I’m now two weeks into my carnivore experiment, and here’s how it’s going so far!
I have done paleo, keto, and sugar detoxes in the past, so I was familiar with carb flu and what it felt like, but this carb flu was WAY beyond anything else I had ever experienced.
My symptoms in the first 1 to 1.5 weeks were:
- Constipation. Many people starting carnivore have diarrhea, but my system went the other way.
- Low blood sugar (and all its symptoms). Fatigue, brain fog, irritability, and ALL THE EMOTIONS. On Days 2 and 3 I broke down crying. Sugar is a hell of a drug.
- Lack of appetite. I was hungry, but not for protein. I wanted, like, sweet potato chips. The first few days, even the thought of a steak made me want to gag. The Carnivore Diet said as a woman I should aim to start with 1.5 lb of meat a day. I couldn’t even imagine how that would ever be possible when I was struggling to choke down a half cup of ground beef at a time. ? Sometimes I just decided not to eat, because the idea of meat sounded so unappealing.
- Crazy cravings for sugar. I’m sure I would have killed a man for a gluten-free peanut butter cookie. It was torture to see food on social media or in grocery stores.
- Acne in weird new places. I got a bit of shoulder acne, as well as a pimple right on the middle of one cheek, neither of which are normal for me (normally, my acne has been on my forehead or chin).
As I’ve been turning a corner and have completed week 2, here are some of the changes I’ve noticed:
- Pooping. Pooping on carnivore is way less frequent, which I’ve learned is normal. I poop once every 2-4 days, and it’s smaller, darker, softer, there’s less of it, and weirdly, it does this “diffusing” thing in the toilet bowl like a tea bag in a cup of hot water. ?
- Clothes are looser. I lost about 6 pounds in the first week, presumably because of water weight, and none after that, but I can tell my clothes aren’t as tight, and my face feels much less puffy.
- Improved appetite. My husband convinced me to eat some more palatable “transition” foods, like sausages or bacon, that still had clean ingredients but meant I was at least eating something. That helped a lot with my energy levels. But also, I can tell my digestive capacity is getting stronger.
- Reduced sugar cravings. I realized about a week in, and not until my husband asked about it, that it had been a while since I felt a sugar craving. And, now, I can look at something sweet and I don’t even care about it anymore. WHAT?! Unheard of for me. This is a HUGE relief, and I feel like I have more control now.
- Going longer in between meals. I can wait about 5 hours in between meals, and feel hungry, but not hangry. It’s been a while since I’ve felt that.
- Candida getting worse. I hope this is temporary, but my candida has been fighting me all-out, like a last-ditch effort to survive. It’s uncomfortable, but I’m sticking with the program for now and hoping it’ll sort itself out.
- Not as much obsessing about food. Before, I was always wanting the dopamine hit of the next meal or snack. Now I’m getting better at separating “food” and “entertainment”. Not perfect, but better.
- Improved seasonal depression: My seasonal depression here in gloomy January is beginning to feel less like a chokehold that’s strangling me, and more of an annoying pinch. A couple times in a day I even find myself feeling like I’m in a golden wave of wellbeing that’s washing over me. I’d say that’s progress!
So far, so good. Interesting to see how the next 15 days of my 30-day experiment shakes out!