After nearly three years of following a ketogenic diet (even having a blog on the subject and instagram page that was starting to get traction) I decided to try a carnivorous diet purely as an experiment. It’s been several months now and that experiment has turned into a lifestyle. The trigger for trying the diet was one day last year, where three different things occurred.
Firstly, I was reading the chapter on fiber in Gary Taubes book “The Diet Delusion”. Which looks at how unimpressive the scientific evidence for fiber is.
I was intrigued whilst having a stalk on Shawn Bakers twitter and was very impressed by his ability to perform amazing physical feats eating essentially nothing but red meat.
The food I ate on that day whilst following a standard ketogenic diet.
Regarding the last point, I had bought an improvised keto lunch from the super market which required no preparation or cooking. Several hundred grams of salami, an avocado, a small Lebanese cucumber and some green beans. The idea was to split all of it evenly into two and have two meals. But what ended up happening is I went to gym fasted and was in a rush to get to class afterwards and just smashed down the salami because I was really hungry by this point. That kept me full for several hours, then later all I ate was green vegetables and avocado (the vast majority of calories from fat still). For the remainder of the afternoon I felt uneasy, and kept burping. That’s when it all clicked. This meal that was 100% greens and packed with fiber that I was told was good for me all my life was making me feel shitty and bloated. This combined with the other information I was coming across lead to a massive shift in my thinking.
This made me think to myself.. on keto we’ve dropped the misconception that fat makes you fat, causes heart attacks, etc. but are we still holding onto other ideas that we’ve been programmed to believe since we were children? Like “eat your greens”.
Even after shifting for a while and really enjoying it I was still a little bit worried about protein and ketosis (which people to to unnecessarily obsess over as this magical be all and end all state). I stopped worrying after I learnt that Gluconeogenesis is DEMAND-driven. So eating excess protein will not just get aimlessly converted to glucose. Lastly, eating large amounts of protein is extremely satiating, causes large amounts of diet induced thermogenesis and will not make you gain fat.
I'm not saying that this diet is for everyone, but I hope it makes you reconsider the role of vegetables in your diet and that forcing yourself to eat large volumes of them at every meal might not be as beneficial as you think, and perhaps even harmful. It’s not really that big of a jump from keto to carnivore and it is a lot easier to stick to. Cooking up a huge steak takes no time at all compared to all the chopping and meal prep associated with nearly every other dietary approach.