Mixed Martial Arts is a competitive arena where your physical condition, diet, and endurance play a significant role in giving you the required edge to beat your opponents. Given the carnivore diet’s alleged benefits in helping athletes get lean, one wonders whether it is beneficial for MMA fighters.
The carnivore diet is good for MMA athletes, provided they use it strategically to get to their desired weight or build muscle. Otherwise, like any radical diet, it has disadvantages that might end up dragging down the athlete on fight night.
In this article, we explore the carnivore diet and its pros and cons so you can make an informed decision as to whether you should adopt it or not for your MMA diet regimen. You’ll learn the origins of the diet, possible health complications, and also alternatives that can get you your desired results.
Carnivore Diet: A Brief Overview
The carnivore diet has been making rounds for quite some time now. It gained popularity in the early 2000s after Shawn Baker talked about it on a morning show. It is supported by the claim that early human beings survived by consuming meat rather than any other food type.
Fitness freaks, along with social media influencers, have been trying it out since then and have been posting about their experiences for their followers on their social media handles. For some, it has brought about positive outcomes. Whereas for the others, it has been close to a disaster.
MMA athletes and other professional sportspeople and bodybuilders go on this diet to make a shift in their lifestyle. But the most common attraction for them is the strength that the carnivore diet is said to instill in the body.
It is said to help tone the body while having a fair amount of energy and a lower appetite. However, many of them have discontinued this diet after religiously following it for some amount of time because, in the long run, the effects that come to show are not ideal.
Pros of the Carnivore Diet
With no research behind its actual benefits, people usually take it up to lose weight, regulate blood sugar levels and help with mood swings. Following the carnivore diet means total cut off from all kinds of foods except for animal products in all forms: meaning no fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, or grains.
Doing so, a wave of strength surges through the body as the protein levels rise dramatically. Having a portion based entirely on proteins several times a day makes you feel fuller for a longer time resulting in the need to eat less throughout the day.
This is the whole mechanism behind the weight loss while following the carnivore diet. People have claimed to their moods being lifted, their weight dropping without much effort and their heart burning problems resolved.
One major plus that has been credited to this diet is the complete elimination of sugary foods such as sweets, cookies, and soft drinks. Vast research stands behind the fact that intake of refined carbohydrates is close to poisoning our bodies ourselves. There is no denying that sugary foods are low in nutrition with no health benefits to them. However, science has never advised you to cut off sweets, or carbs for that matter, entirely from your daily intake of food unless it is to treat a specific medical condition.
Cons of the Carnivore Diet
The downside of this diet appears to be heavier than the benefits proposed by it. For one, it is not suitable for every individual out there. People with existing health problems such as high cholesterol, blood pressure, and diabetes cannot take up this diet without risking some severe damage to their health. Moreover, protein intolerant people cannot even consider this diet based on protein in all its entirety.
Since all other kinds of foods are excluded, many essential nutrients that the human body needs daily to stay healthy are compromised. A common side effect reported by this diet’s followers includes acute diarrhea, caused by the sudden change in the eating pattern, which usually subsides within two weeks.
An average adult requires a daily balanced diet with equal proportions of energy, fiber, carbohydrates, sugar, fats, and sodium—the carnivore diet tempers with this preset balance, which puts individuals in a pretty risky state. The primary concern of most health professionals is the overdose of cholesterol and saturated fats present in meat. High cholesterol triggers heart diseases very easily, along with the risk of clogged blood vessels.
This all-protein diet is not advised by nutritionists and health professionals in the first place. Most people have decided to take it on themselves or in the administration of their trainers. It is close to being a crash diet followed for some weeks or months and cannot become a complete lifestyle.
At some point in your life, you will need fruits and vegetables and all other kinds of food that you are restricted to eat while following the carnivore diet. Naturally, consumption of excessive meat is going to make you a little sick, if not much. You are very likely to develop a pretty high cholesterol level. If you have preceding metabolism problems, you might face difficulties adjusting to this meal course.
Carnivore Diet: Managing Expectations and Holistic Alternatives
You can achieve the results that the carnivore diet followers seek through a well maintained, all-rounded diet. Understanding everybody’s needs and considering that every body type is different can target it better by adapting to a lifestyle that would take you towards your goal.
Most people take to the carnivore diet to lose weight, which has always been encouraged by physical exercise and a healthy intake instead of leaning towards short-term, quicker solutions. There is no guarantee that you would stay on your desired weight after discontinuing the carnivore diet, whereas if you make a change in your lifestyle by committing to eating healthy, you will stay forever fit.
Therefore, you should always consider what other options are available to you before settling for this radical approach. It is understood that the human body cannot wholly survive on a single type of food group. The best way is to make a change in your lifestyle in the first place.
And if you plan to take a step such as this, consult your trainer or a qualified health professional first. Give them your medical history and talk to them about your desired results. They would be able to guide you better towards your goal.
It is often debated that different diets give your body different kinds of strengths. Athletes go for diets such as the carnivore diet to build a robust and muscular body. The truth is, that kind of a body can be built on any moderate and healthy diet. The crucial most element is working out, which every athlete must religiously follow.
On top of that, the extra protein they need is taken in the form of supplements approved by a regulatory body. The masses need to understand that a carnivore diet is not going to build them an out-worldly body. It is just a trend that sparked the interests of many because it was unheard of. There are plenty of alternatives present that are healthier and more long-lasting.
Think of what you are putting your body through when making decisions that will impact it drastically. Our body comes out as a spitting image of what we put inside it. Eating unhealthy will put it in bad shape, and being more conscious about your choices will make it look perfect and help you feel amazing.
Be aware of the risks of the diets and trends that make rounds on social media. You have to make sure you don’t put it through more than it can take. Treat it the way it deserves, and the outcomes will surely be what you desire. Consider the long term effects of all kinds of diets before making them a part of your routine.
The carnivore diet is good at excluding unhealthy food items from your diet. However, it also removes a lot of vitamins and minerals you need. If you adopt the diet to cut weight or build muscle, make sure you’re taking the right supplements to fulfill your body’s requirements.