I’ve learned that some of the things I consider to be absolute gold, start to dull in the next day or so after having some extra time to process and ruminate. One of those ideas was going to carnivore straight out of the gate from a high carb, hight fat diet (ie: perfect fat gathering storm).
A line I happily glossed across was how going carnivore doesnt necessarily mean you’re going to lose excess body fat (which I currently have ample of). Because of the human bodies wonderful ability to adapt, our bodies convert the excess protein via a process called gluconeogenesis into essentially carbs. You don’t have to eat any carbs to live and live well, but your body sure as hell needs carbs to function – hence the process of conversion.
Because my desire is to significantly reduce fat without too much work (the lazy, but perhaps smart way to start imo) and without too much pain (fasting, stomach cramps, low energy etc), I read more and decided to switch to a ketogenic diet for the first while (ultra low carb). Its quite easy but not as easy as with a carnivore diet of course. The goal is around 75% fat, 20-25% protein, 0-5% carb.
That means keeping carb intake under 20grams a day, and voila, the body should start ketosis very quickly after wiping out the natural 2 days worth of stored glucose. In my case, it might be 3 – lol!
And boyo, it hit hard. I’ve done some hard farm work in the last couple days which depletes the glucose levels more quickly (without replacing them) and with a total carb intake under an estimated 10grams for two days so far, the carb/ keto “flu” has hit me hard.
Diarrhea, confusion, brain fog, exhaustion, stomach cramps, nausea. It’s mostly standard procedure and I’ve been here before – its no fun. But I look forward to rapidly diminishing tightness of my pants (I refuse to buy bigger pants), and an increased health status. I deserve it; my kids deserve it.
The carb flu. It sucks.
Here’s my food diary to try and see a pattern. Starting weight 107.5kgs. I am certain that as soon as I am in ketosis, I’ll shed excess carbs and water first, thus a quick weight loss initially.
Day 1: Fast 20hrs and then finish a bag of chips I bought for my birthday. Feeling crap afterwards.
Day 2: Eat 4 eggs (4 carbs), mayo (0 carb), pork loin all day (0 carb). Cream and hot water for drinks (total around 6 carbs)
Day 3: Eat beef “finger food”, 4 boiled eggs, a bite of pork loin, cream/hot water (4carbs total)
Day 4: 2tbs coconut oil, cream/hot water, fat from beef finger food, feeling great but lots of grumbling stomach. Then, carb flu hit hard. The runs, headache, nausea. Read about an experimenter who ate bacon for 30 days straight only (and lots of it – losing 16pounds in the process though almost double his normal calorie intake – good balance of fat/protein), and promptly ate 12 slices of bacon to get the pain away. Felt nauseous, but still not hungry at all 6hours later. Ate 2 Tums.
Zero carb today. Drank lemon juice to restore electrolytes (diy sports drink), and turns out lemons have carbs. Who knew. Total today somewhere under 15grams. Symptoms stopped after 3hours or so. 1.5 hamburger patties for late dinner.
Day 5: 1.5 burger patties, 1/4 rasher bacon, creamy water, lemon water, feeling OK, yet exhausted. Up since 2am. Exhausted mentally. Hungry only at 130pm. Energy is exceptional given how long I’ve been up on <4hrs sleep. Beef “finger food” x 1.5 and about 5 rashers of bacon for dinner. Feel queasy, nauseous, and crashing from exhaustion now after having the girls today who were super high energy with all the sugar given to them by their Mom/ Ouma. Time for bed.
Day 6: 2 rashers bacon, 2tbsp coco oil +whipp cream hot drink, 3hrs hard yardwork today, 1 stick celery (I got calf cramps again last night for the first time in a long time), 3 eggs and a few thick slices of cheese with equal butter, 2x whip cream hot drink- 1tbs each.
Day 7: Lost count and lost count on day 6. Cramps gone.
