In this third and final installment of my reporting on my intermittent carnivore fasting experience, let’s take a look at where things stand today.
If you want to get caught up on how we got here, check out parts 1 and 2 below.
For nine weeks I ate a carnivore diet (all meat and eggs) and intermittent fasted simultaneously. I’ve coined this practice Intermittent Carnivore Fasting, or ICF.
During this time, I typically ate during an eight-hour window, between noon and 8pm, although sometimes the window was shorter and on a few occasions it was longer.
The only departures from carnivore during this time would be the times when all I could get for a meal was either meatballs or meatloaf, which usually have some kind of grains or cheese as binders.
Besides that, I was full-on carnivore.
And I loved it.
Fortunately for me, I’ve always been a bit of a “meater” anyway, so this was not a huge stretch for me to open my arms to it.
(The fact that I ate a vegan diet for eight years not withstanding.)
In terms of weight, I was not a particularly large man to begin with, but I definitely felt very puffy. I’ve always done resistance training, but no matter what diet I was on, my svelte days as a teenager seemed to be behind me.
I started this experiment weighing in at a not-obese-but-also-not-fit 185 pounds.
After nine weeks I checked in at a not-obese-but-finally-showing-some-fitness 165 pounds.
The weight came off faster at first and slowed as the experiment went on and I believe that was due to a couple of factors.
Number one is the obvious one – I had the most weight to drop at first.
Number two is, in spite of not eating those “energy-giving” carbs, I was able to train more efficiently and more often than I had before, so there was additional muscle growth to be accounted for as time went on.
This no-carb, no sugar, all meat diet also worked wonders for my cognition, mood, and mental energy, all of which were off the charts compared to before, with my cognition sharper than it has been in quite some time.
For more info on why sugar is not the energy or mental boost we’ve been told, you might want to check out this article and share it with your friends.
They’ll thank you later.
What about cravings?
This may have been one of the more astounding developments of the whole experiment.
For the duration, I never once felt unsatisfied. I had no sugar or carb cravings to speak of. And no withdrawals, although my gut flora may have been in pretty good shape to start which could have impacted this.
Beef, it turns out, is extremely satiating, as those who adhere to this diet know extremely well.
Now, the times when I tried to fulfill my needs with chicken were a different story, though.
Chicken was nowhere near as satisfying for me as beef and I had to eat a lot of it to get the same feelings of satiety. I usually had to supplement with a couple of Chomps beef sticks or pastured eggs to make ends meet.
On a typical day, I ate a pretty hearty lunch (usually about a pound of some form of beef) and a lighter dinner (often eggs) and I was good to go.
Some nights early on I was so satisfied from my lunch that I didn’t even need dinner, although most nights I ate it, depending on what my body was telling me.
What happened after?
No experiment would be complete without having something to compare the test diet to.
My comparison diet would be one that was high fat, high protein, zero grain, and zero sugar.
(I am NOT making refined grains and added sugars part of my regular diet again, inasmuch as I do not want to destroy myself!)
In addition to a carnivore base, I added in some whole milk yogurt, whole raw milk, and some berries to see how my body reacted and if they were a good fit for me.
Giving the progress I made, this was actually a little scary.
But I got over those fears really quickly due to the success of the carnivore diet. I knew that, if things started to go south and I started to pack some of those pounds back on, I could always tap into my newfound superpower.
By the way, did you know that low levels of carnitine, found significantly in red meat, have been linked to higher levels of depression?
Just a little note.
In any case, it’s been a couple weeks now since I started adding in these additional foods and, fortunately for me, no shock to my system!
This is great news because I’ve also really loved fruit my entire life and they do have numerous nutritional benefits – when consumed properly.
When I say “properly”, I mean as a supplement to your diet, not the foundation of your diet.
I’m now down to 164 pounds, so fairly stable there, and I have noticed no changes in my energy, ability to exercise, sleep patterns, mood, etc.
All the gains I made during the carnivore period have stayed with me and continued to grow. No setbacks.
The base of my diet is still largely carnivore, though. The foods I added make up the “supplementary” portion of my diet rather than the bulk.
So, for me, I’m getting the best of all worlds and don’t have to be dogmatic about my diet.
I know that feeling of restriction can eventually wear on my mind. I’d rather have the flexibility to still eat whatever I want, especially on special occasions our when out with friends or family.
I’m from Chicago, so I will still partake in deep dish pizza and Portillo’s beef sandwiches when given the opportunity. It’s in my genes and they cannot be turned off.
I don’t care what anyone says. It’s science.
So if you see me with a face full of some ungodly amount of deep dish pizza, you cannot call me a hypocrite. I’ve already confessed in advance.
Besides that, though, that’s it. I won’t eat bread or grains outside of those special occasions. I’ve kicked sugar in the teeth and, frankly, it deserved it.
My grain-free, sugar free, “meater” diet is working out great for me and I’m sticking with it.
Only until I’m not, of course. At which point I’ll be sure to tell you about it.
But I wouldn’t be looking for that article anytime soon.
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