“If it’s not effortless, then there’s something that needs to be changed”
Josh struggled with his health and weight throughout his whole life. From early childhood he suffered from seasonal allergies, chronic asthma, and recurrent sinus infections.
He became obese when he entered puberty, and this motivated him to go on a diet. He picked up running, weight lifting, and eating meal replacements. Although he didn’t lose much weight, he quickly gained more when he went off the regimen.
In his late teens he discovered the low-fat diet. He ate pasta, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, lean meats, and vegetables. He lost some weight, but to a great cost. The depression which had haunted him since his early teens worsened and pushed him into a cycle of restricting and binging.
Discovering the paleo diet
The first real success with diet was when he discovered paleo in his mid 20s. At that time he had a stressful job which caused him to gain weight rapidly. When his weight hit 270 pounds (122 kg), he complained to a coworker who said “Paleo might help!”Josh started reading up on the diet, dove in, and “The weight just fell off!” He lost 60 pounds (27 kg) in three months by eating real food and not exercising. It was a breakthrough!
But unfortunately he couldn’t let go of the calorie obsession, so he went back to exercising intensively and counting calories.
Because of trying to push his weight past the point of where it wanted to be, his health worsened. Once again he found himself on a merry-go-round of restricting and binging.
This did a lot of damage to his gut, and the gastroenterologist that he saw prescribed a laxative. Unfortunately, he had a bad reaction which caused an acute asthma episode. After that he became severely depressed and started gaining weight rapidly.
Trying the carnivore diet
Josh had heard stories about how an all-meat diet helped people with complex health issues. After being essentially bedridden, Josh decided to try it for himself. But he wanted to do it his way and didn’t listen to any of the zero-carb veterans. Instead, he restricted fat and ate leaner meats.
One of the first things he noticed was that his asthma went away, and he attributes this to the lack of plants in his diet. But he still had lingering health issues and felt so ravenous that he ate 6 pounds (2.7 kg) of lean meat a day.
After experimenting with this way of eating without much success, he finally went back to the health logic. He realized that being healthy was more important than losing weight.He started incorporating plenty of fatty beef into his diet, and “It felt like someone turned on the light switch in my brain. It was the best I’ve ever felt!” He could eat to his heart’s content, yet the weight melted off.
His gut improved and his moods became more stable than they had ever been. The easy weight loss made him realize that “If it’s not effortless, then there’s something that needs to be changed.”
Josh continues to eat the carnivore diet that improved his health so much. Although he’s dealing with some lingering health issues after taking antibiotics, he’s positive that he’ll figure it all out. Currently, he’s experimenting with B vitamins to see if that helps.
Josh’s carnivore lifestyleJosh mostly eats fatty beef, and some favorites are ground beef with suet, untrimmed ribeye, and brisket. He stresses the importance of listening to hunger signals, which for him means eating one or two meals per day.
In his opinion exercise isn’t necessary, and it could be either beneficial or detrimental depending on your circumstances. Forcing yourself to do rigorous exercise when you are unwell can worsen health.
However, if you have the energy to exercise, then go ahead! It’s likely a sign that you’re healthy. And going outside in the sunlight is good for most people.
Josh’s top tips for people starting keto or carnivore
- Do what makes you feel best, and tweak from there. We’re all different, so you need to do what suits you best. Find out if that’s low carb, keto, carnivore, or some other regimen. Some enjoy a bit more flexibility – an all-meat diet isn’t for everyone.
- Don’t forget other factors that play a great role. Pay attention to your relationships, sunlight, sleep, and social media. All of these contribute to your health.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself and take it in your own pace. It took 6 years for Josh to go from paleo to carnivore. It’s about progression, not perfection.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Josh, and congrats on finding your own path to success. Your top tips sum things up well. It is a journey and we all need to remember not to be too hard on ourselves. Keep up the great work.
/ Dr. Bret Scher
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