I successfully completed my 60 day carnivore diet adventure. Some things went great, others didn’t, but I enjoyed the experience none the less.
If you have not read my initial post or 30 day thoughts I recommend doing so as I will only be expounding on those topics and not completely rehashing.
At the end of the 60 days my final weight was 191.6 lbs down a total of 19.6 lbs in 60 days. At the end of 30 days my weight was 192.6 lbs so the final 30 days only netted a 1 lb loss with the majority of weight being lost up front. So the big question is why the stark contrast? Was most of it water? Were there things that were different in the first 30 days and last 30 days? Or a combination of these things? It was a combination of these things.
I most likely lost more water weight in the first few days of the diet than I did in the latter half, but I maintained between 200-210 quite consistently on a low carb diet before embarking on this diet so the amount of water weight loss was not as great a factor as if I was coming off a standard high carb diet to start. In the two days after my diet I ate high carb to replenish carbohydrates and see what impact that had on the scale. After carb loading I had a glycogen induced muscle pump where my muscles felt as if I had down a volume workout and had high water volume. My scale weight went up to 196 lbs so even if glycogen loss accounted for some of the initial weight loss it likely didn’t account for much more than a few pounds off the final weight loss.
Possibly the biggest difference between the first 30 days and last was the inclusion of dairy. I could tell pretty quickly after adding cheese in my diet that general inflammation symptoms increased. After adding dairy into my diet my joints would ache more after workouts where I had very little if any soreness after workouts in the first 30 days, and my waist measurement went up by a couple inches and stayed there. I am also lactose intolerant which makes it more likely that dairy in general will give me issues, so the extent to which dairy causes inflammation for me may not be the same as the average person. Dairy is also quite insulinogenic, so the main advantage of the low carb aspect of a carnivore diet may be mitigated from higher amounts of dairy. Even with this in mind, I failed to gain any weight eating till fullness, not tracking food (you can see where I stopped keeping a detailed log here), and without the use of fasting which I generally like to add into my weekly routine. [I made notes on dairy on my daily log as well.]
Another major factor was that I stopped prioritizing red meat and limiting seasoning. Even without other meats being better or worse, the simple fact that more variety of foods were available to me likely lead to higher intake of food overall. It is well-known that greater food variety can lead to overeating so this did not surprise me. With this being the case, it was no wonder that this was not quite as successful in my opinion as my 30 day bacon only diet (which is another version of carnivore). In my bacon diet it naturally turned into a 1 meal a day style diet most of the time, which meant more time spent fasting and could account for part of the ease of weight loss in that adventure compared to this one (I tried to avoid fasting as I know how well it works and was more curious as to the results of eating how I assume a regular person would if the only intervention they tried was meat only, then a slightly expanded carnivore diet).
I would note that I added creatine back into my supplements after 30 days which generally leads to slightly higher body weight due to water retention. It is possible that I would have lost 2-4 pounds more over the last 30 days if I was not taking creatine, but as this affects mostly water and lean mass I could care less about the scale weight.
Change of Plans/Testing
I really want to get blood and gut bacteria results on a meat only diet. It turns out that the specific lab I planned to use (Viome) for fecal testing is in the middle of upgrading and not currently taking new orders as a result. So instead of taking one set of tests now and then replicating the diet and doing a separate test later I plan to research what blood test panels will be the most complete (direct vs estimated levels, cholesterol sub-types) and once orders are available for Viome I will do another strict 30 days meat without dairy and get both tested.
That means that this 60 days is over, but my carnivore experience is to be continued…