual Super Bowl party.

Interestingly, I found myself craving the slow-cooked roast we took to the event more than anything else.

My food cravings have completely changed since December 31st.

I still crave sweets and chips and pizza and such, but I crave them with my memory instead of with my body – if that makes sense.

I can easily go without eating anything other than steaks, chicken, eggs, and the occasional piece of fish.

Based on the overwhelmingly positive results I’ve experienced, I’m going to continue eating like a carnivore indefinitely.

It feels too good to go back to the old SAD (standard American diet).

P.S.

Pork rinds are a carnivore-friendly option that bailed me out of some tough times at work when I was extremely hungry and didn’t have a chance to get out for lunch.  I keep a couple of bags in my desk drawer for emergencies.

My favorite way of cooking a steak is in a cast iron skillet in a 500-degree oven.  I learned this from famous TV chef Alton Brown and it takes less than six minutes to cook a steak to perfection once the over is preheated.  Check out his recipe here.

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  • Tony says:

    How did your wife cope?

    • Walt says:

      Thanks for reading and for posting your question, Tony. She struggled that first weekend with cravings for carbs just as much as I did. She struggled more with cravings for sweets even after that for about another week, especially chocolate. But she did great, didn’t give in, and overall she lost 14 pounds. She’s also decided to keep eating like a carnivore indefinitely.

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