Carnivore Diet: A Beginner’s Guide and Meal Plan

Are you looking to get healthier and lose some extra weight? Luckily, carnivore diet benefits include weight loss and decreased blood sugar levels. The meat-only diet is essentially a meat diet based on animal products and the removal of other foods from consumption.

On it, you can eat meat, eggs, fish, and some dairy products. The diet is important if you’re looking to regulate your mood, blood sugar levels, and weight.

The carnivore diet comes in three main types, including the hardcore carnivore diet, the standard carnivore diet, and the keto-carnivore diet. The first type is the most strict while the keto-carnivore diet is laxer.

How Does the Carnivore Diet Work?

Are you still wondering, “What is the carnivore diet?” Then you should look back to the ancient times of cavemen dwellers who spent most of their time hunting and eating meat and fish. 

How Does the Carnivore Diet Work
How Does the Carnivore Diet Work?

The all-meat diet focuses on eliminating the high amount of carbohydrates found today in the typical person’s consumption. Too many carbohydrates contribute to chronic disease.

The zero-carb diet also keeps you full for longer due to the high protein intake. Protein will also impact your metabolism and lead you to burn more calories at faster rates. Over a short-term period, you are likely to consume fewer calories and feel fuller. That can help you lose weight.

Your body also enters a state of ketosis during which you burn fuel from fat instead of carbohydrates. However, to stay in ketosis, you will also need to add fat to your diet, such as butter, cheese, or bacon.

According to testimonials, the carnivore diet helps with sleep, digestion, mood, energy, and concentration along with alleviating inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis. Your blood sugar levels also have fewer increases and decreases while on the all-meat diet.

What Are the Health Benefits of the Carnivore Diet?

The benefits of a carnivore diet include several surprising elements, such as the potential for better heart health. The carnivore diet is a zero-sugar meal plan that can reduce your risk of heart attacks. High insulin levels are associated with heart disease.

What Are the Health Benefits of the Carnivore Diet
What are the Health Benefits of the Carnivore Diet?

Eggs, meat, and seafood also have plenty of vitamins and minerals associated with heart-healthy nutrition. Fish and seafood are also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for digestion, anti-inflammation, and a healthy heart.

Some other health benefits of the carnivore diet include the following.

  1. Stronger skeletal system
  2. A decline in asthma symptoms
  3. Lower cancer risks
  4. Prevention of type 2 diabetes
  5. Reduced blood pressure levels

Lastly, the carnivore diet weight loss benefits can help people who are obese and looking to shed pounds.

What Are the Health Risks of the Carnivore Diet?

With a diet that is so limiting in terms of the foods you can eat, you might wonder, “Is the carnivore diet safe?” There are some very clear health risks that you need to consider before you try the carnivore diet. A meat-only diet is high in cholesterol, fat, and sodium levels. If you have high cholesterol, you shouldn’t attempt this diet.

Furthermore, if you eat too many processed meats like bacon, your sodium levels will rise. That can lead to kidney disease and other medical conditions like colon cancer.

Some other health risks of the carnivore diet include hair loss, strokes, and a cholinergic crisis. A cholinergic crisis occurs when a neuromuscular junction is over-stimulated with too much acetylcholine. That can lead to severe problems like respiratory failure and flaccid paralysis.

So, is a carnivore diet safe? Depending on your body’s needs, you may lack some important micronutrients found in plants and need fiber for healthy gut bacteria. Essentially, the diet does not have any significant health risks that other diets do not.

How To Do the Carnivore Diet?

If you do decide to try the carnivore diet, you can do so temporarily. That way, you won’t miss out on too many nutrients for long. The diet does not have specifics when it comes to the number of calories or servings you should consume while on it.

How To Do the Carnivore Diet
How to do the Carnivore Diet?

You also have free reign on the number of meals you can eat when on the carnivore weight loss diet. However, to feel full, you will need to partake in meats and animal products with high levels of fat. Avoid lean cuts of meat and go for the fattier versions instead. The diet does not allow snacks, which provides another way to reduce your carb intake.

