Karim's muscle gain carnivore adventure

(All facts start as dreams dreamt by a wizard) #622

My husband is 40, and he’s kind of in a similar boat as you. Trying to get gains, but that usually means lifting heavy, and it just seems to injure him. I had to tell him to back off the weight and just do what wont injure him further. At first, he really wasn’t trying to hear that, but after a minute, he realized I was right. Had to remind him the whole point of all of this is to feel stronger, be stronger and burn off some fat; not be injured always, chasing some ideal that may not be able to be met. I had to deal with a similar thing, myself.

The whole point is to feel good.

(Karim Wassef) #623

my wife says the same but you’re both wrong… LOL

I know it comes from a place of caring … and she winces when she sees me in pain, so I think it’s a little selfish. (really j/k). :smiley:

I need to relearn my limits, but I won’t discover them without walking right up to the line and pushing my tip toe across to see how far it can go before I have to pull back. I’m getting there…

The problem is that without pushing, there are no gains… so the “safe option” is no gain/no pain… I need to find the safe pain/some gain point and push there.


(All facts start as dreams dreamt by a wizard) #624

This is quite true. It takes some painful stuff before you can find the line of pushing too much, and enough to make sizable progress without the bad kind of hurting.

When I was rehabbing my back injury, it was a big hit in my pride when I realized I can’t do the workouts I was doing. I had been making really good and obsessive progress in box jumping. I found it so fun and atheletic to be able to do it. Everything I looked at, I wondered if I could jump it lol. Sucked sooo bad when I hurt my back and I had to stop box jumping. My back absolutely hates it and can’t handle it anymore. My gym is full of incredible box jumpers, so I get to watch them and live vicariously lol. #poop

(Karim Wassef) #625

I made it through last night without succumbing to my almondy temptation.

Interestingly, here is what I noted when I held both carbs and fat low with high protein:

  1. I slept much better (deeper)
  2. I was very warm/hot (radiating heat)
  3. Woke up with lower fasted glucose (86G vs 95G)
  4. Less joint pain and soreness from lifting
  5. Louder than usual heart beats (like when fasting)

It’s hard, but seems to be right if I can maintain it.

(adding to the list above as I note more changes)

(Karim Wassef) #626

Today’s plan is almost the same as yesterday:

the chicken thighs and beef broth are high in collagen
the beef brain is high in omega 3 & cholesterol
the beef liver is super nutrient rich
the beef steak is high in protein and carnitine
the egg is nutrient rich and high in cholesterol
the whey is highly anabolic

This Friday is DEXA/RMR.
This Sunday will mark the end of my carnivore experiment…

The next phase will be pescatarian (fish) with three day vegan protein only fasting (Wednesday-Friday).


Saturday-Tuesday, I will eat all seafood and some plants.
Wednesday-Friday, I will only have my vegan broth and pea protein soup.

This will last until July 12th. I still plan to be lifting heavy, so I’ll track it here again for continuity since I still plan to continue the high protein low fat no carb approach.

I’m curious to see if my glucose levels will reset to the 70s with vegan protein only fasting for 3 days a week. I am NOT looking forward to it. The combination of high protein, low fat, and then do that vegan will make me even hungrier. I might need to restart capturing my “calmness score”.

(All facts start as dreams dreamt by a wizard) #627

Whaaaaaaaaaat? Why ever not? I mean pea protein is just another way of saying “yum”.

(Karim Wassef) #628


It’s all relative. I don’t mind it but compared to bacon and ribeye, it’s just … plants…

(All facts start as dreams dreamt by a wizard) #629

That was me being sarcastic. Pea protein sounds very :face_vomiting:

(Karim Wassef) #630

I was one of those kids that actually ate my peas and didn’t mind. One of the few veggies I actually liked growing up… it’s the carrots I hated.

