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The Carnivore Diet – What to Eat

What Can I Eat on The Carnivore Diet

The Carnivore Diet

The Carnivore Diet Equation is deceptively simple:

The Carnivore Equation

Meat + Water = Carnivore Diet

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.

More Meats

Lamb
Chops Ribs Shank
Pork
Shoulder Pork Belly Butt Roasts Ribs
Poultry
Wings Thighs and Drumsticks Chicken breasts are too lean so eat sparingly or with other fatty meats.
Fish
Salmon Trout Mackerel Sardines Crab Lobster Shrimp Scallops

Beverages

  • Water (with or without carbonation or minerals)
  • Bone Broth

OK, but test without for at least some time:

  • Coffee
  • Tea

Sides and Exceptions

Coffee

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).

Especially dairy.

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
  • Alcohol
    • 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.

It is important that you do not intentionally restrict calories or food intake or force fasting. I’ll explain why in the WARNING at the end. 

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:

  1. Eat more during meals
  2. 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

carnivore dietI 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

  • Meat
    • If it’s meat or fish – it’s on the menu
  • “Sides” and “Exceptions”
    • Coffee and Tea
    • Butter, Cheese, and Heavy Whipping Cream
    • Eggs
  • 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.

  1. Start by adding back in BEEF that is not grass fed/finished (if you were able to do just grass-fed, -finished)
  2. Then test other meats
  3. Then test eggs
  4. Then test “ok’d” dairy
  5. Then test coffee/tea

Example:

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.

Choosing Levels

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.

While most people get great feedback 30, 60, and 90 days into a carnivore diet, for some people reversing the years of damage takes months to years. The longer your “test experiment” the better gauge you’ll have knowing if this diet is for you.

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: kevin@meat.health

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!

P.S.

If you haven’t grabbed the “30-Day Guide to Going Full Carnivore” – you can access that here.

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Comments

  1. As a Sleep Doctor – I assume an MD with sleep-disorder experience – what is your take on treating narcolepsy? We are currently (for the past 11 weeks) using a carniverous diet that includes limited heavy cream and cheeses. Thanks for your consideration. We have consulted with a sleep clinic and we will be scheduling a sleep study soon as we do not yet have an official diagnosis.

    1. Hi Sandra, I am a DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) but practiced in a niche area known as Dental Sleep Medicine. Treating narcolepsy is outside my expertise, but as I understand it, it is not easily treated and most medications used are to treat the symptoms. Doing a sleep study, is what I would recommend. If you decide to experiment with the Carnivore Diet I’d love to hear about your journey.

  2. What do you say about honey as candy every couple of days/weeks or in general? I mean it is a pure animal product, but not an animal itself. My fear is that it will kill all the benefits I experience!

    1. It depends on what/why you want it – if just for enjoyment – then go for it. However, for most people they’d do better without. Killing sugar/carbohydrate cravings can take a bit, and re-stimulating cravings can make it harder long term, so I’d generally recommend just avoiding it.

  3. I am considering Level 1. Is corned beef considered processed meat? I am afraid I wrecked my 1st day on the program 🙁

    1. Yes corned beef would be considered processed, but it’s ok (I just would try and make it more of an “occasional” item rather than an everyday “staple”).

  4. I’m considering this carnivore diet to see if it would improve my MS symptoms.
    What is the best why to start? I’m a coffee and tea drinker. Thanks for your support.

    1. Best / easiest way to start is with the 30-day guide to going full carnivore (you can download it for free on this website). It will answer questions about coffee and tea too 🙂

      Of course, let me know if you have any further questions after reading it and if I can help in any way!

  5. Thanks for this great information. You recommend the beef is the best meat to shift into in level 3. Do you have a second best option for those of us with a red meat (cow, bison, deer etc.) allergy? I can do all poultry, pork, fish and seafood with no reaction.
    Many thanks

    1. AH red meat allergy!

      If you know you do fine with poultry, pork and fish, then I would just stick to those.

      Ruminants are preferred for various reasons (like the way they digest food via ruminal fermentation) but you can get just as great results with other meats.

    2. Hi Andrea,
      do you know your blood type?
      I am very interested in the blood-type diet and the effects of different nutritional molecules on the body/organism.
      What are the signs and symptoms of a red-meat allergy?

      Thank you very much!

  6. I have a medium level home based workout schedule every othet day. Will this diet accommodate this without problems?

    1. I’m not sure what you mean “accommodate” but the diet is used by athletes (world record holders) as well as physique/bodybuilders. Many people do the diet and don’t exercise at all and see great results (though I don’t recommend not exercising 🙂

  7. Hi there, I’m wondering whether to try the carnivore diet as I have had myocarditis(inflammation of the heart) for the past year and wanted to know if you’ve heard of any success stories? keen to get some kind of diet plan in place that’s not potentially risky for me. 🙂

    1. Personally, I don’t recommend it. But if you need it, you need it 🙂 I’d go with coffee if you need a pick-me-up (which you shouldn’t need once being on the diet for awhile).

