Carnivore Diet Week 2: Food, Fitness and the Feels

Week 2 on the Carnivore Diet has been an improvement to the first week. Though my body still appears to be detoxing, I have gotten a taste of that increase in energy that everyone raves about and am hoping I get it consistently very soon.

Now that we’re two weeks into the Carnivore Diet, I can more easily understand how some have adopted this as a lifestyle instead of just a 30-day challenge or 3-month reset. I think there are benefits to long-term and short-term approaches, and only time will tell how we choose to proceed with an all-meat diet in the future.

I will say that we are already researching and brainstorming how to make small tweaks to this diet that may (or may not) better accommodate our physical activity needs. After the 30-day mark, we may experiment with adding in some carbs such as honey or sweet potato before and/or after our workouts to see how it affects performance. We will likely keep carb intake to 20-50 grams to ensure we stay in ketosis. I feel a bit like a dork to admit that this is all a pretty fun process to try to optimize our bodies.

Related: Why One Healthy Couple is Starting the Carnivore Diet

Week 2 Food

I’m happy to report that still no cravings for crabs or sugar during week 2 of the Carnivore Diet, despite Valentine’s Day falling within this week and my kids bringing home candy. Despite no cravings, I’m already researching a special birthday dessert for me at the end of March. It’s basically a cheesecake with no sugar that just sounds fun to try.

I still find myself craving red meat the most, which I hear is quite common on the Carnivore Diet. I’m not sure if it’s the extra iron or just what. We did add liver to our menu this week. I baked 1 pound of bacon, then added it and 1 pound of raw liver to our food processor and pulsed. Then we hand mixed the mixture with about 4 pounds of ground beef to make meatballs and a bunch of hamburgers to freeze. They were all amazing and my kids gobbled up the meatballs! I also think we stumbled upon the most amazing combination for stacked hamburgers that we had for lunch on repeat during Week 2. So I’ll be sharing that recipe soon.

Meat combos have been a tasty hit this week and added a lot of variety to our menus. Chicken thighs were better this week with some sautéed beef smoked sausage. I also made salmon patties mixed with pulled pork and bacon that were delicious.

A couple nights this week when I wasn’t feeling full, I added a cup of decaf coffee following my recipe for the perfect cup of Carnivore coffee. It was a treat and left me full before bed and I woke up without being hungry.

On Day 12, I had a larger breakfast and lunch and was barely hungry at dinner. This was the first time on Carnivore that I remember being comfortably full after a each meal, which is the feeling that the Carnivore Diet preaches. So I think I may have found my sweet spot with my food intake for breakfast and dinner. It’s also common to be less hungry and snack less often as you do the Carnivore Diet longer.

For Week 2 of the Carnivore Diet, I stopped tracking macros. I felt like I was getting a good grasp on how much fat to eat and found tracking a little too time consuming (and attention consuming). But I will still vow that it was super helpful the first week. Week 2 also had some other shifts, as it was easier to go longer stretches between meals without snacking. I could go 6 hours between my meals because my meals were bigger and I wasn’t as hungry as the first wee. The Carnivore Diet preaches that if you are snacking between meals, then you didn’t eat enough at your meals. And I am finding this concept to be true.

My main goal of going Carnivore to decrease caffeine and increase energy is still a work in progress. I’m still drinking 2 cups of caffeine a day, and have a feeling it will be this way for at least the first 4 weeks until my body has fully transitioned..

Week 2 Fitness

carnivore diet week 2 WOD

Day 1: Friday Workout

We are slowing finding our groove with working out on no carbs. We have less stamina, but shorter workouts seem to help.

Day 2: Weightroom WOD followed by Track Intervals

This was a lower-key workout since we were in the gym the day before. We started with sets of bench, then switched to heavy dumbbell front squats superset with Bulgarian splits squats (which leave me more sore than any other exercise).

Then I jumped on the track and did 10 intervals of run 100m/walk 100m. Running felt heavy at first, but I increased my intensity each round and was sprinting full-out by the last one—feeling great.

Carnivore diet week 2 pickleball

Day 3: Pickleball

It was a great Valentine’s Day! We spent two hours playing indoor singles pickleball and it was gloriously exhausting. It was a great option considering it was cold and rainy outside.

Day 4: Weightroom WOD

This workout was a great way to kick off a Monday. Increasing weight while decreasing reps left us breathing heavy in a non-traditional way.

Day 5: Pickleball

February has got to be the worst winter weather here in Georgia (or perhaps everywhere nationwide thanks to the polar vortex). After school delays thanks to black ice, we snuck in some singles pickleball games.

Day 6: Pickleball

When a friend asked us to play pickleball, we didn’t turn him down since it’s hard to find people to play with that works with our schedule. So we spent time playing doubles and figuring out our new stacking approach.

Day 7: Light Lifting, Swimming and Pickleball

To warm up before swimming, we did increasing bench press and squats, followed by deadhang pullups. We like to get warm before jumping in the pool since it takes a couple laps for our bodies to adjust.

I followed my same swim trio strategy as last week and completed 27 25-meter laps cycling between breaststroke, kickboard and freestyle using a foam dumbbell between my legs for extra buoyancy. Swimming felt great, as always, but I could tell my shoulders during freestyle were already sore and tired from the pullups.

Friends reached out at the last minute to play pickleball doubles and we were happy to say yes after plowing through a bunch of work for the day.

Week 2 Feels

I was poised to report that I’ve had no more run-ins with my single bought of nausea/diaahrea, but experienced another session on the evening of Day 14. This was a couple hours after eating a Ribeye steak and making a point to eat more of the fat on it. All I can piece together is that both times my body reacted to beef fat so maybe it is still adjusting to a higher level of fat consumption. Thankfully, this time there was no nausea associated with it.

On Day 10, I really thought I had turned the corner for energy. I woke up feeling less groggy in morning and having more motivation and increasing energy throughout the day. And the good news is my morning energy when I wake has improved, which is great news since I naturally wake up and get going anywhere between 4:45 and 5:15 a.m. But on Day 11 and 12, that glorious sustaining energy of Day 10 was gone. Maybe it was partly due to the cold rainy weather and the start of my monthly cycle.

Speaking of that, for any women considering the Carnivore Diet, I’m pleased to report that it has slightly improved my monthly cycle. Other women have reported this fact as well. I haven’t had any sugar/carb cravings and have had less bloating than normal. I did still have cramps for one day, but I have hope that this may get better over time as well. I am hoping that this way of eating is balancing out my hormones, even if it is freaking out my skin for the time being.

Related: Carnivore Diet Week 1 Recap

On Day 8, I noticed my face getting really oily and soon followed random breakouts all over my body all at once. We’re talking all underneath the straps and band of my sports bra. Behind my ears. My chin. My neck. I was a bit horrified and I won’t lie and tell you it didn’t chip away at my self esteem for a couple days. But I took a deep breath and consulted my Carnivore women’s group on Facebook, and they weighed in guessing it was the detoxing process, though some pointed to dairy consumption. I’m going to ride it out for another week or two before resorting to cutting dairy—because cheeseburgers!

I just never knew my skin would be so reactive to the things I have eaten in the past. I guess my body had adapted to them over time. And even if it turns out dairy is the culprit, that’s also scary that it could make my body do that.

Overall, I feel good about getting to the halfway point of 30 days and have no reservations about being able to easily complete the next two weeks on the Carnivore Diet. I am hoping that in the next two weeks, my skin will sort itself out and my energy will start to increase consistently.

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