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Tinkering with The Carnivore Diet

Tinkering with The Carnivore Diet

Before going carnivore, most people have experimented with various diets. Going from Keto to Carnivore is one of the most common paths. You probably wouldn’t be considering a carnivore diet if you didn’t have that curious experimenter mentality. The one that searches for answers, bucks the status quo, and calls their own shots.

Good for you.

You may have experimented with adding fats to foods if you’ve done keto, things like adding butter and MCT in coffee, or tried intermittent fasting protocols (IF), and take numerous supplements.

I’ve done them all.

If you are like me, you probably have an idea about how many calories you should eat, what macro ratios to follow, how often and how much to eat.

Our natural tendency is to instantly want to modify, measure, and manipulate a new diet to what we have learned and tested to be best.

We want to experiment with The Carnivore Diet but we want to add in our own flare like:

  • Intermittent Fasting
  • Bulletproof Coffee
  • MCT Oil
  • Cheat meals
  • Supplements (vitamins, ect…)

With the Carnivore Diet, you absolutely don’t want to do this.

Believe me, no one was more analytical than me.

No one was more worried about getting fat than me.

It’s the skeleton that’s always hanging in my closet.

That said, these diet methods that I and many others have used should not be used with the carnivore diet initially. They interrupt the body’s ability to interpret hunger and natural satiety signals, which often results in not eating as much as the body needs to properly deal with adaptation and healing.

There are many metabolic processes that need to be adequately supported in regaining proper homeostasis and surviving the adaptation period.

Many people feel very hungry when starting, yet are afraid to eat. Afraid of getting fat. Believe me, I understand.

It is common for people to need to eat twice as much when starting as they eventually do once their systems have healed. This could take 30 days or 3 years.

The adaption period is different for everyone. Adaption is not like a light switch.

It’s not like you will either be fully adapted or not. Different systems take different amounts of time.

For example, it may take your gallbladder 2 weeks to onramp to a high fat diet where you finally can get off the toilet (unless you take the necessary precautions..) but your testosterone may be in the toilet for 6 months until it is roaring again like a 17 year old male. Females – this is equally relevant for hormonal rebalancing.

Once hormonal systems have re-balanced in proper homeostasis for thriving, you’ll be glad you hit the “reset” button.

If you are worried about fat gain, tell yourself you are doing an experiment (I think you should give yourself 90 days).

  • The First 30 days = Adapt (Level 1)
  • The Next 30 days = Heal (Level 2)
  • The Final 30 days = Thrive (Level 3)

If you want to go back to diet restrictions after the experiment, do so.

I even have a “tinkering” method for carnivores who are thriving, yet want to get “carnivore cut” – you can – I’ll help you, but lets get healthy first.

Hunger talks in many languages like feeling weak and tired, or irritable and depressed, or via poor concentration and brain fog.

Listen to the body.

Take the hint – Eat.

It’s the solution. It’s the cure.

The thriving carnivores I know threw out all worry and preconceived notions about diets, supplementing, caloric needs, macros, and dogma…and ate meat until satisfied.

They errored on the side of eating too much rather than not enough.

It is common to have some cravings early on, but these go away.

However, if you try and tinker – they likely won’t.

If you’ve done keto or LCHF or you name it, you are probably aware of the amount of mad cravings, hunger, and intervention tricks that go on.

I would know – I was a master at them.

Almost everyone I know that uses forced protocols to reduce food intake, to try and curb cravings, rides an unsustainable rollercoaster that never ends.

They never come to realize what it actually feels like to overcome metabolic dysfunction.

It feels amazing.

Flood Gates

For my first physique competition, I got very lean. Competition prep is the definition of food and calorie restriction. It’s “controlled starvation.”

After the competition, I was going to let my self have a treat.

I didn’t know about the psychological impact from extreme food restriction.

It is nearly impossible to stop at a treat.

With “one treat” the flood gates burst opened. My body fat was higher 3 days after that competition then when I started the prep 16 week earlier.

I didn’t know it at the time, but this is extremely common among bodybuilding/fitness community.

Interestingly, I see this exact same thing with keto/LCHF/ZC/Carnivores that use methods of forced restriction. Eventually they give into “one treat” which is never “one treat.”

Supplements

Besides what is mentioned in this report, don’t interfere with your body’s natural rebalancing until you’re healed. Once healed, I tell people they can loosen up with “tinkering tests” because they KNOW what it feels like to be healed. So they KNOW if their tinkering has positive or negative impacts.

Supplements are not only NOT needed, but they will interfere with restoring your proper homeostasis including vitamin and mineral levels.

You are going to need to ignore common held beliefs around daily requirements of x,y, and z.

Here’s the thing: daily requirements for a SAD diet can’t be strapped onto a carnivore diet. When you add sugar and plants to a diet the body has to compensate and external supplementation might make sense to balance and help the assault from these foods. This does not translate to someone on a carnivore diet. Proper nutrient blood levels in a carnivore necessarily must be different than non-carnivores.

I already know – you’re going to be tempted to continue taking your MCT, BPC, whey protein, collagen, creatine, BCAAs, beta alanine, caffeine, magnesium, zinc, B vitamins, fish oils, D3, C, and probiotic – but do an experiment – set them aside.

Don’t Start If…

If you aren’t willing to eat enough meat to stay satisfied without manipulation, you should not start a carnivore diet.

You will suffer and you won’t get results.

Do Start If…

If you are willing to set aside conventional wisdom to Hunt for your Superhuman

Let’s do it.

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Comments

    1. Yes you can. It may take a bit longer to transition to a higher fat content (if on a low fat diet), and ox bile can help ease this transition.

