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Fat Loss and Body Composition on the Carnivore Diet

Physique, Fitness, Fat Loss and Performance on the Carnivore Diet

Physique and Fitness were my passion for 20 years.

My primary concern before I ever tried carnivore was wondering what it was going to do to body fat levels, muscle size and strength, and overall performance.

If your concern is short term fat loss, I think there are better strategies.

I encourage you to read about the 3 Levels I recommend to starting Carnivores:

  • Level 1: Get adapted
  • Level 2: Get Healed
  • Level 3: Thrive

Not until someone is adapted and healed do I recommend any kind of tinkering to the standard Carnivore Protocol. For some people this takes 3-6 months, for other it can take years depending on the damage done.

That said, I like to get very lean on an occasion. I like to bulk on an occasion. I want to perform my best.

Is the Carnivore Diet optimal for these things?

We can debate this all day. But there is no doubt you can get extremely lean as well as build significant muscle on the Carnivore Diet.

For a more in depth look:

If you review those 2 posts – you are good to go.

Getting Adapted

Nearly 100% of people see a drop in performance while getting adapted to the Carnivore Diet.

Don’t go carnivore if you have a strength training meat (pun intended) this month.

Strength tends to catch up and improve quite rapidly. More glycolytic type training, like hypertrophy training that bodybuilders tend to focus on, takes a bit more time to get to the level you were at. It also takes more time to regain some of the muscle fullness (which might always be a bit less full than if you incorporated carbohydrates).

It takes many athletes 3-6 months to recover their prior level of performance, however, after this recovery period I’ve seen people who had not been able to make strength or size or performance improvements start to shatter their previous bests.

During adaptation you may experience increased soreness. Explosiveness takes some time (the highly glycolytic stuff) to get back. Strength generally goes up quite rapidly, but athletes can take up to 3 months to get fully back up to speed before dominating to new heights.

Having been in the bodybuilding world for 20 years, I’m not going to say this is the optimal diet. I don’t believe there is such thing as a blanket optimal bodybuilding diet.

But if you want to find a diet where you can feel and perform amazing while having health (LIBIDO for you physique bodybuilders, FOCUS and ENERGY for bulkers) I think this diet it as damn near close to perfect as there is.

Before diving into some of the common questions PLEASE read this on “TINKERING” with the Carnivore Diet. It’s absolutely not something you want to do when starting. But for thriving carnivores that want to tinker, there are strategies to stay on protocol while optimizing for various variables like strength or size or fat loss or endurance or performance.

 

Post Workout Carbs and Cortisol

Post workout carbs (besides the carbs found in your steak) are not part of the carnivore diet. Many people worry about the elevated cortisol. Your steak is all you need. As a thriving carnivore your chronic systemic inflammation is low day in and day out. Your non-carnivore bodybuilding friends have higher amounts of chronic systemic inflammation. Acute inflammation from a workout is good and natural. Your delta between your chronic systemic inflammation and your localized acute inflammation as a carnivore is large which is good, your body knows how to allocate resources most effectively to repair and grow those muslces you just put to work. Just feed it the resources it needs. Steak. Your non-carnivore friends have a smaller delta between their chronic systemic inflammation and their localized acute inflammation. They likely have chronically higher corstisol levels and allocation of resources for repair are not as efficiently resourced because some need to go help the whole body inflammation (chronic) and some to the (acute). It’s important to see the forest through the trees.

Plus, there’s no difference in glycogen replenishment eating immediately vs 4 hr post-workout.

Supplements

There’s no need to supplement, but it’s up to you. Some people add “Whey” like other carnivore add “sides” like (cheese, whipping cream).

Note any supplement will disrupt your natural balance, you may be able to make the argument that supplementing creates an even more optimized balance. You’re free to make your own decisions. For example, creatine is a proven, effective, safe supplement. But red meat is the best source of creatine there is. Most people’s creatine stores will be “topped off” on a Carnivore Diet. Adding a couple grams a day probably has little to no negative impact, and could cause a slightly positive impact in strength and size.

