A lot of time meat may look like the single best food on Earth but will you feel the same after a month or more on a strict carnivore diet? Although such habits are possible for a die-hard meat lover, many will experience a dangerous drop of energy from the extreme low-carb intake.
How to overcome or prevent it? The key is to trick the brain into the idea of diversity, even when your supplies are limited. The way to achieve it is to have a diversity in the execution of your all-meat diet, with a significant supply of various carnivore diet recipes. Luckily, thanks to the popularity of low carb and keto diets, it is easy to keep things fresh for quite a while. If you look for some carnivore diet recipes on Reddit, you may find enough resources that you won’t even have to cook the same meal twice throughout the whole month.
Is the Carnivore Diet the Same as the Keto and Zero Carb Diets?
Yes and no.
The carnivore diet is a zero carb diet, but not every zero carb diet is strictly carnivore. The difference is, mostly, in side dishes and condiments. The Carnivore Diet is a product of a controversial belief that human ancestors ate mostly meat and fish. It supersedes the famous Atkins low carb diet program, following the claim that high-carb diets are the main cause of disease in modern, hedonistic times.
Other popular low-carb diets, like the keto and paleo diets,although strongly limiting carb intake, do not cut it out completely. The strict version of the Carnivore Diet aims for zero carbs. Even though testimonials from those who follow this meal plan claim that it can help treat several health issues, there are not enough research results to support these claims. The Carnivore Diet undoubtedly helps with weight loss, through the ketosis condition.
Low Carb VS. Zero Carb Facts:
- Zero Carb Carnivore in its purest form means animal kingdom only. In short, you eat meat, chicken, fish, seafood, strictly animal fats, and dairy, with some unsweetened tea.
- In Carnivore Keto, you can include non-animal fats and oils, a selection of veggies and fruits for fibers, and almond milk.
- In Zero Carb Keto, you can include some sugar alternatives, like Stevia.
The strict zero carb carnivores will disagree that the bottom two versions of the keto diet can be considered the carnivore diet. Still, those are acceptable alternatives.
Even in the purest form of the carnivore diet,a zero is never the real zero. Eggs, dairy, and some sorts of fish have trace carbs. Organ meats and shellfish also contain some carbs. All of those foods should be seen as a top of your low carb diet food pyramid. What counts is the huge ratio of protein and carb intake.
Carnivore Keto is a hybrid diet of the Carnivore diet and the Keto diet. It is a good option for a newbie since it permits some fibrous veggies. Eating spinach, kale, and avocado will help with digestion and ease the transition period. Healthy oils and fats like olive oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil are permitted as zero carb fats and can add some diversity to your keto meals. Unsweetened almond milk can be used in baking and drinks as another source of variation in the meal plan.
Zero Carb Keto just one step further, with permission of zero carb sweeteners like Stevia and erythritol, for those who can not imagine life without their sweet tooth. There are two major cons to this ketogenic diet choice. First, the craving for a sweet taste lowers in time if you don’t take any, so the usefulness of this decoy is rather questionable. Second, the sweeteners do not affect glucose in the body but have an impact on insulin. It is advisable to do regular blood tests, if you follow this version of the keto diet, to keep all your levels under control.
Saturated fat is not the enemy of weight loss. Feel free to use butter, ghee, whole fat milk, and cheese in the carnivore diet. Just keep the amounts reasonable. Bacon is ok in keto, but don’t overprocess it. In fact, try to eat processed food in your meal plan as little as you can. Most importantly, put effort to find the best meat from grass-fed animals.
It is essential to drink a lot of water. Carnivore diet recipes often involve a solid portion of salt, fat, and spices, and the last thing you want is to risk dehydration.
