Days 30–60 On The Carnivore Diet — The Journey Continues
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — the 30-day challenge to be on the Carnivore Diet is a mental challenge, not a physical one. You will think it’s physical — how will you be able to cut so much out and live on meat alone — and you’ll realize like I did that the issue is to get past the mental aspect of doing that, not the physical. Once you start carnivore, within 2-weeks you feel so much better that you want to continue, and by 30-days you don’t want to stop. All the things you tell yourself about how hard it’s going to be, literally disappear. Remember that the in first 2-weeks because some things will get worse before they get better.
Those who have done this before know this, and that’s why it’s a “30-day challenge” — to mentally get you geared up to just do 30-days. Anyone can do 30-days…..
Does that mean after you get past that first 30 you never get triggered, miss things, or want to eat something you shouldn’t? Absolutely not. I have very few food issues, and as the Carnivore Diet journey continues, there are some things I definitely see and want. The difference is you feel so good, look so much better, and have so many issues that clear up — it’s not worth eating the junk that surrounds us every day. Walker shortbread cookies — you’re not worth feeling the way I felt just a month ago, so that’s a hard pass for me.
To take a look at the first 30-days we were on the Carnivore Diet, GO HERE
To read about my Post-Menopausal Weight Gain — and the 3 1/2 Year Journey To Feeling Better GO HERE
To learn about fat adaptation — my perspective — GO HERE
I geek out on writing about this stuff!
In the second 30-days, I still kept a calendar, I still wrote things down, just not as much. In the first 30-days HOW YOU FEEL GETS SO MUCH BETTER, there’s much less to write moving forward. Also, you get so good at shopping, cooking, knowing how much your body wants to eat, stopping when it’s time to stop, eating 2 meals a day, what snacks to bring with you “just in case”, what most of your triggers are and generally (although it’s still a shock to me) it becomes easy.
I planned to follow the guidelines NOT to add fruit or carbs until I hit my goal weight — now that weight loss is happening. Most other people I have listened to, blog posts I’ve read, and those I’ve spoken to in the first month all say the same thing. Once they hit their goal weight they don’t want to keep losing weight, and many people do. Also, some athletes who lift weights hard or run for 2 hours or more, decide to give their body a little more fuel in the way of fast-burning carbs, and/or fruit.
Once you become fat-adapted, this doesn’t take you out of adaptation. Your body becomes adept at burning off the carbs/sugar and continues burning fat — as long as you’re eating carbs, veggies, and fruit in moderation. This is probably a controversial topic among strict carnivores, so really just let your body go through the process and make the decision once you hit your goal weight and you feel great.
I actually FEEL what my body wants and doesn’t want to eat, so I allow it to guide me. Will I add a couple of veggies occasionally, specific fruits in season, and homemade sourdough bread? Most likely. I’m not there yet, and I’ll follow my body’s cues when I’m at my goal weight remembering that opinions change.
My Goals When I Started:
- Less coffee. My plan was to drink 2–3 cups a day instead of 1/2 a pot or more
- Better sleep and no sleep aids. I use melatonin sleep gummies every night and I wanted to ditch them
- Better skin. My thighs, butt, and upper arms recently started getting dry bumps on them. I combatted most of it by using eczema lotion, however, I want them to clear up
- No alcohol. Although I don’t drink often, and I like the way a buzz makes me feel, it disrupts my sleep and I often feel gross or “off” the next day. I sometimes get headaches
- GI system functioning better. I do take fiber (since my hysterectomy), and my functional medicine doctor likes the vitamins and supplements I’m on, so although I’m keeping that the same, I still have GI issues and upsets that I’m hopeful will subside
- More consistent energy levels
- Improved mood — less emotional highs and lows (not feeling like I want to cry). This doesn’t happen often, I’m just aware of it. Feeling unmotivated since Covid is part of this issue
- Improved mental clarity
The “beach photo” I tracked to the approximate date I began gaining weight. 13 lb gain in 9 months, 25 lb gain in 22 months
RECAP AT THE END OF 30-DAYS:
- My heaviest weight was 154. I got down to 143.7 (my husband lost 19 pounds in the first month and yes — it’s possible to be proud AND jealous simultaneously!)
- The bumps on my arms and thighs cleared up for the most part, and my skin started looking better
- All my puffiness was gone and I could wear my wedding ring again. Between the puffiness and an eczema-like reaction under my ring, I couldn’t wear it at all. I put it back on 5 days in and haven’t taken it off since
- I was drinking 2–3 cups of coffee and no sweeteners
- My sleep was getting better
- No alcohol
- Mental clarity was getting better. I felt more focused
- Consistent energy levels and a “calmness” that was new to me and my mood was more constant and happy
- My GI system felt GREAT!
