I am a 50-year-old male living in South Africa. My name is Nick Tatalias. I started a journey of weight gain as a weightlifter and competitive powerlifter where I steadily put on more and more weight, initially competing at Powerlifting at 110kg (as it was then) and in weightlifting at 105kg. But as time went on, I moved up the 120kg weight category because I was “getting stronger.” In reality, I was just getting fatter.
Journey to Low-Carb
I started on a low-carb diet in 2014, reducing from 123kg to 103kg over the course of a year. Initially, I kept my weight constant, but over time, my weight started to creep up. I told people I was 105kg but was closer to 108kg. Then I told people I was 108kg when that was the bottom of my range, probably more like 110kg.
Snacking on cheese and never getting that satiated signal, I would often eat too much at meals. I did reduce my blood pressure medication, but I never came off that. Despite the weight loss, I still had ankle and knee joint pain. I still had tinnitus (a symptom of metabolic syndrome) which affected my aviation medicals (I am a private pilot).
The Benefits of Carnivore
After watching a video of Mikhaila Peterson presenting at a carnivore conference in 2019, and because of knee and ankle pains, I thought I would give Carnivore a go. I steadily reduced vegetables but still suffered a bit from constipation, and then I went pure Carnivore for a week to see how it went. I was eating eggs and dairy, and meat. It went well, so I committed for the whole month of August 2019.
The Effects on Health
In September, I stopped dairy and went ruminant only (after re-watching Mikhaila’s presentation) with liver and kidney, but mostly only steak. I started to feel much better and lose weight to the point that I was getting comments at work on how well I was looking.
I started doing some limited bodyweight exercises for the first time in 3 years (since I started my new business) because I had the mental energy again and the physical energy. Constipation cleared up without the veggies (the opposite was true at first, but that settled down). My knee issue and ankle pains were almost a thing of the past.
Going Off Blood Pressure Medication
I had a medical for insurance purposes, my LDL (C) was up (total “cholesterol” of 7.2 mmol/l and the insurance wanted to load the premiums. I repeated the blood (many results to share) and did the Feldman protocol. I just couldn’t eat 5000kCal for three days on the meat. It was simply too much food.
But total cholesterol went down to 6.5, so insurance was reduced. I also did a CAC score which showed a zero on all but one of the coronary arteries and a one on the one artery, which gave me a score of 1. This gave me confidence that the cholesterol wasn’t a factor. My cholesterol has always been high, even before the Keto diet. I had doctors trying to get me on Statins.
Medical Check-up Results
In early December, I was down to the 99 to 101kg range. I went on holiday in December to travel to Canada and the US. During the trip, I wasn’t able to stay totally Carnivore but still Keto and only two meals a day. My weight stabilized, but with the reintroduction of veggies and dairy, my knees started to hurt again, so I will have to check if dairy or veggies are the cause.
Return to Carnivore and Improved Health
Since the start of January and my return to South Africa and return to Carnivore, I have lost more weight, ranging now from 95kg to 97kg. I am 1.86m tall, about 6’2″ tall, and I haven’t weight this little since I was 30. I am now 50 turning 51 in March 2020. My knees are getting better again. I have just completed my annual aviation medical again.
Effects on Physical and Mental Well-being
The doctor loved my weight loss, and my hearing had improved, which surprised the doctor, but I explained that my tinnitus had reduced, so I could hear much better. Tinnitus is a symptom of metabolic syndrome – so Carnivore has helped where Keto hadn’t.
My blood pressure was 120/67, also much lower to the point that the doctor wants me to see if I can stop the medication for that. But my total cholesterol was 8.2 and LDL 7.0. Triglicerides 0.5, HDL 1.7. HbAIC 4.8% or 29mmol/mol (lowest I have measured) and insulin fasted 4.1, and fasted glucose 5.5.
The doctor nearly fell off his chair at the cholesterol, but I told him I was on a banting diet (what we call Keto in South Africa – didn’t mention the Carnivore will at my next visit). I also showed him my CAC score and that with a healthy ECG, he passed me with flying colours because of how well I looked to him and all the good things.
Other Benefits and Future Plans
We are now going to see if I can go off my blood pressure meds which I have been on for 12 years. We both agreed that once I hit my goal weight and the fat in circulation would stabilize, and I would return the LDL to normal, although I may be a hyper responder or a lean mass hyper responder (although lean hasn’t described me in years but is starting to again).
My goal weight is to be 90 to 93kg and to start lifting again (weight lifting). On the whole, my thinking is much clearer, my energy better, and my mood is definitely much more upbeat, even with the pressure of my own business in a very tough economy.
Added benefits are that I can now fly with around 15kg more fuel in the plane which adds close to 45 minutes more reserve; loving Carnivore. My brother is interested, but he is a bus driver in Canada and not wealthy, so he is trying to figure out how to do it too. He is on a Keto 2 meal a day regime currently.
How Travel Affected Diet and Weight
My iron levels are all normal except the Ferritin, but this has been high since I started measuring it during my Keto time. I guess I will have to donate more blood. I had hoped this would come down with a reduction in the chronic inflammation that had been hanging around.
CRP was below 1, so no issue with inflammation any longer. In conclusion, I am so happy with the carnivore diet and recommend to people to try it for a month, seriously commit and see the benefits. Interestingly I never seem to grow tired of steaks. I never thought it would be such fun.
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.