The Carnivore Diet – As Dangerous As It Sounds

The Carnivore Diet – As Dangerous As It Sounds?

In the wake of ketogenic, paleolithic and mediterranean diets, a contender has appeared. The ‘carnivore’ diet is just as it says, a diet compromised either entirely or almost entirely of meat. There are many vocal critics of this lifestyle, many of them are ironically vegans/vegetarians.

In terms of deficiencies, carnivorous diets are actually a little bit easier to maintain. Zinc and Iron are found in copious amounts inside red meat, as is creatine, meaning you are going to notice an increase in your strength. Many vegans need to eat food or supplements that has been specifically formulated to compensate for the incomplete amino acid profile present in vegan diets, luckily meat doesn’t have to be tampered with in the same way to have a complete amino acid profile. One of the only nutrients you may struggle to get enough of on the carnivore diet is Vitamin C. This is not particularly abundant in meat and should be kept into consideration. If you are worried about short term vitamin C deprivation, you should consider ingesting it naturally via something like the occasional glass of orange juice.

So what are the benefits of eating exclusively meat vs other food groups, and what are the negatives?

Benefits:

It is much easier to track your calories as generally speaking the variety of food you’ll be consuming will be restricted to very specific things such as ribeye cuts of beef (high in fat, which is vital for energy during a diet this restrictive.), fish for important omegas, and chicken/turkey/ham for some lean protein.

Meat is incredibly high in protein.

Meat is MUCH leaner than other foods and generally has far less calories than carb heavy foods such as potatoes and bread.

The high fat in this diet may cause a significant testosterone boost. So much so there are individual accounts of people assessing the presence of the hormone in their blood and finding up to a 290% increase of its presence.

Downsides:

High levels of saturated fat can be present in non-fish based meats, so it’s important to take a break from the intense levels of fat occasionally, however don’t forego the fat altogether as you need it to maintain some level of energy. Maintaining a careful balance is important as saturated fats are believed to be linked to heart disease. (however there is a huge diversity of opinion surrounding this information and numerous studies tend to have mixed results)
Whilst a lot of the studies around saturated fat have turned up with mixed results, there is a reasonable enough amount of suspicion surrounding it.

It is an incredibly restrictive diet, as such it can be hard to stick to or follow. This diet is recommended for people who have experience dieting in the past or people who have a fairly strong level of mental constitution.

This diet commands a relatively higher level of involvement in terms of keeping an eye on how you feel/your mood/your sleeping patterns as the drastic change in the composition of your macronutrient profile will most certainly cause some fluctuations in your hormones at first.

The Free Running Physique – How Useful Is This Sport?

The Free Running Physique – How Useful Is This Sport?

It’s definitely not at the top of the list in terms of recommendations by personal trainers, but free running, parkour and even tricking can be a great way to build a fairly even combination of explosive power & functional strength. Practicing “lines” or “routes” (a common term among practitioners for aligning a particular set of moves/skills in a particular order and then carrying them out) will expend a tremendous deal of energy.

As someone who has participated in a variety of sports and physical hobbies, from skateboarding to muay thai – parkour is by far the most exhausting alongside tricking. There have been many times where I have had to physically take a half hour break from training and load up on carbs and protein just to be able to continue training. The lowest body fat I have ever been (<10%) was when i wasn’t particularly watching what i was eating at all, but training parkour every day or second day and muay thai occasionally. Tricking was less taxing on my muscles but far more exhausting in terms of cardiovascular endurance. One back flip isn’t particularly exhausting, but 3 or 4 in a row thrown in with order manoeuvres and tricks can leave you feeling like you’ve just ran 5 miles in 30 seconds.

If you’re struggling to find motivation to train and are looking for a fun way to lose weight and gain muscle you might want to look around for local hotspots, over the years parkour parks and tricking academies have been popping up all over Europe, The UK and The US. these sports are just as sociable as sports such as MMA or Football and tend to have much smaller and subsequently closer communities.

The downsides of this sport are somewhat limited depending on your own personality. One of the most important things about parkour is gradual progression – you don’t go from jump a meter distance to jumping a 2 meter distance overnight – you work up to it gradually, never attempting something you are confident is outwidth the confines of your ability. You must consistently improve and drill and reach new heights, but not to the point of recklessness. Younger and more immature practitioners have a tendency to learn these mistakes the hard way, although most do not. Another major downside is that recovery time, especially in beginners is pretty long. Whilst most people practicing parkour are doing it as a hobby rather than a form of exercise, it’s generally pretty advisable after a HEAVY day of training (read: over 5 hours) to take anywhere up to 3 days off until you feel like you have the energy and strength to perform at the same capacity as you previously were.

The harsh recovery period related to parkour is largely due to the fact that when most people practice it, they tend to devote an entire day of it. As it is both a hobby and a social sport, it’s easy to spend all day with your friends having fun. You can help speed up your recovery period by ensuring that you ingest plenty of protein either through meat or through protein shakes. You should also strive to have a relatively nutritionally complete diet and get PLENTY of sleep so you don’t find yourself in a position where you are too weak to train when all your friends are out and having fun.