Hi everyone, first post here. I’m officially at Day 16 of carnivore.I feel sore with bouts of queasiness that come out of nowhere from time to time, but a little salt seems to cure it every time. I’ve been training pretty much since starting, and as long as my salt is good and I’ve eaten something fairly recently, my energy is tremendous DURING my workout. But I’ll be honest, I’m waiting for the epiphany that I keep hearing about; the moment when all is well, I feel like a million bucks and all that. I feel mostly good, but truthfully, after dealing with SIBO for years (my reason for trying carnivore), any day that I’m not constipated and/or I’m able to get through my workout without being overrun by SIBO symptoms, is a good day. I guess what I’m wondering is, when did some of you start really feeling good on carnivore? When was it clear to you that this was the right decision, your body is adjusting appropriately and you’re actually not going to drop dead of a heart attack at any moment due to the increased fat and cholesterol? I know I have certainly had the paranoid thought in moments of adaption pains “What if this is all nonsense? What if eating like this for the past 2 weeks is going to clog my arteries in record time and I drop dead of a massive coronary?!”
heading into year 5 carnivore, I ain’t dead yet and only have improved every single health function in my life
with your questions you obviously have not researched zero carb eating…so here are some good places to read truths.
Those will give you tons of info and tons of reading to answer it all for you and many other sites for reading too but if you get all this info down ya, then you will educate yourself on this lifestyle Wishing you the best.
Probably the first day…? But it’s usually the 1st, 2nd or 3rd when the carnivore satiation kicks in and unless I am bored of my food, it’s good. I felt quite fine physically on any woe I ever had (I just have low energy everywhere) but mentally… Lack of carbs changes me and it’s great.
Physically… I mean more energy… I think I should give it a long time. Months. And we will see.
But these things are very individual. Keto has those enthusiastically reported results too and I never had them. I stay low energy, my brain is the same, I still eat too much etc. Fat adaptation changed my hunger, that’s it.
And people coming from very different pasts, having different problems, not even doing the same woe now… Obviously will experience different changes.
Oh but cholesterol is precious (even the bad type is needed in tiny amounts I think…? but it’s complicated. still, cholesterol is something evil to many poor common people who has no idea about the basics of it), we need it for life badly and your body makes it diligently… And it’s known since so long that the cholesterol in our diet usually has little effect on serum cholesterol…
My body is sure it never ever will have a have attack, well I only eat about 7-8 eggs a day in average since more than a decade but it’s something I have no idea about cholesterol in meat, sorry, never was interested.
I probably eat less fat on carnivore than on high-carb but as long as I use it up, fat is a great energy, why would it cause problems? There are experiences, science and everything… But I let others to talk about that, I CAN’T live on low-fat, never did, low-fat is my room 101 and I can’t even comprehend why people are against fat so much.
But if you are against high-fat for some reason or especially if you can’t handle so much fat (I couldn’t in the beginning. I always ate quite high-fat but it’s different if I don’t use vegetables or whatnot to make the fat content per volume lower), you are free to eat more protein and less fat for a while. There are limits as too high protein is unhealthy but most of us can’t easily go that high. And anywhere, there is a wriggle room, usually quite big. I had 80g and 220g protein days though my average is in a way smaller range.
Now I am a bit curious, what and how much do you eat?
This is key. When someone has suffered with an ailment “for years,” why is that ailment expected to clear up in a matter of days? It took years for our bodies to develop their chronic health problems. These problems also take time to heal.
With that being said, I have a question for you: were you keto before you tried carnivore?
Many people start off following the keto way of eating (woe), and so their bodies are already used to having few carbs and are fat adapted. If you went straight into carnivore from the standard American diet (sad) then your body has a lot of adapting to do and it does not happen over night. I would suggest reading up on keto adaptation if the answer to my above question is no.
Once you remove all plant foods from your body, many things change. Your intestinal flora need to change for starters. I really have no idea how long that can take and I’m sure it depends upon the individual. In your case, having SIBO, the change may take longer.
I went to carnivore from keto. But, when I was keto, I ate a lot, I mean a lot, of high oxalate foods. When I removed those oxalate containing foods (oxalates are only found in plant foods) I started oxalate dumping which caused me a whole host of uncomfortable symptoms. Those symptoms continued on and off for many months.
