Meat Belly™ is obtained by eating a high protein diet composed primarily of meat and other animal products, whilst performing high intensity strength training several times weekly. Intermittent fasting adds to the Meat Belly™ effect but not everyone will need to do intermittent fasting to get a Meat Belly™.
In contrast to a Meat Belly™, a "wheat belly" is obtained by eating a diet composed primarily of carbohydrates such as grains, beans, potatoes, and fruits.
When I ate a high carbohydrate, low fat, vegan diet, I had a "wheat belly" despite practicing 16 hours of fasting daily and performing high intensity strength training several times weekly.
A "wheat belly" has a thick layer of fat, and the intestines are bloated due to fermentation of indigestible fiber, starches and sugars provided by wheat and other grains, beans, peas, lentils, potatoes, and many fruits.
A Meat Belly™ has little fat layer, but a thick layer of very strong abdominal, oblique, and erector spinal muscles. A Meat Belly™ does not have gas-bloated intestines, or a load of undigested plant matter in it.
1. Eat a whole foods animal-based diet.
The more fat you eat, the less body fat you burn, so you the leaner the meat you eat, the faster you lose body fat. However, you also need some fat for taste and satiety. To lose fat faster, eat leaner meats; to lose fat more slowly, eat fatter meats. Find your own sweet spot. I offer coaching if you need help finding that sweet spot.
High calcium intake from dairy increases fat loss when part of a energy-restricted diet.1, 2 For calcium, I highly recommend 1-2 pints of full-fat yogurt or whole milk daily. These provide 24-48 g of carbohydrate as lactose, which improves gut flora and increases calcium absorption. You can substitute 1.5 ounces of aged cheese for a half-pint of yogurt or whole milk, but you don't get the benefit of lactose.
If you don't use yogurt or milk, I suggest taking 1 tsp of bone meal powder daily to ensure adequate calcium intake, and also drink a cup of bone broth daily.
Bone broth is less important if you eat sufficient dairy but you can include some even if you eat dairy.
AVOID: ALL PLANT-BASED FATS/OILS, nuts, seeds, grains, bread, pasta, flour products, cereals, beans, peas, lentils, potatoes (white and sweet), winter squashes, etc., and all types of sugar (including maple syrup, honey, agave, sorghum, etc.). All of these – especially the plant-based oils, nuts and seeds – will slow down fat loss.
When in doubt, leave it out.
Animal products eaten nose-to-tail contain all the nutrients humans require, because animals have the same nutrient requirements as humans. Yes, you can get vitamin C from animal products, especially milk (yes, including pasteurized) and also meat (especially liver) eaten raw or rare.
BEWARE: When you first switch to the Meat Belly™ carnivorous way of eating, you will go through a transition phase for several weeks.
If you have eaten a higher carbohydrate diet for many moons, it may take some time to adapt to a lower carbohydrate diet. You might feel a little sluggish during this adaptation period.
During this time, your insulin level will drop and you will as a result have increased urination, resulting in mineral losses. This can tank your energy and result in dehydration, muscle cramps and insomnia.
You may use both sodium and potassium salt to taste. Potassium intake is more likely to be marginal on an animal-based diet, particularly if you eat mostly grilled meats which may result in loss of potassium-rich juices. Morton's salt substitute is potassium chloride.
You can also add 1/2 to 1 tsp. of potassium citrate to some of your drinking water during this phase. It costs only 12 cents per 1/2 teaspoon which provides about 1100 mg potassium. It imparts a slightly tart flavor to water. There is some evidence that potassium citrate can support improvements in bone density and protect against kidney stones.
It is also important to ensure adequate magnesium intake during this period. Low magnesium intake can lead to low energy, insomnia, cramps and constipation.
Historically, drinking water has been one of our main sources of magnesium. However, efforts to "soften" water reduce its magnesium content. Magnesium content of water also varies with water source.
Magnesium supplements are inexpensive; powdered magnesium citrate gives a pleasant tangy taste to water, provides citrate (precursor to bicarbonate; may protect against kidney stones) in addition to magnesium, and costs only about 5 cents per 1/2 teaspoon supplying 250 mg elemental magnesium. I recommend that you take a minimum of 200 mg of magnesium in supplemental form during your transition to a carnivore diet, more if you tend to be constipated. Take 1/2 to 1 tsp. daily to maintain bowel regularity.
I also recommend one other food supplement for the Meat Belly™ Diet. You would not need this supplement if you consume 1.5 to 2 ounces of beef liver several times weekly. If you don't eat this amount of liver, you can take 3-5 g of desiccated beef liver. I typically use 1/2-1 tablespoon of NOW desiccated Argentinian beef liver ($0.19 per serving/d), or 2-4 Uni-Liver Tablets ($0.12-0.24 per day).
To summarize the recommended supplements and costs:
Total: $0.37 per day
If you have any trouble deciding what to eat, use this Meat Belly™ decision tree.
3. Train: Do a brief hard basic bodybuilding strength training routine such as the Get Strong! routine thrice weekly.
That's the Meat Belly™Diet Plan in a nutshell. Join the Meat Belly™ revolution today!
1. Stonehouse W, Wycherley T, Luscombe-Marsh N, Taylor P, Brinkworth G, Riley M. Dairy Intake Enhances Body Weight and Composition Changes during Energy Restriction in 18-50-Year-Old Adults-A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients. 2016;8(7):394. Published 2016 Jul 1. doi:10.3390/nu8070394
2. Ilich JZ, Kelly OJ, Liu PY, et al. Role of Calcium and Low-Fat Dairy Foods in Weight-Loss Outcomes Revisited: Results from the Randomized Trial of Effects on Bone and Body Composition in Overweight/Obese Postmenopausal Women. Nutrients. 2019;11(5):1157. Published 2019 May 23. doi:10.3390/nu11051157
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