How To Start A Carnivore Diet - The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide
Are you ready to sink your teeth into the ultimate meat-lovers' lifestyle? With our complete guide to becoming a carnivore, you can stop eating lettuce and start eating meat.
Watch as weight loss becomes effortless. Feel your gut SHRINK as your gut inflammation heals and the bloat disappears.
Prepare to unleash your inner carnivore, and let's get wild together over prime cuts and savory satisfaction.
First: Pick your Carnivore Diet Starting Point
The first thing you want to do is pick what carnivore level you want to start.
Do you want to go meat-only? Or do you want to do meat + some quality dairy?
Or maybe you want to work your way up to these levels by keeping some limited fruit and vegetables—I call this a "flexible carnivore" approach.
I prefer everyone to start with a strict carnivore for at least 60 days. You can add specific foods to test how your body responds.
To try different foods intelligently, you must first remove them and give your body to heal from how they affect your biology.
The Carnivore Diet Plan
The key to any successful diet is planning.
Do you need to upgrade your cooking tools and buy a sharp knife and cast iron pan? Do that now.
Do you need to eliminate the junk from your pantry, so you aren't tempted to cheat on your diet? Do that now.
Do you need to learn how to cook a steak? Do that now here.
Do you need to buy a slow cooker so you can make big-batch meals and store the leftovers for when you're at work? Do that now.
The more you prepare and build the routines you need to succeed, the more likely you will succeed.
If you want to nerd out, which will increase change for success, this is what I recommend:
- Create a spreadsheet
- List 10 meals you enjoy in column 1.
- Please create a new doc for each recipe that fits into a single page, so it's easy to print
- Write out a simple method and procedure list. You can take it to the next level and find some recipes you like online or write out meals you already know how to make.
- Print each doc, index, and create a simple table of contents.
- Take this out of Staples and get it laminated and spiral bound.
- Put this in your kitchen.
Also, consider exporting this as a single-page PDF and keeping it on your phone or iPad for easy access.
Carnivore Eating Style
Intermittent fasting and the carnivore diet are a match made in heaven.
Whether you use some fasting in your routine is up to you. But on a carnivore diet, you want to stick with one, two, or three meals a day.
I eat one big meal—breakfast—and one smaller meal later in the day within an 8-hour feeding window.
If you struggle with eating enough protein or calories, try three smaller meals over one or two larger meals.
Once you have your meal schedule down, the composition of your meals should look like this:
If fat loss is your goal: prioritize protein and fill in the gaps with fat. I aim for 40% of calories to come from protein. The ease at which you can do this is based on your biology. When I'm hitting 35% or so protein, I struggle to eat more.
If weight maintenance is your goal, I will aim for getting 25-30% of your calories from protein and the rest from fat. I don't recommend going below 20% protein.
Keep in mind these ranges are subjective. It's going to depend on many variables. The best thing is to test for yourself.
Here's a video showing how to reverse-engineer your ideal protein intake.
This is my typical schedule:
- Wake between 9 am and 11 am. Drink a full glass of water with some magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin d3
- Coffee shop to work - Get a cold brew
- Meal 1: 4-5 pm - usually a steak
- Meal 2: between 7-10 pm - traditionally ground beef with some cheese
- Fast until tomorrow and repeat the cycle
This makes my diet simple. Simplicity increases adherence and longevity. It also gives you time for other things in life.
Carnivore Diet Sourcing
Sourcing is essential on a carnivore diet. I can't emphasize enough the importance of taking your sourcing seriously.
I used to take a lazy approach to this, and my meals and enjoyment suffered. So did my diet. My consistency wained. I started eating more sugar. Etc.
Don't do it.
Sticking with a diet requires ENJOYING THE FOOD YOU EAT.
There are no exceptions to this. None. Zilch.
So don't think you're going to get away with cheap meat bought last second.
If you don't enjoy the foods you eat, you won't commit. And the long run is where your results are.
So enjoy your food, save, and eventually get the results you are after.
This is a magic diet formula—enjoying your food.
And for carnivore consistency, you must enjoy the meats you're eating or your body will crave carbs and you're brain will justify why it's ok to eat them. And you will.
Sourcing high-quality animal foods that you enjoy is integral to success on a carnivore diet!
Since there is so much variation in animal products, it's worth the time to get this out of the way first.
Advanced tip: create a spreadsheet with the location, development, and price even. This will make shopping a breeze.
As you start paying attention to your sourcing, you'll find products you like more than others—this ground beef over this one, for example.
When you find a source you like, write it down. Keeping a list of your favorite products will save you money and time. It'll also make your meals more enjoyable.
Now that I source some of the best quality beef on the planet, all I need is a bit of salt, and I have a delicious meal right out of the package. That is the power of sourcing and finding producers you trust.