May 13: Decided to swop over and keep a tab on Fatsecret to get an idea of my macros. I’m going to go for 2000cal’s or less a day. 80/20 ratio fat/protein. Under 20grams carbs, even less net carbs. Eating Himalayan salt in water instead of cream for electrolytes replacement. Started 16: 8 IF protocol. Seasonal allergies kicked in good and proper, like clockwork it turns out. No cream in water drinks during day as it spikes insulin. Learning a lot. Drinking up to 5litres of water a day now, and I’m constantly thirsty. Did hike up Mt Baldy, maxing heart rate to 166bpm, 9bpm under so called max. Carbs 2% (14g), Protein 27%, Fat 71%. Too much protein in my opinion, but I was pretty hungry. So freaking thirsty. Feeling hot flushes as my body burns the excess fat. Feeling good otherwise, feel renewed hope. Had a fall on stinging nettles yesterday, that stuff hurts for 24hrs. Bed at 10pm, up at 3am, fell asleep at 520am, up at 630am.
May 14: No breakfast, just hot water. Stinging nettle tea today for sure to help fight off potential kidney stones and hayfever, get some natural magnesium/potassium. Somewhat tasty. One block of cream cheese, 30grams creamed coconut (YUM), 30grams butter, 6oz steak, 8 black olives, 1/3rd cup basil, 2tbsp sundried tomato pesto, 6tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1tbsp lemon juice, 1 fatbomb, one smallish avocado, 2tbsp mayo, spices, stinging nettle boiled (1/2cup) and 2cups spinach. 4litres water. I think today I easily went over 80% fat, 16% protein, 4% carbs.
May 15: Was pretty hungry today. Decided to have a helluva lot of fun, running the kids on a purpose built short downhill bike track, on the BOB stroller. Holy crow, that was fun. Certainly got my heartbeat well above 75% and got the kids exhausted, even though I was often pushing two of them at a time in there. Thanks to the suspension and large wheels, I was often times leaning at an almost 45deg angle out of the berms. So much fun. Ate 35minutes later for the first time. 82%, 14%, 4% fat/protein/carb. For the first time tonight, I feel truly satiated. My stomach is getting used to the fasting, then full feeling. 2524cals today. I could do with less, but am exercising more for sure. Feel like the fasting is a huge time saver and my fridge feels fuller than ever. I simply dont eat as much as I used to. That might be an excellent money saver, enabling higher quality foods instead of so much. Still learning lots of about IF (I like 16:8 mostly) and thinking about OMAD. Today felt far more sustainable due to enjoyment and variety of food.
May 16-19. Last two days OMAD. Walked 9km’s with the kids yesterday (they on the big stroller, but with some walking and playing of course) and pushing up the big hills I felt exhausted. Giving the kids their morning snacks was hard, I wanted to tuck into the low glycemic index and ultra low glycemic load (1) peanuts with a vengeance! I didnt care for the fruit that much and the one treat I gave them looked sickening to me. Amazing how things change.
Started to stop counting calories. I’ve never been a diary kind of kind, and its like keeping a diary – it sucks. Yesterday had a big old AAA Angus beef steak that I bought on special of course for lunch and although it was too much protein it was nice to eat something meaty again. Because beef is so expensive here and I am so poor, I’ve almost lost the taste of beef. Higher than usual resting heart rate in the morning by 10bpm. Fitted on 36 size pair of pants (usually 38 with tightness) and although I still have visible love handles, its just over two weeks now after the last truly epic binge on my birthday and all time highest weight ever. The 36 aren’t loose either but they dont hurt. Progress.
May 20-21. Took the one big steak, divided into two for a piece each per day. Thought protein intake was too high. Broke 24hr fast 2hrs early due to hunger but also as an experiment to see if the time shift towards the mornings will be better for me. Trying to balance this with feeding the girls though, so not a simple answer. Also for invites for dinner, I’ll have to work that out. May 21 meal: 5oz steak, 4 scrambled eggs + good amount of cheese, butter and creamed cheese to up the fat content. BAS – big ass salad bowl of 10different kinds of leafy greens, with home made ACV+Olive oil base/dijon/himalayan salt/fresh cracked black pepper/lemon juice. One medium sized fat bomb (peanuts/cocoa/coconut oil), cup of herbal tea.
After eating yesterday I felt drunk – for reals. Also compelled me to lie down for two hours. Trying to combat that. Day 4 OMAD. Sometimes not easy. Looks like I dont need to buy any meat for months now. Need to find a way to up fats easily and not get bored. Pork rinds?