      1. Hi, I understand that you don’t want to mess up body signals- is there an issue with doing a longer fast- perhaps a couple of days to a week just as a cleansing process? There is a great deal of conflicting information, as I’m sure you are so aware- I have been reading DR. Fung’s books and trying to come to terms with the varying methodologies.
        Thanks so much.

        1. I think some fasting here and there can be just fine (and probably very beneficial for those on a more standard american diet). Just early on during adaptation into a fully (or close to it) meat-based diet, I don’t think it’s the best strategy.

  1. I’m 2 weeks into carnivore, I eat over 2lbs of 20% fat beef mince, small amount of cheese and cook the meat in butter with salt to taste.

    My energy is starting to increase daily and brain fog is beginning to subside.

    When would be a good time for me to start adding some nuts for selenium and choline?

    Thanks

  2. If one has compromised kidnies, how would all the protein intake affact them?

    Would eating hard cheeses, chicken and fish help and are they accepted in this diet?

    You are young and very fit but how would the adaptation be for a person with compromised health?

    1. Research evidence is showing that even with compromised kidneys, high protein generally isn’t an issue – that said – I would work with your nephrologist.

      In the 30 day guide to going full carnivore (you can download it on the left) – I recommend doing “Level 2” at some point (this answers that question about cheeses, other meats)

      Adaptation is different for everyone. Some people have no issues (and have poor health) while others have significant symptoms (and are otherwise healthy). Difficult/impossible to predict.

  3. (Sorry this comment is a bit longer than most posts, but perhaps the information will be useful to you, as well as to some of your readers.) You say “Don’t start if you are unwilling to put aside conventional wisdom to hunt for your superhuman.” I get it. I’ve been hunting for my “superhuman” for decades. My questions relate to fear that sets in along the way. First, some context for the fear. I’m on Day 8, of, essentially, level 1. I feel great. I have experienced changes that include phenomenal satiety, high and steady energy, mood elevation, fat loss, and a small amount of muscle development (admittedly, I’m an athlete and have been my whole life and I turn 60 this month, so perhaps that has something to do with how my body is reacting?), These fascinating effects led me to “be lured into continuing”, for the effects were so awesome! And that is how I arrived at Day 8. But I’ve also begun to experience the same symptoms (to lesser degrees) that I did experience in 2011, when, at an extremely stressful time of my life in which I once went four straight days with only one hour of sleep, my eyebrows became red and inflamed and I starting experiencing tingling sensations on my face and head and also itchiness. The eyebrows got so bad that I eventually had a set of red eyebrows above my regular ones. The face swelled to the point that it would welt with any pressure, and one of the welts became permanent to this day. Eventually–months later–I figured out that it was an allergic to the salmon and sardines I had been eating for many years. When I stopped eating the fish things gradually went away and have stayed away. Now to the present. For the first 4 days I ate nothing but the grass fed ground beef I had access to and a couple of eggs a day, but on day 4, I started to feel tingling in left eyebrow and an amount of redness was back. It didn’t seem to happen later that day when I ate my first Ribeye steak (of my whole life), but it came after I ate the first lamb chops (of my whole life) last night, especially the tingling and some itchiness. So now I have fear. Fear that perhaps I should have very slowly added some fatty beef to my diet in a very gradual way, monitored my responses, and, if the responses seemed positive over a few weeks, continue gradually moving toward full carnivore. I was never convinced deeply to go full carnivore. I was just going to experiment for a day or two, but the super positive effects led me to keep experimenting. Now the questions are these: Should I go back to my old diet, then do the gradual process I described? If I should, can I just go back to my old diet tomorrow, or do I need to reverse things in a gradual way, slowly adding some fruit, and then veggies, while gradually decreasing the fat content of the meat until I’m back where I started? Do you have any suggestions for me? When I “started” I just wanted to see what it felt like to eat nothing but meat for a day and I thought, “It’s just an experiment, and I can quit tomorrow.” But the immediate positive effects were so powerful that I got “lured into” continuing the experiment to day 8, and yet I was never committed to this. If I push through the full 30 days, will that be too late to return to the old way-of-eating (high fiber, low fat [except eggs and flaxseed daily], lots of fruits, veggies, and whole grains) without serious ramifications? My weakness-of-will “led” me to be where I am now: stuck in cognitive dissonance between the amazing effects I’ve already experienced, and what my mind tells me I should have done before I started. Thoughts?

    1. Well this is exactly what the “30 Day Guide to Going Full Carnivore” addresses. You can download it over on the left. The problem is you are just so so early that symptoms can be from a myriad of variables. I think you need to do at least 30 days at level 2 and 3 and go from there otherwise you will likely suffer from “false negatives.”

  4. Hi Dr. Stock, stumbled across this page when trying to find out if I should be taking supplements with the Carnivore diet.

    I am a 61 year old woman who loves Jordan Peterson. Saw him talking about this diet on Joe Rogan and decided to try it because I had actually noticed a difference in his looks/demeanor but didn’t really read up or anything, just listened to some youtubes.

    I have been on it just over 2 weeks and feel soooo good! Losing weight, looking good, and blood sugar coming down alot. And NO cravings!

    I was diagnosed as diabetic a number of years ago, but have not been on medication for several years. I have been trying to control it with diet and exercise (pretty unsuccessfully). I ate very healthy (protein and veggies) all day, but ate what I wanted, and too much of it, at night.

    Anyway, when I started I wasn’t very informed and have been eating lots of beef and eggs, some chicken, (I don’t eat pork), and moderate amounts of dairy products like half/half in my coffee, butter, cheese, and greek yogurt in my salsa on my avocado. I also have eaten a good amount of Romaine and celery, a bit of tomato, and cooked green beans. I realize this is not an actual Carnivore diet but it is working so wonderfully in all areas that I hate to mess with it.

