Ever wonder what would happen if you ate nothing but bacon for an entire month?
In an effort to entice others to try a ketogenic lifestyle, our friend Dan Quibell founded The Bacon Experiment—a challenge he underwent to eat nothing but bacon for 30 days straight.
He dropped 20 pounds in 30 days! Then he went on to improve many biomarkers of his health and much, much more that we’ll get into today.
Dan Quibell is a ketogenic lifestyle and weight loss coach who specializes in helping others achieve a happier and healthier lifestyle using real foods, especially bacon.
On this show with Dan, we’re chatting about:
- Eating bacon, nothing but bacon, for 30 days straight
- Why we should focus on eating real whole foods during stressful times
- Recommendations if you want to try a bacon experiment yourself
- N=1 experimentation, and how to find what’s right for you
- How to get started with a therapeutic ketogenic approach to diet
- And tons more…
Let’s go hang out with Dan.
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Dan Quibell: The Bacon Experiment
Abel: Dan spent the last six and a half years helping tens of thousands of people follow a low-carb or ketogenic diet to shed fat and regain their health.
Some of those people include Kurt Morgan, the guy I worked with on the TV show.
And I see, Dan, you’ve got behind you there one of those bacon costumes that I remember dawning back in 2016.
So thanks so much for joining us, man.
Really happy to be on, Abel.
Yeah, it’s been quite the journey, and I’m looking forward to sharing some of that with your listeners and with yourself, and maybe how you influenced me and kind of got me started on this path, really.
Abel: We all need each other.
Even the bacon part, even me, my love for bacon, I guess it’s always been there, but I just had to get permission from somebody that it was okay to have bacon.
It’s not going to clog your arteries.
Abel: That’s awesome. And the way that you found your way to us, I guess, was by doing the opposite of eating bacon, as it is for many people, you know, going hard core vegan or even just 30 bananas a day.
I remember that was a big thing when I was getting started in the early 2010s, like some super hardcore vegan stuff.
So, tell us how you made your way here.
Yeah, well, that’s funny you mentioned the 30 bananas a day. I was one of the people outsourcing my wholesale bananas, doing a vegan diet and that wasn’t really working very well for me.
Didn’t like the food, found that my energy was up and down all the time.
And so I went to, I had to go more extreme, obviously, right?
So, I went to a raw vegan diet, and then I still found that wasn’t really working so I had to do something even more extreme and I went to an all fruit diet.
So, I was a fruitarian for a while.
Just kind of jumping around one thing to another, but it kind of started where I was obese at 13 years old.
I know you’ve listened to a little bit of my story. It was really a life-long struggle.
And I was approaching 40—you hear the story about the jogger that drops dead of a heart attack at 40, and usually a diet-related or heart disease and that kind of thing. So, I knew I was approaching higher risk and was willing to do anything it took.
And we all know, fruit and vegetables are healthy.
So, “I’m going to eat nothing but fruits and vegetables.”
And that’s how I kind of dove in all in on that.
Another thing is, I had gout all my life and every time I tried to Google it and figure out what type of diet can help, the answer was always yes, just cut out red meat.
And so I was thinking, “Okay, I’ll cut out the red meat, go to this fruit and vegetable-based diet.”
And the problem is that, actually, after that I actually got a gout attack that was the worst gout attack in my life. It lasted 12 weeks.
Very, very painful.
Abel: Is that for you, mostly in the feet, like making it hard to walk? Because some people aren’t familiar with some of the symptoms.
Yeah, so the pain, it’s kind of like having a sprained ankle.
Immediately after you sprain your ankle how it really really hurts, and that’s all you can think about. It’s kind of like that all the time.
So, the whole time you’re awake, that’s how it’s feeling.
It was my big toe, ankle, and foot. And my foot would get swollen, so swollen that I couldn’t put a shoe on or anything like that.
I would double up a plastic bag and wear it, and literally to go out of my house in the middle of winter here in Canada.
Abel: Oh my gosh.
So, here I am trying to get to the store, or do something, or go to my doctor’s appointments, was really what it was, and I’d be wearing these doubled-up plastic bags on my foot, and I had no idea that this healthy diet that I was following was actually causing this.
So, I went through four different medications.
I was at home stuck, a lot of time on my hands. So I started listening to a lot of podcasts at the time.
Yours was one of the main ones I heard, and I think it was actually when I heard you talking about low carb and you were always talking about bacon, and a lot of it, butter, right, butter.
And it all sounded really tasty and I thought there’s no way this can be good for me. “It’s going to clog my arteries.”
It just sounds ridiculous, but the more I listened to it, I kind of found myself starting to nod my head.
And a lot of the problem foods were kind of being brought up, the same stuff that I found to be problem food.
So, I was nodding my head and I agreed on most of it, other than the red meat and bacon, I still thought was terrible for me.
But after having gout for 12 weeks, all this pain, all the time every single day I decided, what do I have to lose? I might as well.
Why am I eating this food that I don’t really even like?
Because when you go that way to a raw vegan or that type of diet, you’re eating a ton of greens every day, maybe a pound or two, you have to get, I mean, quite a bit.
And then I knew the dangers of soy. I was always researching, always looking for what’s the catch, right?
And when it came to the vegan and fruitarian diet, it seemed like there’s a lot of catches.
Having the fruit juice, energy was up and down. And uric acid increased, that’s what led to my gout attack.
And then I just wanted to figure out something else.
“This isn’t working for me,” I started to kind of realize.
It took me a long time.
We get so set in our belief systems, I find, that we just kind of mindlessly follow somebody else and just take it as fact without really considering this person—do they have an agenda or are they telling me the truth or are they just promoting their own beliefs?
So eating 30 bananas a day, like I said, I was one person who did that.
And I thought, “You know what, I wonder what 30 pieces of bacon a day would do for me?”I wonder what 30 pieces of bacon a day would do for me... @ketodan Click To Tweet
So, I kind of started to have that thought as you had been talking about that.
And so anyways, I started introducing bacon into my diet.
Abel: And what year was this?
So, that was in 2014 when I first did that.
Abel: Okay, cool.
And this is before I did the whole bacon experiment, but we’ll talk here.
But what that did though is, just by cutting out the carbs, cutting out my fruit that I was having, going to more bacon, going to more of a Paleo approach, my gout was gone in 3 days.My gout was gone in 3 days. @ketodan Click To Tweet
And like I said, it had been 12 weeks of that.
So, 12 weeks of constant pain, and I was getting different medications. The first one didn’t work, got another one, got another one.
I’d lost a little bit of weight doing that, so going with the fruit type of diet, but I also lost a lot of muscle and I was needing a nap every single day.
I would crash on the couch. 2pm in the afternoon would come, I’d be asleep, like every day.
I’d be the person sleeping on a chair. And that was never me.
I never had that problem before, but I didn’t realize how much of a blood sugar roller coaster I was on.
While I was sipping my fruit juice, I felt great, my fruit juice, like all full of sugar.
You actually said something that kind of woke me up to that, how you were talking about sugar and how the fruit sugar really isn’t any different than processed sugar.
I really don’t think that there is a big difference depending on what it is, especially when you juice.
If you juice fruits, removing all the fiber, you’re removing a lot of the nutrients.
You’re basically left with water and sugar.
And what you had said exactly was you talked about grapes and you talked about them being bags of water and sugar.
I still remember you saying that, and I was like, “You know what, that’s kind of what it is.”
And then you were talking about how just all that stuff’s changed so much since what it was and what it is now.
A lot of these fruits are so processed that a banana is not much different than a Snickers bar these days versus back at one time, it was all seeds and nutrients.
Just a lot of wake-up points, or a lot of light bulb moments.
And I think that’s what you’re trying to do, right?
You’re trying to turn people’s, that light bulb on, make them think a little bit.
It definitely got me thinking. And I think you also said something about becoming your own expert, proving stuff to yourself.
Like test it out yourself. Don’t take my word for it. Try this. Try this for a certain period of time.
So I really liked that. So it kind of started me doing a lot of experiments. A lot of n=1 experiments.
Abel: What an educational tool, too. I’m so glad.
This is one of the reasons I have you on, is because it’s such an educational tool.
I wouldn’t be where I am now if I hadn’t done—well, maybe not 30 things of bacon, or banana, like that extreme, but I think everyone needs to do their experiments to learn from it.
Yeah. And so I tested a few things, and I picked bacon and started to get into the low-carb keto community.
I listened to an interview you did on another show, and I found that fascinating that here’s somebody living without a lot of carbs.
Abel: Yeah, and he’s been living that way for a long time. I think he started in 2004.
Yeah, and so I actually reached out to him after hearing him. He was very receptive.
He was answering questions right away, and he had his own pretty big podcast, and I had started listening to that.
I just had went back and forth like, whoever had the next guest or did the next interview, I was listening.
And I started walking, started exercising more, just constantly listening, learning, I was fascinated by this.
And I pretty much immediately started feeling the stuff you were talking about.
So the mental clarity, another thing you had talked about.
So for me, I was 90 pounds overweight.
I just kind of wanted to get better there. I was obese, so it was harder to do things.
So, weight loss was definitely something I knew I needed to do.
And I heard you talk about a friend of yours that was a bodybuilder, I believe.
He had went to a very strict keto approach, and then he had started doing carb loading and that kind of thing.
And you put up the pictures of his transformation, I was like, “Wow.”
Abel: If anyone wants to look it up, it’s Chaz Branham. He was on the podcast years ago.
I was very impressed.
Abel: Yeah, he got down to 3.5% body fat. I mean, Chaz is a beast, great dude too.
Yeah, it was just incredible seeing what was possible with it.
And that kind of got me, that really got me more interested.
I wanted to try it, so I really started getting lower, lower carbs, lower and lower.
I kind of got down to about 50 grams of carbs, then ended up getting down to about 20 grams.
I started testing ketones and started getting into the whole low-carb community. Bacon was very, very popular.
Abel: Yes it is.
Also very notorious, right? Very notorious.
When I was a vegan, I was positive that bacon clogged your arteries, right?
And that it was such a bad food for us. But then I started to consider it.
I loved bacon. I just looked at it as it’s something I shouldn’t really be having.I loved bacon. I just looked at it as it's something I shouldn't really be having. @ketodan Click To Tweet
And because of the 30 bananas a day, I thought I’m going to do 30 pieces of bacon a day and see what happens.
But I wanted to research it first, because I told my wife and of course she didn’t react very well.
She was like, “You’re going to do what? No bacon.”
She just couldn’t believe it.
Actually I want to tell one, a little story here, because I think stories are a good way to get points across.
I guess I’d had gout for 12 weeks. Her and I were both vegan. She was a yoga instructor, following a strict vegan diet, so was I.
And I went downstairs one morning, and I’d already bought bacon. She didn’t know.
And I cooked up a whole pound of bacon, and I still remember her saying, “What are you doing down there? Is that bacon?”
It ended up being my medicine like I said, very quickly.
Three days into that, it had kind of gotten rid of my gout and I’d always kind of remember that I was kind of taken back, “How did that do that?”
So, I wanted to learn more.
The Bacon Experiment kind of seemed like a good way to find out what happened, but I needed a bit more knowledge.
I wanted a bit more, I don’t know, permission, I guess. I wanted to know that this wasn’t going to clog my arteries.
Then another thing I’ve experimented with, I did the egg fast.
The Bacon Experiment was really interesting.
So he said, “Go for it. The eggs work well for me.”
And he’s like, “Well have you talked to any zero carb folks or carnivore folks?”
And I was like, “What? Carnivore folks? What do you mean?”
And so, I started searching and here’s this entire community of people just eating meat and living on water, which I just couldn’t believe.
So, this again is back in, that’d be around 2015.
So, I’d already been doing low carb and keto for a bit, had considered doing this crazy bacon experiment, where I ate nothing but bacon.
I started doing the research and I found people that were living on, literally steaks, like rib eyes, right?
Nice, fatty, rib eyes and just drinking water, like spring water.
And they’d been doing that. I couldn’t believe it, I just couldn’t believe that they’re even telling the truth.
But some of these people 10, 15, 20 years, some of them have been doing this for decades.
And they looked very, very healthy.
They looked in really good shape, had lots of muscle mass.
So it got my interest up, I was like, “Okay. There’s something to this. How are they doing this?”
And I had all the normal questions that everybody would have.
Like you need greens though, right? For our colon health.
You need vitamin C. There’s no way that you wouldn’t get scurvy.
And every single question that I asked got answered, one after another they always had an answer for it, and just seemed to be thriving on it.
So I thought, so The Bacon Experiment to them, living on bacon for 30 days, that was nothing, right?
They’d been doing it for a couple decades, some of the people in there.
Like living on meat and water.
So they said, “Go for it. I look at bacon as more of a condiment or an addition to my meat. But you can definitely do it, you’ll probably enjoy it.”
At the time, I was having bulletproof coffees and fat bombs and stuff, all the keto stuff.
Probably a lot more processed keto foods than I should have been, but I was just looking at it as carbs, I didn’t think it really matters.
I knew I wanted to stick with mostly whole foods, but it took me a while to figure it out.
So I’m just trying to get to where I actually decided.
So, I decided to basically do the bacon only and focus on and try it out, and I kept getting permission.
The more I researched, the better I felt about it.
I’ll just go in a couple points on bacon right now.
So, nitrates are kind of the first thing that people talk about.
So I found out that nitrates really only form nitrosamines at high heat, when you cook them at lower heat, there’s not really that many nitrosamines.
That’s where the cancer risk comes from.
You can pretty much mitigate that just by oven cooking your bacon.
You could go nitrate-free and have the celery powder, but a lot of times that’s even higher in nitrates.
And so it was just very interesting. I think there’s an article by Chris Kresser and he talks about the nitrite myth.
And we have more nitrites in our saliva than you’d find in 10 packs of bacon.
Or one piece of celery. So that was like, “Well, that doesn’t make sense then. Why is bacon a problem because of nitrates, when one slice of celery has 10 times more?”
Just didn’t add up in my head.
So I started to realize that, “Oh, some of these things that we just accepted as the truth, definitely ain’t the truth.” Right?
There’s the need to look into these things a little more. So, same thing with the saturated fat.
Bacon’s actually about 55%-60% oleic acid, same fat as olive oil.Bacon's actually about 55%-60% oleic acid, same fat as olive oil. @ketodan #fatmyth Click To Tweet
So it’s a monounsaturated, really healthy fat, there’s some omega-3s in there, and even saturated fat itself.
I started realizing that it wasn’t the evil substance I thought it was.
It’s a very stable fat, handles heat well, doesn’t break down, doesn’t get oxidized in our body.
It was just a continual learning process, I guess to realize these things.
And once I started figuring out that bacon isn’t so harmful that we’ve been kind of led to believe, I thought I’m going to try this and do 30 days of bacon, just to show people that it’s not going to harm my health, is kind of how I decided to look at it.
I know this isn’t going to clog my arteries. I started to kind of realize that, that it’s possibly even good for me.
Didn’t expect the results though.
So, I just was showing my friends and family, and I just kind of want to introduce them to keto and low carb. That was my intention.
Within the first few days or so of starting this, so I went out.
Actually, I’ll talk a bit where I got my bacon from, and I know you’ll like this.
So 20 minutes from my house, there is a grass-fed farm and they also had pasture raised pigs.
So they had an orchard right on their farm and all the apples that would drop, the pigs were eating those.
Abel: That’s perfect.
They were giving them all really good whole foods, and I was like, yeah, I really like the sound of it.
So, contacted them. I sourced out, I guess it was 60 pounds. So, 60 pounds.
Abel: Do you mind sharing the cost per pound? Do you remember?
Yeah. It was fairly expensive. I think about $11, something like that.
Abel: Were they heritage hogs?
I think they were, yeah. Yeah, heritage. So it was about $11.99 a pound, something like that.
Abel: If you’re talking pasture-raised meat, that’s not terrible by any means.
And if you’re talking about pasture-raised best case scenario, that sounds like a fair price to me.
Yeah. I thought so too. And this whole farm was like that where I started picking up other stuff there afterwards like buying my grass-fed beef there.
And he was able to point me to where I could get some bison, and so then I was having buffalo burgers and all that kind of stuff.
But for the bacon, it was quite the conversation. I’m telling him.
He’s like, “Why do you need so much bacon?”
He’s, “We’ll put one piece of bacon in a box of pork to help sell that box of pork. That’s how we use them.”
He’s like, “We don’t really even sell bacon directly like that, usually.”
I told him what I was going to do and I said that I’ll tell people where I got my bacon. And it was actually called Heritage, Heritage Farms. That’s what it was called.
So, they agreed and he sourced it all out. It took him a little while to put those together.
It took them three weeks or something to get 60 pounds of bacon.
Finally did, went out and picked it up, brought it home.
60 pounds of bacon was pretty impressive-looking. My freezer was pretty full.
Abel: I bet.
And I was all in at that point. I had bought the bacon, I had invested the money and so, I was ready to go.
Abel: And this is fully salted and all of that too? It’s legit bacon?
Yeah. It was fully cured and salted. It did have nitrates, it wasn’t nitrate-free, but they had a butcher do it right near where their farm is, probably five minutes from their farm, someone they worked with.
So it was good that way and I when I picked it up, the first time I had it, I could notice a big difference.
It actually tasted a lot better than the bacon I’d had before.
Abel: Yeah. A big difference.
I couldn’t explain it though I couldn’t really explain why it tastes so much better.
I couldn’t really put my finger on it. But yeah, just a huge difference on how it tasted.
Abel: Can you now? Can you explain the difference?
Yeah. I would say that it was maybe cleaner, and it was a little more thick cut.
There was a few differences. It did have a bit higher fat content than some of the bacon I had tried.
What do you think is the difference in the taste of it?
Abel: Well, when a lot of people, especially people in the vegetarian community hear “bacon” or think of bacon, they often think of the hot dog equivalent. Just the bologna, just the worst quality stuff.
You go to a typical diner or chain restaurant or franchise or whatever and it’s this flimsy, completely uniform, straight. The texture is all the same.
It might be crunchy, but sometimes it’s hard to chew on and hurts your teeth, and it doesn’t break up.
And it’s also full of MSG and all sorts of nonsense. That’s most of what people find out.
But what you’re talking about, and I remember the first time that I had wild boar bacon from people who knew what they were doing down in Texas.
And I’m like, “Oh my god, I can’t believe this is called the same thing.”
I couldn’t believe that it was called bacon.
Similar with Heritage breeds of pork, not always, but the Heritage hogs, a lot of times will have a different taste but definitely a different consistency.
It’s thicker. Sometimes it’s called Country Bacon.
And to me, it’s much more like eating barbecue like ribs or a cut of fatty brisket as opposed to that flimsy, just disgusting, that fake bacon that might as well be turkey bacon or vegan bacon.
It’s not the real thing. It’s not what we’re talking about.
And so I think it is important to differentiate between industrial, factory-farmed hogs that are sick and treated very poorly by an industrial system that’s really built around thriving on sickness and disease, compared to what you’re talking about.
Going to a local farm or a local farmer, or at least getting it from a real farm, people who know what they’re doing, raising actual animals the right way, eating foods that their bodies are built to eat.
You can taste the difference, you can feel it, you can see it, the fat that’s cooked off is completely different.
You can use that fat to cook other things and even transport vegetables into your mouth and make them taste better for people.
But, okay, so anyway, I didn’t want to hijack it but I think it is important to remind people that we’re not talking about, “Go out and eat all the bologna you want.”
Or, “Go and get whatever crap meat you want.”
It’s important to focus on the quality of your meats and all foods, and nutrients that you put in your body.
The quality of your air, the quality of everything around you.
There are many pollutants out there. So you have to be careful is all I’m saying.
So anyway, tip of the hat. That sounds like the best bacon ever. That’s max level right there.
Yeah. It was definitely really good and I think because you had focused on food quality and just realizing that what the animal you’re eating is eating themselves definitely makes a big difference, and I would have to agree with that.
Right away, it seemed like a real meal.
You would normally look at bacon as a side, as a condiment, as something that goes with your meal or maybe a piece on your burger or something like that.
But when I was eating that bacon, I really felt like, “This is substantial, this is a real meal. I feel like I’m getting everything I need.”
Within a few days, I was in pretty deep ketosis. I felt more alert, more mentally clear.
I was sleeping good, didn’t realize it at the time, but that the salt that was in the bacon was actually a big part of why I felt so good.
You know, on the ketogenic diet, the one catch that I found, so I’m always looking for the catch now.
I wish I did that when I was doing my vegan diet.
Abel: A great thing to do, yeah.
So, I go a devil’s advocate all the time, right? Where’s the catch to this?
And after listening to you talk about bacon and burgers being healthy and I just thought, there’s no way.
That has to clog your arteries.
So I always kind of look at what’s the downside to this? What’s the catch? What am I missing out on?
Because I did have that horrible experience as a vegan.
And so looking at the bacon, I just, I didn’t see it. I thought I would.
I thought I’d quickly be able to figure out why I shouldn’t do it. Felt amazing.
The salt seemed to be replacing my electrolytes and I would say electrolytes is kind of the biggest problem when somebody does go strict keto or that they go all the way to carnivore.
You need to be salting your foods all the time. It’s really important, and when you start doing that, you start feeling a lot better.
You feel really good.
A couple things I do want to touch on during this podcast is that, I know we’re talking about The Bacon Experiment and having bacon, nothing but that, but carnivore is very similar and you can feel very similar.
And I know you talked about it being an elimination diet. That’s how I look at The Bacon Experiment.
If anybody wants to try, end up trying this themselves, which we’ll get into more details on what happened, because it was pretty impressive, the results that happened to me.
Right away in the first week, I think I lost about five pounds or so.
And I had about maybe 300 people I was doing this inside of Facebook group called: The Bacon Experiment.
There was maybe 300 people in there, I think it’s 30,000 people in there now. People wanted to do it themselves.
They were coming in watching they said, “Oh, that’s just water weight. You’ve lost some water weight, not a big deal. You’ll stop losing next week.”
The next week, I felt even better. I felt amazing. I was starting to crave bacon. It was really weird.
People started asking me, “Are you sick of bacon yet?”
After five, seven days, I’m like, “Actually I wake up just looking forward to that bacon.”
I can’t wait for my first meal. I’d have a cup of coffee. And as you know, our appetite gets a lot more controlled following a whole foods lower carb type of approach.
I found going even lower carb, going all the way to zero carb like The Bacon Experiment, the control that you have over your appetite is, I’d never experienced that in my whole life.
I was pretty much always hungry. Even with keto, the way I was doing it.
A dirty keto approach, I would call it at first with a lot of nut flowers, a lot of cheese. And a lot of processed cheese, though.
And I had no idea of what was kind of good and bad for me, I was just, carbs are the only thing I thought mattered, which was not true, obviously.
So anyways, I did the second week, and I was down maybe another five pounds or so. I was down 10 pounds.
All kinds of people started coming in just to kind of watch the show, right?
This guy is crazy, he’s eating two pounds of bacon every day. He’s showing the pictures of it. He’s talking about it.
He’s doing awesome, he’s feeling great, he’s losing weight.
I was out doing walks. Had lots of energy. My energy was really high, I found.
I think that just because ketones have been elevated so it’s another fuel source for my brain.
And so I just kept learning, I spent a lot of time learning and learning about keto during that time.
Felt good, I was able to move, get outside.
I try to get out in the sun almost every day, getting going out for a walk, getting my vitamin D in.
I was always kind of wondering, there must be stuff missing to this, from just doing bacon.
But I couldn’t believe how good I felt just doing this one food.
So, I didn’t really want to stop.
I would say there wasn’t really any catch, there wasn’t a point where I was craving or missing anything.
It all kind of seemed to go away to the point where I was just craving the bacon.
So, I started into my third week and again, my weight loss actually continued.
One other thing I want to point out. So, I was eating 2500 calories of bacon in a day, I thought, when I was doing two pounds of bacon. It turns out after you cook the bacon, you’re actually rendering off a lot of the fat.
Which reduces the calories a lot more. So I really was in a calorie deficit during that time.
Abel: But not hungry?
But not hungry at all.
So that’s kind of where I realized something was different with this and I think it was just how much I was into ketosis, and I’ve also had a bit of a food addiction, I would say most of my life.
Like a lot of people turning to comfort foods like carbs and fats together. I would also, well not just carbs.
So I started finding out, carbs wasn’t the enemy.
It’s more so carbs and fats together, I find is more addictive, I would say. Easier to eat. There’s no breaks.
But on bacon, I did find I would get full. So after eating a pound of bacon, I would be satisfied.
I would be able to go four or five hours.
I wasn’t hungry over a couple hours. I was able to go long periods of time with no problem. And the weight loss.
Abel: I didn’t ask. Were you eating like 3 meals a day? Or how were you breaking it up?
I ended up doing it two meals a day. So, it made it real simple.
I had bacon that was in one pound packs, so I just cook a pack, I got really good at cooking bacon.
The Best Way To Cook Your Bacon
Abel: What’s the trick?
I started off doing skillets and in the pan and stuff like that, then I realized that high heat on bacon is not a good idea because then the nitrates form the nitrosamines, and so here’s the way to do it.
So you take a sheet, a cookie sheet, cover it with parchment paper.
Now this part is kind of optional, you can get a little rack to put on top of your cookie sheet, to kind of keep them off of the cookie sheet, I suggest doing that.
Take your bacon and fold it in half. So you have it length ways, you’re folding it in half.
So it’s only half the size. Cooks way more evenly like that.
So, you spread it out. One layer cover the entire cookie sheet, which you could cook about two pounds at once that way.
350°F in the oven, the smoke point of bacon is 365°F.
So, if you don’t go over that, you’re never going to really burn your bacon or have it be a problem.
So at 350°F, depending on how thick your bacon is, cook it for about 45 minutes to 60 minutes.
And once you have it like that, I would say, most people would never cook bacon another way again because it just cooks really evenly, renders the fat.
There’s no crunchy on one end, fatty on the other. It’s just all perfect.
So that’s one little thing I’ve discovered along the way, and I tried a few things.
I tried, I don’t know, putting water in the pan.
I tried to air fry or I tried different things. The oven just seemed to just turn out really well.
So then I started, to where I do two cookie sheets at a time with 4 pounds of bacon at once and the house smelled amazing.
You’re walking into the house and it just smells so good. It was all smoked bacon as well.
So yeah, it was really neat. So, I cooked it like that.
Abel: Would you eat it fresh or you would eat it cold sometimes too? Or would you reheat it that way? What’s the deal with that?
Yeah. You wouldn’t believe it’s actually really, really good cold.
A lot of people would pre-make their bacon up and then not even reheat it.
You could, but in The Bacon Experiment, or I would almost call it the bacon community that I have now, there’s a thing called purse bacon.
So, there’s actually women that’ll make their bacon up ahead, they will take their bacon with them, put into a little bag or container.
Abel: We have done that. That’s a great trick. I love that on planes… well, I did when we used to fly.
Or in the movie theater.
Abel: Oh, totally.
People have done that. They’ll take in their bacon and have it pretty much anywhere they go.
Abel: Yeah, better than going hungry.
So I’m going to tell people a little bit more about what happened.
Abel: Yeah, please.
Third week, I ended up down maybe 15 pounds. It was almost pretty consistent, 5 pounds a week.
At the end of the 20 days, I had lost 20 pounds.
But the other thing is, the day before I started this, I went into the doctors.
I was trying to get some bloodwork because I wanted to get a reference on what was going to happen here.
I didn’t want to just assume that it was healthy for me.
Even with everything I had learned, I wanted to prove it, I wanted to know for sure, “Let’s look at the blood and let’s see what’s going on.”
My wife told the doctor that I was doing a bacon experiment and she’s like, “Tell him what you’re doing telling, tell him what you’re doing.”
She wouldn’t let it go and so I had to tell her. Doctor was also a vegan that…
Abel: No way.
Had been practicing yoga and was really into it.
So she’s like, “Oh, you’re doing… Okay.”
And she’s like, “Well, you know what?” I had a patient that did Atkins 10 years ago and lost 100 pounds, and everything, a lot of her health stuff improved. So, I’m going to say, yes, I want you to do this. Go ahead and try it.”
And I was really overweight still, having a lot of health problems.
Blood pressure was high, all this stuff was going on.
So, she even wrote down extra tests.
She’s like, “Well, let’s see how your liver likes this bacon.”
Just being a little snarky with me and writing down extra stuff.
So, she had all these different tests that we were going to do.
And at the end of… By the fourth week, I had lost 20 pounds in 30 days and I got a lot of attention.
A lot of people wanted to try it for the weight loss part.
I was not ready to tell anybody else to do it yet. I wanted to see how this affected me.
So, I went in to the doctors the day after I had finished, had my blood pressure checked.
My blood pressure was, before I started, 156/88. That was after doing a dirtier keto approach for a year.
So, I didn’t want to know what it was at one time. It must have been even higher.
So, anyways, I had my blood pressure checked and it came up as 120/68. So, pretty perfect blood pressure.
Every time I’ve had it checked since then, it’s like 112/66, 118/70, that kind of thing.
Abel: That’s awesome.
It stuck. It’s been a permanent change. Same with my gout.
So going with this bacon, going with the lower carb approach, it got rid of my gout quickly.
Haven’t had a gout attack now for seven years since I first started this.
That was life-changing for me because it had been an ongoing thing.
When I was 15 years old, I had my first gout attack. The fix that my doctor gave me, he gave me some sort of medication and he wrote down the cause, obesity, and he wrote down 1600 calories a day on a piece of paper.
Abel: Deep thinking right there on the doctor.
Handed it to me and like as if I was fixed, “There you go. Here’s your drug, here’s your pill, here’s your 1600 calorie.”
And I had no idea what calories really were at that time or how to track them or anything.
This was before MyFitnessPal and stuff like that. So it didn’t help me at all. I went home and had a bag of chips when I was a kid.
So, anyways, going to at the end of The Bacon Experiment.
Next thing the doctor looked at was liver. She didn’t speak for three or four minutes.
So, my wife and I were both looking at each other like, “Uh-oh, this doesn’t look good.”
Because she looked shocked just reading it and rereading it a couple of times.
Her mouth was a little bit open. And I was like, “Uh-oh.”
And the first thing she said, she’s like, “Well, your liver is barely working.”
And I was like, “No, no. What do you mean my liver is barely working?”
And my wife still looking at me like, “I told you. I told you this bacon was not going to be good for you.”
And she goes, “No, no. I mean your liver is hardly having to do any work. That’s what I meant.”
She’s like, “Your liver’s hardly having to do any work. All your markers have come down a lot, not just a little, but a lot.”
“So blood pressure has improved, liver markers have improved.”
And then she looked at my fasting blood sugar and my A1C.
So you’re looking at the three-month average of blood sugar. It had only been 30 days but even that had come down.
A1C had come down, fasting blood glucose, inflammation markers.
So, C-reactive protein, that had come down, and I just felt great, too.
So it wasn’t just the blood but the blood was proving what I had felt.
I had already knew that, “Wow, I feel amazing doing this. Why?”
That was next question.
So, I literally spent probably a year looking at, “Why did this work? Why is bacon so magical? Why did every single health marker improve? Why did I lose weight effortlessly?”
I wasn’t hungry at all. My mental clarity was amazing. I was able to learn a lot. I was able to stay focused.
So, many things that just seemed to have improved. It didn’t make sense to me why.
It was that much different than what I was doing. So I just kind of kept looking in looking again, looking for the catch.
Why shouldn’t I do this more? What’s the reason?
And bacon doesn’t have everything we need but as an elimination, I kind of look at it like that, like you talked about carnivore being.
And I kind of agree with that. So it’s eliminating a lot of things that do cause us problems, right?
You’re just getting rid of a lot of the processed foods. Anything with keto on the label, I would avoid now.
Abel: That’s good to hear, because I felt that way for a while.
Yeah, not a lot of good products. Starting to be a few companies now.
It’s usually people like you or me that actually have been focusing on nutrition for a while looking at it, then they’ll come up with a company and get clean products.
So there are some good ones now. They’re not all the same, but for the most part, everybody jumped on the bandwagon.
Every fitness model, all these companies putting out all this, all these products, a lot of terrible fillers and stuff like that.
Abel: Yeah. A lot of things in the keto products that are totally not keto, like sugar, for example.
I’ve looked at some of them and it’s like, “Keto? What are you talking about?”
It’s got like 18 grams of sugar in it. They don’t care. They don’t know and they don’t care, a lot of the people who are selling these products.
It’s scary. And like maltodextrin, I see that in some of the stevia products.
I see maltodextrin with it, but it says it’s sugar free.
And for people that don’t know what maltodextrin is, it’s about 130 on the glycemic index, so way worse than sugar, like really going to spike your blood sugar.
And here, I imagine diabetics are having these products.
Abel: It’s so dangerous.
This is a better choice. I can’t believe that they get away with stuff like that.
But I think a lot of why The Bacon Experiment worked so well is just that, I had eliminated a lot of processed foods.
Reducing the carbs for me has been a huge deal.
It’s been life changing where, because I have had a food, I would say addiction problem most of my life to where every time I have stress in my life or every time I’m struggling in some way I turn to food, and it would have stopped right when I did gain the weight.
To begin with, my parents were going through a divorce that was kind of messy and it was very stressful at that time and I turned to food as my friend and that kind of led to a whole life of doing that, always turning to food for comfort.
And there’s always the stuff I shouldn’t be having like the pizza and french fries and that kind of thing.
What I realize now is that it’s more so carbs and fats together that I kept getting drawn to, sugar.
But things like chips and that kind of thing.
So, going to whole foods, I started to realize how much of a difference it makes.
It’s not just that bacon is a superfood, bacon is the best food on the planet or anything like that.
There’s a lot of foods that are more nutrient dense, like oysters and salmon and liver and things like that.
But I’d eliminate a lot of junk. I already got rid of a lot of products that, even the keto products that would say four net carbs on them. They would still have gluten. They’re still made of wheat.
I would check my blood sugar. And it’s like, “Well, this is acting like it’s about 15 grams of carbs instead of four, right.”
With how much my blood sugar was going up. Things like that.
So I started realizing these products aren’t what they appear to be.
I think whole foods is definitely the approach I should take and try to keep moving towards more whole foods.
If it has a package or a label, then maybe it’s not the best idea to even have that.If it has a package or a label, then maybe it's not the best idea to even have that. @ketodan Click To Tweet
I heard you talking about shopping on the outside of the grocery store.
And I thought you know, it really does eliminate the processed junk. It’s not that you have to even pick the perfect foods.
It’s that you’re eliminating all the ones that are hurting us, because a lot of those foods, it’s like there’s no brakes on them.
The food addiction part of it, I just didn’t even realize how big of a deal that was or how much that was affecting me until this past year.
And it’s not just me, it’s like all kinds of different people out there, turn to those comfort foods.Right now the whole world's kind of on high stress and turning to those comfort foods. @ketodan Click To Tweet
What I would say is, if you’re eating more, like right now, if you find yourself turning to those comfort foods, if you stick to whole foods, and just eat more of them, you’re really going to be so much better off.
Even if you’re snacking a lot.
Like I’m a big fan of intermittent fasting. Doing two meals a day.
I built an entire keto program based on what I did on The Bacon Experiment.
Similar calorie, similar macros, like people think of bacon being very, very high fat.
After you cook it, it’s actually about one to one fat-to-protein. So it’s about a one to one ratio.
And I had people doing The Bacon Experiment, they would do it for the full 30 days like I did.
I had people lose 30 pounds in 30 days. People that were reversing their diabetes doing this.
What I mean by that is fasting blood sugar would be over 200 when they woke up.
Now it’s 80 or 90 every day just from doing bacon.
They’re like “What do I do now?” I would say, “Go low carb or keto. Stick to the whole foods” and they’re like,”What’s keto? What’s low carb?”
