I ate only bacon for a month. It was both tasty and surprisingly liberating. I can not take credit for this idea as Dan Quibell is known for doing the first 30 day bacon diet to my knowledge and has a facebook page for it here. You can read about his experience here.
Starting weight 204 with clothes ~ 200 without ~ 19-20% BF
Ending weight 187 with clothes – 183 without measured April 30th ~ 16% BF
Weight after carb re-introduction and caloric refeed – 190 clothed – 186 without. ~ 15%
March BP 124/76
Ending BP 112/70
Why the drop in BF % after refeeding with calories and carbs?
Both the calories and carbs lead to more water held in the body, mostly in glycogen.
This is why a measured loss in non-fat/lean mass doesn’t always mean a loss of muscle or vital tissue and not always indicative of how effective a diet is in preserving lean mass over a particular amount of time.
I did not lose more fat by refeeding, I only held more water (counted as lean bodyweight).
Blood work? I was planning on getting bloodwork, but due to the amount of body fat lost I decided it wouldn’t be worth the time. Fast weight loss always shows increased TG in the short time and throw off a lot of the meaningful cholesterol measures. If you want more info on this let me know and I can post separate information/studies, but will likely get more extensive blood work done when I am completely done cutting weight and at maintenance for a while as those numbers will be better at assessing actual health risks.
Energy – no issues clearly relating to the diet.
There were days when I didn’t feel the best, but April was a very hectic month for work and volunteer activities so I couldn’t say that it was or wasn’t do to diet. However, after the large events passed I felt better than I have in months. I was also following a much lighter workout load to rest from overwork injuries that I have been to stubborn to rest from in the past as well.
The final 2 days of my diet were while I was at a USAW weightlifting certification course. While we weren’t lifting for maxes we spent a lot of time doing technical lifts and progression used in olympic weightlifting and I had no issues during while a few other people (also trainers who would be used to a certain level of activity I would assume) at the course were sweating and getting visibly worn after we had been doing the practical part of the courses for a while and also went bowling for a few hours after. Not to mention I had driven 4.5 hours to Indiana the night before (lost an hour to time zone) only to wake up and drive another 2 hours to the course with only 4 hours of sleep the first day and 6 the second (arrived at 8 for the course so chose to wake up at 5 which is 4 my time zone). It was a long and hectic weekend but was a great experience. (thanks to Derrick Crass for teaching the course and providing useful information above and beyond the basic criteria. Also, here is a plug for his site and blocks if anyone is interested https://www.dcblocksusa.com/ and http://dctrainingconcepts.com/ ).
Note: I did have better pictures throughout the month, but my stupid phone broke so I took some of these may be from a flip phone, but at least this way you get what you get and I don’t get the luxury of going through the last couple days to find the best photo with lighting and water status. I am currently looking for pictures close to the beginning of April/ end of March to give a good before picture. If/when I find one I will add it to this post.
Taken April 30th after meal and after a couple hours of practical Olympic style weightlifting technique work/ coaching practice. Looking a little flat muscle wise given the day, but still pretty good results with no clear lean mass loss for the month. This is also when I weighed in at 183, after eating a standard American diet the next day and rehydrating I went back up 4 lbs and actually looked better (more muscle fullness/less depleted), but I used this as my after since it was the true last pic of April.
As you can see I didn’t end a fitness model, but I also didn’t start that out of shape, but I clearly had fat to lose and there was very clear improvement for only 1 month on my measurements and visually (once I find good before pics). For the record, I ended at the lowest weight I have been since I was in 8th grade. Not high school, not college, but middle school. I also think my bodyfat estimates likely have some room for error. It might also be important to note that in en vivo studies it is generally more difficult for people that have been overweight for an extended time to lose weight than someone who is naturally leaner, but gained weight over the short term (sorry all you trainers who are fans of gaining weight and losing it to show clients how easy it is to lose fat, you may know what it’s like to gain weight, but not what it is like to have metabolic syndrome and attempt to lose weight when your body is fighting you). While I have been in somewhat shape since the first time I cut weight from 270 I was fat for a long time and have the experience of being a former fat boy.
That’s pretty good results in my opinion and I believe most of them come from the rigidity of this being a mono-diet (one food) not from it being purely bacon. Given sufficient protein to prevent unnecessary lean mass losses and a caloric deficit many diets can be effective at losing weight and fat. Setting out to only eat one type of food had the added benefit of restricting both when I was able to eat (often times only and 1 or 2 large meals to save cooking time), how much (did I need to buy more bacon, but wasn’t motivated enough to buy more that day), and how much appetite vs hunger controlled my eating (when eating only one food, you can’t give in to a craving for a different food and, like fasting, helps you feel the difference between true hunger and purely appetite). The best part of this month was surprisingly how much it helped me get out of my bad habit of social eating. Since I made it clear to others in my social circle that I was determined to stick to this diet I was now able to join them when they went out to eat and either order a few sides of bacon, like I did a couple of time, however, the majority of the time I would join people for dinner and only drink water and enjoy the company of friends.
Even though I took measurements with Bioelectrical impedance, a Skulpt scanner, and skin calipers I would like to note that I have disproportionate lower body to upper body musculature than the average person, so those measures could be thrown off as all of these measurement techniques require some level of estimation of body proportion. My waist went from 34-32 and my shoulder circumference went from 54-53. That’s a shoulder to waist ratio from 1.58 to 1.65. I do have wide hips so it’s not the most noticeable change in my opinion, but satisfying non the less. Now time to relax my diet a couple weeks and then get back to cutting for a couple more months.