    What d’ya think?

    1. I never like the idea of trying to fix something that’s not broken 🙂

      Although your current diet isn’t technically “carnivore” it’s pretty close.

      What I’d recommend is trying to do a month or two at “Level 2 or 3” in the 30 day guide – and then adding back in those other foods to see how you do.
      Sometimes the ill effects can be insidious. For example, many people think they do fine with dairy, but when they remove it for a time and then bring it back in, they see how much worse they actually feel with dairy included.

      Great to hear you are doing so well!

  5. Hi Kevin,

    I’m on day 9 of the carnivore diet, which I’m trying to improve my energy (fatigue has been a long-term problem for me, and no diagnosis yet) and lose some weight. And I’m at the point where I just don’t want to eat – eating actually feels like a chore now.

    I’m not hungry, but am constantly tired and unmotivated (pretty similar before the diet switch), and the thought of having to eat another steak (or any piece of meat) just makes me want to go to bed instead so I don’t need to worry about eating. I know this isn’t meant to be a low calorie diet, so am trying to force myself to eat anyway rather than just fast, but I’m not sure how long I can keep this up.

    Have you encountered anyone who has had a similar experience and, if so, how did they get through it?

    Note that I have been keto in the past, so this is not my first time on a low carb diet.

    1. Yes this is not uncommon.

      Personally, I started off ravenously hungry for a few weeks then lost my appetite for a few weeks before everything regulated.

      I’d recommend reading the 30-day guide (you can download it on the left) there are several things that can help (electrolytes for example).

  6. Can I do carnivore if I have leaky gut? Would it be ok to take supplements to heal the gut like colostrum, l glutamine?

    Is tea ok if fasting?

    Can I also consume fats like olive oil, coconut oil etc..?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Jess, great questions. I’d recommend downloading the 30 day guide (over on the left) where all these questions are answered.

      But in short: this way of eating will likely help with gut permeability, no supplements are necessary, I recommend treating tea as a “Level 1” food, and I wouldn’t recommend vegetable oils like olive or coconut.

  7. I take Doc Parsley’s Sleep, Seriphos, magnesium, a few amino acids and bio progesterone for very bad insomnia/anxiety that came about from PCOS and post partum anxiety. My sleep has improved greatly, so I’m scared to stop. Should I even try a carnivore diet? I get crazy when I can’t sleep… literally.

      1. I read your book that gets sent when I signed up. I guess my question, more specifically is, can a person still benefit while supplementing? My goal is to taper off, but I don’t see that happening yet.

        Your book specifies electrolytes and digestive supplements, not hormonal/sleep:). Thanks

          1. Thank you. I guess I just needed a little reassurance, lol.

  8. Hi Dr. Kevin,

    I’ve gone from a madly carb loaded lifestyle, full of wheat, sugar and dairy into a “ketogenic”, mostly carnivore diet (discovered that I’m allergic to something in milk a few days ago because of this – I caved and had ice cream and had a reaction)
    Here’s the thing: I’m heavy into milk and sugar. Always have been.
    I’m going insane without the sweet tooth fix.
    What are your thoughts on transitioning into this diet with a little help?
    Would almond milk, almond flour and erythritol be a major issue for the first month? (still zero carbs).
    Sorry if this is a silly question, I know we’re supposed to go clean, but it’s not just the lack of sugar that’s getting to me, if you get me…

    1. Hey just answered this but one thing to add, if you must treat these as a “pre-Level 1” month, then transition to “Level 1” (in the 30 day guide if you haven’t read it). Think that’s a just fine way to go about it.

      Just FYI, keeping in some of these foods can keep the cravings along longer.

      1. Alright, that’s what I was thinking (yes, I have read the guide).

        I’m kinda stopping tobacco at the same time, so I think I’ll make my zero carb almond treats for the first month so that I don’t go completely insane.

        Then I’ll fight the sweet tooth after the nicotine cravings drop a bit.

        Thank you for the response.

  9. Almond milk, almond flour and erythritol.

    Coconut and olive oil.

    What are your thoughts on these for the transition period?

  10. I am on day 5 of carnivore diet, having been low carb paleo for 8 years for prediabetes. I feel brain fog, fatigue,and slight nausea . How long does this typically last?I am 63, have severe osteoporosis and am trying to heal hip joint pain ( cartilage is VERY thin) while waiting for orthopedic surgeon appt. I’m eating bone broth and liverwurst among other things like beef and seafood and cheese and heavy cream.. Is this diet a good idea for osteoporosis? Is there hope for healing the joint pain?

    1. Hi Teri that’s quite common early on – I’d recommend reading the 30-day guide (downloadable on the left) to help get you through the transition phase.

      Many people have experienced great joint health/healing eating this way.

  11. Hello Kevin I have just finished reading the book and Im going to shop for meat in a minute but I just have one issue: if I do without the supplements, would I inevitably $hit my pants (it is going to be hard at work)? or should I go safe and get the supplements and then start with the diet? Thanks a lot!!

    1. It depends, people that come from a ketogenic diet and are already fat adapted tend to have an easier time adapting. But if coming from a standard diet the high fat, low carb, and no fiber can cause some digestive issues until adapted. Digestive enzymes can definitely help.