  8. Hi, so what’s the deal with chicken and poultry in general? I see some people don’t recommend white meat others do, any particular reason for this?

    1. Poultry tends to be quite lean, and many people prefer fattier cuts, and staying closer to ketogenic ratios (~70% fat, 30% protein). Micronutrient density also tends to be superior in red meat. But eating some poultry is just fine if you like it.

  9. I am 68. 2 months ago stopped HRT and Seroxat both of whch I have been on for about 17 years quite happily. I am one week into a no carb/ no sugar diet and eating meat, fish, green veg, some cheese, cream etc.. I plan to eat more meat with a view to going mainly carnivore, but would find the amounts you suggest (2lbs – 4lbs) a huge amount to have to get through. half a pound is about as much as I have currently.Today I am feeling weak have rapid heart beat as well as lose bowels and very regular peeing. Is it a mistake to move into this diet whilst combatting the withdrawal from seroxat and HRT? My son is doing the carnivore diet (3 weeks in) and he is feeling (and looks) great and says I should perservere.

    1. Hi Veronica, all of your symptoms are very common when getting started. Did you by chance read the 30-day guide to going full carnivore (you can download it by clicking in the left bar) – i think it will answer most/all of your questions.

  10. Hi Dr. Kevin!
    My partner and I (age 28) are starting the Carnivore diet at level 1. I am hoping to eliminate or at least reduce my pain and stiffness from my arthritis (diagnosed JRA @ age 5) and back injuries, and my partner is hoping to see some gains in weight lifting and energy levels. I have issues with exercising because of the pain, which usually lasts 2-3 days afterwards, and difficulty of movement, but I am hoping to be able to get back to my old self on this new diet!
    We had a question about sausage, such as breakfast sausage and sausage patties. Is this okay to consume? And what about milk? I see some suggest that milk is okay sparingly, and some say none at all. Is it because of the sugars in milk?
    Thanks Doc!
    -Victoria

    1. Hi Victoria, excited to hear you and your partner are diving in! I think you’ll both be quite glad you did.

      Breakfast sausage is just fine – I would just caution to check and make sure the kind you buy doesn’t contain additives (like sugar).

      Some dairy is ok, but I’ve found most people do better without dairy.
      That said, some dairy options are better than others – like whole cream, butter, and hard cheeses. These have little/no carbohydrate/sugar and less milk proteins that can cause issues. Milk tends to have a more sugar (from lactose) than I’d recommend and people also have issues with the milk proteins (especially casein).
      This explains dairy a bit more thoroughly: https://www.kevinstock.io/health/should-you-eat-dairy/

      You can always take it out in “Level 2” though and test it in back later to see how you do though.

      1. Thank you for getting back to me so quickly! We’re really looking forward to changing our lives and being happier and healthier!

    1. Red meat is the best sources of creatine in the diet – that said, supplementing can “top off” creatine stores (if they are not already saturated from all the creatine in red meat), so some people may have some benefits supplementing. Definitely not needed though.

      For the vast majority of people (and their goals) I don’t recommend whey protein. It’s quite insulinogenic, can lead to hypoglycemia and increased hunger, and if fat loss is a goal – I’d stay away from it for the most part. For some people with muscle building goals it can be appropriate in certain, rare, situations.

  11. I started about 4 weeks ago pretty much level 1, not lost any wight yet, sugar lowered to about 110-115 on average without meds, (was at 170~ with medication). Does getting to level three means beef only or other grass fed meats allowed as well? I get grass fed / Grass finished meat and have the same option for lamb and pork from local ranchers in AZ (Datecreek.com).

    FYI, Someone has to write a book on how to cook for everyone else in the family and keep the peace 🙂

  12. What about chewing gum or eating mints throughout the day? Would there be enough sugar in gum to effect your body overall whilst on the diet? if so,would a natural sweetened gum like erythritol sweetened gum be ok?

    1. Breaking the gum chewing habit was actually the hardest habit for me to break. More so than coffee. It was so apart of my routine and going to the gym that I felt I was “forgetting” something every time I headed for the gym.

      I recommend most people avoid gum. It can illicit cravings and make it hard to break sugar / carb addictions.

      Like you said the sugar / sugar alcohols are generally quite minuscule in the grand scheme of things, so perhaps not a big deal, for you to decide 🙂

      If I were to use any sweeteners it would be erythritol or stevia.

