Update: I extended the diet to one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic
For the next 90-days, I am following a carnivore diet.
What's a carnivore diet? It's exactly how it sounds; you only eat meat. No fruits. No vegetables. No condiments. No spices. Nothing but meat.
I understand how crazy this sounds. If it's not a diet for the trolls of middle-earth, then it must be the best troll since teenaged Redditor's convinced grown-men of the flat-earth.
Why Follow a Carnivore Diet?
The only reason that I gave this diet any credibility is because I heard about it from the University of Toronto professor, Dr. Jordan B. Peterson.
Dr. Peterson is a psychology professor, so his knowledge of nutrition is limited, but the results he received seem almost limitless. Dr. Peterson claims that the carnivore diet helped him lose 50 lbs while gaining muscle and cured his arthritis, depression, psoriasis, and gum disease.
Dr. Peterson has had some recent health problems, and his diet was one of his critics' top culprits, but he is not the only person claiming that the carnivore diet cured ailments.
Joe Rogan recently tried the carnivore diet for one month, receiving similar positive results. Joe says that he lost body fat, cured his vitiligo, and increased his overall energy levels.
The claims sound fantastic, but there are no data to support them. And what happens when someone follows the diet for more than a month?
My Carnivore Diet Experiment
That is what I am going to find out. I am following a carnivore diet for 90 days while using every diagnostic tool available to measure the changes to my health, physical attributes, and cognitive abilities. I will test the claims of the diet's most devout practitioners.
I want to know if I can achieve the intelligence of Hawking in the body of Schwarzenegger.
Weight Loss and Body Composition
The first thing that I think of when I hear the word diet is weight loss,
and weight loss is a universal claim of people on the carnivore diet. However, losing weight isn't always a good thing. I want to build muscle, or at least maintain what I have.
I'm using a DEXA scan to measure my body composition, tracking changes to my lean mass, fat mass, and bone density.
Lean mass is not just muscle; it includes everything that's not fat. I want to find evidence that I can build muscle without eating carbs so I also got a 3D body scan to measure the circumference of each body part.
Does Meat Make you Stronger and Faster?
Even if my muscles get bigger, that does not mean they're stronger. If I am going to become superhuman, I can't be weak, which is why I am working with a fitness coach to measure my strength through changes to my one rep max.
Strength is not the only physical attribute that matters. I also want to improve my stamina, so I am using a V02 Max test to measure my body's ability to utilize oxygen.
When I played High School football, my friend told me that it's not important how far you can run or how much you can lift; what matters is people's perception of how far you can run and how much you can lift. You have to look the part.
That's why I found a fitness photographer to compare how I look before and after the diet.
How Does A Carnivore Diet Affect My Health?
How you look on the outside doesn't always reflect your health on the inside. I am working with medical professionals to track my blood markers to learn how the carnivore diet impacts my health.
Will A Carnivore Diet Change my Personality?
However, I doubt that any blood markers can explain why the last time I followed the diet, I got fired from job.
I've never been good at listening to authority, but I took more command of the company than I ever had in the past. Did these personality changes come from the diet? Or were they a consequence of working for a company that is no longer operating?
This time, I am working with a psychologist to measure my psychological changes through a series of personality exams. We are also using an executive acumen battery to track changes to my intelligence and focus.
Can I Eat More Calories and Get Fit?
The last time I followed the carnivore diet, I ate more calories but still lost weight. Maybe I wasn't tracking my calories correctly, so this time I'm measuring my caloric expenditure by testing my resting metabolic rate.
These are just a few of the diagnostics we are using to get a comprehensive picture of my health. Along the way, I will release video updates on my progress and interviews with experts who can explain the biological changes that are occurring.
I don't know if I should be nervous or excited, but either way, I can't wait to get started on this challenge. It will be the toughest three months of my life, and I will need the benefits that people claim they have received if I am going to succeed.
90-days of nothing but meat is what I am about to start. What happens at the end? I am as curious as you are. Maybe I'll stay on it forever. Maybe I will stay on it for the rest of my life, and maybe that life won't be too long. Or perhaps I'll keep experimenting to learn how variations to the diet affect the metrics I am testing. Only time will tell.