Whey Protein: It’s not needed. Almost always you would be better off eating a leaner cut of meat. It also has a high methione concentration which can be inflammatory. BUT while not optimal – doesn’t mean you can’t have it. The glycemic impact leaves me drained, but if you do fine with it and you want it – then go for it.

Creatine: Meat has lots of natural creatine, though it take can 3-5lbs of beef daily to saturate creatine stores. For explosive strength trainers, you may see some benefit to supplementing with create, for most, it’s simply unnessary.

BCAAs: No.

Counting Calories and Macronutrients

I think being “aware” is better than being “analytical” here.

For example, if you are focused on building strength, eating a bit more is going to help. Like I’ve mentioned you shouldn’t be tinkering if you haven’t healed, and if you have healed you have a good idea on average how much you eat, of what, to thrive. If you are wanting to gain strength and size you need to give the body the raw material (steak) it needs to add on this growth. All this requires is eating enough, and if strength or size has stalled you may need to eat just a bit more.

If you are wanting to get really cut. Being aware that you need to fulfill the equation: burn more energy then consumed. Generally you just need to substitute in slightly less fatty cuts, and burn some more energy.

Stalled Weight Loss

Weight loss is not linear. Most people who are focusing on fat loss and have above 10% body fat for males and 15% for females, just need to continue to eat meat and heal. They need to throw out the scale and just trust the process. Healing can take 3-6 months or a couple years depending on the extent of the damage. Focus on good nutrition, health first. Then focus on getting stronger and fitter. Lift weights, increase your HIIT capacity. Stalled fat loss should trigger you to focusing on increasing strength and cardio capacity, not decreasing meat.

If fat loss has stalled and you are wanting to get super cut. That’s another story. Naturally, the body doesn’t like 4% body fat, so you have to force it there. Strategies to go low – probably won’t feel as good, but sometimes I let vanity rule.

Regained Weight and Plateaus

Remember – weight loss is not linear. And weight or fat gain when starting a carnivore diet is not uncommon. As hard as this sounds, you have to trust the healing process. You need to throw out the scale. You need to keep eating meat when hungry until full. Your focus during this healing time should be on getting healthy first.

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  1. I sarted on Keto about 8 month ago and lost near 20kg’s. Then started near Zero Carb at the beginning of this year. I’ve just started going back to the gym and am looking at adding some definition and muscle. From what you’re saying I should be able to do that just eating meat without any supplements. I guess meat contains all the nutrients needed. I also still have a little bit of fat to lose. So if I cut back on fat and eat lean meats the body should then use the remaining internal fat storage for fuel. Also do you recommend increasing frequency of eating to increase metabolism, eg. 5 -6 times a day?

    1. Hey Alex you can absolutely build muscle by eating only meat and without any supplements. I would recommend, if going full carnivore, to read the 30-day carnivore guide. I wouldn’t start by eating lean meats and I would eat only when hungry and eating until satisfied. For most people, that’s 1-3 meals/day. I generally eat 2, but some days it’s 1 and some days it’s 3.

  2. Hey Doc,

    I’m moving into month 2 of my carnivore exploration and while I have not noticed the enormous changes many people talk about, I do notice my energy is much more even. Haven’t noticed a tremendous amount of fat loss, but at 6’5 and about 230, I’m not too concerned about that right now. Mostly, I’m trying to heal from years of beating up my body and yo-yo dieting.

    My question is this:

    What general protocol would you recommend to increase general fitness and strength while following this diet? I have a caveat: HIIT is out, as is any form of leg-intensive cardio, as I am waiting on a surgery to fix a complex tear of my meniscus. As far as cardio goes, I’ve got about 8,000 unloaded steps a day in me before the pain goes from a 2 to a rather pukey 8 or 9. The docs don’t know yet whether this operation will be to trim the tissue, or tack it back down – I’m 34 so it’s entirely possible they’ll tack it back down and I’ll be out of commission for several weeks.

    Right now, I’m trying to maintain my sanity while being more sedentary than I’ve been in twenty years.

    Any advice or approaches you could suggest on how to maintain fitness during this period is greatly appreciated.

    1. Hey Galen, that’s a good question and it really depends on your goals. Are you wanting to build more muscle? If that’s the case you need to eat to satisfy appetite and then perhaps just a bit more to accompany the training. If you are wanting to focus on fat loss then eat until satisfied but not beyond. Incorporating some cardio or circuit style training can help (that which you can do with your knee). I know – everyone wants to lose fat and build muscle – and in an untrained person it’s doable, but for most people where body recomposition is the primary goal, it’s better to have a focus on either building muscle as primary importance or fat loss.

      But a general protocol to increase fitness and strength is eat meat just like you’re doing and lift weights. Movement is great obviously, but you don’t have to have a strict cardio schedule or anything.

      Hope this helps somewhat!

  3. Hey Doc,
    Looking to do a cut and drop about 10lbs or really 5% body fat. I’m 5’6″ 41yr old female… very active. Rigorous advanced Ashtanga yoga practice 1.5hr 5x week along with HIIT/Weights 30-50min 4-5x/week and hike 3-5miles 2 days per week. I’ve been doing 70% fat, 30% protein… about 1400-1600 cal per day and can’t seem to lean out. I also do intermittent fasting 18/6 along with one 24hr fast per week. I would love your advice!!!!

    1. Hi Jennifer, to give a thorough answer I’d need to know more about your current and past diet, how long it’s been like that, as well as current body fat percentage. Looking at what you said, that is A LOT of activity which is great – but that’s not a lot of calories. My initial impulse is that you have dieted pretty strictly for a time and your BMR (metabolism) has slowed quite a bit. Are you cold often? If this is the case, I generally recommend increasing calories, especially protein a bit, focus on more weight training and less cardio, and increase meal frequency (put the IF on hold). These things can help boost metabolism and your lean body mass to re-kickstart fat loss. That said, weight loss is not linear and you could just be at a “sticking point” as I like to call it, and it just takes a bit of time and persistence to break through to additional weight loss. That said weight loss doesn’t equal fat loss as I’m sure you know 🙂

      1. Thank you so much Doc! So in the past I was doing a combo of high carb one day followed by 3 low carb days and doing the Brad Pilon Eat Stop Eat where you do 2 Fast days per week (dinner to dinner). So basically my schedule WAS: High Carb (just by adding apples), FAST (with a low carb dinner to break the fast), Low Carb for 2 more days and then back around. I went from 128 to 119 and got down to 15.6% body fat with just doing Cardio Sprints 10-15min and 2x 40min HIIT weight sessions per day…. but I lost my menstrual cycle. So my doc made me gain weight and now I am up near 130 and I would estimate my body fat is closer to 23%. I was SOOOO much happier and more comfortable BEFORE. I know I can’t get that low in Body Fat again but I’d like to get down to 18%. I wasn’t tracking macros at that point – I was just eating 4x per day (small meals) and looking back, probably not enough and VERY little fat if any. (think eggs, egg whites, fish, non-starchy veggies). Since I started doing keto over a year ago, my weight AND body fat has not budged but I am NOT cold anymore (I used to be) and I got my cycle back. I was given two types of advice with keto – the first was Craig Emmerich who said to skip breakfast and to do 65-85g protein, 110g or less of fat and 10-20g total carb and then another “expert” from Common Sense Keto (Jack McAnespy) told me I needed to eat breakfast and to take in at least 1800 cal with closer to 50-60g protein and a min of 160g fat and up to 10g carb. And to do breakfast to breakfast fasts here and there. Neither worked… AND my glucose in the AM doesn’t seem to want to get below 90 but I was showing ketones in my blood on both of those plans above (.5-1.5 in the AM and up to 3.5 by nighttime). I have been eating 2 meals per day (lunch and dinner)… But since I started trying to UP my protein (listening to Ted Naiman) to closer to 100g and my fat has been hovering between 90-110g and ZERO carbs, my glucose has been closer to 95 in the AM with ketones between .5-1.0 in the AM. I don’t really care about the scale AT ALL – I care about body fat percentage. My only REAL cardio is the 2x per week of hiking which is more of a LISS style (low intensity) and I’m not sure if you are familiar with Ashtanga but it is VERY body weight centric – ALOT of upper body and core strength (especially in the second series which is what I do) and then right after I do the Alexia Clark weight workouts….
        Does this help?

        1. Helps tremendously. Carb cycling is a very effective way to lose fat (pretty similar to the strategy I used to compete in physique competitions). Though – just like you experienced – if you get too lean, especially with low fat, you can lose your cycle. Neither of the advice you received is wrong, but if I were you, based on all our your activity, I would shoot for 1g protein/lb of body weight at a minimum and perhaps around 80-100g fat/day. Then every 3-5 days or so, I’d have a higher calorie day and boost up fat that day (nothing crazy though). You can eat breakfast or not – whatever feels best to you. I wouldn’t worry about your a.m. glucose (cortisol elevation in the morning can cause this) and your ketone depth might not be as great with this higher protein intake, but I wouldn’t worry about that unless you were aiming for therapeutic ketone levels (like treating epilepsy or cancer). And I’d just keep working out like you are – don’t see any reason to change anything there. For me, I’d have the highest fat meal as your first one, and less fat in your later meals (after workouts).

          1. Fantastic… Ok so I hear that the protein grams should be based on lean body weight, IDEAL body weight and current weight…. which one should I do? And when you say UP the fat every 5 days, how much? And should I not do 24hr fasts at all? I just end up naturally IF-ing 18/5 due to my schedule….
            My meals are pretty much the same for lunch and dinner because I tend to eat fattier cuts like ribeye and baby back ribs and bacon…and I don’t ADD alot of fat TO the meals – maybe 1T of like avocado oil mayo with hot sauce or 1-2T avocado oil to reheat the meat in the pan but thats kind of it. Sometimes I add Parmigiano-Reggiano or Goat Milk Brie or sometimes a squirt of whipped cream (unsweetened) on top of my matcha tea that I drink with lunch but that’s kind of it.
            Thank you so much – really. I just feel completely broken, like I’m the ONLY one this won’t work for and everyone else around me is getting these amazing results and all i want to do is lean out and get rid of this extra 5% I hate having on my body so much….. You REALLY seem to understand and I REALLY REALLY APPRECIATE it so much. It feels so crappy to wake up everyday uncomfortable in my own skin and it has really affected me emotionally and in my relationship with my husband and I don’t like my kids seeing me all down all the time about it either (although I do my best to hide it!)….
            So, THANK YOU!!!!!!

          2. I’d error on the high side with protein – and eat your current body weight in g/lb. And upping the fat every few days isn’t an exact science, but rather a way to help keep you feeling good and energized. I’d say an extra 50g of fat or so. If you are alreading IF-ing most days, no need to force any 24 hour fasts.

            It’s my pleasure! A common reason people get stuck counting calories/macros on keto is because they are harder to count (it’s far harder to determine how many calories are in 1lb of bacon than say 2 scoops of whey protein – due to fat cooked out, etc..). It’s very easy to eat far more fat/calories with bacon than people realize and I find some people have a tendency to underestimate. So if you get stuck, I’d check that first. Slight hunger around bed time is a good indication of a caloric deficit for the day. Let me know if I can help further!

  4. Woah – ok. So 2 hours post prandial glucose is 97 and ketones aren’t even registering on my monitor… When I woke up today they were at 1.0 – trying not to freak out…. I had 9oz carnitas, 1/2T coconut oil, 1/2T avocado oil in the pan to heat up the meat along with 20g shredded mexican cheese and 1 slice of bacon (14g, 30cal, 3F, 4P) total: 680cal, 0g carb, 48g fat, 58g protein…..
    I’m just so desperate to get this fluff off – and those numbers just freaked me out.

    1. So there’s a big difference between ketone levels and fat loss. My ketones could register 5.0 and I could be net storing fat – it tells me nothing about the energy balance. If fat loss is the goal, I would recommend not optimizing for numbers like ketone levels or blood glucose.