  12. Hello I am wondering if carnivore diet could fix a skinny fat issue I’m having. I became skinny fat by restricting huge amounts of calories for almost a year three years ago. I was underweight but realized it and began gaining weight little by little and fixed my metabolism with both keto and carnivore but now I’m pretty much the same skinny fat person but with muscle underneath. Can carnivore diet help me with excess fat without exercising? I’m quite active and been on this lifestyle for a few months (removed dairy, eggs) am eating fatty fish, pork, beef, sometimes chicken. (I’m 18 if that matters)

  13. Hi Kevin,

    This is great info. Thank you so much for your insight and sharing this knowledge. I am newbie myself but I have come here not so much for particular health reason but more so for a greater edge on physique and body re-composition. “Superhuman” as you put it. My greatest fear on this lifestyle is this: I am an african american male with a genetic make up that is conducive to easily build and retain muscle. (I hardly have to work out to build muscle) I am all about FAT LOSS and CUTTING. Im looking to chisel my body through this carnivore diet. Ironically enough, the main reason I moved away from proteins in meats was due to the size of my thighs. I can easily get massive legs which are actually a big problem for me. I like the leaner frame and much easier to fit in jeans too! Going vegan helped in this matter and my legs lost size and i liked it. I am now looking for overall physique and getting cut and more dynamic energy in general as it has tapered of the past couple years on a vegan/vegetarian/raw food diet. I know I have the body for it because even when not working out, i can maintain pretty good physique.

    Anyways, what are your thoughts on this? Is it possible by maybe “tweaking” things that I could run a this carnivore application and still get the body composition that I am aiming for? I am 5’9 180, and would like to ideally be 165-170 without BIG tree trunks that slow me down. Im going for an agile/flexible body. Also, why no oils such as olive oil or avocado oils?

    Also, im curious if you are practicing any holistic lifestyle such as mindfulness and meditation? The reason why I ask is that I do not see much info or testimonials from the carnivore community on how meat eating has affected their consciousness as far as aggressiveness or being heart centered and just operating at a higher frequency of awareness. As I am sure you are aware, this is one of the main stereotypes that vegan/vegetarian community sometimes use against a diet such as this. That one is not really able to achieve higher states of consciousness. Just curious on your thoughts if you have any.

    Thanks!
    Obi

    1. Hey Obi – I literally just finished writing a guide on fat loss and body recomposition this morning. It’s an area that I probably have more experience than any other, so I think you’ll find it helpful.
      I will be posting it up here in the next couple days.

      Mindfulness and meditation, I think is very personal journey, so I haven’t written much on it.
      But I do talk about it a lot in my newsletter (The Saturday 7 at https://kevinstock.io)

  14. Hello
    I transitioned from a reluctant keto ( as I love bread) who satisfied carbs/texture cravings by making pancakes with various flours (chick pea, almond, maize. lupin etc) to a carnivore diet. Within two days I noticed my obsession with the next meal disappeared, I felt satisfied after each meal, my thinking and memory improved and my constipation disappeared. I had been having problems with eating vegetables for several years, (brain fog, incessant desire to pee at night, always feeling hungry, muscle loss).
    However the biggest problem i have with a carnivore diet is the mental conditioning that suggests unless we eat vegetables (11 portions a day) we will become ill. My body is telling me otherwise but my mind is not happy. I know the point about loss of vitamin C and the need for tons of fibre are incorrect but even so. One of the reasons I transferred to the carnivore diet was in an effort to build up my muscle the loss of which i was only just keeping at bay with resistance exercises so I am hoping to see an improvement in that area.
    I wrote this e-mail was because I felt that so many of the pro ‘lots of vegetables’ brigade were implying that we all need what they propose but apparently we don’t. Their prophesies of ill health and quotes of symptoms that would be experienced are not necessarily true and really they should be more aware of not only the genuine science behind the diet but our evolutionary history and our gut structure (see Dr Barry Groves.. What we are designed to eat.. on youtube)
    Well got that off my chest1
    Mary

    1. Yes it’s tough as we are conditioned “plants are healthy” from an early age.

      I think if you read “Health Dangers of a Plant-based Diet” (you can download it over there on the left) – it may help you see things in perspective 🙂

  15. Hi Kevin- After only 10 days into the Carnivore diet experiment my IBS-D issues have 100% vanished. I consume zero carbs and have the same high energy levels as before. Can you explain the effect carbs and plant based foods have on my gut to cause IBS? Almost too good to be true!

    Thanks!

    1. Awesome to hear Mark!

      Yep – you see to the left “Health Dangers of a Plant-Based Diet” – there’s your answers 🙂

  16. I have never been able to absorb vitamins and minerals. I have been getting vitamin b12 injections since an incident about 15 years ago. I am chronically low (by blood test) on a number of vitamins/minerals. Currently really low in D and slightly low in iron.

    I have been on a mineral blend since the second month. I added vitamin C, vitamin B12, vitamin A and fish oil in the 3rd or 4th month. I am on the sixth month of the diet. If I go off the mineral blend, I get the same symptoms I had at the very beginning (sore feet, large muscle spasms, twitches in smaller muscles). If I go off the vitamin C my teeth and jaw aches (I went to the dentist twice trying to find a cavity but it went away after a while on vitamin C). If I go off vitamin B12 I get shooting pains in my shoulder. If I go off the vitamin A and fish oil my eyesight gets really bad and I get blood blisters in my eye.

    You say not to supplement but for someone who has never been able to be healthy without a lot of supplementation I wonder if your advice is for the general person and not the person that has chronic low absorption issues.

  17. I came across your article after researching the all meat diet. I have been on this diet for the last 9 years. It is interesting that their is discussion about this diet having some health benefits. I have feared and been told by many specialists that I may develop different types of Cancer, kidney problems and heart disease due to my all meat diet. This was difficult to hear because this diet decreased my symptoms by 90%.

    This diet is not by choice, 10 years ago I began having serious digestive problems with everything I ate. I would get severe abdominal pain, bloating, weight loss, constipation, skin and joint inflammation etc.

    I began eliminating the obvious trigger foods. This was a long and painful process. Then without knowing why I ended up on an all meat diet because everything else I ate was killing me.

    I have been to the top facilities for this problem and nothing has changed (Stanford, UC Davis, Cedar Sinai, Mayo Clinic) I have been diagnosed and treated for severe IBS, Crohn’s disease, possible parasite, celiacs, testing for lyme ‘s disease you name it.
    I cannot seem to change my diet or add anything to it. I struggle to keep every pound of body weight that I have. I eat 4000 calories of grass fed beef a day and drink nothing but water. I have excepted the fact that I will be eating this way for the rest of my life.

    I would love any knowledge you have about the long term affects of this diet. The diet has saved my life and my career, I just struggle with the weight loss. I think I would be a very good candidate for doctors to study the effects of this diet.

    1. Thanks for sharing Chris!

      As far as long term clinical trials on an all-meat diet – they simply don’t exist. But there are a whole lot of people like you who are seeing amazing healing and health.
      This is a good first step 🙂

  18. Hi Dr. Kevin. I am 11 days into Level 1. I am eating only beef (cooked rare), seafood, calves liver twice a week, bacon, butter and himalayan salt. (I also used ground pepper the first few days but cut that out). Should I be cutting out bacon in Level 1 or leave it in twice a week?

  19. Hi Dr. Stock,

    I started Keto in early November last year, switched to carnivore on December 7th, and had been on a beef only (water + salt and some oregano for the cheap meat) diet since January 10th (I had to stop eating the other meats because they started to make me feel like sh*t).

    I’m exhausted, dehydrated, anxious, my digestion is messed up, and my sleep quality is trash sometimes. I stopped consuming salt about two weeks ago and have seen some negligible/no improvement. I have been reading about other people’s experiences and some other articles online and I think my fluid imbalance was caused by a hormonal imbalance. I heard that it can go away with time but I get desperate sometimes and wonder if I should stop.

    I’ve been feeling some weird metallic taste in my mouth that comes and goes throughout the day. I also feel some weird burning sensation on my upper back when I get anxious and get muscle cramps.

    I thought about supplementing with electrolytes as I did when I started keto, but I don’t know if that will help or hinder my body’s adaptation process if that’s actually a thing.

    I’m on this diet because of a bunch of health issues (IBS, Depression, Anxiety, Extreme Fatigue, Poor Sleep Quality, Brain Fog, Dermatitis, hypersensitivity to temperature changes, non-allergic rhinitis, etc) and that’s the only reason why I still put up with all these difficulties. I’m just hoping all of these can go away because during the first week when I switched to carnivore I felt better than I ever did in my entire life.

    Have you heard of something like this? I don’t know if it’s too early to look into other alternatives or I should just wait it out?

    I’m sorry for the long comment, I tried to be as brief as possible.

    1. Hi Noah – first you’ve come to the right place 🙂 This is all very common when starting – and it’s why I wrote the 30 day guide.

      I would highly recommend reading the 30 day guide that you can download here on the left.

      I would also recommend using salt generously – and my guess is that is the #1 reason you are struggling so bad right now.

      The metallic taste is a sign that you are in ketosis, as your body gets more efficient at using ketones for energy this will subside.

      As far as electrolytes sodium is probably the thing you need the most of right now. But some magnesium can help, and perhaps potassium as you transition.

  20. Hello Doctor,
    I am about 9 days into the carnivore diet and I have my moments of clarity, and moments where I feel like I can do this(continue). However, every time I lift or run, I get tired easily, get massive headaches and start craving vegetables and fruits. I’m not really sure what is happening. I eat to a point where I feel satiated and replenished, but it feels that doesn’t translated to my performance in the gym(I feel sluggish and slow).

    Are there any suggestions sir?
    In terms of my diet, I’ve been doing salt, meat and water for the most part. The beef liver jerky that I bought have some pepper and onion powder in it but that’s about it.

    1. Sounds like you are doing it just right!

      Performance just takes time to adapt. I think it took me 2-3 months before my performance got all the way back and then started to surpass previous performance.

      It’s kind of a patience thing – but electrolytes can really help (sodium and magnesium).

  21. I tried this diet for 1 month and I got the “keto rash” or whatever you call it and the itchiness was unbearable. I had to transition over to higher carb intake in order for it to go away – took about 2-3 months. From what I understand, this only affects a very small fraction of people who go on the keto/carnivore diet when dropping carbs to zero. My question to you is, if I *had* to get some carbs in order to at least slightly benefit from the diet, say 30-50mg – where should I get them? Maybe dairy like milk/cheese? Would a spoonful of honey be okay? Thank you to anyone who can help!

    1. Yes some people do get a keto rash early on, though it usually dissipates as you get more efficient at using ketones.

      What I would do, instead of eating carbs, is try eating I higher percentage of protein:fat which should keep you in shallower level of ketosis.
      There are definitely some trade-offs if doing this (I talk about in the 30 day guide a bit) but it could be a way to help ease into deeper levels of ketosis.

      To answer you question though, if you “had” to eat carbs, it really depends on your tolerance to various plant-based foods and carbohydrates in general.

      I would probably do a low carb fruit like an avocado or some berries, or a peeled, pressure cooked sweet potato, or (and I really don’t recommend grains, but…) maybe some white rice, and maybe some honey.
      If you are working out, I’d eat these post-workout. And then I would gradually taper off and monitor the keto rash. Just an fyi – some times this “weaning” onto the diet is harder than go all in as it can keep cravings around and it can just delay/drag out transition symptoms, and on the other hand, for some people it works out just great!