    1. This is a loaded question but I’ll do my best to keep it brief.
      Yes and no.

      Many people will see drastic improvement in their blood pressure in a relatively short time. If they are taking blood pressure medication this can be problematic as their blood pressure will drop too low. So as one gets healthy, they often need to ween off / remove medication. Best to do this with your physician kept in the loop.

      As far as vitamins, meat is complete nutrition, so no vitamins are necessary and there are some anecdotal evidence that supplementing can interfere with the body’s natural homeostasis. That said, some people do take supplements – though not out of necessity but in an attempt at “optimization.” For example, if you work indoors and don’t get a lot of sunlight, taking a vitamin D3 supplement could be beneficial. Electrolyte supplementation is often beneficial while one is adapting to the diet.

      Hope this helps / makes sense!

  13. DR KEVIN,
    First of all I love your content and the fact that you answer all your comments

    Im not a coffee person. And I have kicked all sugared drinks for over a year now. But I do occasionally need a pick up, 2-3 times throughout the week. What about a sugar free beverage (ie red bull or monster) for a little extra boost when needed? One 12 ounce beverage does the trick. Does drinking this void the benifits of the diet itself?
    If it does Do you suggest an alternative to the sugar free drinks for small energy boost when needed?

    1. Hey Joseph, well I’m happy to help if I can.

      I don’t recommend sugar free beverages like red bulls or diet sodas in general; however, it would not just void the benefits of the diet.
      What I think is just as important is fitting this way of eating into your life, and if that means including a few small things that aren’t typically in the diet, then I say go for it. Now if you find they leave you dragging, or craving sweets, ect…then I might consider re-evaluating.

      Hope that makes some sense!

  14. As a hunter, the only meat I eat is what I harvest. I’m guessing since you said high fat that lean deer meat in not acceptable?

    1. That’s the best kind!

      Lean deer meat is just fine. The only issue is if that’s all you eat, you may not be getting enough fat to feel your best. If this is the case if you can add some animals fat or even butter that will help.

  15. I have really enjoyed reading this information!! My hubby brought this way of eating to my attention last week as he suffers from various health problems. I have been reading everything I can on the internet, yours is the best so far! We (hubby, 18 year old daughter and I) are starting on Level 1 Monday! Nervous, but excited and so hopeful that it will help my hubby and daughter with their health. I am doing it as well, because what can I loose! (We live down under Down Under on the island of Tasmania.) THANK YOU!

    1. Well thanks for the kind words, and congrats on diving in as a family affair!

      Let me know if I can help (the initial going can be great for some, and quite a struggle for others)

  16. Hey I’ve been trying out this diet, but including very small amounts of salad at lunch to avoid work colleagues from judgement, so I’m eating beef, lamb and chicken, adding some rocket cucumber and tomato for lunch, drinking coffee too. I have chronic fatigue for 5 years and had fibromyalgia for 5 years before that. Tried vegan for about 6 months, that didn’t help, been vegetarian for about 4 years and started bringing chicken and lamb back 2 days a week for last year and was eating a lot of butter and cheese. I’m on day 13 of almost carnivore, and have had really sharp back pain last few days that refers into my foot. It all came about after a day where I ate only meat and quite a lot of it, had kinda overcooked the meat too so probably hard to digest. I’m wondering maybe am I going too fast into meat and perhaps can’t digest it fully after being mostly vegetarian, maybe my kidneys are not used to so much protein, or maybe I should just cut out the limited veg, or just man up and wait for it to subside? Any ideas?

    1. Hey Karl thanks for the message.

      1. I’d ditch the plant-based foods if you are only eating them for coleagues approval. What you eat is your business, not theirs.
      2. I would recommend reading the 30-day guide to going full carnivore (you can download it on this website) – in short – there are a lot of bodily adaptations going on, and there are some things you can do to help mitigate symptoms, but sometimes symptoms are just a part of it (the guide goes into depth about this).

      I would just recommend not overthinking it (like wondering if you overcooked meat – that’s not something to worry about), and eat mainly meat, perhaps supplement with some electrolytes, and give it some time.

  17. Hello,
    I will soon be a college student in The Netherlands and wish to try out this diet, but I will have to stay within a restrictive budget. Here are some questions that I have:

    1. Would it be dangerous to eat only liver (or other organ exclusively) and if so how much would it be too much? I’m asking because organ meat tends to be cheaper.

    2. Organ meat from which animal is best? Is calf organ meat better or worst than beef organ meat?

    3. How wary should I be of cheating from time to time? I can see myself drinking a beer from time to time since I’m in college or eating sushi (I’m a big fan of sushi).

    1. Hi Matei, I understand the limited budget!

      1. I wouldn’t eat exclusively liver or organs. For example, just eating liver can lead to a lot of vitamin A which is a fat soluble vitamin that can store up to toxic levels.Having liver or organ once per day is probably just fine, I just wouldn’t do it for every single meal.

      2. “Best” is a tough word – best for what? For a particular nutrient? To obtain a particular goal (i.e. fat loss)? I don’t think there is a best (nor would I overly worry about it)

      3. Cheating can make it harder to adapt and can lead to cravings and slow progress towards particular goals, but hey, that’s life, and I’m not going to tell you not to have a beer in college (I’m also not going to tell you that it’s healthy either though)

  18. What about smoked meats. We have a butcher here that processes and smokes all there own meats. Also seasonings? Fresh Rosemary tossed into the pan with butter for basting a steak?

    1. Smoked meats are great.

      Salt is the seasoning I recommend.

      Obviously rosemary isn’t carnivore, but if you like it, and it’s not causing you any issues, likely fine.

      1. I’m doing this diet strictly for the weight and fat loss………I understand that it’s not “pure carnivore” to use seasonings, but if the particular spice has no carbs and sugar, then as far as losing weight and fat are concerned, I should be fine right?

  19. Of course I saw sardines after I asked the question. What about chlorophyll drops in my water? Would this affect my blood sugar? Can you have pork rinds?

    1. No need for the chlorophyll drops. And pork rinds are ok, though important to see what they are cooked in and if there are additives (usually there are) – best to think of these as “occasional” rather than daily “staples.”

  20. Hi! I started Keto a month ago to help with migraine relief. I’ve still had a few migraines (reduced severity), but wondered if you were aware of any benefits switching to carnivore. If so, given it’s been three weeks on keto, should I commence on phase 2? The migraines seem to be linked to hormones and stress.

    1. Yep many benefits (especially from removing plant-based foods, vegetables oils, etc…that are “keto” but not “carnivore” 🙂

      You can commence on Level 1 or 2 whichever seems better for you.

  21. Can you drink chocolate milk or have hot chocolate made with warm milk?

  22. I just started my diet today and want to know if I can continue to take my pre-workout (LIT) and I also take BCAA’s?

    1. I don’t recommend pre-workout supplements, but if you want to keep them in for now, and perhaps phase them out as you go, that works for some people too.

      And no need for BCAA’s with this way of eating.

  23. This is quite similar to OA diet .no sugar, no white flour, 3 planned and measured meals a day and nothing in between. Yogurt and blueberries for breakfast , 3 oz. Protein on a salad for lunch and 4 oz of protein on salad and low carb veggies for dinner.with daily exercise, I lost 60 lbs in 3 months

  24. Hi Kevin,
    I sure appreciate your knowledge & responses.
    I can’t find anything re vitamin C. I know most animals (but not humans) produce their own. Why we don’t is a mystery to me! But I’ve been taking 2000 mg a day for a few years, and wonder how am I supposed to get it only eating meat? Please address this.
    I have just started and am almost through my first week. I drink bone broth and eat plenty of beef (with the best part, the fat!)
    Thank you!

      1. Wow. I love that kind of answer! Leaves no stone unturned! Makes me feel better seeing the WHOLE picture.
        Thank you 😊

    1. It’s not necessary, but if you like it than it’s fine. I would just be careful to check ingredients (supplements tend to have lots of additives/fillers/etc)

  25. Can I take Advil ? I’m very sick at the moment and having serious headaches with a fever .. I took it already …. but I’m
    Still curious .

    1. I recommend avoiding NSAIDs if at all possible. But sometimes you have to do what you have to do. Hope you’re feeling better soon!

  26. Hi, Dr. Stock. I’m on day 6 of level I and plan to stay at that level. For me, I’m doing this in order to lose the last flippen, stubborn-as ten kilos. I’ve lost 55 kilos thus far doing moderate carbs, but no frankinfoods foods: refined sugar, processed carbs, flour, etc. I do plan to go back to my lower-carb, no-frankinfoods WOE after I’ve hopefully lost the last of the weight on this diet. Health-wise, I do well on my previous diet where I lost most of my weight. I have a couple of questions: 1, can I have malt vinegar (I want to eat sardines, but I don’t like them without vinegar); 2, my faeces have turned light in colour. I figure it’s just a result of the elimination of plants, and it is ok. Is this true? Will the colour return, or will it remain much lighter the whole time I’m on the Carnivore Diet?

    I’m really enjoy it. I haven’t had any symptoms other than the change in colour. I’ve always loved meat, and so this is probably why I’m finding it quite easy. I don’t drink tea or coffee (because I can’t stand the taste), and doing the CD has finally helped me kick the habit of my one diet Pepsi a day. Thanks so much. From NZ. :o)

  27. Is beef mince alright? You didn’t mention it. And also can I have mayonnaise and nut’s on this diet?

  28. Hi Kevin!

    Regarding the different types of beef, is it not as “good” to eat wagyu? It seems like there’s very few grass fed wagyu (at least in my country) and is it always better to choose grass fed beef compared to wagyu? Is it unhealthy to eat high amounts of wagyu? Thanks!!!

