Eat Meat/Drink Water - The macros of a ribeye steak diet...yes, it's Keto, so what?

A reader (David) posted the following question in the "Becoming the Carnivore" comment section:

"How much meat/grams do you eat per day?"

I think my answer is better shared as its own post. The question seems simple, and I will attempt to answer it simply, but there are tricky calculations I want to make clear. 

Since posting the "Becoming the Carnivore" article, my diet has progressed to meat and water only. I define "meat" as any type of animal muscle. I have coffee here and there, and eggs if we're out of meat. I eat 2 ribeye steaks a day on average and an extra pound of ground beef, if im training hard. I have bacon about once a week. Intake is entirely dependent on hunger and thirst. I salt everything, including my water. carnivore study

I'm participating in the carnivore study, which is why I began eating this way. This is the first carnivore study since 1932. The protocol is meat and water only. We want to know if meat and water alone is a healthy human certainly appears so. A good study will help spread this knowledge. 

The Numbers

I dont count calories or macros and I recommend others refrain, too. Calorie counting is the fastest way to waste time. But, I will review the macros of specific foods when I begin eating them for a better understanding of my practice. 

The following is a breakdown of Ribeye steak. I can calculate my daily intake by simply doubling these numbers. 

At first glance this looks like a high protein meal, containing 155 grams of protein and only 109 grams of fat. However, when translating those numbers to CALORIES, we see the tables are turned. 

ribeye nutrition facts).jpg

As you can see in the bottom of the above image, 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories; whereas 1 gram of protein (or carbohydrate) contains only 4 calories. Fat packs double the amount of energy per unit of mass. This is one reason fat is so satiating. 

Steak is 60-70% fat

Is the ribeye diet ketogenic? Yeah, probably. I test positive for ketones regularly, but I dont really care about ketones anymore. 

The keto police say a ribeye diet contains too much protein to be a true ketogenic diet. Yes, I agree. But true ketogenic diets suck. Restricting protein for the sake of ketones is the worst thing you can do for performance and lean mass. Restricting protein will lead to the form of muscle. DOH! I learned this the hard way back in 2013. The only reason to practice a true ketogenic diet with protein restriction is for a medical therapy...and most dieters reading this aren't doing that.

If you're still in the honeymoon phase with keto, you're likely obsessing about ketone levels and high fat intake. Maybe you're listening to too much Dave ASS-spray. If you want to increase fat content, cook with leftover bacon grease, butter or some other delicious lipid. You can always add in MCT's too. 

Muscle Protein is mostly Water

Within the "lean muscle" portion of the steak is about 400 grams of water. The water rests in and around the cells and in the blood. Fat is hydrophobic (repels water) and doesnt contain any water. You can easily calculate the amount of water in a steak by subtracting the grams of fat and protein from the total grams. In this case:

652 gram (total) - 109 gram (fat) - 155 gram (proten) = 388 gram (water)

Your steak is mostly water...then mostly fat...and lastly protein. 

So, to answer Reader-Dave's question, (using the steak above) this is what I'm eating daily (at least/estimate):

Protein- 310 grams / 1240 calories

Fat - 218 grams / 1962 calories

This brings me to a 61% fat, 39% protein and 0% carbohydrate diet, before accounting for cooking fats.

I estimate I add a couple hundred calories of bacon fat for cooking daily. Yes, my steaks are bacon flavored. If I werent participating in the carnivore study I'd likely add egg yolks and heavy cream to my morning coffee...maybe some MCT's. 

ribeye diet pie chart.jpg

If I wake up hungry, I eat a steak. If not, I wait until after training to eat one in the afternoon. Then I eat another one for dinner with my family. If im still hungry I throw a pound of ground beef in the cast iron skillet. This is the easiest, simplest and most pleasurable diet I've ever experimented with. 

Eating steak with my son makes me a happy man. #ribeye @shawnbaker1967

A post shared by Gabe Rivera (@gabriel_charles) on

I spend a total of 20 minutes cooking steak a day and an average of $10 - $16 dollars a day eating this way. I use to locate low priced steaks and I stock the freezer.

Are you currently happy with your diet, performance, eating satisfaction, hunger and weight loss? Is your diet complicated? Could you put your diet on auto-pilot like mine? Could you do this diet? Let me know in the comments.

If you want help with nutrition, keto, low-carb, or carnivore dieting, shoot me an email. Lets dial you in.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for the question, David...whomever you are. 


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