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My first week on an all meat diet

by (33)
Updated about 19 hours ago
Created November 13, 2011 at 11:17 PM

It's been about 72 hours on an all meat diet. My meat intake before wasn't a very high percentage of my diet, and the change has been kind of abrupt. My body is adapting pretty well and I believe I just ran out of my glucose stores. Everything about this feels great so far except for slight constipation issues. Most of my food the last few days has been bacon, eggs fried in butter, and high fat beef sausage. I've been drinking insane amounts of water and all that is happening is I'm peeing constantly. There have been a few glasses of coffee with heavy whipping cream and no sugar. Any advice? Will this fix itself?

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10044 · April 04, 2013 at 1:30 AM

+1 Listen to Rose.

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542 · April 03, 2013 at 10:49 PM

Yeah. For real. The OP hasn't said why she's on straight fat and protein, but in the absence of any other info I'd wager it's a weight loss plan. Nothing wrong with weight loss if you need it and a very low carb plan will usually work. But eating nutrient-dense vegetables will not seriously impede weight loss in the overweight. You don't need a Ph.D in Advanced Poop Studies to figure out why she's constipated. Putting aside the nutritional debate on the merits of fiber, everyone agrees that vegetables bulk up whatever else is in the gut. Exercise helps open the chute too.

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659 · November 17, 2011 at 8:02 AM

I was responding to this: "I started this diet because I've always had low sodium and low blood pressure no matter how much salt I get and I'm tired of fainting" If that is the case and a new diet isn't helping, she needs to get kidney function assessed by a professional. She has a long term serious issue that needs looking at by someone qualified. Telling us something is "normal" isn't really very reassuring when it comes to low sodium. It's a dangerous thing to have.

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18671 · November 14, 2011 at 7:52 PM

Losing water during ketoadaptation is perfectly normal.

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33 · November 14, 2011 at 1:46 PM

@Ruth I heard the body only stores about 2 days worth. Today is day 4 of all-meat with no carbs or sugars.

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33 · November 14, 2011 at 1:40 PM

I've had blood work done every 3 months for the last 3 years. I've never had my aldosterone levels checked, but my potassium levels were ok and my hormone levels were slightly higher than normal (sex hormones are made from aldosterone).

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2178 · November 14, 2011 at 1:32 PM

Tori, you say you believe you just ran out of your glucose stores. Just out of curiosity, how do you know that?

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11986 · November 14, 2011 at 7:05 AM

I haven't spoken with my microflora in ages, but I guess the short answer would be I don't know. I've been ZC since Sept 2009, with a brief break to try "safe" starches plus a few veggies last Thanksgiving, and some macadamia nuts in the late spring of this year. I paid for the safe starches experiment, but the mac nuts didn't seem to hurt me much. Of course, I ate about 8 oz altogether, so not much of a "stray." The main reason I stick with ZC though, besides weight, is complete relief of autoimmune joint pain, a benefit I didn't expect. I speculate it's phytotoxins, not carbs, but who knows?

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11986 · November 14, 2011 at 6:33 AM

I haven't spoken with my microflora in ages, but I guess the short answer would be I guess so. I've been ZC since Sept 2009, with a brief break to try "safe" starches plus a few veggies last Thanksgiving, and some macadamia nuts in the late spring of this year. I paid for the safe starches experiment, but the mac nuts didn't seem to hurt me much. Of course, I ate about 8 oz altogether, so not much of a "stray." The main reason I stick with ZC though, besides weight, is complete relief of autoimmune joint pain, a benefit I didn't expect. I speculate it's phytotoxins, not carbs, but who knows?

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39841 · November 14, 2011 at 6:07 AM

Rose: Have you more or less permanently nuked your microflora to the point that you *have to* stay ZC?

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5531 · November 14, 2011 at 5:18 AM

I heart Rose...

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11986 · November 14, 2011 at 4:23 AM

Dorado, I don't consume any fiber at all (unless you count the odd bit of cartilage as fiber, lol), and haven't encountered any problems. Are you thinking lack of fiber might be causing constipation for the OP? It might well be, although by anecdotal reports on ultra-low-carb and ZC forums, the more common response by far is the one I describe above (loose at first, then just less than daily and easy). The high fat seems to take care of motility, and the stool is less bulky precisely because of lack of fiber.

