Carnivore Diet + Intermittent Fasting = The Perfect Match
Since the carnivore diet is a zero-carb diet, the benefits you get from eating a carnivore diet are similar to the benefits you get from intermittent fasting.
Before we get to it, I need to clarify that Intermittent fasting means *meal timing—*when you eat your meals.
Do you eat throughout the day or one or two meals in a compressed window?
In the former, you are spiking your hormones during the day. This inhibits fat loss for reasons we aren't going into today.
Simply put, it screws up your hormones and thus appetite and hunger signals.
The flip side is eating one or two, or three meals within a "feeding window." Then outside of the feeding window, you don't eat, thus making it a "fasting window."
My favorite way to practice intermittent fasting is an 18-20 hour fast and a 6-8 hour feeding window.
This has evolved from the 16/8 I started with years ago—this still is a great place to start for most people... skip breakfast and eat your first meal 4-6 hours after waking up.
Now back to the carnivore diet. One of the primary reasons eating a carnivore diet pairs so well with intermittent fasting is the nutrient-rich nature of animal foods.
Steak is a nutrition powerhouse. It is also full of satiating protein and fat.
It's tough to overeat steak. And afterward, you aren't hungry.
You are full. Your body feels content.
You don't need to eat soon after.
Compared to eating sugar, carbs, or other highly palatable foods, you have the opposite effect: you are hungry and more likely to eat soon after. (This is due to the lack of nutrition in these foods.)
This makes sense considering your appetite is getting your body the nutrition it needs to survive and repair. Eating processed garbage leads to eating more processed junk—because your body is STRUGGLING to get the food it desires, so it has to keep eating.
This is the single most significant benefit of the carnivore-based approach: the appetite and satiety effects.
The reason a keto or carnivore diet gets results for people is it focuses on getting people off the foods that wreak havoc on hormones, which are the carb and sugar-filled foods.
When you focus on the number of carbs and sugar you are consuming, you start to eat less. If you're like me, when you start paying attention to your carb intake—especially sugar intake—you'll be amazed by how much there is in the food supply.
By removing the bulk of carbs from your diet, you get myriad benefits, including insulin sensitivity, appetite control, improved gut bacteria, and more. You also eliminate many fake foods from your diet since most faux foods are carb-based.
Naturally Full, Naturally Fast
The satiety benefits of a carnivore diet mean you are hungry less often. So you end up pushing meals back or wanting to skip a meal here and there without even trying.
This is your body getting closer and closer to its natural state—something we all have.
Before you know it, you wake up each day with no desire for breakfast and go hours on end without thinking about food.
It is life-changing.
Soon after that, you'll be able to go for entire days without eating or thinking about food.
Should you start a carnivore diet before intermittent fasting or vice versa?
Everyone should start by moving closer to a carnivore or flexible carnivore diet.
If you compare that to intermittent fasting, you can see the focus on food quality.
If you are eating Twinkies and drinking coke all day, but you start utilizing intermittent fasting, all that means is eating Twinkies and coke within your feeding window.
That is not ideal.
While intermittent fasting is always better than not fasting, you must focus on the quality of the food you are eating. This is the foundation of human nutrition.
So focus on going carnivore first and then let your fasting routine come to you naturally as you start getting results.
Who wants to fast when you can eat this?! Fortunately, your body knows best, so it will.
CARNIVORE + IF RECAP
Let's recap why carnivore eating and intermittent fasting are the perfect matches.
Intermittent fasting helps control hormones. This stabilizes appetite and leptin levels, which leads you to eat less.
This helps your body find its natural setpoint for weight and appetite.
Carnivore is a low or zero-carb diet. Since carbs affect hormones the most, you give your body a break, and your hormones reset.
Compare this to the Standard American Diet and way of eating three meals a day full of carbs, low-quality fats, and industrialized animal foods. Then you have snacks. I won't even go there... it isn't good.
This low-quality diet and frequent eating ruin hormones. This leads to chronically elevated insulin levels, which promotes fat gain. This increases insulin resistance, which makes it harder to lose body fat and stabilize hormones and appetite.
Finally, intermittent fasting is the first Principle of human health. It is how our ancestors lived: with an inconsistent and constantly varied food supply. Hunter-gatherers fast. Plain and simple.
Since a carnivore diet is the first Principle of human health—flexible carnivore, I should say—combining it with intermittent fasting is one of the best things you could do for your health and well-being.
Here are some tips:
- If you aren't hungry, don't eat.
- Skip meals here and there.
- Extend your fasting window here and there.
- Sometimes break you're fast early, and sometimes break it later.
- Overeat at times. Under-eat at times.
- Mix things up often.
- And make the base of your nutrition healthy animal products.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the carnivore diet?
The carnivore diet is a high protein, high fat, zero-carb diet where you only eat animal products. Foods like steak are rich in nutrients, protein, and fat, which helps to keep you satiated and reduces the urge to overeat.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting refers to meal timing. It is a dietary pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. A common method involves fasting for 16-20 hours each day and eating all your meals within a 6-8 hour "feeding window."