  5. Ok totally agree…. It’s so hard to leave that mindset…. I am also a super data-nerd so it helps me to see numbers because I can’t do the scale as it makes me crazy….So I have been relying on how my clothes fit and my glucose and ketones. That being said, I had Baby Back Ribs last night and this AM my glucose was 90 (lowest it’s been in a while) and 1.8 ketones – so crazy!!!! But fat loss is 1000000% the goal so I will continue with trying to get that goal met based on your above recommendations….
    Thank you again, truly – I feel like I have finally found someone who is REAL and who “gets” it!

  6. Hi Doc,

    I love your stuff and I read your guide and some of your blog posts. Thank you!

    One quick question: you said not to focus on macro ratios, but I’m just curious:

    A lb of 80/20 ground beef when you eat the fat is like 21g fat and 19g protein per 4oz, while 85/15 ground beef grilled or pan fried and drained is closer to 12.5g fat and 25g protein. These are vastly different as are ribeye vs chuck steak.

    Where should I start? I’m adapated and have been carnivore for a while but it’s hard to find a concensus on what % fat to eat (or roughly aim for). Thank you!

    1. Yes the vast majority of people have no need to overly worry about macros. For maybe 1% of people who want to get really lean or fat loss as actually stalled out, calories and macros can be used as a tool to get to your goal.

      Like you mentioned, it’s very difficult to accurately gauge fat/protein with various cuts and cooking methods that can alter the ratios substantially.

      With this way of eating I find it more beneficial to “ballpark.” For example if you average 3lbs of ground beef cooked/day. Then going to 2lbs and 1lb of a leaner cut would be a way to alter the ratio and totals. Or aim for a fatty cut of meat for your first meal and a leaner cut for the last. There are lots of strategies and unless I really understood your goal as well as your current status and previous diet (there’s a lot of factors) it’s hard for me to tell you what might work best for you.

      So in summary, find a baseline that you are currently at and then make slight alterations to that baseline.

      1. Thank you Kevin! That’s incredibly helpful. I’ll experiment with slightly leaner and see how that goes. I won’t go extreme with a PSMF or cottage cheese and protein shakes though. I usually eat 2-3lbs or 85/15 with fat, some ribeyes / New York strips with the fat, or 80/20 drained. I also eat 3 meals a day (~14 hours of fasting overnight). I’m a 25 y/o, 5’10”, 170lb male with ~15% bodyfat looking to gain muscle and lose bodyfat. I lift weights intensely twice a week and walk a lot.

        Also as a lifter, what do you think about protein timing for maximizing MPS? I ask because I lift at ~7:30am and have my last meal 14 hours before. Would it make sense to have a whey shake before or to try to adjust my meal timing if I want to maximize hypertrophy? Thank you!

        1. Hey my pleasure. The “anabolic window” is far longer than most people think. That said, total protein is primary importance, secondarily is timing. I do think it is beneficial to divide protein into 3-4 meals to help maximize MPS. Personally, I’d lift fasted at 7:30 a.m., if you train better with some whey beforehand, then do that. Also depends if your primary goal is fat loss or muscle building – if fat loss, definitely do it fasted, if muscle building, may be some benefit to having the whey before.

  7. Thank you very much Kevin! That’s incredibly helpful and I appreciate your thoughtful response. You have a wealth of knowledge. I’ll stay away from the PSMF levels of protein:fat and things like cottage cheese.

    For context, I’m a 25 y/o, 170lb, 15% bodyfat male. I lift intensely full body 2x per week and walk a lot, but have a desk job. I also drink coffee.

    Right now my standard meals are 2-3lbs of 80/20 drained or 85/15 ground beef or maybe some ribeyes/strip steak. I do fattier cuts on workout days and leaner on rest days. I eat three meals from ~8am to 5pm each day.

    Another (hopefully) quick question: since you’re a former physique athlete, if I’m trying to maximize hypertrophy and lift at ~7:30am, would it make sense to have a plain unflavored whey shake beforehand? I’ve read from Ketogains, Menno Henselmans, and Brad Schoenfeld that fasted lifting is suboptimal.

    Thank you!!

    1. You life intensely 2X/week – while that is great, more often would yield greater results.

      Those are smart guys, but like I mentioned, I’d do an a.m. workout fasted myself. Though if you are a “hardgainer” it may make sense to have whey beforehand. If I were you I would optimize for either fat loss or muscle gaining and alternate – trying to do both at the same time (in a trained athlete) is often sub-optimal.

  8. Hello Doc,

    Love the site and the info.

    I really do need some help though. I’ll try and lay it all out here to see if you may be able to help me. I’m 45, I’m 5’7, and have always been very muscular. I would guess I weigh 185 to 190 right now. I’ve been doing warehouse work, walking around all day probably 7-10 miles a day. I’ve been working out 4-5 days a week. I workout in the am, pretty much fasted, but I do take a NO pre-workout. I do 100 KB swings a day probably 4-5 times a week. I spread the next part out over the course of the week, doing 120 reps for chest, mostly pushups, 120 reps for back band rows, and some light d-bell rows, 60 reps for shoulders, biceps and triceps, and traps. Mostly just toe touches for legs, because I’m working out at home, and have bad knees so I’m worried body squats and lunges will swell my knees and ruin my job, since I’m walking all day. I’m thinking of keeping this all the same, but getting back to the gym, so I can at least do some leg extensions and curls, light of course, but my legs will respond well here, adding muscle and helping to burn some extra belly fat. My eating is this. Breakfast 8am I’ve been having a cheese burger and grass fed whey protein shake, the shake is only 150 calories or so. around 11am I have a snack which could be a cheese stick, beef jerky, peanuts, pork grinds, lunch I do ground beef with cheese, next snack I do the same as the first snack, then dinner I mostly do chicken with some cheese, also sometimes I’ll have a can of tuna. I’m also hitting some blue cheese with the burger sometimes, and mayo with the tuna. I’m thinking I may be having too much fat from the mayo and cheese, what do you think? I feel like I need this to satify me. I’ve only been on the diet for 2-3 weeks now. But I’m not like that my muscles, mostly biceps which have always been outstanding, are not looking at full, and my chest is lacking a bit now too. Perhaps I should cut back on some of the foods here? And also the KB swings, and lift a bit more and heavier. I’m just trying to look leaner without looking to bulky.

    Thanks Ray K

    1. Hey Ray, so a few things, you are very very early into the diet, and it can take several weeks to months to get athlete training back up to speed. During this early transition before efficiently using fat for energy you may lose muscle fullness from loss of glycogen – it takes time for this to re-normalize. If I were you I would only have cheese, jerky, and pork grinds as occasional foods (and I’d get rid of the mayo and peanuts completely), not every day staples. I would recommend eating more fresh red meat. Instead of the chesse burger and whey, I’d recommend a big steak or 2. And instead of all the snacks get a solid meal in. A word of caution – often people will use what I call “occasional foods” and overdo it, and then wonder why they aren’t getting results. For example, people can overdue it on butter very easily, and they eat 2 sticks/day and wonder why they can’t lose fat. So I think it’s really important to understand what your biggest motivator is – if it’s physique goals over everything else, you may get discouraged because like a mentioned muscle fullness can diminish and may not be as great as if you had carbohydrates in the diet. But if health is the primary driver, I’d change up those foods like I mentioned – which in turn will also help strip away body fat and get a great physique as well. Hope this makes some sense!

  9. Hi Dr.
    I guess I’m curious to ask if the carnivore diet is recommended if my main goal is to loose weight, I think I have about 30lbs to loose, I’m currently weighing at 180. I lift 5-6 times a week with liss cardio 3-4 times a week. I have been doing keto for almost a year post birth of my 2nd child. What macros would you recommend for me to continue loosing weight through carnivore?

    1. This is actually quite a loaded question – but I’ll do my best.

      Yes, this diet can be great for fat loss (though it depends on the nature of your prior diet, your current body fat %, what body fat % you want to achieve, LBM, etc). There are a lot of variables. For most people, there body fat settles at a natural % that is easy to maintain on this diet. No need to count calories or track macros. Just eat meat until satisfied.

