The meat only diet for bodybuilding purposes is part of the recent zero carb movement that has become subject of debate as of late. Essentially it is as it sounds: a diet that consists of just meat, eggs, fish and some other animal byproducts like cheese and milk.
There is certainly some appeal to this sort of diet in the body building industry. It is intriguing because in theory you can eat just meat and pack on lean muscle but at the same time, you wont be gaining any fat because there are no carbs in meat.
This articles purpose is to uncover some of the details on meat only diets for bodybuilding. Listed here are the benefits, its drawbacks and if it is right for you.
The Theory- Meat Only Diet Bodybuilding
Us humans are adapted to eat vegetables. It is widely known that you can survive entirely on vegetables even. However, primitive man from which we all originate from focused on eating meat. The times when our ancient ancestors ate vegetables according to some theories was when they were in desperate need of food in times of starvation. At times when meat was plentiful, say after a big kill, these ancient hunter gatherer tribes would feast on the meat for weeks on end. Vegetables became obsolete at times like these. The bottom line is that our bodies can adapt much more easily than we might think. Your body could switch from a vegetable based diet to a purely meat only diet for bodybuilding with minimal difficulties if needed.
There are a few misconceptions about meat based diets however. First of all, all meat diets do not cause long term ketosis as it was once thought. For the first few weeks of an all meat diet you might have extra ketones in your urine. Do not be surprised. This is just your body adapting to the new diet and this is a necessary step needed in doing so. Most people that consume carbs in their diets are used to burning sugars or simple carbs as fuel but need to adapt to burning the fats found in meats as fuel instead. In the first few weeks your body will need some time to adjust to burning ketones as fuel instead.
Other Misconceptions about meat only diets for bodybuilding
It is also widely believed that you need carbs because your brain can only run on glucose. It is 100 percent true that parts of your brain are dependent on glucose however your body can efficiently convert protein and fat (both abundant nutrients in meat) into glucose through gluconeogenesis. You simply need to consume enough meat to keep this process going and if you do you wont lose any muscle mass.
There is also this preconceived notion that high protein diets are dangerous because they can be harmful to your kidneys. However some would argue that this sort of diet is just as harmful to your kidneys as a diet rich in carbs. Eating simple carbs such as sugars in large amounts like most Americans do is horrible for your kidneys over time. Filtering out blood that is high in sugar is the primary cause of diabetes which is a growing epidemic. Protein based diets are natural from an evolutionary perspective. This means our bodies (our kidneys included) are adapted to consuming high levels of proteins.
Carbs to Protein
This process of converting from diets involving carbs to a protein based diet is natural, however keep in mind that it is going to be seriously uncomfortable in the first week or so of adapting to the new diet. You might feel low on energy because your body will be scrambling for a new way to burn substance for fuel. Your digestion might also slow down and you may experience constipation. However once this process of converting to the new diet is over you will feel like fresh and energetic.
The best way to go about a meat only diet for bodybuilding is to be sure you eat the right meats and the best quality meats as well. Chicken meat, tuna, salmon, and turkey are some of the best meats you can consume. Steak and red meats in general perfectly fine to eat however, it is best that you only eat steak or red meat once a day or maybe every other day. Red meat has been known to cause long term problems with your health if you eat it too frequently.
Also make sure that the meat you eat is of top quality. Eating grass fed, 100 percent organic, free range meat is preferred over cheap processed meats. What you put in your body is what you get out. Therefore if you consume poor quality meat constantly you cant expect the gains to be as sizable as they would be with organic meat. That’s not to say that eating the low quality meat wont pack on size for you. If it has the right amount of protein it will work.
Lastly don’t be shy of fats. As mentioned before, once your body adapts to the meat only diet for bodybuilding, it will start to use the fats as its primary fuel source instead of carbs. That being said, never be afraid to load up on the fatty meats such as chicken thighs. Fats are your friend.
You also shouldn’t be concerned about eating too much. If you over do it by a huge amount, you will likely put on some weight but not anywhere close to the sheer amount of weight that you would put on by overeating with a carb rich diet. Eating a meat only diet for bodybuilding is fantastic for cutting down because without the carbs in your diet it is much more difficult to put on fat. Ultimately through meat only diet for bodybuilding, you should be able to inch your body fat percentage down to under 10 percent easy.
