001 - From fat loss towards a health first lifestyle

2024-6-9 on Sunday
1936 words
10 minutes

This article expresses my opinion only. None of what is presented here is medical advice!

In today’s newsletter I'll discuss how this journey started with fat loss as my primary goal, and how I ended up with Health as a life style and 16kg of weight lost.

My fat loss journey started more than a year ago. at that time I was 91 kg and still in fairly good shape. Performed weight lifting 4 times per week, ate a whole foods diet with carbohydrates around 100 grams per day give or take. Ate my vegetables, half a plate, and ate my meats on the other half. Basically, ate 3 times per day, as is typical for most people.

16 kilogram fat loss in 12 months

Note: Body fat percentage is a very inaccurate estimate from a bio-electrical impedance scale. I estimate my body fat is around 15% using calipers.

During this time my fat weight was variable based on the cardio activity i would undertake. Since my days then consisted of a lot of office work, It meant I was sitting a lot, and moving only on fitness days.

If you want to go more in-depth into the Calories in, Calories out topic. I've written in detail about this here

I was slowly gaining weight in this period. Then slowly I came to realize I need to change my approach. This realization is basically captured in 2 phases;

  1. Calories In, Calories Out, we just need to do calorie tracking. Problem solved?!
  2. Mindset change; Calories model doesn’t work, what does work? and why?

Phase 1: Calories In, Calories Out (CICO)

May 2023, see the image, I knew at that moment I had to take control over my situation to turn around my weight gain.

I started using Macro Factor, a calorie tracking app. You enter your daily intake of foods, it will track the macros of that intake. Additionally, you regularly keep track of your weight (daily preferably) and over time the algorithm of the app decides how to adjust your calories based on the weight and food inputs. The calorie adjustment is based on preference, how fast you’d like to loose weight essentially.

This did work to reduce my weight over the course of about 5 months, by under eating ~200 calories a day. It’s considered by the Macro Factor app to be a conservative weight loss approach.

What I ate during this time was a keto diet, ~50 grams of carbs max which meant more fat and slowly getting fat adapted to instruct the body to use fats for energy essentially and not rely on carbohydrates.

But around the 5 month mark it started stalling (about October 2023) and I also noticed my eating patterns would vary in terms of calorie intake. Which of course means the CICO was not any longer in a deficit for long enough for it to “burn” enough fat.

Wake-up call

This was my wake up call to start looking into another solution. Macro Factor is a nice app for weight tracking. But it’s not the solution for a long term Health approach that will keep off the fat (particularly the nasty visceral fat!) permanently.

From then on I decided to get on the Carnivore diet, keto was essentially the gateway to carnivore. Drop the vegetables and you’re on a carnivore diet.

That change made a huge difference.

Around October of 2023 I was approximately 84 kg and plateaued. As soon as I started on carnivore it dropped another 9kg(!) in the 4 months following it.

Not all of that 9kg would be fat weight, there’s a part water weight due to insulin under the influence of carbohydrates holding on to more water.

I believe the plateau was caused by over-consumption of carbohydrates comparative to my activity level would still cause a too high insulin response. The only way to get my weight in an optimal range using the CICO method is to under-eat even more. Or do a ton of cardio.

This revelation of diet and hormonal interaction showed me that macro intake specifically, is THE factor for weight management. NOT Calories in, Calories out.

Phase 2: Mindset change

This information comes from my own experience, and significant amounts of reading and research into expert opinion in the field of biochemistry and nutrition.

This mindset change from calorie tracking to considering a more holistic viewpoint, has led me to a lot of researching and figuring out where our diet originated from. How hormones react to diet (macros specifically) and what we can do to positively influence them.

With that I’ll touch on the main diet staple, the other questions and answers I’ll leave for another article or newsletter. Stay tuned for that!

The main staple of your diet needs to be muscle meat from ruminant animals (cows basically),

Why? Because this kind of meat contains all the fundamental building blocks to build and maintain your body.

These building blocks are in a nutshell;


In saturated fat we can find:

  • A (Retinol) for eye and immune system health.
  • D (Cholecalciferol) for immune health and hormone production
  • E as an anti oxidant, hair, skin and eye health supporting.
  • K2 for proper transport of calcium from tissue to bone.
    • This can reduce general calcification (arteries) and move it to where it’s needed instead.

In the meat as water soluble vitamins we have, Vitamin:

  • B, of note particularly is B1, and B12 of which many people have deficincies that can lead to serious health complications;
    • B1 (Thiamine): it helps the body digest food, import in your nervous system function.
    • B12 produces red blood cells, essential for brain and nerve function.
      • Deficiency in either one of these can cause nerve related issues, mental problems such as depression, weakness and tiredness.
  • C, unlike popular believe, there is vitamin C in meat. It’s there in sufficient quantity to provide daily needs.
    • The reason you need less is because uptake of Vitamin C happens through the same receptor (GLUT4) as Glucose (Carbohydrates ). These two compete for access, meaning less absorption when you eat a carb diet.