So it’s teaching people one at a time, like literally helping people one at a time.
And I started putting together more meals based on The Bacon Experiment. Like five pieces of bacon and five eggs.
We’re putting some eggs into the mix.
Suddenly, you got a lot more nutrients, a lot more fat soluble vitamins and eggs are very filling.
So, we would do stuff like that, kept building out a menu, had maybe 10 or 15 things and after doing that, pretty much about a year, like I said, of research, I launched my own keto program.
And I would just give people this right here. Here’s 12 items, just expanding the menu a little bit and kept expanding and expanding.
Well, it’s been three and a half years now, I think I have 140 different meal options all with the macros.
And it’s all whole foods.
We use herbs and spices and a lot of meats, a lot of vegetables.
Just this past six months, I have more of a carnivore menu as well, which is just like another option.
I feel like bacon only, if somebody wants to try, do it maybe for seven days, get a good quality bacon.
You might want to have some magnesium with it, because if you’re not going to eat enough magnesium, the other thing would be potassium.
Potassium is a little bit of a topic that’s controversial.
Yeah, because it can affect your heart. You can’t get too high.
But getting the electrolytes in is important if somebody wanted to do two pounds of bacon a day that would be for a man for weight loss.
And by the end of that, you feel like you’re in control of your eating.
So if you’re struggling and going to those comfort foods, over-eating, those foods that have no brakes.
I think most of us know that.
You really don’t hit a point where you’re full or satiated with those foods. You just want more and more.
So when you do go over to something like strict keto or carnivore, that’s where it’s so powerful that it gives us control back.
That’s what it did for me and that’s why it was so profound. Put me into that deep ketosis, removed all the junk.
So, somebody could try it for seven days for themself and just see how you feel.
If you’re feeling worse, there’s going to be a little bit of dehydration that happens in the first few days.
But if you’re getting your fluids in, the bacon usually gives you enough salt, which is the number one thing.
People get depleted on salt and sodium. That’s a fast thing.
Abel: Yep. And it’s easy to have that happen, especially if you’re fasting.
So, it seems like bacon covers that. It’s built-in. So it makes it more fail-proof. It’s a really good way.
If somebody’s never tried keto or getting into ketosis, it’s an easy way.
Because after three, four days, you’re in ketosis, you’re starting to feel like, “Wow, what’s going on? I’m not hungry.”
I’ve had people get really freaked out, “Dan, I’m not hungry, something’s wrong.”
They’re trying to call me on the phone, they’re trying to email me.
They’ve never felt that in their entire life.
They’ve never felt in control of their eating. They’re always hungry.
So, they thought something must be horribly wrong.
And I’m like, no, that’s, that’s what you’re looking for. That’s why this works.
It gives you that control back. You feel higher energy. You don’t feel hungry all the time.
Now it’s up to you when you want to eat.
You can take the time. You can put together a more nutritious meal, a more complete meal, if you want.
And bacon’s just a gateway to get into ketosis and experience that.
So, it’s easy, that’s the other part of it, it’s so simple.
When you’re in a stressed state and you’re struggling, it can be hard to make those right choices a lot of times.
You’re in a brain fog. You’re in that carb fog, that’s how I would look at it.
And when you get into ketosis, you’re feeling a lot better, you’re feeling clear, it’s made a lot of people ask about it more, want to learn more about it in the same way it did for me.
Why is this working? Why do I feel so good? Why are all my health markers improving eating bacon?
This should be like clogging my arteries right now.
And then the more you learn, it’s like there’s actually a ton of science behind all this.
The mainstream media does not put out the information that you can find when you start digging.
It’s hard to find it. You might have to go into PubMed.
You might have to start looking at studies and you might have to start talking to people, getting N=1 real results from real people, and see how they feel what’s working for them.
That’s how I learned was just by doing my own experiments like that, doing my own bacon experiments, and I did a whole bunch.
So, I ate nothing but eggs for the week. I ate nothing but salmon.
My brother was the same weight as I was, and he did nothing but bacon for a week, and I did nothing but salmon for a week.
The salmon was the most filling food. Try to eat two pounds of salmon in a day.
Abel: Yeah, I have. For various reasons, I’m not going to get into it.
But yeah, it can be tough to fill up in a way that it’s just so efficient in filling you up.
You want to keep eating, but you’re done, you’re full.
Yeah. It tasted good. I liked it and everything. But yeah, you’re just so full.
And I think it’s because it is so nutrient-dense, there’s a lot of it.
Abel: Yeah, and the Omega-3, so your brain’s happy. You’ve got plenty of fat.
Yeah. Everything about it just worked.
And I found, I couldn’t believe how much different it was than pretty much most foods I’ve ever tried.
But most of us don’t try these mono diets or they don’t really do experiments.
So, I learned a lot from doing that. I found out how filling eggs were.
You could fill up on 300 calories of eggs or 400 calories of eggs versus something that I would also have looked at as being healthy like macadamia nuts or different nuts.
But you could put 300 calories of macadamia nuts in the palm of your hand versus five eggs.
You have the macadamia nuts, you’re reaching for another handful of macadamia nuts.
But you have five eggs, you’re not going to have five more eggs.
Same with the salmon. It was the same kind of thing, just so much more filling.
So I tested out, I don’t know, chicken breast, I tested out steak, I tested out turkey.
I would say for weight loss and keeping you full on the fewest amount of calories, which is that’s what weight loss is all about, I would have to say going with the salmon was probably one of the best foods that I had.
Bacon was the funnest. I definitely enjoyed it the most. I’m eating meat candy all day and feeling great.I'm eating meat candy all day and feeling great. @ketodan Click To Tweet
My health’s improving, the weight’s just falling off me.
But I think that we do need to implement a lot more foods and I do think having a combination, doing some seafood, getting some salmon in, getting those omega-3 fats.
I think what you said that the omega-3 fat’s very, very important and that it can convert to DHA for our brain is such a big deal.
And a lot people that have grass-fed beef for the omega-3s, but you can’t really beat salmon.
Even just one or two fillets of salmon would probably equal the same omega-3 fat you’re going to get in your grass-fed beef all week if you’re having it for dinner every night.
I didn’t realize how much more there is.
So, having that in there, it’s just you’re putting them in as, almost like vitamins or multi-vitamins or supplements.
You get the nutrient dense foods, and it just, they really work.
You feel better overall. You’re fuller quicker and longer, I would say. You’re not seeking more nutrition an hour later.
Abel: Yeah. It’s not hard to fill up on oysters and sardines, too. You know what I mean? Those will fill you up nice and quick.
And that’s a nose-to-tail food also which is so important.
I know you’ve talked about that and I have as well, that eating nose to tail, if you are going to go for the meat and water thing, you can learn a lot from it.
And who knows, I am not going to rant against people. If they’ve been doing it for 20 years and it’s working, go for it. That’s what I think.
But the nose-to-tail piece of this is like, if you’re going to get all your nutrition from animals, you’ve got to be eating nose to tail.
You have to find some perfect combo of getting all the nutrients that you need.
But it sounds like from the people who do it well and know what they’re doing, you can.
Yeah. And how I’ve approached it is where I look at people as doing it that way. Meat and water, steak and water.
I would look at that as a pretty hardcore version of carnivore.
The way I do it is a little different. The way I teach, it’s a little bit different.
If somebody wants to have some herbs and spices and make their burger taste like a little bit of chili powder in there, and maybe a little bit of turmeric or something like that.
I look at plants more as medicine and flavor, nowadays.I look at plants more as medicine and flavor, nowadays. @ketodan Click To Tweet
You said that for years as well. I heard you talk the same way and I agree with that.
And I do think there are some benefits of some. There’s a lot of anti-nutrients and all that kind of thing.
And does that offset the benefits of some of the vegetables? I don’t really know.
Abel: For some, yes, I would say. For some, definitely.
Yeah, there’s definitely some problems that way. But I do feel like they do.
They can add to our life. They’re adding to that without really causing any harm. A lot of them.
I am talking, again, about herbs and spices and condiments.
And then you have stuff like primal health or Mark Sisson’s products and stuff like avocado oil.
When you get researching, you see there is actually a lot of… There’s some quality products out there nowadays.
Abel: Yeah. And it’s taken a few years.
Not so much. But yeah, why not use something like that?
If it’s not going to cause any harm and it’s going to make your food taste better, you’re going to enjoy the experience more.
Maybe slow down a little bit when you’re eating and actually enjoy it.Maybe slow down a little bit when you're eating and actually enjoy it. @ketodan Click To Tweet
I feel like there’s a lot to be said for that. It makes it more approachable for more people.
Most people are going to not do meat and water. They’re not going to do that. They just wouldn’t do it.
But if I ever said you could have bacon for seven days, see what you feel, it’s going to make them even think about it, probably.
Because I’ve seen people lose 20 pounds. Some of it is going to be water weight, but I’ve seen people lose 20 pounds in their first 7 days doing bacon and then that gets their attention.
They’re like, “Wow. What’s going on here?”
And you say, “Well, you just lost some body fat. You just lost some water weight. I want you to keep up on the electrolytes.”
