All very valid points, most of which I learned from my own body. At this point I wouldn’t go as far as claiming that carnivore is going to be the holy grail for the rest of my life. I’ll be able to pass judgement after 3 months.I’m also interested in maximizing my muscle gains of course but there are actually plenty of people successfully adding mass on a pure carnivore diet. Let’s see how it goes.
You need carbs in the diet if you want to add muscle mass!
Carnivore or low carb (<50 grams/day) even in a calorie surplus are not going to help you put on a lot of muscle mass and if you are naturally a skinny hard gainer good luck with that.
As you know true carnivore is following a diet where you are consuming all of your daily caloric intake from proteins and fats.
Depending on your goals and whether you are trying to lose body fat or gain lean muscle tissue comes down to your overall daily caloric intake and what percentage of your macros come from protein and fat.
In most cases, I would say whether one is trying to lose body fat or gain lean muscle tissue than 1-1.5 grams of protein/lb of bodyweight would be more than enough.
Consuming any more protein than this is pointless.
You are training your body to burn fat efficiently as its main fuel source.
The rest of your calories should be coming from fats such as fatty cuts of beef, pork, chicken (thighs), fatty fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout), whole eggs, whipping cream, ghee, lard, tallow, extra virgin olive oil.
You could even eat lean cuts of protein but the downfall is you would need to consume a fair amount of fats from ghee, lard, tallow, egg yolks, extra virgin olive oil along with your lean proteins.
It is much easier and tastier to just stick to the fatty cuts of beef, pork, chicken, fatty fish, and than add in some fats to meet your daily caloric requirement (depending on your goals).
To give you an example if you weigh 200 lbs and you are aiming for 1 gram protein/lb bodyweight.
200 grams of protein/day would be needed.
This would give you 800 cal/day from protein (4cal/gram).
The rest of your calories would come from fat and how much you consume per day would come down to whether you are trying to lose body fat or gain lean muscle tissue and what your daily caloric need would be to achieve such.
Even than carnivore and low carb diets are much more effective for trying to lose body fat and maintain lean muscle.
Carbs are king when it comes to packing on muscle tissue.
When in a caloric surplus and the goal is to gain muscle mass if we take both diets (moderate-high carb/moderate protein/low fat) vs (carnivore or low carb/moderate-high protein/high fat).
The moderate-high carb-based diet will be more effective.
The human body can store upwards of 500 grams of carbs (400 in the muscle/100 in the liver) in the form of glycogen and for every gram stored it will pull in roughly 3 grams of water intracellularly in the muscle cell which will not only increase the size of the cell but the muscle will be harder, have more energy stored for a long intense workout, result in better pumps and recovery from training let alone increase overall strength.
Top it off that carbs release insulin which is very anabolic when manipulated at the right time which can drive amino acids and nutrients into the muscle cell.
One's muscles will always bigger/harder/fuller when consuming enough carbohydrates in the diet.
Strict carnivore or low carb (<50 grams/day) will result in depletion of muscle glycogen which can make the muscles take on a deflated/flat appearance.
What type of diet you follow comes down to genetics and one's insulin sensitivity.
When trying to gain muscle mass or improve body composition the skinny hard gainer type tends to do well when following a higher carb-based diet as opposed to the heavier set easy gainer type which tends to do well following a low-carb/carnivore based diet.
As you said, for slimming down it’s probably great. For muscle maintenance or even increase I think a genetic component plays into it so it may or may not be useful for that. While I‘d never mind adding extra muscle mass, the truth is that an excess of calories heavy on carbs does indeed just that for me but my lipids start playing up and my insulin sensitivity goes south.
It’s not pre diabetic yet but looking at bulking period values I could see it happen in 5 years down the line if I stick with high carb. When I was at my heaviest muscleswise I was also at the worst in terms of my blood values. That was a downer!
That’s why I wanted to try it out for 3 months first. Labs as well as lifting results will give me insight into the effectiveness of carnivore diet - for me. The reports of well-being on such diet is compelling. But let’s see, hasn’t happened yet and by the looks of it it’s going to be an increase in meat consumption first without completely ditching everything else.