How do the carnivore diet and intermittent fasting relate?
The nutrient-rich nature of animal foods in the carnivore diet pairs well with intermittent fasting. The satiety from eating these foods can naturally extend your fasting periods, as you're less likely to feel hungry shortly after eating.
How does a carnivore diet affect hormones?
Carnivorous diets help control hormones by reducing the intake of carbs and sugar-filled foods that can wreak havoc on hormone levels. This can result in benefits such as improved insulin sensitivity, appetite control, and gut bacteria health.
Why should I focus on adopting a carnivore diet before starting intermittent fasting?
It's important to focus on the quality of the food you're eating before restricting when you eat. Starting with a carnivore diet ensures that you're eating nutrient-dense foods, and your fasting routine can naturally develop as your body adjusts to the diet.
What is the impact of a carnivore diet on appetite and hunger signals?
A carnivore diet can lead to improved control of appetite and hunger signals. Foods in this diet are satiating, which can reduce the need to eat soon after a meal, helping to naturally extend fasting periods.
What are the benefits of combining a carnivore diet with intermittent fasting?
The combination can help control hormones, stabilize appetite, and lead you to eat less. It helps your body find its natural setpoint for weight and appetite, and can improve insulin sensitivity.
How does the carnivore diet compare to the Standard American Diet?
The Standard American Diet often contains low-quality fats, carbs, and industrialized animal foods. The carnivore diet, on the other hand, focuses on high-quality, nutrient-rich animal foods, which can lead to better hormone control and overall health.
What should I do if I am not hungry during my feeding window?
Listen to your body. If you're not hungry, there's no need to eat. The carnivore diet can naturally reduce your hunger levels due to its high satiety.
What is the "flexible carnivore" approach mentioned in the article?
The term "flexible carnivore" is not defined in the article, but it likely refers to a version of the carnivore diet that allows for some flexibility, potentially including some plant foods or other non-animal products.
Intermittent Fasting and Carnivore Diet Have Similar Benefits: The carnivore diet is a zero-carb diet, and the benefits of this diet are similar to those of intermittent fasting. Both approaches have significant impacts on hormone regulation, weight management, and overall health.
Importance of Meal Timing: Intermittent fasting is not just about abstaining from food; it's about timing your meals in a way that benefits your body. This can involve eating one to three meals within a "feeding window" and not eating outside of this window, creating a "fasting window."
Carnivore Diet Promotes Satiety: The carnivore diet, which mainly consists of nutrient-rich animal foods, promotes a feeling of fullness and reduces the urge to eat frequently. For instance, it's tough to overeat steak, and you usually feel content and full after consuming it.
Focus on Food Quality: When implementing intermittent fasting, the quality of the food you eat is crucial. It's not about consuming junk food within your feeding window but about focusing on nutrient-dense foods, primarily animal products, which form the base of the carnivore diet.
The Impact on Hormones and Insulin Sensitivity: The carnivore diet helps to control hormones and improve insulin sensitivity by limiting carb and sugar intake. This diet can lead to a variety of health benefits, including appetite control, improved gut bacteria, and reduction of artificial foods in the diet.
Effects of a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet on appetite regulation and body composition
This study examined the impact of a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet on appetite regulation, body composition, and hormone levels. The results showed that participants following the diet had better appetite control, improved body composition, and more stable hormone levels.
Intermittent fasting vs daily calorie restriction for type 2 diabetes prevention: a review of human findings
This review compares intermittent fasting and daily calorie restriction in terms of their effectiveness in preventing type 2 diabetes. The results suggest that intermittent fasting may be more effective in improving insulin sensitivity and reducing body weight.
The effects of intermittent fasting combined with resistance training on lean body mass: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials
This systematic review investigated the effects of combining intermittent fasting with resistance training on lean body mass. The results showed that intermittent fasting, when combined with resistance training, can help maintain or increase lean body mass while reducing body fat.
Effects of low-carbohydrate diets v. low-fat diets on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials
This meta-analysis compared the effects of low-carbohydrate diets and low-fat diets on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors. The results showed that low-carbohydrate diets led to greater weight loss and improvement in cardiovascular risk factors compared to low-fat diets.
Time-restricted feeding is a preventative and therapeutic intervention against diverse nutritional challenges
This study investigated the effects of time-restricted feeding (a form of intermittent fasting) on various health outcomes in mice. The results demonstrated that time-restricted feeding can protect against obesity, metabolic diseases, and liver diseases, even when the diet is high in fat or sugar. Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4255155/
In conclusion, the carnivore diet and intermittent fasting can be highly synergistic approaches to optimize health, control hormones, and manage weight.
The carnivore diet, being a zero-carb diet rich in nutrients, naturally promotes satiety and reduces the urge to overeat, unlike diets high in sugars and processed foods.
This, paired with the meal timing strategy of intermittent fasting, can effectively regulate hormones, stabilize appetite, and lead to improved metabolic health.
- How To Save Money on a Carnivore Diet
- How much meat should you eat on a carnivore diet?
How To Start A Carnivore Diet - The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide