It’s not unusual for celebrities to jump on the latest fad diet, but we didn’t expect such a candid review from Joe Rogan for his recent efforts. The UFC personality has switched things up, giving The Carnivore Diet a go, and let’s just say the results have been explosive for all the wrong reasons: Rogan’s bowels have been on fire.
If you’re not familiar with The Carnivore diet, the eating plan is limited. Really, it’s just three foods: meat, eggs and coffee. While some may include dairy, the lactose in milk contains sugar, so technically it’s off-limits. You can also forget plant-based foods – no grains, nuts, seeds, beans, fruit or veggies.
Rogan, who’s been known to try his hand at different health trends and update fans via his podcast, took to Instagram to share the experience with his followers.
“Carnivore Diet update; the good and the bad. Let’s start with the bad. There’s really only one ‘bad’ thing, and that thing is diarrhoea,” he posted on social media, accompanied with a plate full of steak and bacon.
“I’m not sure diarrhoea is an accurate word for it, like I don’t think a shark is technically a fish. It’s a different thing, and with regular diarrhoea I would compare it to a fire you see coming a block or two away and you have the time to make an escape, whereas this Carnivore Diet is like out of nowhere the fire is coming through the cracks, your doorknob is red hot, and all hope is lost. I haven’t shit my pants yet, but I’ve come to accept that if I keep going with this diet it’s just a matter of time before we lose a battle, and I fill my undies like a rainforest mudslide overtaking a mountain road,” he continued.
While the symptoms are improving with each day, Rogan doesn’t think he’s off the hook just yet.
“As of today I trust my butthole about as much as I trust a shifty neighbour with a heavy Russian accent that asks a lot of personal questions.
“The good: Now, I’m well aware of the placebo effect and I’m constantly self-analysing every perceived reaction I’m having to eating only meat for almost 2 weeks straight, but one thing I’m fairly sure of is that my energy levels are higher and steadier throughout the day. This seems undeniable.
“I don’t know if it’s a temporary effect and if maybe it’s just the result of eating really disciplined, but either way it seems to be real. I’ve also felt really ‘healthy’ (other than the sporadic bouts of hellacious projectile doodoo). Again, I don’t now if this is real or imagined, but I actually seem to feel happier and more balanced. This is the only time in my life I’ve ever tried eliminating carbs for more than a day or so, and since I started the diet a couple days before January I’m now about 13 days in, at least 7 pounds lighter, and in completely uncharted territory for me. Which makes me think this is probably completely uncharted territory for 99% of the people on earth,” he added.
But is The Carnivore Diet actually healthy?
To find out whether there’s any merit in taking up the ancestral diet, we spoke to founder of The Wellness Group and nutritionist, Madeline Calfas.
“There are some aspects of The Carnivore Diet that have very beneficial qualities to it. The Carnivore Diet is an animal-protein only diet, which translates to very high levels of animal-protein being consumed. It’s a very extreme diet, though, and while it has some really good benefits, it also has some not-so-good aspects to it as well,” Calfas tells Men’s Health.
Calfas notes that a high-protein eating plan can help with building muscle mass and repairing your diet, while also providing crucial B12 which is only available in animal-protein.
And although it can also provide weight loss benefits, the cons far outweigh the positives.
“You are missing out on nutrients that are not found in animal protein – eg vitamin C, folate – which can lead to nutritional deficiencies when missing from the diet over a long period of time,” she continues.
“You are not eating any dietary fibre – this is crucial for digestive health. Not enough dietary fibre (or none, in this instance) will leave you constipated. This means not only are you not effectively clearing waster products from your bowels, but the straining that goes along with being constipated leaves you at a greater risk of developing haemorrhoids and anal fissures. Excess protein consumption can also lead to kidney problems in people who have pre-existing kidney disease. This includes the formation of kidney stones, which are really painful.”
So why is Rogan suffering from explosive bowel movements despite the lack of fibre?
It’s down to the high levels of saturated fats and the lack of carbs on your plate, says Calfas.
“The body prefers glucose as fuel (carbs), but in the carnivore diet, there is a distinct lack of these. So the body has to use the fat being consumed instead. Lipase is an enzyme that breaks down fat, and usually there is more than enough lipase to help with this,” Calfas explains.
“However, in the carnivore diet, there is an increased amount of fat being consumed, and the lipase cannot keep up. The end result? Watery, fatty stools as all the undigested fat just sits in your colon. And a great urgency to get to the toilet.”
Despite the potential dangers, Rogan is happy with his results. So if you want to try your hand at the meat-heavy diet, Calfas suggests you make some alterations.
“If you are insistent on following The Carnivore Diet 100 per cent, then you will have to supplement like crazy (understanding that the body is only able to absorb a very small percent of supplements), taking special care of your kidneys and liver and bowels.”