I get told this a lot when I tell people about what I’ve been doing to lose weight. It’s hard to imagine someone losing 34 pounds (as of today, March 25) in less than three months without starving themselves.
But honestly, I’m not starving. Most of the time I’m not even hungry.
That’s kind of the point of the ketovore/carnivore lifestyle: You eat the foods that don’t make you crave other foods. Which is why dumping the sugar – especially processed sugars – and carbs is so important. Carbs make you crave other carbs. They set off a process in your body telling it to make insulin, which then tells fat cells to accumulate more fat and burn carbs – instead of fat – for energy.
(Want to know watch me gradually learn how to use YouTube? Check out my Molly’s Ketovore Life channel!)
When you’re not giving your body those carbs, it reverts to burning fat for energy. Cool, huh?
But getting to that lifestyle isn’t a matter of just flipping a switch. You have to be committed to making a change, and making it more than just a diet. To me, the word “diet” as a verb has always meant something temporary. That’s not what this is – this has got to be long-lasting. That’s not to say you can’t have “cheat” meals or weekends – I have already had a few of each – but you have to realized that once you start giving your body those carbs again, it’s going to keep wanting more. AND the weight you put back on will come faster than before.
When my boyfriend started telling me all about his experience with the ketogenic and then carnivore diets I thought he was nuts. Yes, I’d heard that through ketogenic dieting you could lose a lot of weight fast – but the things you had to give up were things I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to: pasta, chips, potatoes, fruit, rice … those were my mainstays (and probably the reason I couldn’t lose more than 20 pounds with any given diet). With carnivore it was nothing but meat and meat products. Period.
Then he started talking about “ketovore” – a kind of blending of the ketogenic and carnivore diets. It focuses on upping your amounts of animal proteins and fats, and limiting other foods. You still get rid of the sugars and carbs but your menu is a bit more open.
I agreed to give it a month. After the holidays. I’m now three months in and LOVING it.
In the week before Christmas and New Year’s Day I gutted my kitchen: got rid of the breads, tortillas, frozen fruits, fresh fruits, canned soups, oatmeal, rice, pasta, potatoes, most condiments, tortilla chips – damned near everything. My son and daughter-in-law probably didn’t have to buy groceries for a few weeks.
We had one final “hurrah” for New Year’s and officially started the ketovore journey on Jan. 2.
What I eat
There are a lot of articles out there talking about what you can and can’t, should and shouldn’t, eat on ketovore. I use them as guideposts, but really kind of customize this menu for me. Some experts say to allow yourself one “treat” of vegetables each week – I eat more than that, but not daily. Some days I’ll have a small salad with lunch (olive or avocado oil and red wine vinegar for dressing), or will sometimes have some steamed broccoli or roasted aparagus with dinner.
I’m probably not losing weight and seeing the health improvements at the rate that devout ketovore followers are, but I’m OK with that. If I don’t enjoy myself on this journey, it won’t last. And I want it to last.
Before ketovore I ate beef only when my body let me know I needed iron – typically 3-4 times a year. Now it’s on my plate 4-6 times a week. But I also allow myself to eat chicken, fish, pork, and shrimp throughout the week, as well. I don’t get the high protein with those (other than some fish) that I do with beef, but then I supplement with added protein: chicken and shrimp, surf and turf, etc.
Eggs are also a staple, along with butter. Butter is a great source of animal fat – I typically scramble four eggs in a tablespoon of butter, cook up 3-4 strips of bacon, and there’s a good (great!) ketovore meal. Sounds like a lot of food, I know – I thought it was crazy the first time I put that on a plate – but it works. It really, really does.
When I go out to restaurants, I usually order a bunless hamburger or grilled fish, usually with a salad or vegetable. Yes, I’ve cheated and eaten fries (twice) but then made up for it in the following days.
Just as important as what you eat in this lifestyle is how often you eat. I had stopped being a three-meals-a-day person for the most part a few years ago, with the exception of the occasional yogurt or grapefruit for breakfast. With ketovore, two meals a day is a regular occurrence, and occasionally it’s just one. And once a week I don’t eat at all.
A typical week for me starts with a late breakfast/early lunch Sunday, we usually have bacon or steak and eggs (I know, what a diet!), and then nothing until dinner, usually steak or roast or chicken or something and shrimp or another protein. Sometimes I have a vegetable, but mostly I save those for during the week. Once dinner is over, usually around 6 or so, I start my 36-hour fast. It sounds tough, I know, but really I’m too full to eat after dinner, I fast all day Monday, and by the time I am ready to eat late Tuesday morning the fast is over. It’s tough some days, but not most.
And going back to what I said at the beginning of this post, I’m not starving – and rarely even hungry.