The rise of the carnivore diet

This he credits to his diet. ‘I don’t mean this in any big sense, but you can only go on your own evidence,’ he says. Like Geissert, Mason has built up a career as a carnivore coach, advising clients on the meat-based lifestyle as well as strength training and breathwork.

A former ski instructor, since 2021 he has run a ‘carnivore retreat’ in Scotland where guests follow a ‘high-animal protein/low-carb’ diet, learn meat-cooking techniques, go on hikes and practise resistance training.

The next one, in October, is sold out, with guests paying £2,750 each for a meat-centric week. It is the only one of its kind in the UK, though others have taken place in Spain and Bosnia and Herzegovina, while Costa Rica plays host to an annual ‘animal-based gathering’.

Mason has been pleasantly surprised by the eclectic mix of guests who sign up. Expecting 20-year-old rugby players, he has instead found himself teaching attendees including a 70-year-old American woman, a Californian lawyer and a British tech investor. And, from his own experience, he believes the carnivore diet is on the rise.

‘Especially among people who are getting into their 40s and 50s… they’re starting to think, “I’ve done all these diets, and none of it is working,” and I think people want to do something that seems sort of radical,’ he reflects.

One such example is Rachel*, 41, a Hampshire-based office worker. After a heart scare last year, Rachel decided she needed ‘to do something extreme’ to improve her health. Having experimented with the keto diet in the past, she began looking into the carnivore diet. ‘I’ve done hundreds of hours of research, listening to podcasts, reading articles and books… and I started the carnivore [diet] at the end of January.’

In the months since she began the diet – which for her involves solely eating animal products, once a day – she says her health has improved ‘massively’, and she has lost two and a half stone.

She believes eating carbohydrates affected her mental health, whereas now her mind is ‘completely clear’; recent heart tests showed no problems, and inflammation in her hands has gone. Still, she says, ‘If you’re planning to do it, do your research, listen to proper medical doctors, read the books… what I do is not for everyone.’

None of Rachel’s colleagues know about her diet, as she’s a ‘private person, so I wouldn’t disclose that’ – hence the anonymity here.

Does a meat-based diet not become repetitive, though? Rachel says not: ‘I get so excited about mince and steak, it’s silly.’

Geissert agrees. ‘Every time I have a rib-eye, it’s my favourite thing, so I don’t get bored of it at all.’

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