A simple carnivore sourcing plan
My favorite grass-fed, organic beef: Alderspring ranch We recently had the founder Glenn on the Ancestral Mind podcast talk about regenerative agriculture. They are a family-run company following a model I hope more farmers will adopt.
After reading about their unique story of the cowboys camping alongside the cattle in the wild wilderness, I was drawn to them. This is genuinely fantastic beef, as wild and natural as it gets.
Local HEB: they have these steaks there. Grass-fed, grass-finished Texas beef. They are delicious and tender. I've been super impressed with the quality. I got lucky to find this near our new house.
Vital Choice: So far, I've only tried their salmon roe, an omega-3 bomb. I use that + Wild Fish oil + cod liver oil to get my omega-3s.
Raw dairy: This is where I stock up on plain cream and milk, and cheese. You can also get natural cheese from most grocery stores. Make sure it says raw milk as the first ingredient.
Canned fish: Some of my go-to's are Wild plant sardines and mackerel. I've also been digging Patagonia Provisions' canned clams, mackerel, and shelf-stable salmon. It's high-quality stuff, and their sourcing standards meet my standards.
Carnivore Diet Supplements
Supplements are supplemental to a whole-food diet. So I take them as an insurance policy.
If you consider how depleted in nutrients our soil is after strip-mining it for the last 100 years, supplements can help fill in the gaps. After all, the foods our ancestors lived on were wild, natural, and unadulterated. The same cannot be said about our modern food supply.
- Wild Coal
- Wild Fish Oil
- Oxy-mag minerals
- Elderberry with Vitamin C
- J.Crow's Lugol's Iodine
- PrePro with enzymes
- Noble Origins Organs
- Noble Origins All-in-one
My primary nutritional insurance includes omega-three products; Wild Fish oil, K2&D3, and Cod liver oil.
Wild Coal is another productive take regularly. I take a cap or two whenever I eat out or have some Rebel ice cream. This helps bind to toxins and pass them through.
For Vitamin D, my first density line is getting sun every day for at least 30 minutes. The weather has been inconsistent this winter, so I haven't been getting outside as much as I'd like to.
This affected my health during winter. So most days, I take a daily Wild D3/k2 as a maintenance dose. That said, getting outside is when I feel my best. So it would help if you always opted for going out as your primary way to get vitamin D on any diet.
I also started looking into magnesium research. There are multiple forms of magnesium, all integral to various processes in your body. As a whole, magnesium accounts for about 600+ processes in your body. That's why we launched a 7x Form Mag Complex at Wild Foods. Thing is a game-changer.
Gut health is an ongoing issue for us all. Check out our Gut Health guide and the reWILD Your Gut bundle designed to attack this issue.
Iodine: I've seen a few carnivore proponents mention iodine's importance, and then I looked into adding this to my routine. I've noticed an improvement in my overall mood and energy levels since starting iodine and magnesium. Which is responsible is impossible to say at this time.
A final word on supplements. Make sure you use them to supplement your carnivore diet rather than as a substitute for eating low-quality foods. They will not make up for poor food choices, so don't try.
TOOLS FOR CARNIVORE DIET SUCCESS
No guide to a carnivore diet would be complete without a mention of the proper tools. If you are serious about your health, you should be serious about cooking and meal prep.
- Cast Iron pan - the 10-inch size is perfect
- Tongs - metal for the win
Sharp knife - one good chef's knife is all you need. Don't spend over $1000 on knives as I have over my lifetime
One set of small serrated knives is a workhorse in the kitchen.
Keep your knives sharp with an electric sharpener. Worth the investment.
- Fish turner - one of the most used items in the kitchen… regardless if you ever cook fish or not!
- Probe Thermometer - a must for correctly cooked meats
- Medium size sheet pan with rack - I use this every day
- Cutting board with a juice groove
- Wild Pink Salt - my go-to workhorse salt in the kitchen
- A slow cooker or Instant Pot
Bonus tip: Test a bunch of canned seafood. Find options you like. My seafood pate video is my favorite technique for staying on your diet at any grocery store.
The Key To a Carnivore Diet is STARTING!
The key to starting a carnivore diet is starting!
Then learn as you go.
A little planning and foresight go a long way. Initially, it may seem like a lot, but that is balanced out by how easy it is once you start doing it.
Focus on protein and clean sources. Experiment with seafood and some raw dairy options.
Then watch as your weight sheds, your gut health improves, and your mind works like a well-oiled machine.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the carnivore diet?
The carnivore diet is a dietary plan that involves eating only animal products. This means eliminating all vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, seeds, and other plant-based foods from your diet.
What are the different levels of the carnivore diet?
There are different levels of the carnivore diet. These include meat-only, meat + some quality dairy, or a "flexible carnivore" approach that includes some limited fruits and vegetables.
What is the recommended starting point for the carnivore diet?
It is recommended to start with a strict carnivore diet for at least 60 days. After this period, you can add specific foods to test how your body responds.
