I Lost 43 Pounds in 2020. This is My Story.

This article is unlike anything I’ve published on my website so I understand a lot of you will have no interest in what I say here. However, a LOT of people have reached out asking to hear more about my weight loss story after posting about it on Instagram. Rather than continue with my copy and paste reply I figured I’d take a deep dive and explain as much as I can about how I lost 43 pounds and felt a decade younger during the craziness of 2020. I want to emphasize that I’m not an expert on any of this, this isn’t advice by any means, and I’m just sharing my journey and what has worked really well for me. I can only share my perspective gained from my research and my actual results from my journey. Rather than sticking to a progressive timeline, I figured it would be easier to break this article up into topics.

My Health/Weight Pre-Business

Growing up, I was always relatively skinny. I was above average athletic and never had a problem with weight. We very rarely ate out as a family. I remember always having a protein and two sides on our dinner plates. One of the sides was always a vegetable. As a kid, I snacked on candy but never went without the nutrition of simple one-ingredient foods. That continued until my mid 20’s. In the two or three years prior to starting my business I not only had a physically active job but I loved strength training. I rarely stepped on a scale but I do remember seeing 175 when I was pretty lean and muscular. That was early 2012-ish.

From 2011 to 2014 my job was maintenance at an apartment complex. I was constantly moving, lifting heavy stuff, painting, contorted in odd shapes to fix stuff, and overall really active. Go, go, go, go, go. As a family, we have always lived within our financial means and at this time we could rarely afford to eat out. While eating at home we weren’t full blown “health conscious” but we were a little more mindful of the junk we ate. I had no problem maintaining a “healthy” weight.

My Weight Gain And Health Decline After Starting My Business

I started JCC in the summer of 2012 when I was 25 years old (digital stuff started in December 2012, with this website coming in March 2013). Our household income started to increase slightly which allowed some budget breathing room to eat out a bit more. On August 22nd, 2014, I quit my full-time maintenance job to pursue JCC full time. From 2012 to the spring of 2020 both my wife’s career and JCC continuously grew. For us, growth meant more time restrictions and a shift toward convenience. In regards to food, greater convenience generally means decreased nutrition and increased exposure to non-natural ingredients.

We ate out a lot. And by a lot, I mean a LOT. We live in Mississippi. You can’t throw a stone without hitting a delicious food offering. Our favorite is Mexican food. Here’s a horrible statistic for you; Within a single month we ate the same Mexican restaurant three nights in a row, twice. I used to tell that to people as I professed my love for delicious Mexican food. It can be argued how healthy the actual food is or isn’t by the ingredients and the way it’s cooked but what can’t be argued is how lethargic and miserable I felt after stuffing my face with way too much of it. But hey, the food was great!

Not regularly exercising and the career change to working from home resulted in a big decrease in daily physical activity. Working from home also introduced the convenience of food being a few feet away at all times. We stocked nothing but junk food. Basically, everything you see in the center aisles in a typical grocer store I now consider junk and I then considered food. Anything in a box or a can stored on a shelf. It’s all processed with a list of ingredients a paragraph long. From 2012 to 2016-ish I went from a lean and muscular 175 to my highest weight on the scale of 210 pounds. An obvious increase in body fat and an obvious decrease in muscle mass. I’ve maintained 205-210 since 2016 and when I began my 43-pound loss in June 2020, I remember seeing 208. So 208 is the starting number I consider for the 43-pound loss I’m referring to.

It’s not all about weight though. In fact, my change was barely about weight. What pushed me over the edge was more of the fact that I was sick and tired of being sick and tired with nothing I previously tried being sustainable. I got headaches a few times per week and couldn’t figure out the cause. Every time I ate a meal I’d be sleepy and sluggish afterward. To correct that I’d drink sugar-rich caffeinated drinks. That was the quick fix that spiked my energy levels but shortly after that came the crash again. It was a never-ending energy up and down yo-yo cycle. Unnatural really high artificial energy (120%), unnatural really low lack of energy (30%). Over, and over, and over, and over. Never a consistent natural 95-100% energy level. After every meal, I’d get the munchies. It was odd, the more I was stuffed the more I craved junk. On the drive home from stuffing my face at a restaurant, I’d usually stop by a gas station to get a soda and a piece of candy or a bag of chips. I developed a very unhealthy relationship with food. Beyond the food itself, the volume of junk I consumed and the rate at which I consumed it was not a mutually beneficial relationship. I was a slave to the crap I was eating. It was an addiction and I didn’t see it that way.

