Could a person survive only by eating animal products? Or if you go to the extreme, what happens to your body if you only eat meat for 30 days? What would change? That is what we are about to find out.
A good diet should always be focused on a balanced approach. However, people can do all sorts of crazy things, sometimes not backed by science or common knowledge. While meat is nutritious, can you imagine someone eating only meat for a prolonged period?
Meat is composed of mainly protein, a macronutrient that the body needs to function properly. The three primary macronutrients found in meat are:
- Proteins: Meat is an excellent source of high-quality proteins. Proteins are made up of amino acids, which are essential for building and repairing tissues in the body. They play a crucial role in the structure of muscles, organs, skin, and other body tissues. Proteins are also involved in various physiological processes, such as enzyme and hormone production.
- Fats: Meat contains both saturated and unsaturated fats. Fats are essential for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) and play a key role in providing a concentrated source of energy. Fats are also important for cell structure, insulation, and protection of organs.
- Carbohydrates: While the carbohydrate content in meat is minimal compared to other food sources like grains and vegetables, there may be trace amounts present. However, meat is not typically considered a significant source of carbohydrates.
The macronutrient composition of meat can vary depending on the type of meat and its preparation. For example, lean cuts of meat may have a higher protein-to-fat ratio, while fattier cuts will have more fat content. Additionally, the cooking method and any added ingredients can influence the overall macronutrient profile of the meat.
The combination of proteins, fats, and minimal carbohydrates in meat provides a well-rounded source of nutrition, supplying the body with essential nutrients for various physiological functions. It’s important to note that a balanced diet usually includes a variety of foods to ensure the intake of all necessary nutrients.
While the body needs all three macronutrients to function properly, some people choose to limit or simply stop consuming one of them. The keto diet, for example, advocates for very little carb intake and increases the amount of fat a person ingests.
Along the same lines, one might think it is a good idea to eat only meat to increase protein intake and, in the process, build more muscle and get lean, correct?
That is what Max Posternak, the founder of Gravity Transformation, boasting a massive following of over 5.5 million YouTube subscribers, decided to investigate. While Max typically delves into weight loss advice, this time, he decided to take a closer look at eating only meat for 30 days and what that could do to a person’s body.
Related: Is Red Meat That Bad For You?
What Happens to Your Body if You Only Eat Meat for 30 Days?
In contemplating the prospect of consuming only meat for 30 days, Max Posternak wondered whether such a diet could lead to muscle gain and significant fat burning by avoiding carbohydrates and processed foods. The notion of restricting oneself solely to meat seemed extreme, yet it aligned with the principles of the increasingly popular carnivore diet, touted for its potential benefits in achieving better health, improved body composition, and increased energy levels.
Despite its radical nature, the carnivore diet has garnered a substantial following in recent years, including endorsements from well-known figures like Jordan Peterson, who claimed various health advantages associated with it.
As Max delved into the scientific aspects of this dietary approach, he discovered that immediate physiological changes would occur upon transitioning to a meat-centric diet. The body, accustomed to deriving energy from carbohydrates, would undergo a metabolic shift toward ketosis, wherein fat and ketones would become the primary sources of energy in the absence of carbohydrates. This shift typically takes a few days but could extend up to two weeks.
Max learned that ketosis had been linked to benefits such as reduced hunger and increased satiety, facilitating weight loss. The high protein and fat content of meat plays a role in appetite suppression, making calorie counting unnecessary. Additionally, the diet’s strict restrictions automatically eliminated many high-calorie foods, contributing to potential fat loss. The higher thermic effect of food from protein in meat could also boost metabolism, aiding in weight and fat loss.
Further investigation into the effects on muscle-building revealed that eating only meat for 30 days, when combined with resistance training, could lead to greater increases in muscle growth, particularly in older individuals. Posternak noted that while meat was not inherently superior to other protein sources like chicken, fish, or eggs, it appeared more effective than vegan protein sources in promoting muscle growth.
Considering potential benefits beyond physical changes, Max explored the relief from food sensitivities and allergies that some individuals reported when adopting a carnivore diet. By eliminating plant-based foods containing substances like lectins, the diet could offer relief to those sensitive to such compounds. Additionally, the simplicity of the carnivore diet can be appealing, as it requires minimal meal planning and grocery shopping, eliminating the need for complex recipes.
However, Posternak also recognized the potential drawbacks of the carnivore diet. The initial transition to ketosis could result in symptoms collectively known as the keto flu, including fatigue, headaches, irritability, and nausea. The drastic reduction in fibre intake, a common outcome of a meat-only diet, could lead to constipation, while some individuals might experience diarrhoea due to changes in gut flora or high-fat intake.
Concerns about nutrient deficiencies emerged as Max delved into the potential long-term risks. While meat was rich in protein and certain essential vitamins, it lacked various nutrients found in plant-based foods, such as vitamin E, vitamin C, and calcium. It is important to do regular health checkups for individuals following a carnivore diet, especially those with existing health conditions.
Max also considered the potential impact on cholesterol levels, noting that while cholesterol was essential for hormone synthesis, high saturated fat content in red and processed meats could elevate LDL cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart disease. The financial aspect of eating only meat for a long time should also be considered, as the cost of quality meat could outweigh that of fruits, vegetables, and grains.
In essence, Max Posternak recognised that the first week of a carnivore diet involved digestive adjustments, including potential discomfort and increased thirst. By the end of the first week, the body might acclimate to the diet, with improved energy levels and reduced gastrointestinal symptoms. Entering ketosis in the second week could bring benefits such as enhanced mental clarity, reduced appetite, and potential weight loss.
However, Max cautioned that the long-term risks of nutrient deficiencies and potential impacts on cholesterol and overall health should be carefully considered before committing to a meat-only diet for an extended period.
To hear from Posternak himself, about the pros and cons of eating only meat for 30 days, watch the video below.
Read More: What Carbs to Serve With Meat?
- Red meat: Gil Goldman on Pexels