It is not a good idea to follow the diet for a long period due to the lack of variety and potential health risks. Generally, you should stick to a time frame of about 30 days and then slowly switch back to a more balanced diet with a variety of fruits, vegetables, and protein.

When following a carnivore diet, you will also need to add some variety like dairy, fish, seafood, and eggs.

What Are the Foods You Can Eat While on a Carnivore Diet?

So, what can you eat on the carnivore diet? Is there a particular meal plan? The carnivore diet food list includes items like the following.

  1. Beef steaks and ground beef
  2. Pork ribs and pork shoulder
  3. Rotisserie chicken
  4. Lamb
  5. Turkey and other forms of poultry
  6. Organs like kidney, chicken liver, and beef heart
  7. Eggs, especially organic ones
  8. Salmon, mackerel, and tuna
  9. Sardines and herring
  10. Lobster, oysters, scallops, and other seafood options

Other animal products you can include are dairy options like butter, sour cream, fatty cheeses, Greek yogurt, and fatty creams. You can consume whole milk, but try to limit it.  Use oils like butter, lard, and chicken or duck fat.

What Are the Foods You Should Avoid While on a Carnivore Diet?

The type of foods to avoid when trying the full carnivore diet include categories such as the following.

  1. Processed meats
  2. Low-fat and skim milk
  3. Seasonings and sauces

You should avoid these foods because processed meats like bacon. salami or bologna have too many chemicals and lack the same nutritional value as higher-quality meats. Low-fat milk, skim milk, and most commercially available seasonings and sauces have too much sugar.

If you must, only add a splash of cream to your coffee in the mornings. Overseasoning your food can lead to digestive issues. The other common foods to avoid include grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, most vegetables, and legumes. Foods that tend to be higher in carbohydrates should be eliminated from your diet.

Who Should Do the Carnivore Diet?

The type of people who should probably try the carnivore diet include those with diabetic symptoms. By eliminating sugars with the meat diet, diabetics tend to manage their symptoms much better and have fewer issues.

The carnivore diet plan helps manage blood sugar levels and keeps blood sugar from spiking.

In addition, athletic people, such as bodybuilders, can benefit from the all-meat diet. The high amount of protein helps build muscle and strengthen the skeletal system.

Furthermore, proponents of the diet claim that it can help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety. As such, people who are suffering from depression, anxiety, and low mood levels may benefit from pursuing the carnivore diet.

What Are the Best Recipes for the Carnivore Diet?

The five best recipes for the carnivore diet include the following:

  1. Grilled Tomahawk steak
  2. Bacon-wrapped scallops
  3. Air fryer hard-boiled eggs
  4. Bacon-wrapped cod
  5. Smoked chicken wings

The juicy steak only needs some salt and pepper for seasoning. Then use a gas grill or charcoal grill to make a medium-rare piece of steak. Its internal temperature should reach 125 degrees. Rest the steak for at least five minutes before serving.

Crispy bacon with grilled scallops also makes a perfect option when on the carnivore diet, as the flavors will leave you satisfied and feeling full.

Instead of watching the stove, you can air fry some hard-boiled eggs in a matter of minutes. The eggs should leave you feeling satiated after breakfast.

Bacon-wrapped cod also has a wonderful and savory taste. You’ll benefit from the healthy nutrients in the fish while enjoying the crispy, flavorful bacon. Crispy chicken wings cooked in a smoker also provide you with a great dinner to end your day. 

What Is a Sample Carnivore Diet Plan?

The weekly sample carnivore diet plan requires you to purchase foods such as the following.

  1. Plenty of bacon
  2. Pork sausages
  3. Pork chops
  4. Lamb chops
  5. Ground beef
  6. Steak cuts
  7. Chicken breast
  8. Salmon
  9. Trout
  10. Butter
  11. Cheese

On Monday, you can try bacon and pork sausages for breakfast, a beef burger patty with a slice of cheese for lunch, and four racks of lamb for dinner. On Tuesday, your breakfast can remain the same while lunch can include salmon fillets with butter. Dinner should consist of a Porterhouse steak with butter.