How to Put Together a Ketogenic Diet Meal Plan
The Carnivore Diet is quite basic in its core, but that is where your creativity and kitchen skills come to play. Experiment with how you cook, bake or grill, explore the world of spices. Here is a sample guide, just for inspiration:
- Breakfast: eggs and bacon
- Lunch: ground beef burger, salmon jerky, chicken bites
- Dinner: filet mignon, crab, turkey
- Snacks: a cube of Parmesan cheese and fatty cuts
- Breakfast: shrimp, eggs, pure meat sausage
- Lunch: ribeye steak, tuna fish, pork chops
- Dinner: lamb chops, shrimps, beef liver
- Snacks: boiled egg, bone broth
We think you’ve got the idea already. Think about including some intermittent fasting in your meal plan. Not only willit help your health improvement and weight loss, but it will also cut down the list of meals you need to invent and prepare.
What Not to Put in Your Meal Plan
This kind of low carb meal plan excludes vegetables, fruits, high-lactose dairy, legumes, nuts, seeds, grains, sugars and any beverages other than water. Yes, that means alcohol and coffee too.
Set Your Goals Reasonably
Keep them visible and stick to them. Even with all the yummy carnivore diet recipes in the world, you will get challenged sooner or later. Like every restrictive type of diet, this one requires a serious commitment. Plan ahead, pick the recipes in advance for the whole week, and make a shopping list and stick to it to avoid temptations as much as possible.
Don’t start with very large portions. Even though the carnivore diet is of the “eat until satisfied” kind, that doesn’t mean you should aim to burst, especiallyif your goal is weight loss. Go slowly and raise the amounts if needed. Use your meal plan as a chance to listen to your body’s demands more carefully, eliminating what it doesn’t like.
Surviving the Low Carb Transition Phase
During the first week or few weeks of your ketogenic diet, pick the recipes from the not-so-strict category. This will ensure a smoother transition and help you keep the focus while your body adapts gradually. Feel free to include some dairy, perhaps even a veggie or two, if necessary.
Your shopping list should contain organic meats, bacon, good quality 100% pork sausages, pork chops and belly, lamb chops, chicken breasts and legs, ground beef, steaks, tenderloins, salmon, trout, tuna, ghee or tallow, and finally, some whole milk, butter, and cheese. Don't forget to get the best quality of meat you can put your hands on. Once you understand how many carnivore diet ground beef recipes you’re going to make, you will want to get the top-notch organic meats.
Learning new skills and finding new ways to cook the meat will bring some fun to your low carb diet. Still, keep the steaks on the raw side as this will preserve a lot of the nutritional values. The more/longer you cook, the more of the valuable protein, minerals, and vitamins break down.
For the burgers:
- 3 tablespoons ghee
- 1.5 lb ground beef
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the sauce:
- 1/2 cup beef stock
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
Place the 2 tablespoons of ghee into a frying pan and warm slightly. When softened, add ⅔ of it to a mixing bowl, together with the ground beef, egg, thyme leaves, salt, and pepper. Mix and form 6-8 burgers. Cook the burgers until both sides are well browned. If you prefer them well-done, make them flatter at the beginning.
For the sauce, add in the 2 tablespoons of additional ghee and saute the remaining meat juice with the beef stock for a few minutes, until reduced. Add in the parsley, move from the heat and serve with the burgers.
Low Carb Chicken Cake
- 1 large chicken breast, cut horizontally into long thin slices
- Slices of bacon, the amount depends on your baking tray size
- Unsweetened mustard or mustard powder
- Garlic powder
- Shredded cheese
- 2 tablespoons of heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease the deeper baking pan lightly with butter. Season the chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder, and lie in the pan to cover the bottom completely. Spread a very thin layer of mustard over it, and top with some shredded cheese. Put a layer of bacon slices next, and cover again with a thin layer of mustard and some shredded cheese. Mix the egg and cream and pour it as a top layer, to cover. Bake 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown-ish.