      If you are wanting to get to more unnatural levels of leanness than tinkering with macronutrients and calories can help.

      For now, I’d recommend just eating meat, and not worry much about calories or macros. I do generally recommend to avoid adding significant amounts of fat to food (butter seems to be a popular “side dish” that can sometime interfere with fat loss).

  10. Hey Doc, so I have been doing the carnivore diet for about a month and I have gone from 243 weight to 217. Leaned me out pretty quickly but my strength and explosiveness have majorly declined. I compete in powerlifting so i was just wondering if long term this is something a powerlifter could stay on?

    1. Hey Nic, that decline in strength is to be expected initially. Takes time to adapt from a training/athletic/performance perspective. As you adapt and long term, I absolutely think you can stay on this diet. Some slight modifications down the road might make sense depending on your goals (strength lifts vs body composition etc…) but I wouldn’t even think about that for at least a few more months (if not longer).

  11. Hey Doc. Your website is great! I did keto for a month and switched to carnivore 3 weeks ago. I’m eating mostly beef (i don’t like organ meats, is that a problem?) , a couple of eggs every day, and salmon at least twice a week. Feeling great so far, i have more energy, recovering faster from workouts, sleeping better, less hunger… Trying to get used to not going to the bathroom everyday haha. So, i know i shoulden’t be dealing with my body composition right now but it’s stronger than me haha. I’m 23.5 female 5’5 , currently at 152lbs, I assume i have at least 27% body fat (in dexa scan) an i have a nice amount of muscel mass. I’m a professional basketball player recovering from a shoulder surgery (exactly 3months post op) and i gained some fat that i need to lose before this upcoming season (starts in October). I’m working out pretty intensively everyday doing some basketball or weights and cardio. I havn’t lost any fat yet since starting, but i know my body is happy with this diet. Not planning on going back, but since physical performance is my job and i need to get leaner pretty soon… any advices? Thank you so much!

    1. Hey, no need to include organ meats if you don’t like them.

      And there are definitely ways to tinker with the diet to accelerate fat loss (https://www.kevinstock.io/health/fat-loss-and-the-carnivore-diet/) but just as a caveat / fyi – when tinkering with the diet to get more fat loss, it often comes with drawbacks (like decreases in energy and performance).

      Hope your recovery continues to go well and excited to hear how this diet powers your pro basketball career!

      1. Thanks for your reply!
        Isn’t it too early to tinker with the diet? My body might still be healing itself.. My cycle has been coming 7-10 days early every time for the past 5 years but this month it came right on time! Insane!
        It does really bother me that i’m gaining weight right now tho… but wouldn’t tinkering mess my body up? Should i wait?
        I am currently eating around 700g of meat and a couple of eggs every day. It isn’t the fattiest cut but it has some…

  12. I’m concerned that by eliminating all veggies and everything it will have a poor effect on my gut bacteria (my microbiome) I guess its called. Also assuming my compromised gut health is the reason I haven’t been feeling well eating a “balanced” diet. I seem to be reacting and getting hungover and just all around not feeling well chronically for the most part.

    I have the plan of doing the carnivore diet and hopefully it goes well and I feel back to 100% or at least way better than I’ve been. Then I would like to reintroduce vegetables and other food groups. I love eating avocados and fruits and all sorts of stuff. I’m super into food so no longer being able to eat these things for the rest of my life sounds horrible. I’m 27 year old male. I’m suspicious my issues are from antibiotic use and I have gut dysbiosis. According to spit test I have candida and may have SIBO too?

    Just worried the carnivore diet may have some irreversible or close to irreversible changes in my ability to eat other foods. Like once you go black you never go back kind of a thing.

    What do you think? Any input would be appreciated.

    Thanks, Josh

  13. hey doc, i been trying the carnivore diet for about a month now and my bowl movements have been very different, constant and lot less dense is that part of the healing process? most of the meat i eat is rib eye & tbone steaks

    1. Yes it is. Very common. Many things have to adapt (everything from the fat intake – gallbladder and pancreas – to the colon).