  22. Hello. Read your 30 days guide and appreciate all your findings and I look forward to following you thoroughly. My question is, I am starting Apirl 1 on Carnivore. I have been on Keto, but lost only 1 pound in 3 months. I’ve been a yoyo dieter. Anyway, been thinking I need to been on thryoid medicine, but was wondering if I should give this carnivore diet an expeiriental go for 3 months and see if it improves the t3,4, etc. Or should lI see thyroid specialist in addition to doing this carnivore. Thanks for your valuable time. weigh 203..femal age 70 5″8. on no meds right now. THANK YOU

    1. First – I’d recommend reading the fat loss guide in addition to the 30 day guide just so you are well prepared.

      And I can’t really comment on your thyroid – but if you are concerned then I’d talk with your doctor.

  23. So….I have severe Sjogrens Sydrome, which has meant I rip my corneas all the time, loose my voice, etc. It’s pretty horrible. The only thing that makes my life livable is massive doses of fish oil, vitamin C and E (these are the minimum supplements I have to take) plus ox bile (I have no gall bladder). If I don’t take these, within a few days I will be sitting in a dark room ripping my corneas each time I move my eyes. Yeah, it’s that bad.

    I’ve tried and continue to try any dietary protocol that reduces inflammation and helps with autoimmune. Paleo Keto was my go to, along with absolutely no dairy. I’m finding that, as of day 5, carnivore is causing me some trouble (my eyes have been more dry, my nose is cracked, my throat is extra dry…) Nothing I can’t handle, but I cannot give up my supplements, or I risk going back to hell. You’re saying no supplements at all…do you have a suggestion? I’d really like to give this a try and see if it helps, but I don’t want to risk the throwback of not taking my supps.

    1. If supplements help than I would keep taking them (at least while you transition to this way of eating).
      After a couple months, you could try weaning off them if you’d like to see how you do without them.

  24. Hi. When I started carnivore diet with raw eggs and raw milk first I felt very good, energy, libido, better mood, it lasted 2 weeks. 2 months go by on this diet and I am getting worse, no libido, no energy, mood is worsening. I am increasing fat (lard) and meat, eggs intake, but I don’t feel better at all. Literally I feel like shit. If I am still healing, why I was feeling good at the begining and now getting worse. Any ideas? Before this I was on keto and low carb 2 years.

    1. Hi Peter this is not uncommon. Transitioning can take weeks to months for people, and it’s a complex transition (everything from microbiome changes to energy usage).

  25. Dear Dr Stock,

    Is rib eye steak ideal for a one to one ratio of fat to protein? I have the tendency to eat very lean and then not feel satisfied. My aim is to eat less over all but increase my fat intake but I have still have a fear of fat, but would like recommendations on best cut of meat. I like to eat omad and want to do level 3 of just beef and water as I am allergic to dairy, eggs, fish makes me feel very bloated. So really beef is my only option. I am coming to carnivore as I have such bad digestive problems, IBS , insomnia and recently bowel surgery removing a third of my bowel, so eating extremely challenging. However I am hoping by just eating beef I can resolved these issues but am also looking to improve my concentration and that peace of mind at the simplicity of eating just meat.

    Kindest regards Poppy

    1. Ribeye is a good option for a 1:1 fat:protein ratio (by grams not calories).

      Other good cuts with similar ratios: chuck eye steak, chuck roasts, and you can even do ground beef in the 70:30 range that is a good option (though depending on how you cook it – can render a lot of the fat out).

  26. Hi,

    I am an Asian. As an Asian, I am already used to spicy & sour kinda food. We also use a lot of spices and herbs in our cooking. I am currently on keto woe for about 7 months now.

    I interested to try carnivore but my concern is, how to adapt with only meat and salt? I am a spicy food lover.

    Any advice?

    1. Yes, I’d recommend reading the 30 day guide that you can download on this site that talks about spices and other “grey” area foods and how to think about them.

  27. Hi Kevin. Thank you for all of the information. I am mostly carnivore, I eat beef, sardines, egg yolks and bone broth almost daily. I also eat liver and chicken. I’m concerned about vitamins D, K2 and COQ10. What is your opinion?

  28. Hi, what about the digestive enzymes and Betaina hcl in the carnivore diet?

  29. Hi Kevin, love all your amazing knowledge and resources, it has helped mitigated so much of my anxiety around starting the diet and made the whole process so much simpler!!
    The question i have is that i have lyme (positive tests) and mold issues and a ton of super tough physical and emotional symptoms from this and have tried so many things over the years to no avail….and almost 4 months ago i started a very alternative treatment protocol of a few pretty strong dry herbs and this natural bacteria killing 02 solution (with a touch of lemon to activate it each day) and a table spoon of baking soda and water twice a day, away from food to alkaline the body. The Specialist who has put me on the treatment has had great success with this protocol and i have spoken to a number of people that he has treated using this protocol that have gotten better from it (though it took a year or more and its accumulative in killing the lyme biofilm). I was wondering if doing this protocol at the same time as the carnivore diet can be detrimental or make the diet not work as well or will it be fine? I know this will make it hard to know if i get better, what actually got me there….but i have been sick for a long time and I am afraid to stop a protocol i started a few months ago and loose any momentum i have gained… but on the other hand the carnivore diet is so compelling….so hoping both will be fine and not interfering to much with the other unless you feel otherwise? Also i know meat is acidic and i was told that lyme and mold like an acidic environment and also the herbs don’t kill bacteria as well in an acidic environment…however the baking soda is for alkalising…do you have any thoughts on that?
    Thanks for any advice you can give me around this, it would be hugely helpful!!

    1. Hi Sean, it’s a good question. My feeling is this – if you think it’s helping then by all means keep doing it.
      Good nutrition is always a good idea in my opinion, so no it won’t “undo” the benefits of a carnivore diet.
      I would recommend trying out a Level 2 or 3 protocol eventually just to try without and see how you do.
      Thanks for the kind words!

