Some background: 52 year old male, business owner with an advanced degree, married with two teenage daughters, no health problems, always considered myself fit and health conscious, avid cyclist (around 4,000 miles per year mostly road and some mountain biking, resistance training off and on during the year, mostly body weight over the last several years. Diet-wise I would eat standard stuff, tried to stay away from french fries, eat my greens, etc. but nothing special. Since I ride a lot, I would do things like down a frozen pizza late at night after a hard ride. I have been a beer drinker from the word go so that often went hand in hand with post ride nutrition. Overall, too much alcohol over the last year or two with work related stress. With all that I did pretty well and my weight has always been around 170 lbs with decent body composition, maybe down to 160 lbs once or twice 8 years ago when riding a lot and training to race.
I first heard about Dr. Baker in October 2017 somewhere on the web, maybe referenced in an email from one of many subscriptions, regarding a powerful athlete that only consumed meat and water. This intrigued me and I did a quick search and found a podcast interview that he’d done. After that, I had to try it for myself so the first week of November I pretty much dove in to what was essentially low to zero carb with mostly meat. I also adopted the 100 push ups and cold shower protocols at that time. I started the squats protocol a few weeks later.
The results blew me away from the start. I’m estimating my weight before starting was around 167 and I had been riding a ton – 42 straight days in fact which was a long streak for me. I wasn’t trying to lose any weight on this protocol, but I dropped to about 155 in a week or so – probably some water weight I guess. I measure weight on occasion just for fun, but I believe that all anyone needs is a full length mirror – and after about 10 days I looked as good or better than I ever have, including years ago when I lifted weights for fitness. Anyway, I’ve settled out at around 151 lbs. and 15% body fat according to my home scale, but aiming to add muscle weight from there.
Athletically, there was an adaptation period with some brain fog (pretty sure I wasn’t eating enough) and I would be sort of fatigued on fast group rides but I still hung in there and did okay. Since winter arrived I’m riding less and can’t really determine how this will affect my cycling until spring. I was skeptical about my doing the 100 push ups per day since I thought I would get too sore. Not the case. Overall I cannot believe how rapidly I recover after exercising. There have been many days where I will do the push ups and squats in the morning and then hit the fitness center after work for a full body weight circuit (around 20 minutes) with around 240 total reps of various movements – and feel like I could keep going. For the protocol I’m now adding a weighted backpack, raising my feet for push ups, etc. I don’t believe I could have done that much work that often in the past without breaking down too much physically.
More significantly, my mood, sleep, ability to handle stress, and overall outlook on life have all improved enormously. My work is highly stressful – I’m a business owner and over the past few years I’ve faced a lot of difficulty in the business. I’ve essentially coped by riding my bike and probably drinking too much. Since starting these protocols, my emotional ups and downs have smoothed out, I have a much more positive outlook, and I have embarked on a personal improvement mission.
I am devouring podcasts about health, nutrition, business, etc. I am continuously going to the library to check out the latest book recommendation and have two to three going at any one time. Instead of sleeping until the last possible minute like I usually did, I am getting up much earlier as I have so much I want to do each day. Diet-wise, as Dr. Baker has indicated, I am gravitating toward exclusively toward beef and am finding other foods don’t quite do it for me. Also, alcohol is much less appealing to me. It used to be that one beer tasted like “more” and I might have 2, 3 or 4. Now I can envision myself cutting it our or going to just an occasional light beer or wine/spirit rather than at least 2-3 beers every day. That alone is shocking.
I can’t say enough good things about this WOE. I am sure that the exercise and cold shower protocols are extremely helpful (I will probably continue all of them indefinitely), but for me it all starts with the diet. I truly believe that the carbs, among other things, just messed up my brain and made it difficult to deal with daily life issues and move myself forward like I should. I wish I had found this much earlier, but I’m not looking back. My wife pointed out that one of the likely benefits is that I feel control over this aspect of my life. That, along with the other mental and physical benefits, is an incredibly powerful combination.
My goals for this year are to stick with the program (full carnivore in January) and see how I perform athletically (enter a bike race or two this spring) and just maintain my forward progress overall. Dr. Baker is the perfect person to promote this way of life using an intelligent and measured approach and exhibiting a lot of patience with the same questions over and over. Plus, he’s my age so I seem to identify with him well. I will follow along closely and encourage others as well.
There’s probably a lot more that I could say, but its time for some push ups and squats.