What Can I Eat on The Carnivore Diet
The Carnivore Diet
The Carnivore Diet Equation is deceptively simple:
Who would have thought so many questions could arise from such a simple equation.
In my experience it’s best to start with a 3 Level process for the smoothest transition and best results.
The 3 Levels are described briefly below and also in the “30 Day Guide to Going Full Carnivore” – which I recommend reading before starting. You can grab it here:
What to Eat on the Carnivore Diet
Your primary focus should be on fatty meat, especially BEEF.
Lamb, pork, chicken, and fish are next on your list.
And…if you’d like…eggs, and low carb dairy products like butter, heavy whipping cream and hard cheeses.
Your Go-To Beef Cuts:
- Steaks (ribeye, sirloin, strip, chuck eye)
- Roasts (Prime rib, chick, brisket)
- Ground beef
- Organs if you want (though not necessary)
Note on Organ meats:
There are carnivores who believe organ meats are necessary for complete nutrition. I don’t believe this is true. But I’ve done some interesting experiments with liver, that may be worth trying out. Having studied human evolution there is evidence that organ meats may have played a role in human brain development. Add a brain, liver, or cold water fish to your plan if you’re concerned. They are high in DHA which plays a vital role in brain function.
- Water (with or without carbonation or minerals)
- Bone Broth
OK, but test without for at least some time:
Sides and Exceptions
Coffee is a plant extract and caffeine is a natural insecticide.
But, if everyone tried to get through the carnivore adaptation plus caffeine withdrawal, carnivores would likely become endangered or extinct.
If you are a coffee drinker, I recommend you keep drinking it for the first 30 days.
Coffee is an “OK’d” exception for most carnivores, though I do recommend starting to ween off towards the end of the month after adaptation symptoms resolve a bit.
Though most people do fine with coffee, for some people cutting it makes all the difference. It’s worth it to find out if that’s you.
Technically most carnivores “OK” eggs and some dairy like butter, hard cheeses and heavy whipping cream. It’s best to think of these as “sides” and not main dishes.
Since intolerances to these are actually quite common, I personally recommend going without for at least some time (see Level 2).
After removing them for a time, if you desire, you can reintroduce them later and evaluate how you feel.
What to Avoid on the Carnivore Diet?
Everything that is not meat.
- Seasoning and Sauces
- Sorry it’s just not a health food as bad as we may wish it were.
- If you can’t give it up that’s an important thing to know.
- I’ve seen a carnivore diet not only curb carb cravings but also things like nicotine, alcohol and caffeine. Might be the perfect way to start cutting back.
Minimize processed meats.
- It frequently contains additives you don’t wanted added.
Aged meats are high in histamines, which increase sensitivities, intolerances, and inflammation – the things we are wanting to remove.
How Much to Eat on the Carnivore Diet
Eat when hungry.
Eat until full.
- Listen to your body.
- I found the majority of people average 2 meals per day.
- But some people do best on 3 meals a day, while others do best on 1 meal per day. Neither 1, 2, 3, or 4 is better than the other.
- Let your appetite guide you.
While your body is adapting and healing from years of malnutrition, it is common that you will eat twice as much as you will once healed.
Eat. Your body has been dying for it.
2-4lbs of fatty meat per day can be a guide for shopping purposes.
Most people eat somewhere between 2-4 lbs/day on average. The amounts depends on so many variables (kind/cut of meat, fat content, your activity, height, weight, genetics, metabolism) eat until satisfied.
How Often to Eat on the Carnivore Diet
You should drop your preconceived notions of how many meals to eat per day.
You should eat when you are hungry. You should eat until you are full.
That said, I did a bit of research and investigating and found that on average:
- 70% 2 meals/day
- 20% 1 meal/day
- 10% 3 meal/day
1 meal per day is not better than 2, nor 3 better than 4.
Carnivore Diet Snacks
If you eat enough fatty meat at your meal, you should not feel like snacking.
