There has recently been a spike in popularity surrounding different diets such as the keto diet, the “carnivorous” diet, and the gluten-free vegan diet. One of the most frequently asked questions surrounding any of these diets is “are they actually good for you?”. We have done our research about the all-meat diet and we’d like to try to answer some of the frequently asked questions for you.
When Did the Meat Only Diet Come About?
The meat only diet has gained popularity this year but it’s actually been around for a long time. In areas where plants are not easily accessed, people have had to survive on meat only diets. Sailors used to have to do the same thing. Preserving vegetables was not always an option. Small portions of vegetables they were able to store were quickly eaten up.
After those times, the all meat diet resurfaced, but this time among more elite people of cities as something fun and new. In 1972, there was a study conducted on a remote Alaskan village (the Hope Point residents were part of an Eskimo tribe who lived in these areas for a very long time) whose residents had to eat an almost entirely meat composed diet as a result of being so remote and cold.
The study concluded that they were getting very little carbohydrates, a lot of fatty acids and protein; and very little fiber and vitamins derived from plant foods. They observed that the people in the village had 10 times less heart disease issues than people living in the United States. They also presented drastically low levels of “bad” cholesterol.
That made the public more interested in trying an all-meat diet, both to try to lose weight and to try to lower their levels of cholesterol. Since there had not been enough extensive research on what it does to the body, medics and nutritionists were trying not to encourage people to undergo this diet because whether or not the Eskimo people or the old-timey sailors wanted to eat an all meat diet, they had to. Did they survive? Yes, mostly. But was it the optimal diet? Not entirely.
There is an important thing to keep in mind: the Eskimos and sailors were also eating a lot of fish and marine animals, so they were not eating all red meat. By also eating fish they were getting essential vitamins such as Omega-3, vitamin D and B2 which red meat doesn’t have in such large and efficient quantities.
In modern days the red meat was made popular again by a Canadian psychologist named Jordan Peterson and his daughter named Mikhaila. Since they are more high-profile, they made a larger impact on people around them through social media. They talked about the (all too-good-to-be-true) benefits that they had been experiencing since trying the meat only diet.
Many more people began trying it out for themselves, and of course, the results have varied quite a bit depending on the individual. Some lost weight, some gained it. Some people found that it helped their cholesterol levels, others didn’t. Some people have sworn it makes them feel light and better than ever, while others claim it made them feel aches and pains, and made them feel weak.
What are the Meat Only Diet Rules and Purposes?
First of all, the rules of the all meat diet include: eating only meat and drinking only water; no vegetables or fruits (or any plants, for that matter); and only eating when you are hungry.
With these 3 main rules the meat only diet cuts out any sources of carbohydrates, fiber, dairy, fruits and veggies, and juices or sugary drinks. So pretty much anything that is not meat and water.
The recommended daily intake is of 2 ribeye steaks a day; but one can calculate the nutritional value of this and convert it into any lean meats that they’d like to eat. The idea is to get the recommended value of lean meat.
The main purpose of the meat only diet is to lose weight; but due to the big changes in diet, carnivores (people who eat only meat) warn people that the fat loss process begins a while after starting the diet.
If someone is coming off of a diet like the keto diet, they will experience a drastic change in the way their body is metabolizing and storing fat. They will most likely gain a lot of weight. But if the person continues through with the meat only diet, they will begin to experience a weight loss like never before, due to higher meat protein intake and only consuming lean meat.
The reason for this lies in observing the pasts of Native American tribes. Native Americans hunted buffalo as their mains source of game. They hunted it during some months of the summer and it would feed whole tribes all season long. During the summer, buffalo would graze and eat and gain all the fat they would need to survive the winter. When the tribes hunted the buffalo, they were getting a lot of fatty meat.
When winter would come around, the Native Americans knew never to eat buffalo. It may sound strange, but they had great reasons. During the winter the buffalo would use up all the fat they had stored during the summer, thus becoming very lean. So, if a person were to eat the buffalo in the winter they would get little to no fat. Their stomachs would feel full and happy, but their bodies weren’t getting enough fat to survive; and despite eating good amounts of buffalo meat, they would starve. Their bodies were not getting enough fat to survive the winter!
With this in mind you should be able to understand a little bit more about how this meat only diet works and what the people who are following it are experiencing in their bodies.
Things to Have In Mind
This meat only diet can be quite efficient when it comes to weight loss due to the keto diet-like starvation of the body’s fat intake. We should talk about vitamin deficiency, risk of heart disease, and fiber deficiency before you decide on this diet.
Of course, this has proven it can be a good way to lose weight but in all honesty, there are many other ways that we can lose weight these days. We have high-quality workout gyms and home equipment at our disposal. There are nutritionists that can tailor-make a diet just for us. We have books, podcasts, and videos about the healthiest ways to lose weight and many other options that have more health benefits in store for us.
Another point to keep in mind is that eating only meat can pose as a risk of several different illnesses and ailments such as: risk of heart attack, vitamin deficiency, mineral deficiency, high or low blood pressure, “red meat hangover” (which causes acute to severe pains in a person’s joints for up to several days), extreme caloric deficiency due to a lack of hunger, among other things.
Animal foods and plant foods alike are all good for our diets. Each person has somewhat of an individual diet: gluten-free, fermented food centered diets, whole-grain, carb-loaders, “carnivorous”, dairy free, vegan, vegetarian, and many more. Whether or not we eat certain foods should not impact our bodies negatively within reason.
What we eat should serve us well and should always give us all our nutrients. The source of these is practically up to you. One should always consider their vitamin and mineral intake, as well as their fiber intake, their saturated fat intake, their carb intake, etc.
Whether or not the carnivorous diet is for you is, well, up to you. We always recommend thinking both about the pros and the cons alike of any diet plan before starting.
We also recommend always speaking to your doctor about starting any diet just in case you may have more of a risk in certain areas that you may not be aware of. You can also talk directly with a nutritionist who can give you diet recommendations and guide you through the process with checkups every once in a while to see how you’re doing on your new diet plan.
So, if you want to lose weight, we say this is an effective diet plan. But we don’t recommend keeping it up for more than a month or two max since you may begin to develop certain deficiencies or excesses in your body.
Stay healthy, exercise frequently, stay hydrated, keep a balanced diet, get good sleep as frequently as possible, and do what makes you feel like the best version of yourself every day.