On Wednesday, breakfast includes trout fillets with butter. Have roasted pork belly for lunch and a beef roast for dinner. On Thursday, eat a beef burger patty with cheese for breakfast, buttered roast salmon cutlets for lunch, and a porterhouse steak for dinner.

Friday’s meals involve two grilled chicken breasts for breakfast, grilled trout for lunch, and roast beef for dinner. On Saturday, enjoy pork sausage with bacon for breakfast, lamb chops for lunch, and a ribeye steak for dinner. 

On Sunday, you can finish off the week with two grilled chicken breasts, four pork chops for lunch, and ribeye steak at dinnertime.

What Are the Facts about the Carnivore Diet?

During the first week on the carnivore diet, you will experience shifts in your appetite, attention, and energy. Your digestion levels may either improve or you may experience congestion if you consume too many processed meats.

The carnivore diet can get expensive if you buy high-quality meat. However, you can pursue the diet while on a budget. By avoiding snacks, juices, fruits, and veggies, you can end up spending only an extra $14.40 per month as compared to the average American diet.

The carnivore diet is different from other diets like Atkins since you won’t have to count carbs and will merely eliminate carbohydrates from your meals. The carnivore diet does boost weight loss, and in its keto form, it is one of the healthiest ways to lose weight.

Is the Carnivore Diet Considered a Healthy Diet?

Yes, the carnivore diet can be healthy depending on individual conditions. Like all healthy diet plans, the common advice is to eat food in moderation. If that is followed you may benefit from the carnivore diet.

The lack of vitamins and minerals found in fruits and veggies can lead to health problems in others. Those who eat the carnivore diet and concentrate on processed meats have health risks that can cause kidney problems.

Is the Carnivore Diet Expensive?

No, the carnivore diet is not necessarily expensive, as it does eliminate the need to buy sugary cereals, snacks, fruits, vegetables, grains, and juices. Even though some cuts of meat can get pricey, the focus on eliminating other foods makes the diet inexpensive.

Can I exercise on the Carnivore Diet?

Yes, you can exercise on the Carnivore Diet. Since the diet is low in carbohydrates, you may experience reduced endurance and performance during high-intensity workouts. That is why many health professionals recommend consuming fruit while on a carnivore diet so that you have the carbohydrates for energy.

Is the Carnivore Diet similar to the Keto Diet?

While both diets are low in carbs, the Carnivore Diet is far more restrictive, allowing only animal products. The Keto Diet allows for a broader range of foods, including plant-based foods like leafy greens, non-starchy vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

What is the Adaptation Phase in the Carnivore Diet?

The adaptation phase refers to the initial period where the body is transitioning from using glucose as a primary source of energy, to using fat. During this phase, people have reported experiencing symptoms like fatigue, headaches, and digestive upset.

What is the difference between Carnivore Diet Versus Lion Diet?

The Carnivore Diet and the Lion Diet both emphasize animal-based foods, but differ in scope and restrictiveness. The Carnivore Diet allows all animal products, including meat, fish, eggs, and sometimes dairy, offering a broader range of nutrients and culinary variety.

In contrast, the Lion Diet is much more restrictive, limiting intake to only beef, salt, and water. This extreme limitation is aimed at identifying and eliminating food sensitivities, making the Lion Diet narrower in focus compared to the broader, slightly more flexible Carnivore Diet.

Can I drink coffee or tea on the Carnivore Diet?

Is the Carnivore Diet sustainable long term?

The long-term health effects of the Carnivore Diet are largely unknown, as no long-term studies have been conducted. Most health professionals would likely advise against following such a restrictive diet for a long period due to potential nutrient deficiencies and other health risks.

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Athletic Insight Research


The Athletic Insight Research team consists of a dedicated team of researchers, Doctors, Registered Dieticians, nationally certified nutritionists and personal trainers. Our team members hold prestigious accolades within their discipline(s) of expertise, as well as nationally recognized certifications. These include; National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA-CPT), National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Nutrition Coach (NASM-CNC), International Sports Sciences Association Nutritionist Certification.