“I love dieting!” Said no one ever.
The word “diet” seems like a curse, at least to many people and first-timers. It feels restricting and frustrating.
People diet due to different reasons. Some wanted to lose that excess weight. Others have to follow certain food restrictions as part of a surgery or operations. Some people also just wanted to be healthy in general.
Nonetheless, following a certain diet can be a good thing. It may work for some, but not for others. That is why you should do your research to know what works best for you.
But with so many diet plans nowadays, it can be overwhelming to choose a diet plan to follow. Keto, Paleo, Intermittent Fasting, and so on… choosing a diet plan can be easier said than done.
For now, we will be talking about Carnivore Diet. And no, it’s not about eating raw flesh as hyenas and cheetahs do. This article will discuss the basics of the Carnivore Diet and whether it suits your lifestyle.
What is a Carnivore Diet?
There are three different types of species: carnivores, herbivores, and omnivores. Carnivores eat only meat and no greens and grains. Herbivores are the complete opposite of carnivores. Lastly, omnivores are the combination of the two.
This also applies to a carnivore diet. You will only eat meat and drink water, and that’s it. No veggies, fruits, nuts, and seeds, please. If you love steak and anything meat and you want to lose some weight, then this might be your best option.
Paleo and Keto Diets are also considered Carnivore Diet. However, the latter is like the next-level diet plan unlike the two. Carnivore Diet is also called the “Zero Carb Diet”. But the thing is that meats also have carb content through glycogen.
In other words, a carnivore diet is the total opposite of a vegan diet. Dairy products like milk and cheese might be considered. However, it depends on how a person interprets the entire diet scheme. This diet is strictly no plants or plant-based products, nonetheless.
How did the diet benefit people in the past?
The Carnivore Diet has been around since the cavemen days. Nowadays, there are still tribes around the world who eat only meat. Not because they are on a diet but because it’s part of their tradition and culture.
For example, the Inuits in the Arctic circle eat meat as a major part of their diet. This includes meat from fish, walrus, seals, and other animals available in the region. Since there are a little fruits and vegetables growing in the Arctic, it’s a logical thing that they eat meat to survive.
Interestingly, the Inuits are among those with low cases of heart disease. Years later, the Inuits discovered pizza, soda, and other Western food. As a result, cases of obesity and diabetes shot up just like that.
In 1879, Vilhjalmur Steffanson explored the Arctic and lived alongside the Inuits. That means he also ate the Inuit way. He adapted to the Inuit diet as a way to get along with the natives. Later on, he reported how living a carnivore lifestyle made him feel healthiest.
What can I expect on a Carnivore Diet?
Nowadays, there are a lot of people who adapted the Carnivore Diet and benefited much from it. Some reportedly lost weight and have been even cured of autoimmune diseases. Some even said being a carnivore boosted their testosterone levels.
Several studies also showed that eating meat and only meat can be very effective in weight loss. This is because eating meat can make you feel fuller for longer. No wonder there are a lot of reports of weight loss by adopting a carnivore lifestyle.
Being a carnivore can also lessen the risk of having food allergies. If you do have allergies on meat, then you can simply avoid meat and go vegan instead.
Unlike shellfish and seafood, meat is not known to cause allergic reactions. In fact, red meat (excluding processed ones) is often accepted on elimination diets.
Plants can also be prone to chemicals due to pesticides. Some plants even have natural mechanisms to protect themselves against predators. These chemicals, if not make people sick, can lead to more fatal consequences such as death.
Being a carnivore can also affect your toilet time. For one, expect fewer poop times per day. Not eating plants means less fiber intake and less time in the toilet. Your poop might be (ahem) softer and mushier. Yet, a lot of carnivores say they rarely felt constipated.
Is there a restriction on a Carnivore Diet?
Adopting a carnivore diet is not only about eating meat and that’s it. There are some things you might have to consider when starting this kind of lifestyle.
Basically, it’s considered a Carnivore Diet if it’s meat. Beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, fish… any kind of animal meat and no greens.
As mentioned earlier, cheese, milk, and other dairy products can be considered. However, strict carnivores skip dairy as it can cause lactose intolerance.
It’s also up to you if you want to include coffee and tea on your Carnivore Diet. It depends on your goal whether for weight loss or due to diet restrictions (ex. allergies). You might even need to consider the herbs you put on your meat. Then again, it depends on your objectives.
Is it worth the try?
There are a lot of diet plans you would want to try. If a carnivore lifestyle works for you, then go ahead. However, there are some people who cannot live without rice or bread but still want to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
It’s all about people’s preferences. There are no clinical pieces of evidence that one diet is better than the other. Most are based on anecdotes and personal experiences. At the end of the day, a balanced meal of everything is still the best if you are aiming for long-term health benefits.