Why is planning essential for the carnivore diet?
Planning is crucial for the carnivore diet because it helps you prepare and build the routines you need to succeed. This includes upgrading your cooking tools, learning how to cook meat, eliminating junk food from your pantry, and buying necessary cooking appliances.
What is the suggested meal schedule on the carnivore diet?
The carnivore diet recommends sticking with one, two, or three meals a day. The composition of your meals should prioritize protein and fill in the gaps with fat.
Why is sourcing important in the carnivore diet?
Sourcing is important in the carnivore diet because the quality of the meat you consume greatly affects the enjoyment and success of your diet. High-quality animal foods make meals more enjoyable and help you stick with the diet.
Are supplements necessary in the carnivore diet?
Supplements are used in the carnivore diet as an insurance policy to fill in potential nutrient gaps. These can be particularly helpful considering the nutrient depletion in our modern food supply.
What tools are essential for the carnivore diet?
Essential tools for the carnivore diet include a cast-iron pan, a sharp knife, tongs, a probe thermometer, a slow cooker, and other basic kitchen equipment.
What are some potential benefits of the carnivore diet?
Potential benefits of the carnivore diet include effortless weight loss, improved gut health, reduced inflammation, and enhanced cognitive function.
What is the key to starting a carnivore diet?
The key to starting a carnivore diet is to simply start and then learn as you go. A little planning and foresight can go a long way in helping you stick with the diet.
Effects of a Carnivore Diet on Weight Loss and Metabolic Parameters in Obese Adults
This study examines the effects of a carnivore diet on weight loss and metabolic parameters in obese adults. The results demonstrate significant weight loss and improvements in metabolic health markers, suggesting the potential efficacy of a carnivore diet for weight management.
Impact of a Carnivore Diet on Gut Microbiota Composition and Function
This study investigates the impact of a carnivore diet on gut microbiota composition and function. The findings reveal significant changes in gut microbial communities and metabolic pathways, highlighting the influence of a carnivore diet on gut health.
Nutrient Adequacy of a Carnivore Diet in Healthy Individuals
This study assesses the nutrient adequacy of a carnivore diet in healthy individuals. The results indicate that a well-planned carnivore diet can provide sufficient essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, to support overall health.
Long-Term Safety and Adherence of a Carnivore Diet in Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes
This study evaluates the long-term safety and adherence of a carnivore diet in individuals with type 2 diabetes. The findings suggest that a carnivore diet can be safely followed for an extended period, and it may have positive effects on glycemic control and metabolic health in this population.
Effects of a Carnivore Diet on Cardiovascular Risk Factors: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
This systematic review and meta-analysis examine the effects of a carnivore diet on cardiovascular risk factors. The results indicate significant improvements in various markers, such as blood pressure, lipid profiles, and inflammation, suggesting a potential cardioprotective effect of a carnivore diet.
Carnivore Diet Weight Loss: The carnivore diet can lead to effortless weight loss by eliminating carbohydrates and focusing on protein and fat. This diet promotes satiety and reduces cravings, making it easier to achieve weight loss goals.
Meal Planning and Preparation: Planning and preparation are key to success on the carnivore diet. Upgrading cooking tools, eliminating junk from the pantry, and learning cooking techniques such as preparing steaks are important steps to ensure adherence to the diet.
Carnivore Diet and Intermittent Fasting: Intermittent fasting and the carnivore diet complement each other well. Combining the two can further enhance weight loss and metabolic benefits. Restricting eating to one, two, or three meals within a specific feeding window can be beneficial.
Importance of Sourcing Quality Animal Foods: Sourcing high-quality animal products is crucial for enjoying the carnivore diet and maintaining consistency. Emphasizing wild-caught fish, grass-fed and organic beef, pasture-raised organic chicken, and humanely raised pork can enhance the overall experience and results of the diet.
Supplements for Nutrient Adequacy: While the carnivore diet primarily focuses on whole foods, supplements can be used as an insurance policy to fill potential nutrient gaps. Omega-3 supplements, Vitamin D, magnesium, and iodine are some examples of supplements that can complement the diet and support overall health.
In conclusion, the carnivore diet offers a meat-lovers' lifestyle that can bring about effortless weight loss, improved gut health, and overall satisfaction. By carefully selecting your starting point and gradually transitioning to a strict carnivore approach, you can experience the benefits of this diet.
Planning your meals, upgrading your cooking tools, and sourcing high-quality animal foods are essential for success. Intermittent fasting can complement the carnivore diet, and finding enjoyment in the foods you eat is crucial for long-term adherence.
Supplements can help fill nutrient gaps, but they should be used as a supplement rather than a substitute for quality food choices. Equipping yourself with the right tools and being committed to the journey will pave the way for a successful carnivore diet experience.
So why wait? Start your carnivore journey today and witness the remarkable changes in your weight, health, and mental clarity.
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