We finished up all the cheese we had and replaced it with this one. Although we don’t eat it often, we wanted something better
Now let’s look at what was happening during days 30–60:
- I DID eat my homemade sourdough bread. It’s amazing! I stopped losing weight — although I still felt fantastic — and I realized (DUH!) I’m not fat-adapted (which can take 12-weeks or more) so I decided to remove it. This is tough because I’m the one baking it and taking it out of the oven and “what’s one or two slices a day going to do if I have no other carbs?” — well, it’s going to make it so I won’t become fat-adapted as easily, and I won’t lose weight. I am glad that we’ve switched to this and removed other bread from our groceries
- I stopped taking melatonin gummies to sleep. I don’t know when — it just happened and after about a week, I realized that sometime right after the 30-day mark I just stopped. My sleep has been really good on its own
- The calm is my new normal. Still odd, not a bad thing, different, and I like feeling so even-keeled all-day
- My energy levels are also consistent. I DO fall asleep at night pretty easily. I don’t FEEL tired early in the day, and my body just does what it wants at the time it wants (sometimes while we’re cuddling watching Star Trek). I have energy until I’m in bed and I’m tired
- My GI system feels amazing! Almost no issues! I don’t poop as often and I still keep track of that due to the nerve damage I have from my hysterectomy. I will take a laxative after several days of not pooping, which is rare
- Alcohol — not a tough one for me. Once I stop, I don’t really have any desire for it. I did have 1/2 a beer three weeks into this month. It affected me FAST and I didn’t really like it so I dumped it
- Mental clarity — this is still difficult for me to gauge — I’m not “foggy” or forgetful though
One thing post-Covid that Dane and I have both struggled with is lack of motivation. His has come back with a fury, mine is more placid. I MISS feeling that drive, and although I’m working out more and getting outside — I’m not all the way back to my motivated self — yet. I’ve noticed it getting better and better slowly, and I AM motivated in a lot of ways — exercise has been slower.
I did pour into more information. This month wasn’t about HOW to follow this diet — that’s become easy — it’s about connecting with people, especially women who live this lifestyle. Part of this is general support and information and also community, a place to talk to people who are going through the same thing. I watched THIS VIDEO which was amazing, and a great resource to find more resources. I learned more about the calm I’ve felt since day 5 — it’s called The Zero Carb Zen and there’s a website with that name dedicated to it, which I love!
One conversation that came up this month is the lack of tracking with this food plan. I’ve tracked via an app, on paper, by weight, and macros. There’s a lot of control in tracking food, and also the ability to allow yourself to eat more or cut yourself off — depending on what the app says. I haven’t tracked a single thing since starting Carnivore. I listened to the advice — to eat until you’re satiated and listen to your body. I have no clue what my calories are, I do pay attention to consuming enough fat, I stick to my two meals a day and I’ve completely leaned into “intuitive eating”.
I would have thought that would be difficult and it’s not. I have no explanation except I just listened to others and it works. Now I listen to my body.
We ate out at a favorite burger joint and it was good! Eating out is easy — as far as ordering. Sure, the server looks a bit confused and once it sinks in (It’s like ordering a lettuce-wrapped burger with no condiments, except there’s also no lettuce), it’s easy and usually less expensive. What’s not easy is your body doesn’t necessarily like the food. Also, I’m a good cook, so often it’s just easier to do it myself.
SUMMING UP 30–60 DAYS
What the end of 60-days has taught me, is that this is pretty easy. No, we aren’t killing our own food and eating every part of it. I don’t eat organ meat — I’ve tried some organ meat — and I really wanted to like it knowing how good it is for you — unfortunately what I tried was disgusting. We still shop at Costco for meat, and we’ve definitely narrowed down which cuts we prefer.
I still eat twice a day to satiety, and I do have some really great options for those days I’m on the road and unable to eat leftovers. I look forward to eating, and when I’m done, I’m done. I also still take electrolytes (and will continue) and the supplements I was on prior to starting carnivore. I would still like to take organ meat capsules to bridge that gap at some point.
In the past 60-days, I drink about 80 ounces of water daily without thinking about it or trying. It’s naturally what my body wants. In two months, I’ve had less water only a couple of times and I’ve had up to 120 ounces a few times also. It’s all about how I feel, however, I really love that my body automatically wants 80 ounces a day. I’ve done challenges to drink more water and they were tough! This is easy!
I continued to have better sleep and my GI system feels better the longer I’m eating carnivore. I’ve also had fewer headaches. My weight loss was impacted due to my sourdough bread, so I’m glad I cut it out. We’ll see what the future holds. My final weight was 139 — exciting and discouraging. I lost another 5 lbs — nothing to be upset about — and I feel SO GREAT! So I’ll take it. Dane is down 25 lbs and definitely at his goal weight. He’s still working out and wants to gain more muscle.
If you’re on your own journey — hang in there! The time will pass anyway, so you might as well jump in and begin to feel better! What has helped you on your journey?