Diet vs W-O-E

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, diet is defined as (a) food and drink regularly provided or consumed or (d) a regimen of eating and drinking sparingly so as to reduce one’s weight. So while technically a diet is just the food someone consumes I think everyone, including myself, associates the word diet with the (d) listing. Everyone associates a diet with the desired end result of losing weight. That’s backward thinking. The mindset and perspective are from the destination looking back. Saying “I want to lose 40 pounds” is being at the end of the tunnel looking backward and not focusing on how you get there. It’s easy to get off track simply from a perspective standpoint.

For that reason, I don’t like to use the word diet when referring to a lifestyle change. Instead, I like to talk about a Way-Of-Eating (WOE). If it’s a true lifestyle change, or WOE, then it isn’t necessarily about a weight number going up or down, or the destination. A WOE isn’t about the result but rather the input to the equation. And if the input is in line then the result will work itself out. Being concerned with the input will have a MUCH greater impact on the actual outcome than being concerned with the outcome itself. So something may start out as a diet but then become a WOE.

James Clear, an author and speaker focused on habits, decision-making, and continuous improvement, talks about this in his book Atomic Habits. He explains that the best way to develop a habit is to define and try to become the person necessary to get to the end result desired. If you want success your goal shouldn’t be to be a successful person but rather to be the type of person who does the things required to be successful. I don’t recall the where or the who but I read a doctor’s reply to a comment that came from the same input based perspective. In regards to his medical practice perspective, he said something along the lines of “People who try to lose weight so they can get healthy will fail. People who get healthy so that they can lose weight will succeed because they genuinely feel better.” This is focusing on the input rather than the destination. My journey is proof of this concept. Every time I tried to lose X amount of pounds I was either not successful or the work I completed was short-lived when the diet was completed. These yo-yo weight cycles were all diet-based and not based upon lifestyle changes or a WOE. The diet or exercise changes I made were not as valuable as a WOE or lifestyle change.

Exercise vs Nutrition

I always subscribed to the notion of weight loss being 100% a net negative in calorie intake vs burned. To lose weight, just intake less calories or increase calories burned. I always thought that was it. Bottom line, end of the argument, nothing more. But there’s waaaaaaay more to it than just that sentence. Here are two scenarios that can be true. 100% of your calories for the week come from Little Debbie snacks and drinking diet soda and you lose weight with increased exercise. 100% of your calories for the week come from one ingredient foods like beef, bell pepper, and squash and drinking water and you lose weight by increased exercise. Which of those scenarios do you think will be easier? In which of those scenarios do you think you will feel better? Of course, it will be with the one ingredient foods. So while technically speaking, you will be able to lose weight by eating complete junk food it won’t be easy and sustainable. You will likely feel like crap because you aren’t getting the nutrients that are necessary to thrive. There’s far more to the equation than simply calorie in vs calorie burned. I don’t say that from a nutritionist perspective. I say that from a common-sense perspective.

It’s technically true that you can lose weight by exercising more. The bigger truth is that you can’t out-exercise a poor diet. Not in the long run anyway. Contrary to only adopting a physically fit, exercise filled lifestyle, you can increase overall heath and decrease excess body fat by only adopting a nutritionally rich, low non-natural food lifestyle. Please don’t confuse what I’m saying here. There are obvious benefits to exercise. But I think it’s safe to say that you can’t out-exercise a poor diet or WOE.

None Of This Worked

I don’t like a lot of vegetables. Simple stuff like most beans, corn, potatoes, lettuce is what I actually like. Stuff like cabbage, squash, broccoli, and spinach always made me gag. I’d rather go hungry. My wife was a vegetarian from 2015-2020 and during that time we never picked up any meat when grocery shopping. I was essentially vegetarian at home and would always get some kind of meat protein when we ate out. It was easy to accommodate her lifestyle by simply not eating it at home.

During this time my wife lost some weight and she contributed it to a “healthier” lifestyle change by simply not eating meat. Looking back on her experience, we now both agree that the weight loss was likely due to not eating high sugar, processed, and chemical-laden food rather than not eating meat. For most of her vegetarian time, I was a heavy snacker. Cheez-It’s, cookies, potato chips, etc.. They never stood a chance at survival when I was around. She was losing weight, I wasn’t. So I decided to try the vegetarian lifestyle and eat as many vegetables and grains as possible and cut out the junk to lose weight.

We both took it a step further and went vegan with our food. I read into Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s work on preventing and reversing heart disease and bought the cookbook written by his daughters (if I recall correctly). We bought several other vegan cookbooks and started cooking exclusively through these resources. How’d we do? We tried this as a family twice. Neither time lasting more than a month. I simply do not like most vegetables and was ALWAYS hungry eating high carbohydrate based meals. For a few weeks, I adopted Dr. Esselstyn’s breakfast routine of a huge bowl of oats and fruit for breakfast. It was a struggle to eat because it was so much food. This was actually a delicious breakfast but it resulted in me being incredibly hungry an hour or two later. Not all the food was bad. A whole-wheat veggie sub sandwich was delicious!