So, I guess my point is that how long it takes to feel “really good” depends upon your starting point, and your definition of really good. Someone who was very insulin resistant and suffering from type 2 diabetes and other metabolic health problems may end up feeling really good or amazingly good because they felt so terrible before their dietary change, but their really good might just be what is normal for someone who was already in fairly good health. I was already in pretty good health when I started keto. What keto and now carnivore gave me was more sustained energy levels, less inflammation and joint trouble, but I can’t say I started feeling amazing because I wasn’t too bad to begin with.
I guess after all this, my point is that adaptation and healing take time. Sixteen days is pretty short.
That’s a great response, @VirginiaEdie
I felt very sluggish and tired prior to eating keto; keto gave me a jolt of energy - I suddenly wanted to move, compared to being sedentary.
Carnivore just kept that energy level consistent. The biggest thing for me with carnivore was that it took away my cravings. Even with keto, I was constantly thinking about my next meal. With carnivore, I don’t think about food until I am hungry.
I think we’ve all had those fears - it feels like a heck of a gamble in the face of accepted nutrition guidelines, but @Fangs has linked some great resources, and has been a carnivore for many years. I think it’s easier to accept when you’ve been in the keto space for so long, because keto > carnivore is less of a mind jump than standard diet > keto.
I have felt a lot of benefits with being carnivore - notably body changes and improvements of functions. The hardest thing is sticking with it whilst those things happen; in some cases, like with the oxalates mentioned above, you have to go through a hard patch to get to the improvement.
With your comment about salt, I think it’s worth saying to be mindful of your electrolytes. Lots of long term carnivores don’t supplement, but it seems that lots of newer carnivores find they feel better with extra salt or magnesium or potassium. I often wonder if this is because the long term carnivores are well nourished and the newer carnivores have been lacking nourishment for so long, so things are a little out of balance.
Keto, aka low carb, similar to carnivore cured my year long SIBO when the doctors couldn’t…going on 3 years.
And I echo Fangs above…every single health marker in my life is incredible better. I could go on, and on, and on.
Animal fats are not clogging my arteries, quite the opposite.
For many of us, low-carb and keto isn’t the same… I did 80g net carbs low-carb before keto (for years. I couldn’t do keto right out from HCHF, I felt awful so quit right away) , some people do it with 150g (and eating kind of normal so it does less good. I stopped eating a few bad common food groups). It still may bring great changes, I loved my low-carb. But had to go lower eventually, even my keto was too carby. Many people are happy with mere low-carb for life though. It’s clearly way better than high-carb for… probably most people. Especially how modern people do high-carb, with awfully bad items, overeating is common too…
Thanks for the response. I read Shawn Baker’s book prior to starting this. I understand the science that he presented on the benefits of carnivore. The problem nowadays, though, is that for all the science that he puts forth for Pro Carnivore, there are equally as many “scientific” articles that are against carnivore. Then there are articles on why salt is bad, why salt is amazing, why chicken is bad, why chicken is the key to life, etc. So the “science” is really just down to what I choose to believe and how I’m feeling. Fortunately in my case, because of the SIBO, I KNOW for a fact that if I go back to eating carbs or even vegetables I’ll feel like hell IMMEDIATELY. So I’m all in on carnivore by default because even during the pains of adaptation, I feel less crappy then I feel eating carbs.
Oh yes, I was on keto for well over a year. The symptoms of SIBO were minimized then, but since I was eating vegetables and nuts and taking psyllium husk powder, I was still feeding the bacteria in my small intestine. Then I made the decision to try low FODMAP by incorporating white rice and potatoes. HORRIBLE decision. The bacteria that had been low energy and barely getting enough fuel to survive now had plenty of carbs and fiber to repopulate my gut. So now I’m at carnivore.
Thanks for the response. My naturopath- who’s a vegan funny enough- was the one that suggested this diet to clear up SIBO. She was the one who told me about salt (something about cells being full of water being released during adaptation causing you to eliminate the water AND electrolytes, creating a need for more electrolytes). So I thought, “makes sense” and upped my salt a little. Then I go on one of those Reddit carnivore groups and get jumped on for having salt. This group seems a lot more friendly.
That alone could feed SIBO.
I believe I had SIBO and have “cured” it using keto. But I also eat a low-fiber version of keto. Vegetables only sometimes. Lunch today, for instance, was beef + ham + pickled mushrooms + olives. Dinner tonight will likely be eggs + some meat. Maybe goat’s milk yogurt, protein powder, some coconut flakes (not much).
I say “cured” because it might come back should I go back to eating high carb.
That’s so stupid, people have different needs. We have people here who have problems without supplementing sodium. What those groups would say to them, stop feeling bad?! Oh my. Each to their own.
So you have no other option just worry… I can’t relate as I don’t and I trust my body… And see good experiences (while I know it’s not for everyone)… And let’s think about it. Homo sapiens, being able to hunt other animals… How could it be bad? We evolved like that. We ate plants too but they didn’t provide many nutrients or not everywhere…? Sure, don’t accept things blindly, look up things you can tentatively accept as facts for some reason… But if you body can’t handle anything else, it’s your best shot anyway and you should work with it. But if you worry about getting a heart attack, that’s difficult…
Exactly, it seems like the only science that happens is when researchers get paid to confirm someone’s bias.
I didn’t really like Baker’s book that much. Saladino’s book seemed to go more in depth. Regardless, they are both good as a starting point.
I landed on red ruminant animals such as beef, bison, lamb, etc. and that’s mostly what I eat. Try to stick to a plan so you can measure it every few weeks to modify as necessary. If you add back fermented foods like sauerkraut, that might not affect you like other vegetables.
Whilst there are parts of Reddit which have some fascinating posts and great individuals, the culture of the site as a whole has always been very aggressive. The nature of the platform also lends itself to conformity; there’s very little room for dissent or discussion, because your commentary will be downvoted strongly if you step out of line - and if you’re downvoted enough, your posts don’t show. So it rewards groupthink.
Anyway, platform woes aside - I think people are less aggressive and more thoughtful here. People may disagree with each other, but it’s useful to gain a range of responses because people have different experiences.
I think carnivore sites become a little militant because so many attempt carnivore, but don’t follow the plan - usually by making too many concessions - and then complain that carnivore doesn’t work. I think that irritates lots of carnivores; as far as they see it, it isn’t that the plan doesn’t work - it’s that the individual didn’t implement the plan properly.
I think that’s fair and valid criticism - but I also think that we’re all coming from very different backgrounds, with different medical problems, ages, metabolisms, physical activity etc. I think it’s easy when you’re cruising along with carnivore to forget how fraught the initial period can feel.
Two things I talked a lot about were the paradoxes of carnivore:
- I would never have started carnivore if someone had said, “You cannot drink soda whilst doing the plan.” I knew it was off plan, I knew it wasn’t good for me, but I was hopelessly addicted. I started carnivore, quietly kept it in, and then within days (a week? two weeks?) I’d given it up entirely because I didn’t like how it tasted.
I say this because I know the Reddit culture would’ve told me to sling my hook for even attempting carnivore with soda included - but it was the best thing I ever did, because I’d tried so hard to give up soda in the past and always failed. Going carnivore meant I gave it up with ease - and then I did become ‘the ideal carnivore’.
- The more militant the plan, the harder it sounds, but the easier it is.
Frankly, had someone told me that I would embark on a beef and water diet, I would’ve refused; it sounds horribly boring and unappetising. When on keto, I didn’t want to have beef more than maybe 3 times a week - preferring to mix it up with chicken and lamb and gammon etc.
What I found was that I started with a range of meats and within a month, I kept being drawn towards beef - and I ended up having beef and eggs, and then just beef, for every single meal for around 12 months.
Rather than finding it restrictive, I found it worked wonders with my satiety signalling. Instead of eating food because it was ‘tasty’, I could easily stop when I was satiated. When you’re hungry, it’s delicious - when you’re satisfied, it’s unappealing.
…and that’s the paradox. People have great success with incredibly restrictive versions of carnivore, and they’re keen to help others by saying, “Drop dairy if you can! Focus on ruminant animals! Make sure you only drink water!” - because they’re sharing what success they had.
The problem is, when you’re finding your feet, these statements can feel too restrictive - and people drop out because it’s too hard, rather than starting and letting their bodies lead them through the process.
It also means that the only people active in those strict communities are the ones that the approach succeeded for - because everyone else leaves, or is downvoted until they leave.
So yes, it’s a fine balance, I think. Too little adherence and you’re not doing the plan and it might not work…but from the experiences people have shared here, I suspect there is a little more flexibility than Reddit suggests, especially during the earliest months on plan.
I’d say do your best to stick to the fundamentals of carnivore - and talk out any problems you’re experiencing with us (if that’s useful to you); it might be that some of us have been in the same position previously.
Wow! What a great read!
It took me about 3 months to notice a difference in my IBS-D while on strict lion’s diet (pure carnivore). I had given up and was about to start eating KETO again and on my last week - I first noticed a difference. I have since verified that in fact carnivore did mostly resolve my issues. Since then I have been attempting to add in other foods (eggs and lactose free cheese are good, lactose cheese, almonds and peanuts are out - that is my testing so far).
