I started eating only beef and salt at the start of February. Over a month later, I’ve learned a few things that some of you just starting out will find useful.
1. Hold on to that first day feeling. Soon you will feel like this everyday (once through adaptation).
2. *Eat*. seriously. Make sure to eat a lot of fatty meat during the first week. I didn’t because I felt off and then I felt worse and then I ate less…. The quicker you can get your body out of starvation mode and into thrive mode the better.
3. You’ll be fine without (non-prescribed) vitamins. If something’s really out of whack, you’ll feel it. After the first week I stopped taking my vitamins and I’m feeling *awesome* right now. Continue on your prescribed meds though. This diet doesn’t make you invincible.
4. If you decide to do just beef and salt (which I recommend if you’re trying it, you’ll be able to feel the effects more vividly with the most extreme version of the diet and be able to see if it helps you) make sure to get meat with different textures, it makes the diet easier to maintain. I currently do high quality beef hot dogs, grain fed brisket, and fresh grain ground chuck alternating. Bonus points for taste if you have a grill.
5. When eating your meat make sure to eat some fat with the lean (lean is 40% fat by itself surprisingly), but don’t force feed the fat. Listen to your body. I personally dial in the fat percentage with the consistency of my stools (after the adaptation period of course). Coming from Keto, it was still a process to adapt to high fat in the absence of plants.
6. Beef quality and type (*kinda?)* matters. I got a histamine reaction eating only grass fed ground beef for the first two weeks (brain fog). I got over it by eating only grain-fed brisket for two weeks (less surface area for the bacteria causing histamine reaction). I then tried to eat Walmart chubs of meat and felt horrible (most processed of the processed). The rotation mentioned above costs an average of $3 a pound ($2 ground chuck, $3 brisket untrimmed 10lbs at a time, and $4 for the fancy hotdogs). You can get quality grain-fed for cheap; there’s no need for chubs.
7. *Most Importantly:* Don’t strive for perfection, instead consistency. After week 2 I had some macadamia nuts that were left over from my keto phase and felt bad. And I got back on track. Week 3 I had a few eggs and some bacon; I got back on track. I had some La Croix last week with some natural lemon flavoring, but recommitted to beef and salt and water only the next day. I’ve discovered the current batch of hot-dogs I’m eating have a little celery juice and dextrose in them– yet I may keep eating them on cheat days.
My point is… You are awesome for even considering to attempt a carnivore diet; a diet that you’ve been programmed to believe is bad for you your entire life. When you try it you’re going to mess up. But remember that sticking with it 95% of the time is *Always* better than giving up after your first mistake.