Dry Rub Ribs
- 2 lb pork spare ribs
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder or cayenne pepper
Cut the ribs, submerge them in a pot of water and boil for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 325F. Mix all the spices together, to form the rub. Place the ribs in a baking pan and dip each set of ribs into the rub, cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes to crisp. This recipe is a good example of using the spices to give more edge to an otherwise very simple low carb meal.
Getting More Serious
As the weeks go by, you should slowly remove dairy products from your meal plan. The butter may remain for a while as a cooking fat, although the ghee does the same job.
Your shopping list should look something like this:
- organic meats
- chicken breasts
- lamb chops
- salmon and other fatty fish
- pure pork sausages
- pork chops
- ground beef
- topside of beef
- ribeye steak
- porterhouse steak
- beef liver
Wrapped Chicken Bites
- 1 large chicken breast, cut to pieces
- Slices of bacon
- Garlic powder, salt, mixed pepper
Preheat oven to 400F. Rub the salt and pepper into every chicken piece, and dip it lightly to garlic powder. Shake off the extras. Wrap each piece with a thin slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick. Bake about 30 minutes, or until crispy. This recipe makes an excellent low carb snack, appetizer, or dinner.
- 2 filets of salmon, fresh or frozen
- 4 slices of bacon
- 1 tablespoon of butter or ghee
- 2 tablespoons of tarragon
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Make sure that salmon filets are dry, use a kitchen paper to soak any excess moisture. Wrap the filets with bacon, tightly and place on a roasting tray, lightly greased with butter or ghee. Ready when crispy. Garnish with some chopped tarragon.
- 1 veal filet or a steak
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons peppercorns
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 tablespoons ghee
Season the steak with salt and let it sit at room temperature for half an hour. Slightly crush the peppercorns, and press them into both sides of the steak. Preheat the pan, add the ghee and garlic. Run the garlic around the pan for several minutes to season the ghee, and take it out. Add the steak and cook not more than 3-4 minutes per side, to get it to medium-rare.
Carnivore Diet Expert
Eventually, you will start replacing dairy products with more beef. Those should also include beef-only days or even a week. Lower the amounts of poultry and fish in your shopping car. Favor more ground beef, ribeye steak, beef liver, and beef kidney. Try to buy the meat from grass-fed only cows, as this will add more healthy fat. From one serving of liver or kidney, you can get more Vitamin B, including B12, than most vegetables and it will give you more than even your daily needs. Also, the raw liver does contain some vitamin C.
After a month of the carnivore diet program, you should be feeling a lot more physical and mental energy. Some weight loss should be obvious, too. Your metabolism is shifted to ketosis, and all the carb cravings should be gone.
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1 lb ground liver
- 4 tablespoons of rosemary
- Up to 1 tablespoon chili pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons basil
- 1 teaspoon mixed pepper
Mix all the ingredients together well and form meatballs. BBQ them, and try not to overcook.
Grilled Beef Heart
- 1 beef heart, about 2.2lb
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste, be generous!
- A good amount of ghee, lard or tallow
Rinse the heart well under cold running water, pat it dry. Cut the heart open, or have your butcher do it before. Remove any visible string, blood vessels, and excess fat. Leave the heart to marinate overnight in balsamic vinegar. Pat it dry before grilling, and season both sides with salt and pepper. Melt the cooking fat in high heat. Put the beef in the preheated skillet and grill the beef heart without moving, 5-6 minutes for each side. Take the heart out of the skillet, wrap in aluminum foil and let rest for about 15 minutes.
Roasted Bone Marrow
- 4 bone marrow halves
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place the bones on a foil-lined baking tray and bake for 20 minutes. , until the marrow is brown and slightly bubbling.
Optionally, you canchoose to make a bone broth.
So, Should I do It?
If you can afford the top quality meat, you should try and see if this meal program works for you. The Carnivore Diet shouldhelp health improvement and weight loss. That is hardly going to succeed through eating low quality and artificial animal products. Grass-fed animals and organic meats do have the nutrients which can benefit your body. Humans are incredibly flexible in their dieting and can adapt to both a vegan style or a mostly meat diet. But we still don’t have enough proof that restrictive programs can bring more benefit, in the long-term, than a balanced diet based full of variety.