    1. Wagyu is just fine (though I wouldn’t go out of my way to purchase it 🙂

      If I have the choice I choose grass-fed, grass-finished. But I don’t worry too much about the differences between grass fed, wagyu, and grain-finished meat.

  29. Hi there,

    Are you able to tell me how much electrolyte i should be supplementing on stage 1?

    At the moment i am using kruschen salts in water and a 400mg magnesium supplement.

    Also, is home made beef jerky prepared in a dehydrator a good snack food for during the work day? I have been seasoning it with salt and tumeric, but am worried about the lack of fat content.

    Lastly, I am a 31 year old male 72kg and 1.74m tall – would you say 600-750 grams of beef morning and night would be an adequate amount of food for someone my size?

    Thanks.

    1. Yes there are supplement guidelines in the 30-day guide (that you can download here on this site).

      Homemade beef jerky is a great snack (especially since you are the one making it, so you know what is/isn’t in it! Commercial versions tend to have additives/sugar/etc.)
      No need to worry about the fat content.

      I would say eat until you’re satisfied. It’s different for everyone, especially when getting started. This explains more: https://meat.health/knowledge-base/carnivore-diet-tinkering/

  30. What about fiber and digestion? Isn’t all that protein bad for your stool quality and kidney health?

  31. Hi Kevin,

    Would it be safe to say my body wont be in ketosis while doing this?

    Thanks

    1. Not safe to say that 🙂

      Depending on cuts/food and activity/lifestyle people are in varying depths of ketosis (even though this isn’t a ketogenic diet per se – as in counting macros to hit some fat:protein ratios or measuring ketones).

      If you need to be in ketosis for medical reasons (i.e. epilepsy or cancer) this diet can still achieve that, but picking foods has to be done with a bit more care.

      If you don’t need to be in ketosis for medical reasons – I recommend not worrying about it.

  32. So I’m 9 days in. Been eating 500 grams high fat ground beef for dinner and 800 grams of steak for breakfast.

    Ive noticed my libido has tanked out big time though.

    I think i remember reading somewhere that this might happen?

    As a guess how long before I might see that bounce back?

    1. Yes this happens to some people – especially if experiencing rapid weight loss.

      I think it helps to view it from an evolutionary perspective, in times of energy deficits (limited food around), creating more kids to feed would be problematic.

      As far as time, it’s variable for everyone depending on what their current health / life is like.

  33. Hi,
    What oil would you recommend cooking meat in during level 3?
    Thanks!

  34. On the first week of the diet.

    1. Is it OK to supplement with a green powder in the morning on an empty stomach (I specifically use GREEN VIBRANCE because of the probiotic content) and have all my main meals of the day strictly meat based while I’m fully adapting?
    I want to know if this works against the benefits of the diet or it won’t deviate them as much (maybe slow it down but still keep me in ketosis?). Would the gut biome still develop in a positive way ?

    2. I’m really enjoying this diet so far and I’m also trying to use it for potential muscle gains. Is there any real benefit in having a meal after a workout to maximize results?

  35. What’s the warning about fasting or calorie restriction? It’s missing from the article.

    1. Sorry about that Steve (if you download the 30-day guide on the left – it’s in the “WARNING” section at the end).

      But there are a few issues – one big one being the regulating of appetite and interference of normalizing the transition (everything from hormones to fluids).

  36. On Day 8 of the experiment, and I feel better than I have in years. What about turkey thighs and legs at Level 1? Is there a particular reason you say BEEF, lamb, pork, chicken, and fish without including turkey? I’ve probably eaten more boneless, skinless, 100% ground turkey breast over the last couple of decades than anyone I know, since I accepted the “High fiber, low cholesterol, and low saturated fat” story that was propagated, and so my guess is that I won’t react to them negatively, but I haven’t had them for years. To my knowledge, turkey thighs and legs may be about as fatty as chicken thighs and breasts, and it would give me at least a bit more variety.

  37. When it comes to chicken and turkey at Level 1, are we supposed to eat the skin? I assume that is mostly fat.

    1. Yes you can. But if you don’t like, no need to force it.

      Though if eating lean cuts and feeling lethargic, then increasing fat consumption is likely a good idea.

