Mark was raised on a diet high in carbohydrates. He was interested in athletics from a young age and competed as an elite rugby player in his teens and early twenties.
After quitting rugby at 38, Mark pursued competitive running and cycling. He even competed in several triathlon events to “continue the competitive urges.” He maintained a vigorous training schedule, working out 10-15 hours weekly. He was unhappy with his results, however. “I still weighed 89kg [196 pounds] in May 2016. I was eating what I thought was a healthy diet.”
Most of the nutrition advice Mark followed for elite athletes was to prioritize carbohydrates for fuel and focus on lean proteins. Even though he did this faithfully, he didn’t achieve the gains he wanted. Even with his vigorous training schedule, Mark describes his results as “okay, but not great.”
Mark says his nutrition journey commenced with switching to a paleo diet. Centered on high-quality whole foods, a paleo diet typically includes unprocessed foods such as lean meats, fruits, vegetables, fish, eggs, nuts, and seeds.
After a brief stint with paleo, Mark experimented with low-carb and keto diets. He says it was easy for him to cave into cravings and “cheated often” on higher-carb and sugary foods. He did find some success with weight loss, however. “My weight came down to about 79kg [174 pounds].”
In 2017, Mark completed a 90-day carnivore challenge. He eliminated all plant foods and ate only animal products for the duration of the three months. He lost an additional 11 pounds, bringing him down to 163 pounds. His body composition also changed, and he noticed greater muscle mass and lowered his body fat percentage.
Mark’s transition to carnivore has not been without challenges. “I struggled to keep cheese and heavy cream in check,” he notes. “I still craved sugary foods from time to time.” This is not unusual for those new to following a carnivore diet, and many people find eliminating dairy helpful in keeping cravings at bay.
“Since completing the 90-day challenge, I have been mainly carnivore, but I have been unable to fully commit to the lifestyle.”
Today, Mark is working toward the next stage of his fitness journey. “I’ve maintained my results very well, but I want more.”
Mark reports impressive gains at the gym. He is able to squat 130kg (287 pounds), benchpress 85kg (187 pounds), and deadlift 160kg (353 pounds). His current weight is 78kg (172 pounds), and he has improved his body composition to 15% body fat.
Mark’s goal is to compete at the velodrome, a popular indoor arena for cyclists. The unique features of the arena allow competitors to reach speeds of 70 mph. He’s also got several powerlifting competitions scheduled over the next year.
“All aspects of my health and fitness have improved on carnivore. I’m fitter, stronger, and a bit leaner, but I want to take things to the next level.”
Results are not typical. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.