@Septimius I have not read reddit much, but sadly I find the same group mentality to also be pervasive in this forum. I have pretty much given up talking about some topics or responding to certain posters who seem to fall into this category (and whom I treat as internet trolls at this point).
Blimey, that was a close call in almost being on the verge of quitting! It’s a great example of things taking a while to resolve - staying on plan is really tough when you can’t see immediate results, because it really does fly in the face of accepted nutrition advice, so it’s great that you saw those differences just in time.
And yeah, you’ll often hit against people who you don’t agree with in a forum - but the crucial element for me with this software is that even if we disagree, it doesn’t cause my post to disappear from view if you and your friends decide to downvote it.
A longstanding problem on Reddit was users creating several alt accounts and using them to target someone - so every time you posted, that one user and their alt accounts would downvote you. It meant your content was always effectively hidden - until you gave in and left the site.
(Bullying, I think it’s called.)
I think all groups on the internet can be vulnerable to group think - usually there’s a reason why we’re all occupying the same space, but I think there’s a difference between choosing not to engage with people that you find annoying and finding that your posts have been effectively wiped, without any discussion of the content therein.
Having said all of that, I have read some of the Reddit carnivore content and found it interesting.
I just wanted to say thanks for such a great post, coming from someone who is planning to start ZC in the next week (I’m slowly finishing off some inappropriate foods now in small amounts - don’t like wastage; I guess you could say I’m keto-lite). It’s really touched on a lot of the doubts I’ve been having.
I love beef, but the idea of beef/salt/water only is simply not appetising at the moment - no seasoning? No sauces? No side dishes? Just imagining it sucks any joy out of eating - and of course, sets up the diet for failure without a ton of dogged willpower! I have been struggling with the idea that starting with meat and dairy/eggs etc. is somehow going to “stop” me from progressing, but hadn’t, for some reason, considered that just starting with a more relaxed approach would be an effective way to ease my appetite/body reactions to the diet, and from that everything else should follow naturally. I think it may be the focus on ‘perfection’ and ‘getting rid of my health problems ASAP’ (a deadly wishful combo?).
Perhaps, also, an element of Western thinking, where we race towards quick, easy results rather than taking the long-term view of approaching it as a marathon - slow and steady wins the race. There’s no denying that the first approach is way more seductive, particularly when one is suffering or in pain, which can really color every aspect of your life and consequent decision-making.
That doesn’t include the additional effort of overcoming the deep-seated nutritional knowledge that we have all been bombarded with. As someone who only recently learned of all this, my mind is still spinning, and there is a certain level of ingrained fear (as with OP) that perhaps all I’m really doing is clogging the old arteries up and exacerbating other health issues… but the more reading and research I do, the more this fear subsides.
I’m excited to start this journey - I just hope that I can stick with it long enough to reap the benefits that so many long-termers have and not let short-term issues/doubts foil me.
Best of luck, friend - I really empathised with you when you’re talking about the Western desire for quick, easy results!
One of the things that’s most frustrating is when you’ve spent, I don’t know, 4 months doing everything perfectly, you look in the mirror and go, “WELL?” And yeah, sometimes it takes a little longer.
I forget the date range now - but whilst I felt better on carnivore very quickly, some health things that are now fixed took maybe 12 months? And in the early months, particularly the first 6, some of those things briefly seemed worse. So yes, be prepared for the long journey - but in my experience, it’s well worth it in the end.
And yes, with the food, listening to your body is key. I wouldn’t have believed it in that first week or so that I’d move to beef/salt/water - and then a few weeks later, there I was, actively choosing that option.
Look forward to hearing about your journey if you’re willing to share.
Carni can be a quick fix for more healthy people coming into this way of life.
If one has more healing to handle thru whatever medical is truly an affliction to them, time on this plan is key.
recommended is AT LEAST 90 days and most times it is tackle this plan for 6 mos. to really see healing. Some get fast results but it is all about who you are.
I got fast results truly.
I am on great zero carb forums and many had to wait 6 mos to a year and after all that struggle thru holding this plan tooth and nail thru changes/adaption and healing, many can’t believe the time they put into this plan made them a WHOLE new person. They couldn’t believe the great results that came their way,. but it was time. Time for them and time to heal can’t ever be rushed or manipulated. Just eat the meat/seafood fish and fowl you love, eat all you need at all times, and let the body repair the hormones/the tissue/the inbalances and more.
Time. How much one gives to this plan is what this plan is all about.
just some thoughts