  38. On Day 9 of level 1. Since about 1990, I’ve only eaten skinless chicken and turkey breast as my meat, with the exception that I added salmon and sardines for about 6 years or so, but then somehow I became allergic to them. And so I wonder if overconsumption, with my particular auto-immune system, could be how it happened (in the context of intense stress at the time.) And if so, then I’m wondering about overconsumption due to having such a limited diet and so I’m thinking of adding pork . Now I have had pork when I was a kid, but haven’t had it since then (I’m 59). At level 1 I’m thinking of trying to get some variety, but when I tried Lamb the other night, which, admittedly, was the first time I had had lamb in my life, I had a similar allergic reaction (my interpretation) as I did with the fish, though to a lesser degree. So is it wise for me to explore pork at this level when I haven’t had it since I was a kid, and then even sparingly? I’m trying to have some variety because I have come to the belief over the years that you can have “too much of anything”, and when you do, or at least when I do, I may become allergic to it. This is my greatest fear in limiting my diet so radically.

    1. If you are really concerned you can skip to “Level 3” which will help you identify any foods you are sensitive to. Though I’d recommend sticking at this level for 60+ days before testing food so that you don’t get false negatives that could be attributed to normal adaptation symptoms.

  39. What is the value of Pink Himalayan Salt as opposed to both sea salt or regular iodized salt? And why is there no salt whatsoever at Level 3?

    1. Pink Himalayan Salt is just known to be quite pure. Regular sea salt or regular iodized salt is just fine.

      There is salt in “Level 3” – sorry if that is not clear. Keep salting to taste 🙂

  40. What about mushrooms? Can you have those since they are not technically plants?

    1. Yep that is just fine. (I believe horse meat has a tendency to be pretty lean, so just make sure to try and get some fatty cuts in)

  41. Hello, I dabble in herbalism and use medicinal teas, tinctures, and capsulized supplements for a variety of things. Does this conflict with The Carnivore Diet? These are not typical nutrient supplements. Some of them are for sleep, circulation, mental clarity, adrenal health, reproductive support, dream enhancement, or for individual organ cleansing and strengthening (for example).

    Thank you!

    1. Well it conflicts with a “purest” view of the carnivore diet as these are plant-derived. The question is, is it hindering or hurting your health/goals. If not I think you are probably fine, but perhaps it’s worth experimenting taking them out of the diet and then bringing them back in if you’d like (and seeing how you do).

  42. Hi Kevin –
    Day 15. Day 10 of nothing but grass-fed beef, chicken thighs with the skin, salt, and water.
    My most pressing concern now relates to getting enough fat. Given that grass-fed beef is leaner than grain fed beef, it seems to be difficult to get grass-fed beef that is fatty enough to meet the 70% fat to 30% protein ratio. I want to eat grass-fed beef, since it’s fatty acid profile, among other things, is no doubt healthier, but when I look at the nutrition information on pre packaged grass-fed ground beef, NY strip steaks and even ribeye steaks (at least the ones from EelRiverBeef.org) they all have a less-than-1gram-of-fat-to-1gram-of-protein ratio. They say something like 16 grams of fat to 20 grams of protein, or 17 to 21, etc. In fact, the Eel River ground beef says 14 to 21 (So I choose the fattier one I get from another source that is 17:21). And I assume that that is the amount of fat in the meat prior to it being cooked, with the result that the amount that I actually consume is less than that, as I don’t consume the rendered fat, for I tried that once and I think it may have given me some acid reflux. Any thoughts or suggestions on this? I realize that a 1:1 ratio is about 70:30, so I’m hoping to achieve that. I’m particularly concerned about this as I look ahead to possibly trying level 3 after about 60 days at my current diet of chicken and beef, for I think the chicken thighs with the skins are fattier than any of the grass-fed ground beef, sirloins, NYs, or ribeyes that I have so far found. (And I am consuming all of the fat on the steak around the edges, etc.)

    1. Hi Tom, you don’t have to worry about trying to hit a 70:30 fat:protein ratio. That is a common ketogenic ratio; however, it’s not something you need to try and obtain unless you need to be in a certain depth of ketosis for some reason (i.e. to treat epilepsy, cancer, etc.). Unless, of course, you know that you feel best at this ratio, no need to worry about trying to hit those macros on a daily basis.

      1. Thank you, Kevin. That helps relative to the 70/30 numbers I had in my mind. Additionally, part of my concern comes from something I read Nina Teicholz book THE BIG FAT SURPRISE in the footnote on page 309 and also on the bottom of 334 through the top of 335 about the potential of “nitrogen poisoning [from protein] if [it is] not combined with *sufficient* fat.”(p. 335). Somehow I thought that a 1-gram-of-fat-to-1-gram-of-protein ratio might be the right ratio to avoid such poisoning. For, by my calculations, I’m eating, roughly, 250 grams of protein a day! That seems like an awful lot of protein for a guy who is only 5’9″ and 160 lbs. Admittedly, I’m athletic and workout intensely, etc., but I’m also 60 (The clock is past midnight, so today is the 18th and hence my 60th). Is there some danger (nitrogen poisoning or otherwise) in a guy my size eating THAT much protein (about 3 lbs of meat a day). I heard Shawn Baker say he eats about 3 lbs of meat a day and he is 6’5” and, apparently, a world record holder in certain weight-lifting events. I know you said that I may eat a lot more in the adaptation phase than I will later once various things are “healed”, but it is hard not to think that I’m eating too much protein. Can’t it be hard on the kidneys, as well? Somehow I have a recollection of having read that somewhere years ago.