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20353 · November 14, 2011 at 4:02 AM

I have been all meat, eggs, butter, cheese and cream with some very small amounts of veggies and fruit (VLC). Moving to meat and egg yolks just recently. Likey adding tubers soon.

Medium avatar
8239 · November 14, 2011 at 4:01 AM

And all things considered: Is there enough fiber in this dietary experiment?

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8239 · November 14, 2011 at 3:59 AM

Would "all meat" as described be skirting acidosis? Or is acid/alkaline balance a folk tale from my long-lost vegetarian days?

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33 · November 14, 2011 at 2:29 AM

My body type (mesomorph) has always been easy to maintain. I eat insane amounts of whatver I want and stay 170 pounds (5'8") and almost all muscle. I've always had (as does my whole family) issues putting on fat and my salt levels are always crazy low. I tried going vegetarian and I started to get a tummy really quickly (from 18% body fat to 26% in a few months). After doing a ton of research I realized my body is not meant to handle carbs. I'm hoping to lose the 10 pounds of fat I've gained and be as healthy as I can be for my body type.

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39841 · November 14, 2011 at 2:17 AM

There's no way that the food described isn't high enough in fat, at least insofar as intestinal motility is concerned.

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11986 · November 14, 2011 at 1:48 AM

Okay, so that *is* constipation, not reduced frequency. Most folks who do "zero carb" (not literally possible, since even meat has trace carbohydrate in it, but it's close enough) do it high fat -- that's the classic Bear/ZIOH version out there on the internetz. The fat seems to produce diarrhea-like symptoms for most people the first couple weeks, which then settles into infrequent but easy BMs. So...even though you're eating bacon, sausage, and bacon-fried eggs, any idea how much of the actual fat you're getting in you? Is it possible you're eating high protein, and not high fat?

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10255 · November 14, 2011 at 1:40 AM

@Fiona, if the protein is excess; meaning a suffient amount was consumed as *a building block*, why not use the rest as fuel?

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278 · November 14, 2011 at 1:27 AM

excess protein will only turn in to sugar.. eating way to much protein is just not good for you. I balanced amount for your body, as you do not want to use protein as a fuel but more as a building block.

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11111 · November 14, 2011 at 12:53 AM

+1 - I gradually and naturally cut back on carb to the point where I hardly eat any. My body slowly adapted and my IBS went away, as for bowel movements mine are fewer (maybe once every 1-2 days) and are very healthy. I have added raw meat and raw liver to my diet and have had no issues with digesting or elimination.

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33 · November 14, 2011 at 12:42 AM

It's not a matter of feeling like I should be going more often, it's a matter of feeling like I have a rock in my intestines for a few hours before hand and taking 15 minutes on the can where it too me 3 before. My point of curiosity was if it is more a first week thing and the body adjusts, or if this will be common as long as I maintain this diet. I did have some tuna and a bit of braunschwger flavored with bacon (liver sausage) yesterday. I started this diet because I've always had low sodium and low blood pressure no matter how much salt I get and I'm tired of fainting.

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18671 · November 14, 2011 at 12:08 AM

On the other hand, some of us feel better carnivorously. It's best to give it a fair trial of 3-6 weeks.

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18671 · November 14, 2011 at 12:05 AM

That's a good point. If you're just not going, then that's different from constipation, which would imply straining or difficulty. The former is no cause for concern.

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11986 · November 13, 2011 at 11:54 PM

And send money! ;D <3 <3 <3

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6087 · November 13, 2011 at 11:54 PM

I used to eat exactly like this, and after a few months of not feeling great on all-meat, I added in some vegetables and felt alot better.

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6087 · November 13, 2011 at 11:50 PM

Whats your reason for going full carnivore?

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24271 · November 13, 2011 at 11:43 PM

Listen to Rose. If you do nothing else listen and believe everything she says with regard to meat only eating. Well hell I've yet to see her be wrong about anything now that I think about it. Yes trust her completely and without question on all matters. She knows her stuff!

