The Carnivore Diet Experiment – Update Day 7

T-Bone SteakWell, I made it through 6 days of eating (mostly) only meat.  I had one cheat about 3 days in, I ate some oatmeal with honey and banana in the afternoon because I was going to have a long session of jiu jitsu training later that evening, and wanted to make sure I had energy to roll.  I had another cheat last night, when my family wanted to go out for pizza. Man, I love pizza. That pizza was delicious. The best pizza of my life.

So here I am on day 7, reflecting on the past weeks experiment. One thing I learned a few days in is that I grossly under prepared for the amount of food I was going to need for the week. The meat I bought on Sunday was gone by Tuesday. So back to the store I went, several times. Part of this week-long trial run on the carnivore diet was to learn how to get by day to day in regards to meal prep. I’ve learned that the way I am currently approaching meal prep is EXPENSIVE. I’ve blown my grocery budget for the week, I’m on day 7, and I’m out of meat again. Clearly I need to learn some cost cutting moves if this is to be sustainable over the long haul. I’ve joined a Facebook carnivore group, and have asked questions about how to budget for a carnivore diet, and the general consensus is to eat more ground beef (less steak if money is a concern, after all ground beef is ground steak), and to do some shopping at Costco or Sam’s Club, where meat can be bought in bulk. As for now I’m going to have take a break from a pure carnivore diet, simply because I don’t want to go spend any more money on meat, I’ll just eat what the rest of my family is eating for the remainder of the week.

I did see some physical benefits from this diet, almost immediately. Starting from the first day that I ate all meat I found that I only needed 6 hours of sleep. Usually I sleep 8-9 hours a night, and still wake up groggy. On the carnivore diet I slept practically exactly 6 hours, then woke up on my own, no alarm clock, and was WIDE awake. I had tons of energy, and had a clearer mind than I’ve noticed in a while (though about 3 days in I started to experience some brain fog, not sure why this happens, but maybe it’s the brain switching from using carbs to using fat for energy). I also noticed that my hips and joints started to feel better. Anybody that’s done jiu jitsu for any length of time knows that it’s tough on the joints and hips, and I have been having a problem with one hip in particular, so I was pleasantly surprised to have it feeling better. I also regularly deal with muscular exhaustion that I feel mostly in my quads and hamstrings. This seemed to be disappearing during the course of this week. It felt great to be able to bound up stairs without feeling any leg fatigue at all.

Another odd thing that I noticed is that when I had salad with my pizza last night, the salad didn’t taste good to me. I love salad, I’m a huge salad eater, and the restaurant that I went to has a salad I’ve had many times in the past and enjoyed. But something about my taste buds changed over the course of the week and the lettuce did not agree. I won’t draw any conclusions from this, I just think it’s interesting to note.

All in all I am intrigued by this diet (or as many people have corrected me, it’s actually a WOE, “Way of Eating”). The incredible difference in the amount of sleep I needed was enough to get me to consider giving this a 30 day run next time. I need to re-think the meal prepping from a budgetary perspective, and once I can get that nailed down I’m going to go all in for the full 30 day attempt.