And start explaining what’s going on, why it’s working.
You’ve shifted from being primarily a sugar-burner over to being a fat-burner.
You’re burning the fat that you’re eating but then you’re also able to transition into your body fat without really having a hunger all a sudden.
You all of a sudden don’t get starving where you’re really hungry you need something.
I find that comes more on a glucose based metabolism.
When you’re doing a fat-burning metabolism, it’s like you’re even all day.
And I know you know this, you teach this as well.
But your glycolysis’s level, your insulin’s level and which also affects all the other hormones like leptin and ghrelin and your hunger satiety hormones.
So, you’re just really not hungry.
People think that I have some unbelievable self-control or self-discipline.
And I’m like, “It’s literally the foods that I’m eating make all the difference in the world.”
It’s not that I’ve suddenly gained control over it. I have not rid myself of all stress and stuff, although I do make that a focus more these days.
It’s just that I’ve taken out a lot of the foods that want me to eat more and more and more.
And I know I still remember something clearly you said, again, 6 – 7 years ago, that when you’re fasting and it’s not until you have that first meal that you get hungry.
And I know you still talk about this. You have that first meal, that kind of triggers hunger. That’s when you get hungrier.
It’s not usually before that, because you’re in that fat-burning state.
You’re happy. You’re happy burning body fat.You're happy. You're happy burning body fat. @ketodan Click To Tweet
You could go a long period of time, no problem. You could do exercise, maybe not very intensive stuff.
The very intensive things, you do need glycogen. It’s a little bit different endurance-wise. So it just seems to never run out.
I don’t know who said this, I’m taking somebody else’s quote.
But it’s like driving a big truck with the gas tanks on the side and it’s a gas tanker. You go through your gas in your tank, and you’re unable to tap into the big tanker in the back.
So it’s just flipping that switch. Suddenly you have hundreds of thousands of calories available, you can just keep going and going.
And that’s what I found. And I think that’s a huge part of why keto or strict keto and maybe even considering eliminating carbs for a while, it just gives you that control.
So, that’s where people are able to lose weight effortlessly.
Cut down, get to their goal weight, and then you got to figure out, how does this look at maintenance, how does this look for a lifestyle?
And that’s going to be different for everybody.
How to Maintain Fat-Loss
For me, personally, soon as I start trying to add back in some carbs, hunger and cravings start coming back pretty quickly.
I could see myself quickly getting derailed.
And even potatoes and stuff that would be typically Paleo, I find that for me it makes me hungrier and I don’t have that control.
I find that I do best, I thrive when it’s maybe 20 grams or under, so which would be considered a therapeutic ketogenic approach.
But I always focus on protein and that is why I think protein- very, very important to keep up and I make that more of a focus.
Fat, definitely important. Protein, I look at as being satiating immediately after your meal, so when you first finish your meal you’re full.
Fat, I look at, as it’s a bit slower to digest.
Fat’s giving you energy and it kind of stretches your time out when you could go to your next meal.
So, I could go five hours after eating, say a ribeye. If I had a beef tenderloin or something like that was really lean, after a couple of hours I could be full if I had the same amount immediately after, but after a couple of hours, I start to get a little hungry or…
So it’s that combination of fat and protein together I find really gives me control of my eating.
And I think a lot of it’s getting into ketosis, so it’s suddenly I’m fueling and thriving off of burning fat and ketones.
It’s just a lot different, like it’s pretty much the only way I feel like I can stay at my goal weight or maintain a fairly healthy weight and not really go to the carbs, because I just look at it’s all or nothing.
Like I look at it as from an addiction view point, I would call it abstinence.
I don’t know if you know, do you Dr. Robert Cwyes? Have you ever heard of him?
Abel: I don’t think I do.
So he calls himself the carb addiction doctor, and he really looks, like he’s really looked at this in really detailed… because he’s gone through it himself.
And I think that’s, a lot of times that’s the best educators, that have gone through this themselves.
And so he had a, he would call it a carb addiction, and would always turn to the carbs, and he had to end up going more towards a carnivore approach as well.
And that’s where I found it, where I am.
And that’s not everybody, right?
There’s a lot of people that don’t have to do that.
But for some of us, it just gives us our life back, and he talks a lot about that and it’s this…
And you can do stress management, which is very important.
He talks about the lifestyle changes, getting sleep, getting in the sun, all those things can go a long way too.
But for whatever reason, totally eliminating the carbohydrates, doing that abstinence approach, it’s very, very powerful.
It was really important for me to mention it, talk about that on your show just for a minute, because it’s a very stressful time right now.
So, people are turning to those comfort foods over and over. Maybe try cutting them out for right now, for temporarily.
Doesn’t mean you’re not going to start adding those back in.
But if you go very low carb for a while, it could give you that control back that you need, and it won’t be such a struggle.
And that’s what it’s done for me and that’s why I’ve made it a lifestyle now.
It’s been seven years and I really feel like this is how I’m going to have to eat forever, because any time I try to start bringing more carbs back in, it doesn’t work for me.
But I can add more fat back in, so that’s where I see maintenance for me is.
You don’t want to end up being just a skeleton which maybe it could happen.
Keto is very powerful for helping you burn fat.Keto is very powerful for helping you burn fat. @ketodan Click To Tweet
But that’s where maintenance is for me. It was just adding more fat in, having, enjoying my bacon as often as I want, having eggs and having double yolk eggs, for example, or things like that.
I kind of felt like I was just increasing my calories, increasing my fat.
Whenever I tried to do that with carbs, I would quickly start to get derailed.
It’s very powerful, and I think unless you experience it yourself, you can’t really understand how well that works, just how much control it can give you.
So, I think that’s where people could just do bacon. That’s a really good way to get into ketosis and experience that.
If you don’t feel well, then don’t do it. Go back to what you were doing.
Maybe go to more of a whole foods approach, but if you feel like a lot of people do, where,
“Wow, I’m not hungry anymore. I’m in control. I can decide how much I’m going to eat. I can decide what I’m going to eat, when it’s convenient.”
And suddenly your life becomes, you’re not tied down to the next meal.
You’re not planning out where you’re going to eat along your trip, or something.
If you want to drive somewhere, five or six hours, that’s no problem. You don’t have to stop if you don’t want to.You just reach into your purse and grab your bacon. Click To Tweet
Abel: I love that.
Well, I can’t believe it, we could talk all day, but we are just about out of time.
But please tell folks, maybe just a quick few words to those other health coaches, especially out there, who are having rough times, and people who run gyms and their own practices.
Maybe just a few words for them, and then you can share where people can find you and your work.
Sure. The way I’ve been looking at it is that I think people that are helping other people through nutrition and even through exercise, like coaches, I think right now is a time when we’re needed.
It’s easy to withdraw and get in that place of stress and fear that a lot of people are in right now.
But I think the other side of that is, we could step up, lead by example, start figuring out what helps.
So, that’s what I’ve been focusing on just the past few weeks or so, is stress management.
I have to get outside every day for a walk. I’m still getting out in the sun and we’re even picking up the weights that were starting to get a little dust on them here and kind of start exercising actively. Actively reducing my stress.
Take it, take it to the stress. You have to build up some resilience, I guess, is how I look at it.
I didn’t realize that I hadn’t done that for a while. I was just kind of coasting along, right? Felt good all the time.
But you throw, and life is always going to throw stuff at us, like this. Life always does.
There’s always going to be a death in the family. There’s always going to be something that happens that’s very stressful.
If we’ve built up some resilience and we do have like a routine and a schedule, and stuff like that, that we can fall back on, cling to those.
I would say cling to those things during a time like this, find some normalcy. Do your walk, do some exercise.
Those things make a huge difference.
I can’t… So I’ve started to work with people privately lately more than anything.
I did group coaching and helping people online and doing live Q&A’s and stuff like that.
I’m finding that a lot of people aren’t even able to focus on that right now.
They’ve started going towards private one-on-one help and giving people more specific advice.
And the clients that I have right now that are thriving, you wouldn’t know that we’re going through anything right now.
They’re just so bright and alert. They’re exercising every single day. They’re doing 30 minutes of exercise.
They’re keeping things very strict Keto, they’re doing whole foods.
Some are doing carnivore, others are doing a fairly strict keto with a lot of greens and things like brussel sprouts and the salmon and getting on to nutrients and those people are thriving right now.
A lot of people are struggling. A lot of people are turning to the comfort foods. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
I find that food can be very very powerful more than… You have to try it to understand and believe what I’m saying even.
Words only go so far and it really doesn’t take long.
Try it for seven days, suddenly you’re out of your funk. You’re starting to feel better.
You have the energy to at least open your door and get out for a walk and then keep building on it.
It could seem overwhelming for some people to even start exercising right now, but just going for that 10-minute walk and I look at it like baby steps, keep building on that and that’s all you can do.
You don’t have to get overwhelmed. You don’t have to do everything perfect. You just have to start doing something.
And I think that it’s just a starting place.
Get outside each day. Get in the sun preferably when the sun is high in the sky.
That will help you sleep. That will bring down your stress. It all cascades.
So you’re all of a sudden, you’re building yourself back up.
