Monday, July 20, 2009

Carnivore - Question From The Comments

Michelle said...

reading with interest. are you eating eggs? butter? whole health source advocates both for vit k2...? also, are you counting calories/how many are you eating? how do you figure out how many calories you need to eat on this type of diet? how long do you plan to do this? i found ZIOH a while ago but never truly went zc because i would get too bored after a few days. a life without salad? seems extreme! can't you get most of the benefits with VLC?

Hi Michelle!

Nothing but animal muscle and fat for this experiment. I know that technically it can be argued that eggs are 'meat' but the yolks do contain carbs so I am excluding them for now. I imagine they will become part of my diet again once I'm done with this, since my body loves them and I love the variety they offer. I'm not using dairy for the same reasons. I do believe that eggs and some dairy are fine, but I have read so much extolling the virtues of the meat-only diet, that I'm trying it for myself, for the benefit of others who may not have the willpower I possess (my Mum would call it stubbornness, whatever) :) I'm actually not in the least bit bored - Day 2 I was getting over it, but now I have no problem with veggie temptations. Variety in meat helps, I suspect.

450g beef provides the currently suggested daily requirement of Vitamin K, or so my online research tells me (and I eat 500g+ meat every day, easily, for this experiment). I eat high quality, organic meat to ensure I am receiving nutritious meats that have as much similarity to the goodness of wild animals as possible. So long as the animals are raised on their native diet (i.e. not grains!), they tend to be much higher in essential nutrients (whether taken in through diet, or produced by the animal) that factory-farmed meats, so the levels may well be higher than what NutritionData.com tells us :)

Calories - not worrying too much, but earlier on my weight-loss journey I established that if I sit on my bum all day long, my BMR is around the 1800kcal mark, making my fat-loss window between 1450kcal and 1700kcal without adversely affecting my metabolism. First two days of carnivorism, my calorie count broke 2000kcal, yet I lost weight after both days. My sleep-in on Saturday meant I had a small brunch and a huge porterhouse steak, resulting in a total count of 1650kcal. Yesterday, I almost reached 1800kcal. (And today, now that I'm editing post-dinner, I nearly reached 2100kcal, approx.) I'll include my calorie counts in my weekly check-in posts from now on, but I'm really not watching it. I'll eat when I'm hungry, til I'm full. I track my food with Spark People, which happens to count calories, so that information is available circumstantially. As an experiment, it is interesting, but it's not something I'd follow in the long run. Of course, that's one of the bonuses of carnivorism - it's very difficult to over-consume animal products without sugars/carbs, and it seems that most people don't see much in the way of fat gain no matter how many kcal they put away. With my background of being overweight, I wouldn't push it though, once I'm at my ideal weight.

Timeframe - open. Originally, when meat-only seemed totally boring, I was hoping for a full week. Now, I'm thinking more like a month. We'll see :) Of course, if my results (fat- and health-wise) are overwhelmingly positive, boredom will be an inadequate reason to end the experiment!

If I am to be honest, I never believed in 'salad' as a food. Vegetables, whether salad or cooked, are the side dish of flavours to support the meat. That was always my upbringing. Mum usually served us a few kinds of veggies with dinner, maybe some sliced tomato with whatever we were having for lunch... Going primal made me eat many more veggies than I had before, but I still never filled up on weeds, they were always to dress up the meat. I've never actively realised this before! While I was living at University, I was living on chips (the frozen kind, cooked in generous piles and scoffed with sauce) or pita bread with pizza sauce and cheese, served with celery. No wonder I was always sooo hungry! That was not a pretty time for me, weight- or health-wise. Not enough meat! And my partner's enjoyment of pasta served with nothing but pasta sauce from a jar has always made me gag a little. One of the reasons I learned to cook was because I was sick of him serving me 'plain' pasta so often! I immediately learned how to do stir-fries, combining his preference for noodles/pasta with my instinct for meat (and some veg). Much better, setting us both on a path for better health. But I'm wandering tangentially...

VLC is poorly defined. Is it Atkins Induction with two cups of veg? Is it animal products only? What I like about meat-only is that it's a clear end-point, from which I can choose to reincorporate various foods and judge scientifically my body's response to them, without too many confounding variables. It goes without saying that grains and refined sugars will never be part of my diet; I may ultimately resume the primal lifestyle since it works very well for me, with perhaps a little more restriction on the frequency of fruit and amount of veggies, given my recent learning. I'm not predicting the outcome. I like this journey of discovery and learning, keeping it as pure as possible, with me just along for the ride. :)

Thanks for the questions!

1 comment:

Quinadal said...

So how much have you lost since you started meat only?