          1. So, three pounds of meat a day, which in my case comes to about 250 grams of protein, is no problem for a guy who is only 5’9″ and 160 lbs. That surprises me, but given how I feel, and your assurances, it seems very plausible. I never would have guessed (precarnivore experiment) that I could “need/use” that much protein in a day without negative ramifications. I assume this amount will eventually shrink after I’ve “adapted” and “healed”, as you say. Yesterday, I only had about 2.5 lbs., and, admittedly, I woke leaner today than I did yesterday (It was palpable, though my HIIT workout in the afternoon may have had something to do with it too). Apparently, I do need about 3 lbs. a day if I want to not lose weight. I suspect that if I lose more than a pound or two from my present weight, I will move into an unhealthy overly-lean state-of-affairs, and I don’t want to do that, per your article and podcast advice on the topic. Very interesting. Thank you for your help. Today is my 60th b-day and I feel as good as I have in at least a decade, if not more.

  43. Hey Kev.
    Can l eat raw fish?
    Can l mix beef and pork fat?
    Can l eat raw beef?
    Is prociutto allowed?(dried pork leg cured for 9 months with only salt?)
    Can l wrap beef or lamb in chicken skin and cook?
    Cherrs Adam

    1. Hey Adam, while I do none of the things you listed, you absolutely can. I know many people who do just raw meat – there are obviously just extra precautions to take.

  44. Im 5.10 264lbs 41 male. What quantity meat do you recommend i take in. Eating once a day, mix of beef and pork. Some eggs.

    1. I’d recommend you eat until you’re satisfied, and whether that’s 1 or 2 or 3+ meals is just fine. Most people eat 2. I like to eat 2.5 🙂

      And if it’s 2 or 3 or 4 lbs that’s just find too.

  45. I don’t have beef or pork available in my area, so I’m doing fried eggs (four no.s) in the morning chicken for lunch and dinner. I occasionally take some cold coffee with breakfast. Also, I mix things up sometimes with some local freshwater fish for dinner. I’ve been on this diet for 4 days, should I continue this ?

    1. Yep – doing the best you can with what you got! If I were you i’d probably eat a lot of the local freshwater fish (especially if there are some fatty fish like salmon). If you are feeling hungry even though you are eating enough, then I would try and get some more fat in (if you can’t find fattier cuts of meat/fish then adding in some butter is ok too).

  46. hi Dr. Kevin
    never had a diet in my life. i ate lots of sugar daily and got odese.
    This is my 15th day carnivore eating all kinds of meats and eggs.
    i lost 6kg and im planning to loose 20. no sugar cravings no problems at all.
    i just want to ask if it is right to use vegetable oils for cooking.
    and since im in greece is it ok for yogurt?

    thanks in advance

    1. Hi Thomas, glad to hear about the early success.

      No I wouldn’t recommend vegetable oils (I’d cook in the fat from the meat or use ghee/butter).

      Yogurts tend to be very different. I don’t recommend them (but if you wish I’d at least do Level 2/3 for a time and then add back in)

  47. Hey Kevin,

    Is drinking soda water / sparkling water allowed at all levels?

    Cheers,

  48. I buy high quality, grass fed and finished pork lard and beef tallow. Can’t I just take a couple of tablespoons a day to increase my fat intake as I am unable to eat large quantities of protein. I have stopped loosing weight as I am not ingesting enough fat.

  49. Hi Dr. Stock. I read some of the other comments and i feel the impression i have about seasoning is that parsley and pepper are okay in small amounts in the beginning. If that’s the case, what else is can be used? I mainly use butter and chicken stock, is that fine?

    1. Hi Abdullah, yes in “Level 1” that’s just fine, but if you haven’t read the 30-day guide (downloadable on the left) I’d recommend checking that out so you know what/how to advance to Level 2 if you so desire.

  50. Is distilled water good for carnivore diet? Do we need minerals?

  51. Is it okay to have a cheat meal once a month?
    Reason I ask this is because sometimes I need to be present with my loved ones and having a sushi or some other kind of organic meal is part of life.
    Cheers!

    1. Hey you can do whatever you want 🙂

      I generally recommend not doing cheat meals (especially early on) as it can bring back cravings/addictions. But life happens and sometimes “life” comes ahead of a healthy meal.