That’s what I’ve been doing for the last couple weeks.
Just being consistent about it even when I didn’t feel like it. And I’m starting to feel back to normal, somewhat.
I know it’s weird to say that when the world’s gotten a little crazy at the moment. But it’s working.
So, hopefully that gives a people a little bit of hope that you can return to those things that made you feel better.
Say, if somebody had at the start of their journey where we tend to be really motivated.
We’re doing lots of stuff. And it does make us feel amazing and we get hooked on it.
Go back to that. Go back to feeling like that. Go back to doing those things. Being more active about it where you’re on a mission.
You’re on a mission to reduce your stress and there’s lots of things we can do to do that, and it does work and back to what I’m doing right now, you mentioned that.
So, I haven’t done group coaching for a long time. Right now, really loving working with people one-on-one.
If there’s anybody out there that does want to work with me or want my help, they could reach out.
I guess I’ll leave my email with you. It’s firstname.lastname@example.org.
So really really simple. And what I’ve been doing is just giving people a very very simple menu.
Like, here’s two or three options for your first meal of the day. Here’s two or three options for your second meal the day.
Give them portions and everything else and it’s things they have on hand because we can’t get everything at the grocery store right now. We can’t get everything.
There are some really fantastic companies that would deliver meat. There’s one here called truLOCAL. There’s probably one you work with in Canada. They actually source your meat locally.
Abel: Wow, cool.
Deliver it to your door. So I do that. So there’s ways to do it.
And the butchers right now, they would love to have your business.
Local butchers they are used to… Most of their meat goes to… A lot people don’t realize this, I don’t think, but goes to restaurants.
And since all the restaurants are closed, they have a huge stockpile right now.
So while you could go to the grocery store, your CAFO beef is sitting there limited at one pack and not marked down right now, probably marked up… or you could go to your butcher and they…
You’re really going to make a difference for that company.
You’re getting lot better quality meat most of the time and they’re fully stocked. They’re probably going to give you a deal right now.
And that’s what I’ve found. I went to my local butcher and when I do run out of my meat that gets delivered because we eat a lot of meat.
I find that going without it, you can still find a lot of whole foods out there. It’s still pretty stocked.
A lot of people have gone out and bought all the pasta and all the stuff that’s actually leading to problems, but they’re stocking up on them because they’re shelf-stable.
But you can still find the good stuff. You just have to dig around a little bit more for it.
Abel: We can do it. It’s worth it.
Yeah. And so my focus has kind of shifted a little bit lately to helping people with the stress management part and I just can’t believe how much that’s helping people.
You would never know that they’re going through anything.
So that’s one thing I just want to leave people with.
If you want to make yourself feel better, start doing that exercise. Start being a little more active.
And instead of comforting yourself of those foods, maybe comfort yourself with a big plate of bacon. Make a meal out of it.
I know somebody’s smiling right now, not just you.
I know somebody is out there just the thought of that, they’re like, “Well, yeah. That does sound really good. I’ve never had a meal of just bacon. But why not?”
It’s not going to cause you harm. It’s not going to cause you to overeat. And it is going to make you feel good.
It actually does increase dopamine.
So, like I said, I’ve looked into all this quite a bit more than most people– whatever you’d want to know about bacon.
But it does increase dopamine. It does increase serotonin.
Abel: It’s a comfort food.
So, it is a little bit of an addictive food or a comfort food, but without the consequences.
You’re not going to want to eat again in five minutes. And you’re not going to eat five pounds of bacon in one sitting.
You’re going to have enough and then you’re going to be running on that for a while. And you’re going to feel great all day.
So, it’s an easy way to break out of that cycle.
If somebody’s in the addiction cycle, that’s how I look at it now and I would call it that. And where you’re eating chips and pizza and everybody knows all the stuff.
I don’t even want to say some of the foods because that’s… They’re very triggering. It’s usually, like I said, sugar and fat.
So, ice cream, things like that. Ice cream doesn’t have to be bad.
But a lot of those foods can just be overeaten, and that’s where we turn to our comfort.
If you’re in that spot right now though, maybe try The Bacon Experiment.
You could find my group as well on Facebook.
Try it for seven days and it might just break you out of that, get you off the couch and where your chips don’t…
They aren’t calling your name anymore or that kind of thing. And then go more towards a whole-food approach.
You’ll definitely, you’ll thank me for it.
You’ll feel so much better, and you’ll probably not come out the other side of this so much worse off.
You’ll actually probably come out better off at the other side of the isolation and all that. It does work.
Just give it a shot and you can… It’ll basically get rid of the hunger, get rid of the cravings, and it happens pretty quickly.
By the fourth day, I’ll even say exactly. So day three is hard, day two is hard, two or three.
By day four, it’s almost like the sky opens up and suddenly, “Wow, I don’t want the chips. I don’t need those foods anymore.”
I think the only way to experience that is to try it out.
Abel: Yeah. Well Dan, you are a brave and generous man. I really appreciate you taking the time to come on.
Thanks Abel. I really appreciate it.
And like I said, you definitely got me started on this journey. The way you talked about bacon all those years ago made it sound awesome.
And yeah, I’ve seen your photo and seen how good of shape you’re in.
And I thought, “If this guy is able to get away with bacon, why not? What do I have to lose?”
And I’m glad I did. I’m glad I went down this path, and ended up at whole foods and meat-based.
It changed my life, in every way possible. There’s no other way to explain it.
One thing I didn’t mention to you is that I was dating an affiliate for a long time. And so I had a pretty successful career.
Had all these health problems with my gout and heart disease risk, high blood pressure, high liver markers, everything.
So, I didn’t have my health but I had wealth.
I was making really good money at the time and I finally realized that doesn’t really mean anything.
You could end up with heart disease or cancer or a lot of those chronic diseases that we end up landing on.
And I knew that’s where I was going.
So I walked away from all that once I had figured this out for myself to become a keto coach.
I went from a big six figure income down to, I think, $20,000 I think I made my first year, with expenses on top of that.
But I don’t really regret anything because it is hard to figure this stuff out, and there’s landmines everywhere.
Grocery stores are full of stuff that’s going to derail you and it’s almost like it’s set up to make you sick.
So I walked away from all that because that’s how important this is to me.
And I had just no idea that it was just sitting here the whole time.
I could have been getting healthy while eating the foods that I love.
The stuff that you kept talking about just really sounded amazing to me and I’m glad I tried it. I’m glad I gave it a shot.
I opened up my mind as a vegan at the time, like I said, and raw vegan thinking that these are poisons to,
“I’m just going to try it. What do I have to lose at this point? What do I have to lose?” And I’m glad I did.
And I think that’s how a lot of people should approach this, is not take my word for it or anything I’m saying, but try for yourself and see how you feel and prove it to yourself.
Look at your blood markers, look at all that stuff, look at your sleep, your energy, how you feel, your mood, all those stuff matters.
And all that stuff, that’s where the answer is for each individual.
Yeah. I think that’s all I wanted to say is that I walked away from everything, my old life.
We downsized our house and all that so that I could focus on helping other people, because I still can’t believe how powerful…
I’m still excited about it. And it’s been seven years since I discovered this.
Still excited that it works every time, almost.
It’s every single person that tries to get rid of the junk and move to the whole-food approach, very low-carb.
It always works. It always feels better.
Things tend not to get worse. They always get better and they get better quickly. So, it doesn’t take long.
You just have to get people to give it that one shot and very quickly, it starts changing their life.
And I love doing it, and just want to say thanks again for pointing me in the right direction.
Abel: My pleasure.
I can’t even imagine. I can’t imagine how many lives you’ve changed because you change somebody’s life like mine, and here, I’ve now helped thousands, probably tens of thousands of people just giving them good advice that actually works, because there’s a lot of bad advice.
So, once we find it, focus on it, and help other people.
And I think that’s how this whole movement is going to keep growing and keep changing is that grass roots and prove it to yourself first, see the results in yourself, and then you can become an advocate and start helping other people.
You get hooked, and you feel so good. Your mood changes so much, your control of your appetite, control increases so much that you can’t help not to become an advocate.
At least that’s how that happened to me.
I just I couldn’t not do this, I couldn’t not help other people especially when I figured it out.
So, I’ve always really admired what you’re doing and I know that it’s impacting a huge amount of people.
Just because of the people you’re teaching, they’re then teaching people, then they’re teaching people. Has to be millions.
Abel: I hope so, Dan. But that’s why I really appreciate you as someone who started off as a listener.
And I try to have a lot of people like that on because all of our journeys are so important in different ways.
And we can all be coaches to the people around us, whether that’s in a professional way or not and we all need each other more than ever.
There are dark forces against us, is a euphemism, is a nice way of saying it these days, I think.
So, we really need to stick to truth and experiment on ourselves and share those truths with each other because it’s difficult.
But we can do it.
Where to find Dan Quibell
If you’d like to connect with Dan Quibell for one-on-one coaching, you can get in touch with him at email@example.com
Be friends and follow along with Dan @TheBaconExperiment on Facebook and Instagram, and @ketodan on Twitter.
And you can save over $70 off Dan’s 30-Day Keto Camp (just $27).