  30. Hey Dr. Kevin,

    I’ve been reading up about and researching carnivore for several months and decided I’m going to give it a go come first payday in January when I’ll be able to stock up on organic level 1 groceries for the first month before moving to level 3.
    Even talked to my family doctor and got my first round of blood work done. All good!
    It was shocking seeing my family doc not think I’m crazy at all because I warned him before telling him about the plan he was going to! Even went into carbs, anti-nutrients, how I feel about gluten that it may not be having a positive effects on everyone, not just people with a sensitivity diagnosis. Had a nice talk about the nutrition data and how little we actually know. We saw eye to eye on everything, but couldnt actually give a recommendation or medical advice to do so due to lack of hard long term data, ethics, totally understable.
    He’s done plenty of keto on and off and it actually turns out his wife is reading Dr. Shawn Bakers book, and he’s never met someone or a patient whose actually done it so he’s excited to see how it goes.

    I do have a question though.

    I have to get my wisdom teeth pulled in a month or so, and I wont be able to eat solids. Definitely thinking of putting it off until 6 weeks for extra adaptation time to get through the roughest patch, but I’ll have to get them pulled and I cant find any information on a carnivore soft food or liquid diet while I heal. So I was wondering what foods you can think of?

    I really only can think of yogurt and butter as soft enough, but stick after stick of butter sounds unappetizing, and yogurt would definitely take me out of ketosis I’m assuming, plus I haven’t been able to locate any information online about this issue, and would really appreciate any advice you could give!

    1. I love when I hear about docs like that!

      That’s a good question about the wisdom teeth. In my experience, you might have a day or 2 of trouble, but I really don’t think eating meat is going to be a big issue.
      The 1st few days you can go with things like eggs, tender meats and seafood, and I don’t think you’ll have much of an issue.

  31. Thanks so much Kevin for your answer! Just also wondered your thoughts on acidic versus alkaline environments and because meat is acidic and bacteria and viruses supposedly love acidity….how can i either not feel this is an issue or if it is an issue for killing lyme and mold etc… keep alkaline to mitigate the meat acidity? Is the baking soda and water totally fine, any other ideas….or in your opinion or the research you have seen, is there a reason this isn’t a concern?
    Thanks and Happy New Year.

    1. Hi Sean – I am currently writing on this in my “Protein and the Carnivore Diet” article that is going to be out soon. If you get my newsletter – I’ll send it your way when it’s complete.

  32. Thanks Kevin, i do get your newsletter so i look forward to reading that.

    1. Appetite fluctuations are very common early on (I was ravenous for a couple weeks, and loss of appetite for a couple weeks) – just takes some time to regulate

  33. Hi Dr. Stock,
    I am doing CD and was incredible disciplined the first 2 months with great success (outside of the diarrhea) which doesn’t bother me really. But then i had a cheat day. Surprisingly the cheat day was not a set back and i continued with Carnivore diet for another month with no problem. I noticed that my cheat day was filled with sugar and breads but not fruits and veggies or other plant based foods (and i realize bread and sugar is plant based).
    and then had another cheat day. Today im having my third cheat day but with only 10 days within my last cheat meal. I feel as if im adapted to the carnivore diet but i have 2 questions:

    1. Are the cheat days ok if i can control them and they aren’t causing any adverse effects (that im aware of)? Usually pizza and cookies or some other sweats.

    2. I add a good bit of extra sharp cheddar cheese to my carnivore meals which consist mainly of groud chuck, eggs, bacon, ribeye. I love cheese and it makes the carnivore diet much more satisfying for me. I’ve lost about 30 lbs. So far. Is it ok that im incorpoating so much cheese in my diet? I stopped drinking milk (which i love) altogether because of the cheese.

    Thanks,
    Mike Dechert

  34. Hi Kevin,

    I have been digging into the research around carnivore due to feeling out of sync with my hunger cues, confused about carbs, and lack of menstrual cycle.

    Overall, I’m a healthy young female (22), but currently don’t have a cycle after over-exercising and under-eating. I have course corrected the exercise and nourishment piece, but was wondering if my lack of cycle prompts any special considerations for my approach to this method.

    I still have some groceries to use (i.e. avocados) and was wondering if eating avocados, olive and avocado oil, and supplementing Ca, Mg, Zn along with liquid chlorophyll will prevent me from seeing the normalized hunger cues carnivore touts as one of its many benefits?
    Are avocados off limits only for those with auto-immune conditions?

    I would greatly appreciate any advice you have on this!
    Thank you in advance,

    Anna

    1. Hi Anna, if you haven’t read the 30 day guide (which you can download on this website) I’d recommend starting there which talks about foods outside of “carnivore” – as well as this article: https://www.kevinstock.io/health/carbohydrates-and-the-carnivore-diet/

      Regarding menstruation, as you improve your nutrition and perhaps cut back on exercise a bit it usually corrects and I don’t think any special considerations beyond this are generally required.

  35. Kevin

    What a great morning read. You were pumping out this great info 2 years ago?! Niccce. The part of fasting ruining your hunger cues is so true. On keto i was forcing myself to IF daily for months. I can say that eating till your full on carnivore will for sure make you naturally IF. Im still full from my dinner 13 hours ago. Anyway great post. Will be for sure reading more of your articles.

      1. I’m a 3 days in, bought a month’s worth of meat, and I carry my 80oz bottle wherever I go ( I’m 230, 6’2″, and about 18% bodyfat). My family and I are having. reunion in 40 days at Chicago, and we’ve all been looking forward to try their famous pizza together. Are there any precautions I should take in order to enjoy a light meal with them without getting super sick and get back on my healing phase? Or should I just stop now and start it when I get back from Chicago?