Why was I constantly hungry when I was eating not only “super-healthy” foods but an increased volume of food overall? A lot of the vegan based healthy foods have a high amount of fiber in them. Isn’t fiber supposed to fill you up and make you satiated? Why am I not experiencing these effects? The same was true for my wife. Our nutrition intake was in line with the most popular vegan cookbooks, we weren’t enjoying our meals, and both of us were constantly hungry.

The vegan lifestyle didn’t work for us. The argument we got the most when discussing with vegan friends is either (a) you weren’t eating the correct, nutrient-dense foods or (b) you weren’t eating enough food. This puzzles me because I was following highly rated vegan cookbooks and eating all the time, yet always feeling hungry. A high carbohydrate lifestyle didn’t work for me. I ate horrible tasting vegetables for weeks trying to re-train my taste buds. Nope, not for me. The elimination of junk food did make me feel better overall though.

Exercise more, more, MORE! This goes back to the saying that you can’t out exercise a poor diet. Over the past five years I’ve tried to get back into the routine of regular exercise but failed over and over. Cardio, strength training, low resistance bodyweight stuff all had the same outcome. Great for a week but lost interest before a routine was established.

We had the “we’re ARE going to change our lives” talk and bought a Peloton bike to burn off the extra weight. We had the bike for a year and a few months. I even completed a 30-day streak of riding the bike every day. During those 30 days, I didn’t see any difference in weight or body composition. Why? Because my nutrition at the time was in line with the Standard American Diet (SAD). My wife used the bike just as much as I did. After a solid month of it collecting dust, we realized it was another fad for us and we sold it. That was a bad investment. Another health failure.

Finding The Keto/Carnivore Nutrition WOE

In March of 2020, interacting with the world became strange due to the virus circulating. No explanation needed. Around that same time, two things peaked my interest; I became more interested in cooking and the keto/carnivore WOE. Keto is an elimination diet. You eliminate or drastically reduce the number of carbohydrates you consume. This switches your body to burning either stored fat or consumed fat for its primary source of energy rather than consumed carbohydrates. I’ve always loved all kinds of meats and I had plenty of body fat to burn for fuel so I decided to give it a try.

I pitched the idea of getting a Kamado Joe grill to my wife with the bonus of being able to use it as an outdoor oven to bake stuff like bread. She gave in and we got the base model Kamado Joe Classic. I started gradually buying meat again and cooking almost all of my meals on it. Smoked baked potatoes, reverse seer steaks, grilled corn on the cob. Not only was the food great but I fell in love with cooking again. After eating more meat I was satiated more frequently and would go long periods of time lacking hunger and I generally felt better. How much of this was due to the elimination of processed junk and how much, if any, was due to the meat?

In June of 2020, I made an intentional effort to eat “better” by eating one ingredient foods and trying the keto WOE. I immediately stumbled upon the carnivore community on Instagram. The Carnivore WOE is an even more restrictive keto elimination diet. Eliminate all plants and consume only nutrients from an animal. Some include dairy as well. Considering the fact that I’ve always loved meat I thought it would be a fun and enjoyable experiment to “go carnivore.” I was right!

I quickly read a few books. First, the book Lies My Dr. Told Me by Dr. Ken Berry. Second, The Carnivore Code by Dr. Paul Saladino. And currently, Carnivore Cure by Judy Cho. All three are interesting reads and go completely against the traditional recommendations for nutrition.

When I started following the carnivore WOE I noticed a bunch of little changes that added up to a big difference. While I was never depressed by any means, I was generally much happier and in a better mood. Less irritable or hangry, as my wife calls it. I was enjoying the food I ate, always eating until full, rarely hungry between meals, and always satisfied with the food. I thought that the pain in the joints of my fingers was due to being on a computer so much and typing all the time. I thought it was arthritis and just something I had to deal with. Nope, completely gone. Bloating and constant gas, gone. Increased mobility. Headaches, drastically reduced. An increased constant supply of energy. Benefit after benefit after benefit with not one negative. I take that back, the only negative I’ve found is the way other people treat you due to what you are eating. People think you’re going to kill yourself by eating the way our ancestors did and the way some populations always have and still do.

I was never hungry but I was losing weight. From some time in June 2020, to early November 2020 I lost 43 pounds and hit 165 on the scale. It was effortless and enjoyable. All through nutrition and not exercise. The exact opposite of broccoli and a treadmill. Again, I 100% knowledge the benefits of exercise.