Unfortunately, there’s no other high protein vegan source (that I’ve found) that isn’t carby or overly fatty or just estrogenic…

But I’m putting those thoughts off for now. I have a week of beef brains and liver and eggs and steak to relish. :blush:

(Karim Wassef) #631

Here’s where I am today

My lean gain is proceeding, but the fat is stubbornly high. I wonder if it isn’t the insulin effect of the protein artificially inflating my fat reading with water retention.

If that’s the case, I might need to look at losing the water weight before DEXA.

(Neil) #632

I’ve read in the past that our body is either in an anabolic or catabolic state at any particular time, which would suggest that you can either be burning fat or building muscle but doing both at the same time would be unlikely. Maybe that’s a fool’s errand and you’re just setting impossible goals for yourself?

(Karim Wassef) #633

Impossible goals. Yup, sounds like me. :smiley:

Luis Villasenor from ketogains says he’s been doing it for 20 years

There’s something missing and I think it’s just a tolerance for hunger and more discipline.

I’m not advocating this - but I think after losing so much fat on keto, the next phase of recomposition and muscle gain is different.

He’s pretty much on the same track as I am… he’s just gotten successful with it

(Karim Wassef) #634

The first push is that protein promotes satiety but that hasn’t been my experience. Maybe I just need to push it while cutting back fats even more to see if there’s a switch.

The second push is that satiety comes from getting enough micronutrients- so eat more green leafy veggies. Maybe… but my liver and brain do a pretty good job.

The third is to use low-energy bulk to feel full - soups and fiber. I don’t disagree that this could work and I’ve been adding beef broth daily. The fiber is back to plants…

My work and travel (and weakness to almonds) has messed with this experiment so I’ll probably try it again with more discipline.

(Karim Wassef) #635

They have this moto - chase results, not ketones.

The problem for me is that my results track my ketones… as long as my blood ketones are under 1, there’s no fat loss… and if my glucose is high, I struggle to build muscle.

(Karim Wassef) #636

Last night, I was super-controlled with high protein low fat & almost no carbs for my OMAD dinner… and my blood ketones still got hit

Before 82G, 0.6K
After 84G, 0.3K

This is with 240g protein, 110g fat and 10g carbs. So tight on carbs and overall ~2000 calories with my daily needs between 2800 and 3200.

This morning, got up to a fasted blood reading of 94G, 0.2K

My legs and glutes are sore from Monday’s lifting but I’m coping. I feel the strength and I see more musculature but I also see more fat in the middle. I even did 30mins of cardio yesterday burning 250 calories… just to push myself.

End result:

Compared to the day before:

I’m not going to worry about one or two days but this is going on a week of bf% increased readings:


This shows a gradual gain from 21.5% to 22.5% over a week

And here’s why:


So I’ve gained 4lbs with only 1.5lbs going to lean and 2.5lbs going to fat over about a week.

Even if the absolute numbers are wrong (which they are), the trend is there. I’m going to have to go even leaner on fat and carbs to make progress and just keep protein high.

I can’t really do it on carnivore with my fatty cuts. So going to try lean carnivore.

(Karim Wassef) #637

Here are some excerpts from the publication I cited above:

I don’t disagree, but it feels like crap.


I predict it will feel worse the more you push protein above the point where your ketones feel the best. I know “chasing ketones” gets a bad rap, but I don’t think they should be ignored. There’s a point beyond which increasing protein intake just isn’t going to help.

As to hunger… look at that in context Luis’ history of eating disorder, where “conquering hunger” was something to be admired regardless of consequence.

(Karim Wassef) #639

I agree but at 20% bf, I can’t seem to lose fat or gain muscle without takin on some hunger.

(Karim Wassef) #640

They silently mock me…

Their delicious crispy tanginess covered in promises of protein… but hiding their true temptation of delicious fats…

I’m in trouble when I start to write pseudo-poetry to nuts…

I did well yesterday and finished off the beef brain. Tomorrow is DEXA.

(All facts start as dreams dreamt by a wizard) #641

Oh I’ve had those same Habenero BBQ ones, and even though I’m not a nuts girl, those are really tasty.