If you feel continually hungry after eating you need to:
- Eat more during meals
- Eat more meals
Many people have a habit of snacking, and find they have an urge to snack even when not hungry. If it is something you can’t or don’t want to kick, pork rinds can be used to snack on. Be careful what they are cooked in. No vegetable oils.
I’ve found that this snacking habit fades for most carnivores over time.
Getting Started: LEVELS 1, 2, and 3
I recommend viewing the Carnivore Diet in 3 Levels when starting. The point is not to make it more complex, rather provide a framework to make this diet work for as many people as possible. Here’s a brief overview, but for a more thorough look at the 3 Levels grab the “30 Day Guide to Going Full Carnivore.”
Level 1 Protocol
- If it’s meat or fish – it’s on the menu
- “Sides” and “Exceptions”
- Coffee and Tea
- Butter, Cheese, and Heavy Whipping Cream
- Supplements (during adaptation)
Level 2 Protocol
- Meat + Water
- No processed meats
- No “sides” or “exceptions”
- Including coffee, tea, eggs, butter, cheese, whipping cream
- No supplements
- Exception: Pink Himalayan Salt
- Exception: If you are skipping Level 1 and going straight to Level 2
Level 3 Protocol
- BEEF Only (ideally Grass-Fed and Finished) + Water
Level 3 is the ultimate “elimination diet.”
Cut Everything but (Grass Fed, Grass Finished) Beef and Water
- I know this isn’t convenient
- I know this isn’t cheap
- I also know that if you go this pure for 30 more days, it will be worth it
If you can’t afford the Grass-fed, grass-finished beef, then doing just beef and water is the way to go (eliminating other meats like pork and seafood).
Beyond Level 3
After completing 30 days at Level 3 you are in a prime position to personalize and perfect your diet. From here you slowly and systematically add back in “test foods” and evaluate how you feel and react to them.
- Start by adding back in BEEF that is not grass fed/finished (if you were able to do just grass-fed, -finished)
- Then test other meats
- Then test eggs
- Then test “ok’d” dairy
- Then test coffee/tea
After completing Level 3 if you try adding back in pork and notice ill symptoms, keep it out of your regular diet. If you test back in dairy, like cheese, and notice bloating – cut it. But you may try adding eggs back in, and you feel good with them and like having them as a side. Keep them. You may try having your morning coffee again, and enjoy it and feel great with it. Add it back in. Personalize your plan.
The best way to do this is complete Level 3, and then only add back in 1 “test item” at a time using grass fed and finished BEEF as your baseline to test everything against.
I recommend most people start at Level 1 for 30 days.
If you are not a coffee drinker than starting off at Level 2 (+supplements from Level 1) is a often a great place to start.
I do not recommend jumping to Level 3 until having completed at least 30 days at either Level 1 or 2.
Beyond the Carnivore Diet “Experiment”
Most carnivores settle somewhere between Level 1 and Level 2.
By completing Level 3 you will know where the best place is for you.
If you want to experiment adding back in plants or fruits or sugars (I don’t recommend it), but go for it. Just remember testing off a baseline of grass fed and finished beef is the best way to get accurate feedback.
If you survive the experiment CONGRATULATIONS!
I have a strange feeling you won’t want to stop “experimenting.”
If you complete 30 days at Level 3, congrats – I know that’s not easy. You’ve probably never been in a better position in your life to determine what works for and with you, and what doesn’t.
Dial in on your Superhuman foods, and just as importantly, your Kryptonite.
FOR CARNIVORE SURVIVORS
If you are true to your carnivore nature and you get through 30 days “playing by the rules,” I have a gift for you.
Shoot me a personal email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
With the Subject: Superhuman
(this is important because I get a lot of emails, many get a fast filter, and that subject will make sure I get it)
I want to celebrate your journey, resolve, and new life with you!
If you haven’t grabbed the “30-Day Guide to Going Full Carnivore” – you can access that here.