The Carnivore Diet is extremely restrictive and definitely not for everyone. Short-term, it is unlikely that it would do any harm. If you try it, make sure to do regular blood tests and, ideally, have professional surveillance.
If there’s no improvement or your health worsens over weeks or a couple of months, give it up and try something else. There are plenty of meal plans around waiting to be tested.
How Long Does It Take To Adapt? After doing this for 21 days, I can honestly say that a full transition would probably need at least 4-6 weeks. In the beginning, your body is working on getting fat adapted and the brain is being rewired to not crave carbs, and that could take quite a bit of time for some.What should I eat the first week of the carnivore diet? ›
So, you are only allowed to consume meat (steaks), butter, eggs, and cheese. For the first few days, you can eat some carbs after two or three days if you cannot continue the diet. But only meat is recommended for the diet plan.What did Joe Rogan eat on carnivore diet? ›
Meat, fruit, and water are in Joe Rogan's carnivore diet. Since January is world carnivore month, Joe Rogan embarked on the carnivore diet in January 2020 and 2021. As the name suggests, the carnivore diet requires him to eat only meat or animal products such as eggs for the entire month.Does carnivore diet make you age faster? ›
Looking at the long-term effects of high-animal-protein diets stretching over decades, it would be clear that this kind of diet accelerates aging and can increase the risk of aging-related diseases, including heart disease and cancer.Can you drink coffee on carnivore? ›
On the one hand, coffee beans are the seed of a fruit, therefor coffee is basically fruit seed extract. Since carnivore means eating only meat and animal products, coffee is clearly not part of the carnivore diet food list.How many eggs should I eat on carnivore diet? ›
Every meal should contain between 4-6 eggs, and 0.75 to 1.5 lbs of steak. Eat two meals per day anytime of the day. Every 6th day is for re-feeding of carbohydrates.Is peanut butter OK on carnivore diet? ›
Can you eat peanut butter on a Carnivore Diet? No, peanut butter is not an animal product.Is carnivore diet good for belly fat? ›
Eating a carnivore diet will cause you to lose fat, but only if you can achieve a calorie deficit. However, any diet where a calorie deficit is created will cause you to lose fat.What snacks are allowed on carnivore diet? ›
- Beef liver crisps. Liver gets a bad reputation for being ill-tasting, but it doesn't have to be. ...
- Grass-fed butter. Yes, really. ...
- Eggs. You'll love the idea of these, right? ...
- Pork rinds. ...
- Bone broth. ...
- Protein powder. ...
- Deli meats.
Foods to Avoid on Carnivore Diet
Fruits: apples, oranges, bananas, berries, etc.