  52. Is it a good idea to take fish oil tablets on the carnivore diet?

    1. You don’t need to and would be better eating fatty fish like salmon. But if you feel like you want to supplement to get higher concentration of EPA/DHA then best to buy from a reputable source as they can be quite unstable/rancid, I’d store in the fridge.

  53. I’m 7 days in at level 1. Is it ok to eat shellfish, i.e. lobster tail, king crab legs?

    1. Yep totally fine – though I would recommend checking out the 30-day guide (you can download on the left) for what to watch out for/avoid.

  54. Hi Kevin. I have just started taking my first tentative steps into this world and for the last 4 days I have been eating scrambled eggs + bacon for breakfast, tinned tuna + cheese for lunch and chicken, beef or pork for dinner. I have also been limiting myself to 2 cups of coffee with milk (no sugar) per day. This is coming from a pretty unhealthy diet of takeaways, pasta and sugary snacks. I realise that the milk and cheese is probably inadvisable, but I fear that I won’t be able to maintain it if I go all in straight off the bat. But I also worry that I’m eating more cheese than normal, and this may not be good. What do you make of what I’m currently doing?

    1. Hey James that’s just fine!

      I’d recommend doing Level 2 and perhaps Level 3 at some point, but sticking at Level 1 for as long as you need is just fine (especially if helps you stick with it 🙂

  55. Hi Kevin,

    This sounds great, and I’d love to dive in 100%, but I seem to have a quite strong histamine intolerance, and pretty much all beef is aged. So, I minimise it – sadly!

    But, fatty beef mince (aka ground beef) seems to be ok. Have you any idea why this might be? My theory is that this meat isn’t aged, unlike steak mince and regular steaks.

    I’ve spent literally hours trying to find the answer online, but can’t find anything.

    Would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

    1. Hey Jason, what I find quite common is that people think they have histamine intolerance when really it’s intolerance to other foods (or if they are carnivore they are just going through adaptation symptoms).

      If I were you, I’d simply go through Levels 1 through 3 (as laid out in the 30 day guide) and see if that doesn’t help pinpoint the real issue.

      1. Hey, thanks for the quick reply. Hope you’re right! I’ll do that, absolutely. I suspect it is histamine, mainly because smoked and canned meat has me severely out-of-order for about 2 weeks. But I’m keeping an open mind. Cheers

  56. hello Kevin, including avocado or coconut butter is ok, no? since both are mainly fat?

  57. Love it. What about MCT oil? Also curious on thoughts about prescribed adderall and how that would go with it? Thanks

    1. I’d pass on the MCT and focus on getting my fat from animals.

      I can’t speak to adderall, but my gut instinct is that the mental benefits of this way of eating would make adderall unnecessary. Focus and maximizing mental performance is what initially drove me to carnivore and I think it could help get a lot of people off that drug.

  58. Hi Dr. Kevin.
    I had passed from 10 years vegan, raw vegan to carnivore diet one meal as day no failed for last 1month and 10 days based on beef, lamb, eggs few times (average consuming goes from 1.2kg to 2.5kg) . What happens is I pee a lot at night (3/4 Times) and my stools are still a bit liquid is normal still after aLL this time?

    1. Hi Rodrigo yes this is common early on (1 month is still very early – especially considering 10 years vegan).

      Check out the 30-day guide (you can download it on the left) about some things that can help you with sleep and stools while you adapt/transition.

  59. I forgot to tell you exercising 3 to 5 hours day yoga, movement, lift weights. And calisthenics.

  60. I am a 15yr old, ex 7yr vegetarian and I have been on this diet eating just beef and eggs and salt for over 2 weeks now. Surprisingly my side effects have been very minimal thus far. The reason for my pursuit in this diet is to gain weight/muscle and clear up my psoriasis. Neither of which have been improved since starting the diet. How long should I hold out for? The diet is very expensive and I don’t want to waste money. However, if it ends up helping me in gaining weight and clearing my skin it would be worth the money. I eat about 2.5-3.2lbs of meat a day and currently I weigh 105lbs at 5″5. How much should I eat in order to gain weight and again how long should I wait to see if it helps with my skin? Thanks!

  61. Dear Dr Kevin Stock

    I have been attempting to go zc for a while. I have researched it thoroughly as I have gastroparesis and crohns disease and I am one of those people that has to be super strict and just eat beef as all other meats/fish cause major stomach swelling or pain. However every night I lie awake unable to get to sleep until I eat some fruit like blueberries. My brain just doesn’t let me switch off. Have you any suggestions as I am fine during the day but I have such bad insomnia at the moment. I really want to do just do beef and water for that mental release and freedom as well. Kindest regards

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