The Carnivore Diet and Intermittent Fasting | An Interview with William Chin
I love learning about people’s diets and health journeys, and I’m super excited that William Chin, agile web consultant and experienced dieter, has agreed to do an interview with me to tell us more about his health journey, experience with the carnivore diet, and more.
Can You Tell Us a Bit About Your Diet and Health History?
WC: I’ve tried a number of diets, including keto, caveman, intermittent fasting, Atkins, carnivore and an egg-based diet. Out of all the diets I’ve tried, intermittent fasting has worked the most successfully for me and fits my lifestyle the most efficiently. However, the carnivore diet did help me lose a tremendous amount of weight. It also allowed me to look and feel good as well.
What Did Your Carnivore Diet Look Like During Your Experiment?
WC: Here’s how the diet went: I would usually start every morning with a three-egg omelette with low-fat milk, some feta cheese and a little bit of mozzarella. This would leave me full until lunch. Most carnivore diets frown upon using caffeine and other stimulants or no-carb flavouring (Stevia), but I would usually drink that with my omelette or at lunchtime. For lunch, usually, I would eat something like chicken wings or beef broth with chunks of meat in it. Personally, this was the hardest time of day for me, as you don’t want to eat something too heavy that disables your ability to work or function effectively as an employee. Moving through the day, I would usually supplement with a protein shake or small fish like sardines or beef jerky as a snack. One thing I learned that is key during this diet is that you want to be drinking A LOT of water. There’s usually a high volume of sodium in all things meat (helps with preservation), so water will be your best friend. I drank roughly 4 to 5 litres of water a day when I was on this diet. Before dinner, I would usually get a workout in after work (HIIT, Yoga, powerlifting, running, kickboxing), something to get the juices flowing and the heart racing. With the end of my workout and a hot shower, dinner has arrived. This is the BEST time of the day for a person on the carnivore diet. Fish, steak, chicken, lamb, bison – it didn’t matter, you could eat it all! At the end of the day, I would usually wind down with some herbal tea or a bowl of beef broth. I rinsed and repeated this strategy for almost 3 months when I was on this diet.
What Did You Learn from Doing the Carnivore Diet?
WC: Here’s what I learned:
It’s Expensive To Eat Like This– I was living in a major metropolitan city (5+ million people). Meat (shellfish, fish, chicken) is expensive in the city, including meat by-products like bone meal and stewing bones for meat broth. This is especially true when you buy in bulk.
While I Felt Leaner, It Took Away from My Power When Working Out –I think the carb deficit really had an effect on my energy levels. Not having that carb energy and going to a workout really affected me mentally and physically. Caffeine helped take the edge off a bit, but I was substituting one thing for another.
Beef Was The Hardest Meat to Digest – Having eaten pretty clean for most of the day (breakfast and lunch) and then eating a steak with some sardines really gave me the “meat sweats”. I found beef the hardest to stomach and this made me exceptionally full. Chicken and fish were light and made me feel quite good.
Regarding intermittent fasting, I had done it multiple times while I was in the military and outside the military to great effect. The benefits of intermittent fasting are from an overall calorie deficit. What this means is that you end up not eating enough calories, thereby burning fat as you go about your day. I was considerably leaner on intermittent fasting than I was on any other diet. It’s also more sustainable in the long run. Picture of me at Orlando studios (Harry Potter) on intermittent fasting:
Picture of me off intermittent fasting and living life without a diet in Hawaii:
What Does Your Diet Look Like Currently?
WC: I do the traditional 16/8 diet, where I fast for 16 hours a day, and only eat for 8 hours a day. To me, this actually has become a habit and I feel clean in the morning and slightly hungry before I go to bed. While energy is sometimes a problem (I blame my genetics on this one) because I can’t eat as much, I’m getting back to the physique I had while I was in the military. One thing that intermittent fasting gives me is a level of clear-headedness when it comes to the fasting. In the morning, when I wake up, if I ate a heavy breakfast, I would feel bloated and heavy all day. Now that I fast in the morning (I’ll still drink 1L of water, 1 espresso coffee and a teaspoon of cod liver oil) I’m alert, lightweight and ready to work. I do start to feel exceptionally hungry around noon, but I actually like this hunger as it helps me exercise the virtue of temperance, an important skill that many people could learn! This is what I love about intermittent fasting, the mental aspect of it. I feel as if my willpower has increased 3x over and it’s helped me in other aspects of my life as well. Although this is an anecdote, I’ve heard other people say that as well (and vice versa).
JH: Thank you William for sharing your story about doing a carnivore diet and doing intermittent fasting. These can be very powerful tools when it comes to your health, and I highly recommend that everyone try them as experiments.