On a carnivore diet, you can eat red meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. The diet excludes all produce, as well as grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Dairy is sometimes allowed. No vegetables of any kind are allowed on the carnivore diet, not even nonstarchy types that would otherwise fit into other diets, such as keto.Is oatmeal okay for a carnivore diet? ›
Whole grains: The carnivore diet prohibits all whole grains, including brown rice, whole-wheat bread and pasta, and oatmeal. Foods like these are also good sources of fiber and other nutrients.Can you eat avocado on carnivore diet? ›
Can you eat fruit on the carnivore diet? On paper, the answer here is no. However, non-sweet fruits like avocados (a fat we love!) and cucumbers are usually considered permissible.How long can you safely do carnivore diet? ›
The longest studies look at the health effects of the very low-carb, high-fat diet for six months at most. That isn't enough time to truly understand the benefits or risks of the carnivore diet over time. Many people who have followed the diet for greater than one year report their lab work is within healthy ranges.What diet gives you the longest lifespan? ›
A Mediterranean diet remains one of the gold standards for living longer and more healthfully. This pattern is characterized by a high intake of fruits and vegetables; whole grains; pulses; healthful fats from nuts, olive oil, and avocado; and herbs and spices. It includes seafood a few times a week.What are the negative effects of the carnivore diet? ›
Carnivore Diet Cons. The cons of going carnivore are the lack of vitamins and minerals, it's high in fat, sodium and cholesterol and it has zero fiber. The Carnivore Diet is not safe because we do not know the long-term effects. It restricts many more important food groups for your health and wellness.Is yogurt allowed on carnivore diet? ›
Some dairy products are also allowed, such as yogurt and milk, but strict carnivore dieters may eschew them because they contain lactose, a naturally occurring sugar that does add carbs.Can you have cheese on carnivore diet? ›
Foods allowed on the Carnivore Diet include all meats and fish, eggs, bone marrow, butter, and lard, as well as small amounts of hard cheese and heavy cream.What milk is OK on carnivore diet? ›
Drink the milk fresh or make raw milk yogurt, kefir, and soft cheeses. Full fat raw milk is a great animal-based carbohydrate source that gives many people a major boost in digestive and metabolic health, a modified carnivore diet with raw dairy can be a game-changer.Are hard boiled eggs good on the carnivore diet? ›
Here are the top 3 reasons why eggs are great on the carnivore diet. Eggs are a nutrient-dense superfood loaded with high-quality proteins, fats, and numerous essential vitamins, minerals, and cholesterol. If you don't have egg allergies, enjoy the heck out of them!
A modified carnivore diet approach will allow small amounts of certain low sugar plant foods like avocado, lettuce, and cucumber. Allowed foods on this diet style include: All meat and fish.Can you eat rice on carnivore diet? ›
Wholegrains: The carnivore diet prohibits all wholegrains, including brown rice, wholemeal bread, pasta and oats. Foods like these are also good sources of fibre and other nutrients.What are 3 things carnivores eat? ›
A large carnivore might hunt down large herbivores such as elk and deer. Medium-sized carnivores include hawks and snakes, and these animals typically feed on rodents, birds, eggs, frogs, and insects. Examples of small carnivores include some smaller birds and toads. These carnivores may eat insects and worms.What desserts do carnivores eat? ›
What desserts can I eat on the carnivore diet? You can eat any dessert that's made with carnivore-friendly ingredients. These include eggs, egg yolks, cream cheese, ricotta cheese, butter, other types of low lactose dairy, and gelatin. There are lots of possibilities, but cheesecake is a hands-down favorite.Can you eat canned tuna on carnivore diet? ›
Tuna. Tuna is a super filling and tasty carnivore diet snack to have around the house. While mercury is a legitimate concern, if you eat tuna in moderation (2-3 servings a week) and avoid it when you're pregnant or breastfeeding, then you have nothing to worry about[*].Is dark chocolate allowed on carnivore diet? ›
The Carnivore Diet
Whole-fat dairy, unprocessed meat, eggs and dark chocolate are SFA-rich foods with a complex matrix that are not associated with increased risk of CVD.
Yes, like any diet, you can get fat on the carnivore diet if you consume too much food and do no exercise. If you overeat and sit on the couch all day, you will notice weight gain. It makes sense if you don't think about it. It's estimated that you need to burn about 3,500 calories per week to lose 1 pound.Which is better keto or carnivore? ›
When considering fat intake, a carnivore diet is superior to keto. And not just because of the vegetable oils that it eliminates, but equally because of the healthy fats that it provides. Common animal fats on the carnivore diet include: Fatty meat–beef, bison, pork, lamb.How many calories should I eat on carnivore diet? ›
Carnivore diet proponents aren't usually concerned about counting calories. However, you should aim to meet your daily caloric needs, which range between 1,600 to 2,200 for women and 2,000 to 3,200 for men.Are cucumbers OK on carnivore diet? ›
However, while they're not technically meat, vegetables can still be a part of your carnivore diet. Carrots, celery, and cucumbers are all great options that can help you reach your daily nutrient goals.
