In the years from 2013 to the end of 2018 I tried to be vegan. I say I tried to because I wasn't too strict about everything and my body obviously told me to eat animal products. I would say I was 95% vegan.
I had an athletic body composition (184cm, ~80kg, ~10% body fat) and wasn't able during these five years to build any new muscle. I just managed to lose some.
After my digestion got so bad that I didn't want to eat anything (except animal products) I started to introduce bigger amounts of animal products. Then I learned about the carnivore diet and gave it a try.
I still had an Intermittent Fasting window with 4-6 hours of eating per day. I ate as much as I wanted from any animal product, for example:
- 20 raw eggs with stevia and whey protein
- 500g of raw meat
- 500-1000g cooked meat (frequently liver)
- 500+g of quark
- milk 1-2 litres
- raw butter
(everything full fat of course)
Now it's hard to imagine to eat such an amount in such a short time but maybe I was so deficient from my vegan approach that I needed it.
Starting with 77kg in late December 2018 I had 93kg in February. Given the fact that I also gained a little bit of fat and water the 10kg muscle gain is a well meant but in my opinion realistic statement.
So I gained 16kg in three months with mostly under 80g carbs per day and no performance or muscle enhancing drugs except coffee (yes, I know that's not a real carnivore). You could argue that some of the muscle was just regained due to the memory effect. That's true. You could also argue that I'm some genetic freak but I can tell you: no, I'd know after 9 years of training.
Nevertheless I find the result very impressive from a scientific perspective. I didn't believe that such muscle gains were possible without steroids.
My training was the same as before, so I know the change was diet related. I never trained with a strict workout plan, the scheme was:
1. upper body, mostly pullups, pushups, rowing, overhead presses, inclined bench press - in antagonistic super sets
2. lower body, mostly squats and deadlifts (not really heavy)
This split is very flexible. Usually I trained both parts two times per week, sometimes more or less depending on energy levels.
What else changed?
Apart from muscle gains I developed a perfect digestion. Until I tried carnivore I didn't even know what a good digestion is. My mood was better and I didn't have animal food cravings anymore ;)
So if you have digestive problems you might want to skip some plants, bro!
Veganism and the carnivore diet will be topic of another article.
I appreciate constructive comments, suggestions and questions!