That’s another thing they’ll try to stuff down your throat. They will tell you that protein catabolism speeds up on this diet. What they also fail to mention is that at the same time, protein syntehsis ALSO speeds up. My belief is that the breaking down of protein is due to the de-junking of cells, something I read from a doctor a while back. The extra protein synthesis is due to the higher amount of protein in the diet (which is NOT dangerous by the way) and 1. the higher overall adrenaline amount (not adrenaline/cortisol flashes, this is totally different) and 2. the much higher human growth hormone in the blood. Yes, if you want a natural way to seriously boost HGH, an all meat, high fat diet is the way to do it.
I love fatty chicken thighs. I eat up to 10 a day. This is about 3500 calories and 220 grams of fat. Make sure you eat the skin, soak them in the left over grease and make sure you check the packaging. Some places, like wal-mart, add sugar to their “fresh” meat.
There are studies that proclaim that eating meat is potentially harmful for your body. Based on research and my past experience with eating meat however, I have never had any problems with the diets.
However, it is good to at least know of some of the concerns that people have involving diets heavy on meats so that you can decide for yourself whether or not this diet is best for you.
Risk Of Cancer
There are studies that show that some meats have been linked to a higher rate of cancer. Processed meats such as sausage, salami, hot dogs, and bacon typically are the most likely to give you cancer if you consume these foods frequently enough. The most common of cancers include breast prostate and colon cancer.
Red meat is next on the list of cancer causing foods. There have been studies that show that there may be some connection between red meats and cancer. However there is not as strong of a correlation as processed meats.
As far as other meats such as chicken and fish go, the research is a bit more indecisive. All in all it should be safe to say that these meats shouldn’t be of much concern.
Increased Risk Of Heart Disease
Cardiovascular disease is still the number one killer in America. Some argue that this heart disease is so common because Americans have diets that are high in meat. There is some research that supports these claims however it is not necessarily the meats that are the killers but the high levels of cholesterol found in some meats that is the real killer. Bottom line is to keep your heart happy and healthy, try to avoid foods and meets that are high in cholesterol if you can.
Meat Makes You Obese (or so they say)
There are general claims that meat makes you obese that have been floating around for years. There is some truth to these claims.
One famous study found that meat eaters are 3 times more likely to be overweight then vegetarians. However, you must keep in mind that the “meat eaters” of these studies are people who consume other foods besides meats such as carb rich greasy foods.
People who solely eat meats typically experience a different outcome.
Higher Likelyhood Of Food Poisoning
People are hospitalized for food poisoning and other food born sicknesses overwhelmingly because of meats. People are considerably less likely to become sick from foodborne illnesses by eating vegetable rich diets.
However, foodborne illnesses such as food poisoning typically are the result of eating poor quality meats or undercooked meats. That being said it is recommended that you eat organic, high quality meats. Also be sure to cook them well done to avoid risk of sickness.
Possible Increased Risk In Early Death
America is the top meat eating country in the entire world. As a result, the country has on average the earliest age of death. In other countries where people eat less meat the average age of death later than in the united states.
Coincidence? Maybe…Maybe not.
We can’t conclude that meat is the sole cause of this phenomenon. Keep in mind that there are many factors at play here including the availability of quality medicine, the amount of sugar intake here in America, and the amount of exercise people get here compared to other countries around the world. We simply cant conclude that meat is the sole reason for the death rate here in America.
As you can see there have been many studies involving the consumption of meat and its detrimental effects. However it is important to keep in mind that the people studied who eat meat regularly also may drink alcohol regularly. They also may consume other foods that are high in fat, and sugary food.
The health of people who consume meat only diets for bodybuilding has not been as thoroughly documented in the slightest. There likely are some risks to eating a meat only diet for bodybuilding, however there are pros and cons to every diet. Vegan and vegetarian diets are of no exception.
That being said you should do research to see is a meat only diet for body building is best for you. Do some research on your own and discover for your self what body building diet might work best for you.