If you need a side dish to your porterhouse steak, then consider a few slices of bacon, bone marrow, or some animal liver to increase your body's protein intake. It's not only the foods that has limits while on carnivore diet but with drinks too.Can you have a cheat day on carnivore diet? ›
If you're practicing a carnivore diet with integrity, you've already done a fantastic job eliminating processed foods, plant toxins, and sweets. So even occasional treats like a piece of cake at a wedding or birthday party are totally fine as long as you're aware of how it does, or doesn't effect your craving patterns.What fruit is OK on carnivore diet? ›
Avocados, bananas, and apples are among the fruits you can eat on a carnivore diet.Do you poop less on a carnivore diet? ›
It's completely normal to poop less frequently on a fiber-free carnivore diet. This is because meat takes longer to digest and assimilate than plant foods do. As your body adapts to your new diet, expect to experience a new pooping schedule.What nutrients do you miss on carnivore? ›
It's possible to get most nutrients from a carnivore diet if it includes organs (especially liver and sweetbreads) and seafood (especially salmon and mollusks). The most difficult nutrients to source from meat are vitamin C, boron, vitamin E, antioxidants and fiber.How many eggs for breakfast carnivore diet? ›
How Many Eggs Can I Eat on a Carnivore Breakfast? You can eat up to 6 eggs for a carnivore breakfast.Can you eat pineapple on Carnivore Diet? ›
The best carbs are the ones that most closely resemble how they occur in nature — not processed or refined. Some to consider are: Fruits, such as apples, pineapple, strawberries.How long does it take to get fat adapted on carnivore diet? ›
After four weeks or more, your body is getting used to living off of fat, or becoming “fat adapted.” In this state, you've pretty much lost your cravings for carbs, feel full faster at mealtimes, and stay feeling full longer, which inspires you to eat less and still feel great.How long does it take to detox on the carnivore diet? ›
Two weeks to 30 days is generally considered a good amount of time to banish cravings and rest your digestive system.How long does it take to go into ketosis on carnivore diet? ›
It typically takes 2–4 days to enter ketosis if you eat fewer than 50 grams of carbs per day. However, some people may take longer depending on factors like physical activity level, age, metabolism, and carb, fat, and protein intake.
In the first few weeks of the carnivore diet, you'll likely get regular cravings for carb-rich foods. This could be anything - from sweet foods like cake or a cinnamon bun to plant foods like a humble potato.Should you have cheat days on carnivore? ›
If you're just starting out on carnivore, it's likely best to hold off on treat days until you're fully adapted to a diet of fatty meat. Treating yourself with high-carb foods from the outset can make it difficult to overcome your carb addiction, sugar cravings, and adaptation side effects.What are the negatives of a carnivore diet? ›
Carnivore Diet Cons. The cons of going carnivore are the lack of vitamins and minerals, it's high in fat, sodium and cholesterol and it has zero fiber. The Carnivore Diet is not safe because we do not know the long-term effects. It restricts many more important food groups for your health and wellness.Do you lose more weight on keto or carnivore? ›
People on the carnivore diet are experiencing faster weight loss, and that's because protein has been known to make one fuller for longer and suppress appetite 2. Another reason is that any diet that lowers the intake of carbs always has a positive effect on weight loss.How much water should you drink on carnivore diet? ›
How Much Water Should You Drink On Carnivore Diet. The old rule of thumb is to drink 8 glasses of water per day, but that may be more or less than what you need on the carnivore diet. Instead, you should focus on drinking when you're thirsty and drink water until that thirst is quenched.Can I have cheese on the carnivore diet? ›
Foods allowed on the Carnivore Diet include all meats and fish, eggs, bone marrow, butter, and lard, as well as small amounts of hard cheese and heavy cream.