Can people over 60 do this diet?

Meet Claire. She has been working with me for a month now and she has a really cool story to tell. Full disclosure, Claire is my mom. She has seen what the carnivore diet has done for me and wanted to try it out herself. She signed up for my mentoring program and we've been meeting once a week to help her understand and get the most out of this way of eating. Here is her story.

"My Fitness Journey, Claire D., Age 64, November 10, 2018

At the end of 2014, as I approached the age of 61, I was very aware of the fact that without some type of intervention, my body was going to continue the decline that I had experienced in the past decade. I had been losing approximately 2.5% of my bone density annually and had finally arrived at the official diagnosis of osteoporosis! This was very concerning to me and I knew that the only way to arrest this decline was to begin some serious weight-bearing exercise.

Enter CrossFit PCR , now Ellicott City Health and Fitness (ECHF). In January 2015, I began participating in CrossFit training with the hope of stemming the decline in bone density. Never having been athletic or attended a gym of any kind, this was very intimidating to me. Bronson provided personal training for a month before I joined the CrossFit classes. I was glad to see that everything was scalable to my needs and current level of ability. It was also quite amazing to experience the camaraderie that existed with the athletes in the classes. (At that time, it was impossible to consider myself an athlete.) No one ever indicated that they were disappointed in what I could do, and everyone was always encouraging and supportive. My goal was to “show up and do what the coaches tell me to do.” Over the years, I have continued to “do CrossFit” and have seen measurable progress in my fitness level. As a person who needs results to keep me motivated, I am happy that they are so clear.

First, the progression of my osteoporosis was halted! A bone density scan after 2.5 years of CrossFit training resulted in NO additional loss of bone mass! And this was without additional bone density drugs or even calcium. I began taking a new form of calcium based on an organic source (AlgaeCal) in January 2018. As they “guarantee” an INCREASE in bone mass in one year, I am anxious to have another scan soon.

Because at ECHF we are encouraged to keep track of our performances, I also have measurable results regarding my performance progress. I have seen gains in strength, speed, and my ability to do movements that I was not able to perform in the beginning. For example, from barbell lifts with just the 15-lb. training bar, I can now push press 60 lbs. overhead. I am able to deadlift 155 pounds and bench press 65 lbs. My front squat is 75 lbs. and my back squat is 85 lbs. I now finish workouts within the time cap more frequently and can heft a 10-lb. medicine ball to the 9-ft. target on the wall. When I began CrossFit, I couldn’t really jump; now I can jump onto a 20-inch box. I can jump rope, row, run, and bike distances and times I would never have thought possible!

Another way I have seen progress is through my participation in the CrossFit Open for the last three years. My performance of the Open workouts in comparison to other women in my age group and division went from the bottom third the first year to the top third last year!

When ECHF purchased an InBody Scanner, another level of fitness tracking became available. This device can determine a person’s muscle mass, body fat mass, BMI, and percent body fat. In August 2017, I had my first InBody scan. It indicated that the amount of fat in my body was disproportionate to my overall weight/size. I was “skinny fat.” What was I to do? My first response was to just keep “showing up” and see what would happen over time. A year later, I did see a 2-lb. increase in muscle mass and a 1.7-lb. decrease in body fat. I decided to step it up and commit to working out at least three times a week with the goal of accelerating this pattern. It worked! In three months, I gained another pound of muscle and lost .6 lbs of fat. Through all this time, I had not particularly changed my nutrition at all eating whatever I wanted. I was aware that eating too much would cause a weight gain (and not due to muscle) and so tried to stay within my BMR of 1200 calories.

In October 2018, I decided to experiment with a change in diet while keeping to my 3 times a week training to see if there would be a measurable result. I began a diet that involved eating only meat, fat, and dairy… no sugar, no vegetables, no fruits, no carbs of any kind. Would this radical way of eating make a difference?

After only four weeks, I have lost 2 lbs. of body fat with no loss of muscle mass! So, in four weeks I lost as much body fat as I had in 14 months working out and eating whatever I wanted. Amazingly, during these four weeks, I have been eating well over 1200 calories, targeting almost 1700 calories per day.

So now my goals have changed from just showing up to being able to do things that I didn’t seriously consider before like climbing a rope to the ceiling, doing a push-up from the floor, and completing heavier overhead lifts. I look forward to my time at the gym. It has become a “happy place” where I can do something for my well-being alongside other like-minded "athletes"."


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