During this time my wife noticed the transformation in me and decided to eat meat again. Currently, she does eat carbs from time to time but our dietary rolls seem to have flipped. Where I once didn’t buy meat and cooked vegetarian stuff at home she now doesn’t have restrictions on the grocery shopping and eats whatever I cook. I do cook some vegetables for her from time to time but I’d say she consumes 90% meat now. Going from a SAD/vegetarian diet for five years to keto/carnivore she’s noticed a decrease in stomach bloating and was able to lose the 8-ish pounds that never seemed to go away. She tells people the biggest thing she noticed is not being exhausted after getting home from work. More of a constant state of energy all day.

What Do You Eat?

Basic stuff. Realy basic stuff. I always cook eggs and either bacon or sausage for my daughter and wife for breakfast. If I eat breakfast it’s usually because I give in to the smell of the bacon and I’ll eat it. Every now and then I’ll eat some eggs but I don’t crave them. I always feel better if I don’t eat breakfast. I usually only eat 2 meals a day so if I eat breakfast I won’t be hungry for lunch and forget about it. If I skip breakfast I’ll get hungry around 1 pm or 2 pm. A few hamburger patties, a steak, or anything leftover in the fridge is fair game for lunch. For supper, I try to give my wife the option. I could eat the same thing every day but she gets bored with food easily. Pork ribs, chicken quarters, steaks, dry brine chuck roast, hamburger patties, taco meat, shredded chicken or beef seasoned for fajitas, beef brisket, etc.. All just one item meals. Very basic stuff and we all feel great. I do try to stick with beef though. I noticed I feel the best eating more beef. At the time of writing this, our entire family just drinks water now. My wife will have the occasional coffee but she was able to kick her Diet Dr. Pepper habit.

We let our daughter eat whatever she wants so long as it’s not processed junk. Her favorite meal is steak and her requested snacks between meals are generally a piece of fruit. Bananas and pears are her favorite. To see more, follow my Instagram food account. @jaybates86food


I never thought I’d talk about poop on this website but here we are. It’s a necessary part of life. I’ll keep it short but feel free to skip to the next section if you can’t stop giggling because I said poop. My research indicates that people go to extremes with bowel movements (BM) when adapting to a carnivore WOE. Some get bad constipation or some get bad diarrhea. My wife got diarrhea and I got the other, kinda? During the five months of losing weight, I not only had decreased BM frequency but also volume. I never felt like I was constipated I just simply rarely had to go and when I did it wasn’t much. This was the exact opposite of when I tried a one-ingredient plant-based diet. Plants felt like they went right through me. Maybe there’s a much higher rate of absorption with meat vs plants? Maybe the higher nutrient absorption of meats vs the higher percentage of waste with plans explains a little bit about reduced hunger eating meat and constant hunger eating plants? Maybe???

You’re Going To Die!

My wife and I have realized that no matter what you do with your nutrition there will always be someone who thinks you’re killing yourself. These are almost always from someone who is in far desperate need of taking their own advice then you are. Usually, it is at a family event right before said person consumes their third portion of ding dong cake. Bottom line no matter what you do someone will think it’s wrong. Just do your research and make your own decision. Regarding health, I’ve put less emphasis on what others have told me and more emphasis on what the mirror has told me. The mirror doesn’t lie.

None Of This Makes Sense!?

When I first started to research the carnivore WOE I thought that none of it made any sense. This all goes against everything I’ve previously heard everyone say. How can eating only meat drastically reduce inflammation? I was told that meat causes inflammation. Sounds like it should not only increase it but increase it by a large amount considering it’s the only thing being consumed, right? My experience goes against the traditional narrative of inflammation. I ate only meat for months and everything inflammation related decreased. Same with my wife.

Eating meat causes Cardio Vascular Disease (CVD)? If eating only meat was proven to cause CVD, heart attacks, and strokes then why are there so many people thriving not only in the short term but also after decades of a carnivore WOE? That doesn’t make any sense!

If meat kills you then how did a population like Hong Kong take the #1 spot for average lifespan in 2018 and increased its lead in 2019? Hong Kong appears to have one of the highest meat consumption rates. That doesn’t make sense, does it? Compare that to the most widely vegetarian country in the world, India, with an average lifespan of 69.5 years. That doesn’t make any sense!

Farmers have known for thousands of years that the fastest way to fatten cattle for slaughter is to feed them grains. We have an obesity problem in this country and the USDA has recommended grains be part of a healthy diet for decades. Many of those years the recommendation was 6-11 servings of grains. That doesn’t make sense! Or does it?

Plants are super foods but they go right through me and make me hungry more frequently. Meat is horrible for you but my body absorbs more of it and results in me rarely being hungry. That doesn’t make sense!

There seems to be an epidemiology study out there to support any idea you want to support. Meat is bad, you can find a study for that. Meat is good, you can find a study for that. Sugar is good, you can find a study for that. Sugar is bad, you can find a study for that. Please correct me if I’m wrong but epidemiology studies are essentially surveys based upon user input rather than measured tests. The argument against them is that epidemiology studies have both healthy user bias and unhealthy user bias in reporting and the results show correlation and not causation. There’s a big difference between correlation and causation. Visit Spurious Correlations for some entertaining facts derived from correlation.

One more thing that doesn’t make sense according to traditional nutrition advice is the fact that an entire community of people adopting a carnivore WOE are not only doing great but they are thriving. People are solving all kinds of issues, most often band-aided by pills, by going against mainstream nutrition advice and eating nutrient dense meat. How does that make sense if the meat is bad for you? Just search any of the social media platforms for #carnivore or #carnivorediet. You’ll soon find someone who has been eating that way for decades or even their entire life.


A lot of people in the carnivore community swear by organs as superfoods. Liver makes me gag. I don’t eat organs. Well, that was a quick topic.


I have a life long addiction to caffeine. Specifically sugary soda (pop for my Michigan friends). I remember one year in high school routinely getting out of school at 1pm, stopping by the store and getting a 2 liter of Mountain Dew, and putting the empty bottle in the trash before bed. That’s a LOT of sugar and caffeine! I’ve always been addicted to caffeine. One of the first things to go in June was soda.

To help cut the addiction I started drinking only un-sweet tea. (The easiest way to make it is to get the gallon size Luzianne tea bags and stuff one into a gallon jug of water. Let it sit in the fridge overnight and start drinking it the next day. That’s literally it. No boiling water and no mixing in sugar or any sweeteners. I’d always have gallon #2 “brewing” while I was drinking gallon #1) Some people here in the south essentially have sweet tea on an IV drip. EVERYONE except me loves it. I’ve never liked sweet tea but know regular black tea has caffeine in it. After a few weeks, I actually craved the un-sweet tea and had no desire to drink soda anymore. That’s one change I made that I haven’t slipped up on at all. Every now and then I’ll take a small sip of my wife’s Diet Dr. Pepper and regret it. Too sweet for me.

Around month 3 or so I made the observation that I was a slave to the caffeine in the black tea. I couldn’t get moving in the mornings without the tea. This was mildly upsetting. I’m a slave to an unnatural substance and need it to survive? That aggravated me enough to make the decision that no matter what, I’m removing caffeine from my daily routine. I made a habit of exaggerating my water intake by constantly sipping on a bottle of water throughout the day. A week flew by and I realized I wasn’t needing caffeine anymore. I think this is due to my body getting more adapted to fatty meat-based food consumption. Fat for fuel, not caffeine.

I already noticed a decrease in energy swings when I was in ketosis but the elimination of caffeine emphasized this. I slept better and woke up feeling ready to go more often than not. Since then I’ve had a few super busy days and late nights of little sleep where I drank a cup of coffee in the morning but that’s it. Nothing to develop a habit and always situational like after a night of staying up writing an article or something.


When I have an active schedule it’s natural for me to intermittently fast. For me that basically meant I naturally skipped breakfast a lot. When I had a lot to do I ate less. When I had a lot of physically idle time, like in front of a computer, I would be more inclined to eat. I always cook breakfast for my wife and daughter so the few times I do eat breakfast are when the smell and temptation of fresh bacon are just too much to pass by! If it were up to me and I wasn’t influenced by other people’s lives (family) I’d eat twice a day; lunch around 1-2pm and supper at 6pm. I’d say intermittent fasting did play a role in helping me lose weight and feel better but I didn’t really put an emphasis on it. I just naturally gravitate towards it.

I’m Not Perfect, But I’m Learning

I’m not perfect, and neither are you. I lost 43 pounds in 5 months and feel amazing. Besides the weight, I genuinely feel like I am a heather version of myself. A clear mind with a constant level of energy. I got down to 165 pounds in mid-November and have been steady around 168 since. Around both Thanksgiving and Christmas I gave in to the temptation of eating carbs much more than I’d like to admit. Not healthy vegetables but rather all of the delicious sweets and desserts that our family makes for holidays and events. After eating clean for so long I immediately felt lethargic and overall horrible again every time I ate the junk. It’s OK to slip up but the results just aren’t worth it. I’m writing this on New Years Eve and am already back on track with the WOE that I not only enjoy but also seem to be thriving on. Just know that if you fall off the saddle, pick yourself up, forgive yourself, and get to it!

A Note On Perspective

Perspective can make a huge difference. The day before the final exam of your college career you can either look forward with terror at the exam tomorrow or you can look back and be proud at all the work you’ve accomplished to get to where you are. Either way, you are in the exact same situation but your attitude and feelings are different based upon the perspective you choose. The same holds true with anything you want to accomplish in life, be it nutrition, business, or a personal objective.