  36. Kevin,

    Bowel movements… I really don’t know any other way to say this, but the amount of meat I’ve been putting into my stomach the past 18 days (2 lbs a day) doesn’t match what I think should be coming out. My stools are loose as expected, but it’s barely anything. I mean surely it’s going to erupt at some point right?

    Thanks. 💩💩💩

    1. Hey Chase, I’d recommend checking out the 30 Day Guide which you can download on this website – it addresses this in some detail. It’s very common (expected) to go less often / less amount though.

  37. Hi! I am a long time (17 yrs) sufferer of moderate to severe Crohn’s disease. Lots of inflammation in my colon right now. I’ve been quote disappointed with conventional “treatments”, don’t really have a response to meds except high doses of Prednisone (really nasty drug). This is my second time attempting carnivore. I am on day 21 now. I definitely feel worse than when I started. Energy is worse, crohn’s symptoms are worse. Fevers, fatigue, abdominal pain, diarrhea. Still running to the bathroom all day. I am by no means purposefully restricting what I eat. But I am a small female (5’ 2” about 110 lbs) and average around 1.5 lbs per day of ground beef and steak, and some eggs. And there are some days due to the Crohn’s abdominal pain that my appetite is not what it should be. I hear everyone say try to eat at least 2 lbs per day in the beginning stages, but that is incredibly difficult for me. I’m concerned I’m not getting enough and concerned about getting worse. And I’m wondering, due to coming from a horrible mostly fast food diet, due to my inflammation (as well as coming off of being on high doses of prednisone most of last year – which I’m sure wreaked havoc on my body in multiple ways), should I naturally expect that my adaptation period will be much longer than a month? How do I know if I’m eating enough? How long should I hang in there and be patient until I decide maybe it’s not for me? My husband seems to think a cheat day would help me. I think it would be like starting over again with the adaptation process. It can just be so difficult to hang in there when most other people seem to feel fantastic by week 2 or 3 and I only seem to be getting worse…

    1. Hi Marissa, sorry to hear about the struggles. And yes, with your history, adaptation can take some time. I would recommend following your appetite (if you haven’t read the 30 day guide which you can download on this website I recommend checking that out where I talk about it more). I would also consider adding in some liver. I would not recommend a cheat day, and with a history of “mostly fast food” I would try and use a much longer view point of health – this is an article I think would be very beneficial for you: https://www.kevinstock.io/health/carbohydrates-and-the-carnivore-diet/

  38. I’m about seven weeks intp the carnivore diet, and I’m sure my body still adjusting, but I really don’t seem to have as much energy when I work out.I was wondering if it would be a detriment to me if I took some of the electrolyte powder.

  39. What are your thought on adding intermittent fasting to the carnivore diet? I’m doing my research now and planning to start very soon. I usually eat between 12-8. I’ve never had a problem with it before or feeling like I need breakfast. I just wanted advise before I start

  40. Hi Dr. Stock,

    I’ve been on Carnivore for about three weeks now. I am fairly strict with my only compromise being a small amount of goat cheese I add to my daily omelet I use to make it more flavorful.

    I’m a scientist so I still track some macros, especially the amount of protein and fat I am eating to better understand satiety etc. I have been a frequent binge eater in the past and happily have find on Carnivore I have had no desire to binge. However, based on my measurements, I find I am eating only about 1-1.5 lbs of meat per day, a few eggs and about 1 oz of cheese daily and feeling great with no perceived hunger.. Measured out, I eating about 130 gms protein, 140 gms of fat and 1700-1900 calories per day. Also, the loose stool from the first few weeks has largely resolved. I did six months of serious Keto before I started and appeared well adapted to fat.

    However, based on my reading, this seems significantly under what others are eating on Carnivore. Given I am 5’11” and 290 lbs, this seems like I am must be grossly undereating.

    Is this OK, should I force myself to eat more etc?

    Thanks for your help.

    1. I would keep following your appetite (especially if you are doing so well).

      It’s common to have appetite fluctuations early. Personally, I went a period of time being ravenously hungry, to a few weeks of little appetite, to finally regulating appetite after a couple months.

  41. Dr. Stock,
    I just started the Carnivore diet, three days ago, so far so good. I’m doing the diet because I have Celiac Disease, IBS and other digestive issues. I know I have inflammation and my skin looks awful. I have been on a gluten-free diet for over 17 years but still struggle with these issues. I feel this diet will help after all the research I’ve been doing. However, I’m very small 5’2″ weighting around 106 & have just dropped to 103. I don’t want to continue to lose weight. Would this diet work for me?
    Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you!

    1. Hi Lisa, well my perspective is that the most nutrient dense food would be exactly what you’d want. But there is a big difference between weight lost from fat and than from LBM (i.e. muscle).
      But 1 tip: You might want to really focus on fatty meats to keep the weight up.

  42. I’m just thinking about getting started on the carnivore diet. I’m just not sure how to cook the meats. I don’t have a grill to use and I know most oils are restricted, like olive and others. Can you give me some ideas on methods of cooking meat and what fats to use? Thank you.

    1. Hi Rita have you downloaded and read the 30 day guide? It discusses this. But you can use a stovetop and cook in butter/ghee or use some of the fat from the meat (render in the pan).

  43. Hi Dr. Stock. Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my question. I really appreciate it. I have read your 30 day guide and found it very informative. I struggle with lots of food sensitivities and I am hoping for some relief with the carnivore diet. It’s going to be quite a challenge since my main protein for years has been chicken breast. I’ll try the ghee-I think it’s ok with my dairy intolerance. Do you ever recommend the air fryers for cooking? Thanks again!

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