Before You Go…
Here’s a note that just came in from Jarett. I’ve been back and forth with him a few times. He just signed up for the newsletter, and he says…
Help a fella out. About 4 years ago, I started listening to your podcast and bought your book. I also have the app and have tried the greens.
I’ve shared with you before that over the course of a year, I lost about 50 pounds. And it was easy. Just stupid easy.
I was stunned at how I kept dropping each week. It was probably 6 months before I even started injecting some exercise into my routine. The majority of the weight was dropped by changing my eating.
I was shocked that while I levelled off and the drops weren’t coming any more, the weight stayed off for over 2 years. Everyone was constantly asking how I lost the weight and I pointed them in your direction.
Now, I sit here at a loss. I’ve put back on about 30 pounds. And honestly, I can’t figure out what has changed.
Now I’m frustrated and honestly, a bit sad. Not too-far-gone sad. I’m ready for a comeback but I just don’t know what to change.
I’ve been doing the intermittent fasting for at least two and a half years. I live in Austin so we typically have healthy options even when eating out.
What can I do? Did I destroy my metabolism with the fasting? Is my thyroid shot? I want to get this weight off.”
Hey Jarett, thank you for getting back in touch.
There are a lot of great questions here, and I know that we’ve been emailing back and forth. But there’s a lot that you bring up that many people have asked about recently.
Many people have written in or got in touch with me saying similar things where, what was working before is not working now.
There was even a Guinness World record holder who got in touch with me, who usually has a perpetual six-pack, and he’s just like, “I put on 10, 15 pounds and I can’t see my abs anymore. What happened? All this stuff I was doing before that’s always worked, it’s not working.”
Well, let me just say, if you’ve looked around at the outside world any time recently, it’s pretty clear that things are going straight off of a cliff, and that stresses us out, whether we realize it consciously or not.
Subconsciously, we’re all being just battered and banged around, if you’re spending any time on social media, any time on the Internet, any time trying to get news or be informed, you’re getting beat up at the same time.
So looking at the future, when our just general sense of safety and security is threatened for ourselves, our families, our children, and all the rest of it, that can interrupt our sleep processes.
That can make us a little bit more stressed out, crave the wrong things at the wrong time, maybe hit the carbs and sugar more than we otherwise would. Maybe just eat more than we otherwise would.
In any case, there are so many factors at play.
Here are a few things that I would look at. And I know we’ve already talked through a few of these, but I’m just kind of trying to generalize this advice.
If you’re feeling like what was working before is not working for you now, it’s a great time to get your blood tested. If you can afford it and it’s reasonable, especially if you have good health insurance, which we don’t even, but we still often will go and get tested just to look at our own blood results, our blood work.
If you’re able to do that, then you can start looking at your testosterone levels, whether or not your thyroid is operating like it should, as well as your other organs.
So that’s really important. That’s one thing that you can definitely do, and it’s worth bringing that up.
But there are a lot of other things that you can try as well.
And we’ve been doing this for a decade now. We’ve coached people down to 3% body fat, some just insane levels.
There’s a roadmap to getting the fat off and changing your body composition, so we can help you get there.
A couple of things you might want to try is to blunt your hunger. Try to hit protein first. Try to make that your main macronutrient.
Don’t worry about putting tons of fat on everything, that’s going to be caloric.
And if your issue is maybe having too many calories right now for your body’s needs, many of us are exercising less than we did before, getting out less due to lockdowns and restrictions and that sort of thing, in addition to all the stress of what’s going on and the lack of sleep and all the rest of it.
So, trying to hit your protein and make sure that your nutrition is really on point is never going to hurt you. That’s going to be a good thing. We all need protein on a regular basis—vegan, vegetarian, paleo, carnivore, keto, all of us.
Try to hit your protein.
Don’t go too heavy on the fats, but make sure that you’re not hungry either.
And dial down the sugar to the extent that you can.
My wife and I, we like eating sourdough, cookies, pizzas and tacos and all sorts of luxurious stuff. But there’s a big difference between trying to get weight off and maintaining.
So if you’re more in the lifestyle of kind of maintaining and eating to keep your head right and using food for entertainment, that can be okay. But it’s a different goal than trying to optimize your body.
So here are a couple of just quick tricks that many bodybuilders and physique competitors and athletes have used, myself included, to get the weight off over the years.
And that’s, if you’re already doing intermittent fasting, then try to do a low-intensity workout sometime early in the day, around midday before you have your first meal.
And the goal of this exercise is not to go intensely. It’s to go for, you know, 20, 30 minutes, maybe 45 minutes if you’re feeling it, just breathing through your nose nice and easy in that fat-burning zone, so to speak.
And one of the reasons you do that is because it can help optimize your metabolism, and get your blood flowing. You’ll feel a lot better physiologically.
And then, if you avoid the super-high intensity stuff and the super-high weights for that workout, especially, then you can kind of sense it’s relatively low intensity. You can do it as often as you’d like.
Sometimes I do it later in the day or in the evening, especially if I couldn’t workout intensely that day.
But by avoiding that intensity and the heavy weights, you also avoid, most of the time, the ridiculous hunger pangs that come after that exercise, right?
After I go for my big runs up the mountains or the heavy lifts, I get way hungrier.
And so, if you get hungrier after your big exercise and after your workouts, great time to put on muscle. Great time to put on fat too, if you’re not careful.
So, if you’re playing with a little bit of exercise, try that low intensity, maybe with a bit of black coffee, if you don’t want to be completely fasted, if you put a little cream in there, it’s no big deal.
But there’s a big difference between one little tablespoon of cream and dumping a whole thing in there—doing a fatty coffee with 500 calories in it is totally different thing.
So, try to do some fasted, low intensity workouts, and hit your protein.
And then, I don’t want to be totally quantified self and looking at my data and my blood work, and my biomarkers all the time, but if you are putting on weight and you don’t know why, and some things are working and some things aren’t working, it’s a great time to double down on the self-tracking.
That could be as simple and cheap as just taking your notebook and writing down on a daily basis, journaling what you ate that day, maybe how you exercised, maybe how you slept, if you’d like.
So it doesn’t have to cost money, but I have used Fitbit in the past. I use Garmin watches for running and GPS and measuring my heart rate. I have an Oura ring, which I really enjoy for looking at my body temperature, my sleep quality, and a lot of other things.
So look at your sleep, measure it.
Food journaling, try to hit those low-intensity workouts.
And then, you know, if it’s the time where your body kind of wants to put on some weight, I know that I go in different cycles, where sometimes I really feel like putting on some muscle and I don’t mind putting on a little bit of extra fat then too, it seems like this is a decent time.
You could always go for the super heavy lifts right now and just treat it as a bulk and try to make it a clean bulk, as much as you can.
So anyway, a few tips for you, Jarett, and those of you who are listening who might be going through some similar things.
A lot of people are talking about the C-15—putting on 15, 20, 30 pounds due to lockdowns and the extra stress and not sleeping that well.
So, we all can be a bit better, you just need to get specific about your goals and also be honest with the way that you’re tracking your progress.
So, one more quick thing, to counteract an overload of bacon, we can talk about Wild Superfoods for a minute.
If you’re in the U.S., it’s only in the US right now, but we’re working on this. We’re trying to get it out there.
Wild Superfoods is our own supplement company with nutraceuticals that are shelf-stable. They’re literally the supplements that me, my wife, our family and many of our friends have been taking for years.
We believe that they’re the best out there.
If you do test your blood, I challenge you to see how our supplements show up in your blood work, because you can test it. It’s the real thing.
So anyway, Collagen Cocoa is one of the new obsessions in this household, as well as for many people.
Because we’re finally able to get it out there. It’s a high quality collagen supplement that tastes quite like cocoa, whether it’s hot or cold, thrown in a smoothie, in water, in milk and yogurt.
Collagen Cocoa is grass-fed, bone broth protein from cows raised on pasture as nature intended, as well as high quality cocoa powder, medium chain triglycerides and a bit of organic stevia leaf powder, just to give it a little bit of sweetness.
People have been raving about it recently, we really appreciate your reviews and your feedback.
We’re also going to be coming out with a lot of recipes, so one thing to know about Collagen Cocoa, it’s an enormous container, so keep that in mind.
If you’re planning on ordering in bulk, maybe just order one at the beginning, because it is an enormous amount, but we like having too much around.
So anyway, you can go to WildSuperfoods.com/CollagenCocoa.
Or you can just look up Collagen Cocoa on wildsuperfoods.com, that’s the only place you can get it. Not on Amazon, not on other places. This is one of the ways that we help to get you nutrients and also directly support this show.
So if we throw it on Amazon and all these other different platforms, then they take their giant cut, their giant piece of the pie, and we’d have to charge you more.
So, if you’d like a discount, we’re always running sales and good stuff for you over at wildsuperfoods.com. Please check that out.
And if you just want to dip your toes into the wild lifestyle and get some of our free meal plans and other goodies, please just sign up for our newsletter.
Did you enjoy this show with Dan Quibell, the man behind The Bacon Experiment? Have you done your own bacon experiment or N=1 experimentation? Drop a comment below to share your results with us!
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