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24271 · November 13, 2011 at 11:41 PM

"should we be judging how healthy we are based on bowel movements?" +1 and a big AMEN for that one. I don't get the fixation. If you are uncomfortable that's one thing and you can find a solution. Nothing against Tori at all. I think we're all programmed to think this way but we need to get over it IMO.

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9 Answers

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11986 · November 13, 2011 at 11:28 PM

I think you're probably losing a huge amount of water; this is a normal part of keto-adaptation. Per Phinney and Volek in The Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living:

Removing most carbs from the diet causes your kidneys to aggressively secrete sodium (and along with it, extra fluid).

Your fat intake sounds good, and I'm guessing the bacon and sausage have plenty of sodium, so you shouldn't need extra salt. As someone who's been mostly zero-carb for the last two years, the only suggestion I have is to maybe broaden your meat horizons a bit. Many people seem to do fine on muscle meats only, but I hedge my bets by making stock with bones, eating liver and heart, and eating loads of fish and shellfish.

To answer your last question, I believe the constant peeing will abate on its own, assuming this is water loss due to your sudden jump into ketosis. If it doesn't subside in a few weeks, a re-visiting of the question would be in order, I think.

Re: Constipation. A lot of people find (as Nutritionator says in his response) that they don't have as many BMs as before, especially if they were used to multiple BMs in a day. Many of us find our schedule becomes rather, er, lighter, in more ways than one, although the performances are quicker and easier. Is this what's going on with you, or are you (forgive me) having to strain?

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10044 · April 04, 2013 at 1:30 AM

+1 Listen to Rose.

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11111 · November 14, 2011 at 12:53 AM

+1 - I gradually and naturally cut back on carb to the point where I hardly eat any. My body slowly adapted and my IBS went away, as for bowel movements mine are fewer (maybe once every 1-2 days) and are very healthy. I have added raw meat and raw liver to my diet and have had no issues with digesting or elimination.

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11986 · November 13, 2011 at 11:54 PM

And send money! ;D <3 <3 <3

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24271 · November 13, 2011 at 11:43 PM

Listen to Rose. If you do nothing else listen and believe everything she says with regard to meat only eating. Well hell I've yet to see her be wrong about anything now that I think about it. Yes trust her completely and without question on all matters. She knows her stuff!

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5531 · November 13, 2011 at 11:30 PM

It's been talked about before but with diets such as yours, but the food your eating might be getting almost completely broken down and used, unlike when you eat a lot of fiber and it passes right through. Is it something to worry about? I personally don't think so. A lot of SAD literature points to slow intestinal motility and lack of fiber increasing cancer risk. But that stuff is well, SAD.

Another question to answer yours with, should we be judging how healthy we are based on bowel movements? I'm not sure all meat is ideal long term but it seems to work wonders for people trying to heal their gut. Good question though, looking forward to more answers.

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18671 · November 14, 2011 at 12:05 AM

That's a good point. If you're just not going, then that's different from constipation, which would imply straining or difficulty. The former is no cause for concern.

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24271 · November 13, 2011 at 11:41 PM

"should we be judging how healthy we are based on bowel movements?" +1 and a big AMEN for that one. I don't get the fixation. If you are uncomfortable that's one thing and you can find a solution. Nothing against Tori at all. I think we're all programmed to think this way but we need to get over it IMO.

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4181 · April 03, 2013 at 10:22 PM

Why has this post got so many upvotes? All meat diet? Fucking stupid

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542 · April 03, 2013 at 10:49 PM

Yeah. For real. The OP hasn't said why she's on straight fat and protein, but in the absence of any other info I'd wager it's a weight loss plan. Nothing wrong with weight loss if you need it and a very low carb plan will usually work. But eating nutrient-dense vegetables will not seriously impede weight loss in the overweight. You don't need a Ph.D in Advanced Poop Studies to figure out why she's constipated. Putting aside the nutritional debate on the merits of fiber, everyone agrees that vegetables bulk up whatever else is in the gut. Exercise helps open the chute too.

