Why Carnivore Didn’t Work For You, Part 6: You Didn’t Know Your Reason

Why are you doing this, anyway?

I will occasionally come across somebody online who says that they tried carnivore, even though they didn’t have any particular reason to do so. By that person’s estimate, she had already been in perfect health and everything she was doing was working just fine. But she wanted to see if the carnivore way of eating would improve anything. And she usually finds that, in fact, she had been a lot less healthy than she thought she was. Her libido roars back to life, or the joint pain that she thought was due to “getting older” goes away, or the ringing in her ears stopped. All sorts of unanticipated pleasant things happen to people who eliminate plants from their diets. It’s almost magical!

But there are, for the first few weeks of shifting to a carnivorous diet, often some unpleasant things to be gotten through. Most of these difficulties can be mitigated by reading the rest of this series: Why Carnivore Didn’t Work For You, and taking that advice. If you hadn’t read these posts of mine, though, or gotten advice from someone else who has been there, you might have jumped into the carnivore diet feet first, with no idea why, except that the Meat Lifeā„¢ sounds like a pretty cool bandwagon, and you didn’t want to miss out.

So you got a few days or weeks in, and stuff started to happen.

You felt lethargic and depressed. You started to feel like you were hypoglycemic. You got explosive diarrhea, or stopped going to the bathroom altogether. It got so bad you just gave up and had the spaghetti one day, et voila, you felt better. Back to your old self. Man, you missed that bread! I mean, the tinnitus came back, and you’re looking a little puffy again, but at least you feel happy!

My friend, carnivore works, even for you. It really does. But because you didn’t have a very strong reason to stick through and troubleshoot whatever was going wrong, you didn’t get to a place where you could experience that. I truly believe that there is nobody whose health or mood is so good that carnivore couldn’t make it better. But without something driving you to eat better, all of the potential pitfalls of the adaptation phase–sugar cravings, social needs, bowel upheavals, or doubts about the medical safety of it–you will quit.

If you’re making a change so drastic as this with no good idea why, it’s going to be, for all but the most stubborn of people, an unsustainable change. If you want to give the carnivore diet a go, know why you’re doing it first. Maybe it is something as simple as “better overall health”. But if you don’t name the result you’re looking for, you’ll likely lose sight of your progress when faced with difficulties. Go ahead and let your reason be “just” tinnitus. But hold on to your reason, friend. You’re going to need it when you’re at the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet and your family is chowing down on muffins and waffles, while you’re stuck with the bacon and eggs.

It won’t be enough that you’re just trying out a new way of eating. You will need sweet reason to get you through. After a while, you’ll start to notice other little reasons that you can add to the list. Your psoriasis went away. You’re no longer anxious. You made it through a menstrual cycle without anybody having to call the cops on you. Write all that stuff down. Add every small victory to your list of reasons to stick with it.

And stick with it, friend. Carnivore works.