All the minerals we would require such as:

  • Zinc, Selenium, Magnesium, Calcium, Sodium, Copper. All essential for optimal function and these also support vitamin use in the body.
    • Without magnesium you cannot mobilize vitamin D.
    • Zinc is required for Testosterone production.
    • Copper is essential to create “energy” from your food (Mitochondrial function)
    • and many more interactions.

Miscellaneous benefits

Other amino acids and compounds found in beef that aid in health, such as;

  • Creatine: brain function supporting and improves muscle performance by optimizing “energy” production in your muscles.
  • Taurine: immune support, hydration support (it essentially manages electrolytes and ensures optimal water levels), gut support. and much more. Taurine is the underappreciated work horse amino acid.
  • Gluthathione: anti-oxidant, associated with cancer reduction, improves general organ health, improves immune function.
    • Glycine is a related amino acid, but mostly found in bones and connective tissue that provides much of the same associative benefits as Gluthathione.
  • L-Carnitine: Muscle (heart) and brain health supporting. Additionally often extra supplemented to improve exercise performance.

That was already a laundry list of benefits, and I know there’s much more to beef than listed here and is possibly known at this moment in time.

Beef is the super food for humans

Beef is a super food that has been demonized for the wrong reasons, but for the right pockets.

With beef as the main staple, we can identity the following macros that we need to eat in order to optimize our health.

Protein is about a quarter of any piece of beef, for most people you can calculate the requirements as; 2 grams of protein per kilogram of ideal body weight.

When this requirement is met, we have sufficient protein for bone, tissue, and ligament repair next to growing our muscles. Then we can consider the next macro on the list.

Fat is the second main staple and required for Humans to live, without fat there’s no hormone production. A lack of dietary fat means that you will have all kinds of side effects; low energy levels, it affects your mood, depression like feelings and satiety.

Do not overlook how much fat is required in a human diet! Women tend to have higher dietary fat requirements than men, if you feel that you’re not satiated, or you have hormone related issues. Fat intake is likely a primary candidate to increase to help solve that problem.

Fat will mostly come from your beef, choose fatty cuts like Rib-Eye or Chuck. In case these are too expensive. I would recommend grass fed butter. Butter contains the same, or similar, profile of; fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin D and K2, and minerals.

Carbohydrates are non essential, to finish this list with. They’re created by the human body from Glucagon signaling by conversion of proteins or fats and then used for muscle energy for example and some of that will go to the brain as well.

What do we eat for optimal Health?

  • Meat from ruminant animals preferably, i.e.Cows, otherwise; Pork, Lamb, Chicken for example.
    • Fish is an option for a couple of days a week, be sure it’s fresh and not farmed! There’s risk of mercury and general heavy metal contents in fish from farms.
  • Fat from meat or from butter preferably, otherwise heavy cream is an option. If you do not tolerate Dairy, lard (pork fat), Tallow (beef fat) and ghee (clarified butter, without proteins) may be alternatives here.
  • Dairy such as raw milk based cheese, because raw milk based cheese contains the essential minerals and vitamins still. Pasteurization kills much of the nutrition and is therefore not recommended.

The frequency of meals is ideally, and for most people, one meal per day (OMAD). If you need to adjust, eat 2 or 3 times per day to get into this new way of eating.

OMAD is optimal because meal frequency causes insulin responses every single time. and general inflammation. For the best management of your health and weight. Eating less frequent will be more beneficial over the long term.

Protein intake has some insulin response, but it’s significantly lower than carbohydrates. Fat intake has no insulin response at all. In fasting mimicking diets this can be used to get the benefits of fat loss and autophagy with some food intake.

How to transition to a new diet?

Always transition over a period of 6-8 weeks when switching from one diet to another type of diet!

Transitioning slowly to a new diet is very important because otherwise it could cause issues with your gut micro-biome, resulting in pains and other discomforts such as bloating.

Take a 6-8 weeks transitioning approach where you slowly remove the old diet, and replace it with the new diet. Adjust the period as per your need and situation!


Diet and their hormone interaction is essential for Health management. Knowing what to eat will make managing your hormone response from diet a lot easier.

Important to remember is that carbohydrates are completely optional for human functioning. We need protein and fat from meat to maintain optimal hormone levels and health (life) span.

This is the sustainable approach to long term weight management without doing excessive cardio. It will also be the long term approach to maintaining muscle mass through more than sufficient protein intake.

My current weight is 75 kg. This was only possible by:

  • adopting a sustainable life style by recognizing the proper human diet.
  • understanding issues related to hormone imbalance due to high carbohydrate intake (among others).
  • stopping an unsustainable low calorie diet and fixing my mood swings.
  • appreciating saturated fat, thereby increasing mental clarity and general mood.

Adopting all of this as a life style makes weight management become effortless.

If you’re interested to read more about this topic, let me know on Twitter and keep an eye out for more newsletters on this topic in the future.

I appreciate your time, for any content suggestions or corrections on what I’ve provided. I’m always open to talk and learn.

Let’s continue the discussion on Twitter and have a great day ahead!

Title:001 - From fat loss towards a health first lifestyle

Author:Rolf Streefkerk

Article link: https://rolfstreefkerk.com/newsletter/001-from-fat-loss-towards-a-health-first-lifestyle [copy]

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© 2024 Rolf Streefkerk. All rights reserved.

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