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0 · July 10, 2013 at 11:41 PM

I agree with Rose. Would also add magnesium citrate. Below is from the Ketogenic Diet Resource

Constipation: This is another one of the most common low carb diet side effects, and is usually a function of a magnesium deficiency. If 400 mg of magnesium citrate isn't helping, you may want to cut back on your dairy product consumption. I've found that a daily cheese habit is a factor in this side effect. If I avoid cheese, or at least limit my cheese intake to less than 1 ounce per day, I find that my entire system just seems to perform more normally. You could also add another 100 mg of magnesium to your daily intake, but don't go overboard. Magnesium is powerful stuff, and you don't want to take too much. You'll know if you have because you'll spend the day in the bathroom.

And about all-meat diets...check out this article from Tim Ferriss' blog where he mentions two old medical studies that apparently found "midsection weight loss" as a result of going all-meat

he patients who followed these all-meat diets rapidly lost weight from their midsections and improved their blood sugar and blood pressure problems if they had them. Calculations of cholesterol in all its various permutations was still decades away, but both doctors even used the all-meat diet for their patients with heart disease without problem. The all-meat diet proved to be a safe, filling, rapid way to help patients lose abdominal fat while improving their health.

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659 · November 14, 2011 at 9:17 AM

Have you had your kidney function assessed thoroughly? You need to get your aldosterone and renin checked - sounds like you're unable to hold on to sodium - not pleasant. Some people can't hold on to salt even if they increase it, if they lack aldosterone. You may need Florinef. Go see a decent doc and get checked, low sodium is dangerous, you don't want to let it get worse.

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659 · November 17, 2011 at 8:02 AM

I was responding to this: "I started this diet because I've always had low sodium and low blood pressure no matter how much salt I get and I'm tired of fainting" If that is the case and a new diet isn't helping, she needs to get kidney function assessed by a professional. She has a long term serious issue that needs looking at by someone qualified. Telling us something is "normal" isn't really very reassuring when it comes to low sodium. It's a dangerous thing to have.

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18671 · November 14, 2011 at 7:52 PM

Losing water during ketoadaptation is perfectly normal.

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33 · November 14, 2011 at 1:40 PM

I've had blood work done every 3 months for the last 3 years. I've never had my aldosterone levels checked, but my potassium levels were ok and my hormone levels were slightly higher than normal (sex hormones are made from aldosterone).

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20353 · November 14, 2011 at 3:48 AM

I don't think it will go away. However magnesium magnesium may help.

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20353 · November 14, 2011 at 4:02 AM

I have been all meat, eggs, butter, cheese and cream with some very small amounts of veggies and fruit (VLC). Moving to meat and egg yolks just recently. Likey adding tubers soon.

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6229 · November 14, 2011 at 1:35 AM

Do you have metabolic issues or a particular reason for going VLC? Many people slowly add safer starches and carbs from 50-150 g/day once they reach maintenance weight.

Some people actually do better on this regimen, because some burn more fat with a little carbs added. Some swear by VLC, but that is a minority of Paleo people - we are not all Eskimo (or Inuit)!

Any reason you're not eating low carb vegetables like kale, collards, lettuce, etc.? There is nutrition in there.

Also make sure you are eating organ meats and fatty meats. I hope you are taking some supplementation.

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33 · November 14, 2011 at 2:29 AM

My body type (mesomorph) has always been easy to maintain. I eat insane amounts of whatver I want and stay 170 pounds (5'8") and almost all muscle. I've always had (as does my whole family) issues putting on fat and my salt levels are always crazy low. I tried going vegetarian and I started to get a tummy really quickly (from 18% body fat to 26% in a few months). After doing a ton of research I realized my body is not meant to handle carbs. I'm hoping to lose the 10 pounds of fat I've gained and be as healthy as I can be for my body type.

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-2 · April 03, 2013 at 8:58 PM

Try eating leaner meats such as fish and poultry. I try to eat eggs and fish every day. Then for dinner I might eat beef, pork, or chicken. Bacon and sausage are only once a week because they are too greasy and make me feel kinda tired if I eat too much. I eat all meat and haven't had any constipation. You could also try a fiber pill, but try to eat leaner meats.

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-2 · March 22, 2013 at 9:11 PM

I've done it off and on for a year, it was the best thing I ever tried, give it time you will feel fantastic once you go into full ketosis. I'm a raw food eater now only because I don't like to eat animals, but still what's true is true I felt much happier on an all meat diet with an occasional treat.Good Luck.

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