  14. hey, great article. im 28 yrs old female, 56 kg and 165 cm tall. was on keto and omad for 1,5 yr and but i wanted to loose to 50 kg, and “skinny” look, so i started 5 days ago omad carnivore..im just worried not to gain weight and wondering if this is good decision. im doing 1 hour cardio 4 time a week. thx for answer

  15. Hi Kevin-
    Just read the article in the link immediately above. It was excellent and very helpful. Listened to the podcast that the article had a link to. It was good too. Thank you.

  16. Hi Kevin-
    When you say this above:

    “During adaptation you may experience increased soreness. Explosiveness takes some time (the highly glycolytic stuff) to get back. Strength generally goes up quite rapidly, but athletes can take up to 3 months to get fully back up to speed before dominating to new heights.”

    I assume you are talking about any explosive, anaerobic, athletic activity such as sprinting or sprint swimming, etc., and not just body building or strength training, right? I ask because my swimming sprinting times have gone down a bit. I assume you mean that if I stay with the program, adapting and healing, etc., then, eventually, my swimming sprints should also eventually hit another level entirely? Right?

  17. Thank you.
    By the way, I had my first “real” grass-fed ribeye (not a prepackaged small little 8 once thing that I had once previously) the other night. Oh my gosh. I couldn’t believe what I had been missing, believing in all the “low-fat diet craze” for basically my entire adult life. But here is my question about “performance” related to that experience. After eating the ribeye my energy level for the next 24 hours was even higher than it has been, and it has been “addictively” high and steady for my entire experiment from the beginning. (Now on Day 18). Is that because I finally had a piece of meat that was probably 70-80% fat by calories? Will eating more meat that is THAT fatty help the anaerobic performance to return faster and help me achieve new levels faster? Or was this probably some idiosyncratic reaction because of my particular metabolism or the like?

    1. More than likely it’s because you are finally giving your body the nutrition it has been craving.

      Anaerobic performance just takes a bit of time to acclimate.

  18. What’s your thoughts on EAA’s prefasted workout?
    Also do you use creatine at all?

    1. No I wouldn’t do EAA preworkout. And red meat is the best source of creatine so levels are often near saturation, though some supplementation could theoretically “top off” creatine levels resulting in some improvements. My guess is that they would be so negligible that it wouldn’t be noticed though.

  19. Hello my meat eating savages,

    Quick question. Does nicotine have any effect on the diet? I quit smoking over 10 years ago but I am addicted to nicotine gum(plain flavorless) and bust out the vape when the wife isn’t around. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend.

    1. Nicotine can have some adverse effects.

      I have found that quitting is much easier for people when they follow this way of eating – so it may help you ween off.

  20. Hi Kevin.
    I’m currently taking raw liver as a supplement. About a teaspoon a day after whipping in the food processor.

    I plan to add salmon roe and all sorts of raw organs once I manage to source them; brains, lungs, spleen, heart, kidneys, bone marrow and err…testes, the mineral content is too high to ignore.
    If I whip these up in a food processor, freeze in daily portions of 1-2 teaspoon, thaw and consume daily, it should cover my basis.

    I love the bone broth that replaced my morning coffee.
    Besides the homemade raw organ pate (from grass-fed ruminants) and bone broth, just meat, eggs and some dairy.
    Your thoughts?

    1. Sounds good (but for other readers – just and fyi – I don’t think this is necessary – but if you feel good with it, then by all means).

      And I would treat eggs and dairy as laid out in the 30 day guide – if you haven’t read that you can download it over there on the left.

  21. Thanks for the prompt response.

    I plan to drop the eggs and dairy, just not yet *hides face*. Not emotionally ready yet

  22. Hi. I was wondering if there is something happening regarding electrolyte balance? I’ve just been doing carnivore for 10 days (keto 30 days before that) and the body fat measuring on my scale is going down like a rock (down 5%). My weight has not moved. So I was thinking it has something to do with the measuring method used on my scale (impetance). I’ve gotten leaner, I can see that, but 5% — that’s a lot!!

  23. Greetings!

    Why are BCAA’s a no? Can you please elaborate.

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