My only piece of advice is to not focus on the big picture. Big picture scenarios and tasks are intimidating. If you have 100 pounds to lose how much help is it going to be by constantly reminding yourself that you have a 100-pound, many months-long, high-effort hurdle to cross? If you have a business to start and grow how much help is it going to be by constantly reminding yourself that you’re not bringing in a million dollars and you’re not on year 4 of growth yet? You can worry yourself into depression by thinking about the big picture. One thing that really helped me with both growing my business, as well as this weight loss/health journey, is to focus on today and today only. That’s it. Focus on today. Look at the big picture only as a means to identify what needs to be done. Once you know what needs to be done then the end goal is not your focus anymore. The focus is now on today. The focus is to simply get through today doing what you need to do. Every day’s objective is to stay on track and get through today. When tomorrow comes your objective is to get through today and that’s it. Worrying about the big picture does little for you. Just identify what needs to be done before you go to bed and complete today, every day.

Consider this. I’m writing this on a Thursday night. Looking forward to next Monday feels like so far away but looking back at this past Monday feels like yesterday. Our perspective of the past is always fast. Time flies, right? But our perspective of the future is the opposite. It’s always so far away. Don’t worry about the end result in the future. It will be here faster than you think. Be concerned with getting today’s objectives done, time will fly, and you’ll quickly make progress.


Negativity is around us at all times. Having a support system or support group where you can talk to people about what’s going on, what you’re learning, and how you are responding is very beneficial. Some of you may remember my friend Wayne Brown from a shop tour and a few other videos in the past. Wayne and I started our weight loss/health journeys around the same time but independent of one another. Once we both realized we were on different journeys to the same destination we started to bounce info back and forth. It’s encouraging knowing someone else is going through the same stuff as you are. Constantly learning and adapting. And sometimes it can be competitive, causing more motivation. And not all paths are the same. Wayne is taking a different approach by simply eating simple foods and cutting industrialized junk. I won’t share all of his story, as it is his to tell, but he’s made much greater progress than I have! Kudos to you, Wayne!


I won’t make a recommendation as to what you eat but I will recommend that you do your research and make YOUR decisions based upon what YOU find to be best for YOU. There’s always someone who thinks they know what’s best for you. What’s on your plate is none of my business.

One of my favorite quotes of all time is from Mark Twain. He said “Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.” I’ve loved this quite long before I got interested in any way of eating. To me, It’s basically a call for you to not blindly accept everything you read or are told. Be a critical thinker. We’re all different and you know you best. Do your research and make your own decisions. The goal of this article was to document and present my journey, not tell you what’s right or wrong. The following are just a few people that I found very interesting and inspiring in their own unique way. In no particular order:

@shawnbaker1967 on Instagram. Shawn Baker. Author of The Carnivore Diet.

@primalwellness on Instagram. Asher Adelman is a carnivore based Nutritional Therapist.

@carnivoremd on Instagram. Paul Saladino, MD is the author of The Carnivore Code.

@kelly_hogan91 on Instagram. Kelly Hogan documenting her carnivore lifestyle. Down 120 pounds and thriving.

@thankful.carnivore on Instagram. Brett L. Documenting his transformation of eating only ground beef and bacon for over 800 days. Down 116 pounds and thriving.

Search #carnivore and #carnivorediet on any social media platform you use. I hope this article is in some way helpful to some of you.


  1. Great article and thanks for sharing your journey brother. One aspect of a fully meat diet you didn’t discuss though is the environmental impact. I’d be curious to know your thoughts on that or whether it’s something that just doesn’t bother you as much. Keep on keepin’ on man.

  2. This is awesome Jay. I have watched you for years and am also on this nutritional path myself. It’s amazing the falsehoods we have been fed on nutrition for years!

  3. Eating better is the main focus of the day lately. I have changed my pattern as well. I have lost 12 lbs and am now at 167 at 5′ 5 in. I have already had open hear surgery a year and a half ago. And at 67 soon to be 68, i needed a change. I grew up a sugarholic. Was introduced to chocolate on my 5th birthday and never looked back. But over the years this stuff definitely catches up to us. So i am completely retired now but no way am i sitting on a porch swing sipping coolaid. I walk everyday between 3.5 and 4.5 miles and have been skipping one meal a day, usually lunch for me. My biggest problem these days is feeling the need to snack in the evenings as my busy time begins to wind down. No more sugary snacks tho. Now its popcorn. And tho i’m not losing and have plateaued i will keep tweeking things till i get it where i need it to be. Thanks for the very great topical discussion. All the best !

  4. My daughter tried the keto diet and has lost weight ( Im not asking how much ) So after being on prednisone for 2 1/2 years and putting on more then a few pounds I tried just increasing meat , dairy and protean a small amount and have lost 10 pounds in the last 2 months so it does work and everything else you say appears to be true. Just remember I still eat grains and things I just eat them after they have been processed by a cow !

  5. Your inflamation issues was 100% caused by being a “wheat eater” – Breads, Pastas etc… This is a crucial issue as to why vegans are actually technically less healthy than they think they are. They fill up on bread, pasta, starches and things loaded with sugar… because they are technically all “plant based” but actually processed.

    I too do a modified carnivore thing. Simple foods, simple ingredients. I’ve noticed that if I say that’s what I’m doing, the “fad diet” wording will usually trigger some people. Instead I just explain that I’ve gone back to a more natural whole foods approach our ancestors adopted. (they usually understand that) I say that if I can grow it, pluck it and kill it… that’s what I’m eating. Nothing combined, processed, extracted, fermented etc. So that automatically leaves breads and pastas off the table. And logically, I can handle that and was able to walk away from a lot of hassle in having food shopping anxiety. I buy meat, eggs, bell peppers, onions, and various nuts fruit that I like. That’s it. Well, I do have a coffee vice, once in the morning. But I’m OK with that.

    Side benefit… should the SHTF I’ll still be able to eat the same things, but I’ll have to more than likely provide those resources for myself instead of going to the grocery store. I’ll align with other like-mined community members, and trade ingredients etc.

  6. In 08/2015 l got a very scary diagnosis from my Doc, I found Keto attempting to loose weight and reduce T2 diabetes, BP was WAY high, Triglycerides were literally off the chart. They couldn’t even calculate my Cholesterol. I went strict Keto, lost 65 lbs, no longer T2, BP has been up and down, all other numbers normal. My Doc stated “the most miraculous turn around I have seen in my career as a Doctor” I went down to 165.5 lbs. I stayed pretty strict for the past 5 years.

    I slacked off and I currently have some Covid weight and need to loose about 10 lbs to get back to where I was. I’m back on strict Keto and feeling better already.

    Congrats Jay, good for you buddy.

  7. Hi Jay,

    I relate to many aspects of what you say and have had a very low sugar diet for years and have done the Paleo/Carnivore bit and I will share some of my observations. Beer/bread cereals especially where yeast is used cause me to bloat, a lot; eating mainly protein will result in much smaller poops as the big stuff is normally made of waste fibre and junk etc whereas protein is used more efficiently; be careful not to overdo protein though as it can lead to gout, it is not just food high in purines which causes uric acid, effectively uric acid is a waste product of processing protein (found this out the hard way when supplementing protein for strength training); you do need to eat some vegetables or fibrous matter as humans are omnivores and do require some fibre to “lubricate” the works and keep stools soft and the without it piles can be an issue, also vegetables provide other nutrients the body requires (sadly sounds like you don’t like the good stuff, broccoli and spinach).

    Best of luck with your continued health journey.

  8. What a difference! Very helpful as many think of of goals they wish to achieve around this time of year. Thank you for sharing and the inspiration!

  9. Congratulations jay! I know how tough it can be. I’ve lost close to a hundred pounds this year, cut out all sweets and have successfully done without for a whole year, lots of exercise and watching what I eat. I feel so much better, stronger, healthier!

  10. Thanks for your perspective Jay. You’re thoughts on focusing on ‘input’ are mind opening, a way of looking at a goal I hadn’t considered before.

    Maybe more difficult to put into words is an appreciation for your real talk. It comes across as someone going through this journey of life and sharing an experience we can all related to in some manner. No sales pitch, no forced inspiration – real talk. Thanks.

  11. Thanks for sharing this story, Jay, and congrats on the change in your lifestyle – I bet this is giving you all kinds of energy to try and keep up with that cute little kiddo of yours!


  12. Wow, congratulations on your successful journey. I too lost 41pounds between August and November. Sounds like our plans are very similar. Very similar reasons as well. Not just saying!
    Feels great doesn’t it? You look much better, happier and healthier!
    I think the most difficult part is and will be the maintenance part.

  13. Hello Jay, well done and great report!
    I’m not on a restricted carnivore diet but I eat more animal protein than anything else. Being a veterinarian, I also like to observe how animals behave, and one interesting point is: have you ever seen an over weighted predator?
    Simple observation points that help to answer some of those technical dilemas.
    Eating habits and physical exercises are key to longevity.

  14. Congratulations Jay. I have been “husky” my whole life and can’t stand vegetables. Read the entire post and thank you for the in-depth report. Although, wouldn’t expect anything less from you!

  15. This was awesome Jay. I went keto about 2 years ago and now intermittent fasting…basically one meal a day. I changed because my right thumb was inflamed where I almost couldn’t use that hand. After getting beyond the “keto flu” my energy level was improved and thumb issue resolved itself. Losing excess weight was never the driving force but walking around 25 pounds lighter was also empowering.

    Thanks for sharing and wishing you continued health success and a great 2021!

  16. Yup Keto reset and 2 years later I’m steady for a year at 175 without a minute of exercise, down from 220 in about a year. Jay, I’ve followed you for a long time and love your personal touch, I’m going to build your workbench soon, haha, but really! and thanks for your youtube, site, and now, particularly this story.

  17. If you want to read something else try “Wheat Belly” by Dr William Davis, and some of his other stuff. At worst it’s an interesting read, but it also explains a lot of the “does not make sense” puzzles you have.

  18. EXCELLENT article Jay! After watching one of your videos I got interested in kicking my caffeine consumption. I had some withdrawals for about a week but I am happier now. I have two cups of green tea in the morning and that’s it. Really enjoyed reading your success story. We can all do what we put our minds to.

  19. Up to the point of you starting your keto WOE, I thought i was reading my own life story! Tried and failed at just about every “diet”. Been a month on Noom and already realizing a drearily similar outcome. Your WOE success is inspiring, just like your woodworking!

  20. Great article and awesome about the weight loss! I started doing Keto in September and lost 30 pounds in 3 months. I feel much better and still have about 10 more to lose though. I have also been fasting and have found that my BMs are a little out of whack and my first meal tends to go right through me. :) I might try adding a fiber supplement to see if that will help.
    Keep it up!

  21. Jay, well written, congratulations on your health and thank you for the perspective!

    I too have stopped all the junk food and have gone through the sugar withdrawals. Was never really a soda junkie but high calorie beer is my downfall. Now every once in awhile I have a 55 calorie near beer. To be honest, I miss it a lot!

    My motivation was not to lose weight – although I’m down 17 pounds – but to keep the threat of Type 2 diabetes from encroaching on my 64 year old body. So far so good and I’m getting used to the alfalfa out in the back pasture

    Keep it up because I love seeing your smiling, cheerful face on your videos.

    Happy New Year!

  22. Jay,

    Read the post you have put up regarding the lifestyle change you and your family have experienced.
    CONGRATULATIONS!! Totally agree with the idea that we all need to find what WOE works for each of us. In past years I, and some friends have gone on extended canoe trips in remote areas. No refrigeration, so next to no fresh food. Food was all carefully selected, for ease of storage, packaging and energy content. Virtually no pre-packaged “factory food”. Lots of exercise, fresh air and generally high calorie, high energy meals. I’ve always returned from the weeks in the outdoors a slight bit lighter, definitely in need of a shave and shower, but also feeling energized and physically fit. Presently I’m 70, workout on average 5 times a week, retired working part time at a physically demanding job.
    I agree 100% that it’s important to not only find the WOE that works for you but also the WOL (way of living).
    I applaud your straight up approach not only to the many projects you’ve presented over the years but also to life on a larger scale. Keep up the good work!
    All the best to you and your family in the New Year.

  23. Interesting article, Jay. I decided to redo what I did in 2005. Plus add some new ideas. When I started on what we over here in Scandinavia called LCHF (even before that name had caught on – Low Carb High Fat), very few was doing it. So, several warned me. But after 3 months, I lost 17 kg and was coming back to my early adult weight. Like you, Jay, I felt great.
    This time, I will also include so called intermittendt fasting, using the 18/6 type. (Eating only during a 6 hours window – usuallsy only two meals – at 12 (noon) and around 17 – 18 (afternoon).

    Best wishes and happy new year,

    Ole in Norway

  24. Thanks for sharing your journey! I was surprised to see this post in my email and it is just what I needed at this moment. Perfect timing! Food addiction has been the most difficult thing in my life, but recently it has gotten to the point where when my wife comes home with take out it feels like a drug deal is happening. I now weigh 402lbs which is too much for my 6’2″ frame. I feel like death. I will be doing keto and completely cutting out the processed foods. Thanks for being an inspiration!

  25. I remember one of your videos several years ago and you mentioned that you designed your garbage bin in your kitchen to hold 3 Little Caesar’s pizza boxes! I, like you felt horrible and began the KETO diet and have lost 24 pounds in a little less than 3 months. It’s amazing how easy it is when you actually enjoy the food you eat. Keep up the good work!

  26. dude that’s so dope. i’ve heard a lot about the carnivore thing around now. super cool to see it work.

    good shit.

    since we are talking health though, for what it’s worth, def maybe monitor cholesterol. not a doctor though so really don’t know.

    i think one of our biggest mistakes is assuming what works for one person will work for someone else. like there’s ‘one’ diet for everyone. when really looking back, people came up from all different areas that required them to eat different diets.

    this is awesome though. congrats.

  27. Good stuff, thanks for posting! I like your strait forward, no holds barred approach. Congratulations on your success!


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