Carnivore Diet

I've been curious about starting the carnivore diet and wanted to see if there are any other people on this forum who have tried it or are currently on it, and who can provide advice on maintaining discipline during long working hours and potentially meal prepping. Thanks!

 

I wouldn’t recommend eating only meat. At a minimum you should take fiber supplements.

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I have tried it, but not longer implement it. My current diet is 90% meat, fruit, veggies, rice, and potatoes which I have found works best for me. Diet it tremendously debated, so I will let you dive into what the experts say is optimal, but I will share my thoughts:

- If your goal is to reduce body fat and maintain muscle mass, it works (if you can stick to it). It makes it very difficult to overeat, it's likely "cleaner" than your current diet, and you are getting sufficient quality protein.

- It's not terribly expensive. I can find good ground beef for $5/pound. Eat 2 pounds of ground beef per day and you're at $10/day of food costs... not bad. 

- Focus does seem to increase. However, my experience is that this is more related to carb timing. As a result, now I typically eat my carbs late afternoon/evening and notice this helps as well. 

- It's a great elimination diet. I would say this would be my recommended approach, especially if you have digestion issues. Go carnivore for a month, then slowly add in more foods to see what you are sensitive to. 

- It's difficult to sustain which is why I switched. I found myself in a binge/restrict pattern - I would go out with friends and say to myself "I'm only going to have a few vodka sodas and a little bit of junk food" then end up consuming way more that night (beers, pizza, taco bell, etc), feel even worse the next day given the shock I gave my body, eat more junk food that day, then be infuriated with myself because I fell off the rails. This hurt my overall relationship with food. 

 

How difficult was it to maintain your 100% carnivore diet while working? Were you mainly meal prepping, or were there certain restaurants from which you would order allowing you to customize your orders to fit the diet?

Also thank you for your thoughtful response!

 

For me, the work-week was the easy part - meal prep some burger patties or sirloin tips and maybe throw in some hard boiled eggs. Then dinner would usually be a big NY strip and often some hot sausage or bacon with it. Then snacking on smoked salmon or jerky. I essentially didn't eat out much at all. A grill and/or smoker is your best friend if you are doing carnivore - cook up a bunch of meat at once or smoke a brisket and you are set for the week.

I want to elaborate a bit on my issues with the diet. I would be very strict with it most of the time and my mindset was "I can't have [insert non-carnivore food here] because that's bad." Then, when I would fall off because I went to happy hour or out with friends, I would binge because I already messed up the diet that day. This is what gave me the poor relationship with food. 

I have since fixed that, but it took some work. I tried a lot of different "diets" and didn't figure it out until I tracked my calories and really paid more attention to how I felt when eating certain foods in different quantities. For me, understanding my general calorie intake and my body's response to foods gave me a better sense of how I should be eating. I have changed from "I can't eat that food because it's bad" to "I don't want that food because of how my body will feel afterwards" or "I'll only have a small piece so I don't feel sick."

I'm not sure what your goals are, but felt it might be helpful. 

 

The carnivore diet is just a meme version of a keto diet.

Keto works for a ton of people. It worked for me incredibly well from a weight loss perspective, but like a lot of people, I didn't find it sustainable lifestyle-wise and the second I started eating carbs again, I gained weight again. 

There is absolutely zero scientific reason to take it a step further and cut out vegetables from a keto diet and go meat-only though, no matter how cool it sounds or what podcaster tells you to. 

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Know someone who did it and daily would eat 6 eggs for breakfast, 16oz of steak cooked in beef tallow with blueberries for lunch and I am assuming similar steak for dinner. He swore by it and said it had amazing side affects, had been doing it for months.

He would bring in the 6 hardboiled eggs and steak/blueberries into the office to eat. Think he would cook it over the weekend.

 

Why do people always jump on these fads? Just eat like healthy and balanced like a normal person. Sustainability is what works best. Carnivore is not sustainable.

 
Most Helpful

I haven't done carnivore, but I've done very low carb keto and have tried every (fad) diet in the book. From my experience, calories in vs calories out is what matters the most with respect to body composition. Whatever diet/lifestyle helps you maintain that equation is fine IMO. The way I know this is that I swore keto was helping me get lean until I started counting calories and realized that I was only eating 1800 calories or so a day and exercising on top of that. I then did a small experiment where I ate whatever I wanted but only maintained my protein intake (~0.8g per pound of bodyweight) and calorie intake. When I did that, I was able to live more (no more being the clown at work dinners who has to go to a "keto-friendly" restaurant) and got more or less the same results to boot. 

Therefore, my advice to people is figure out your TDEE, cut 250-500 if you want to lean out or add 250-500 if you want to lean bulk. Then, fill that out with your protein target and try to get the rest of your calories from nutrient dense foods. This is basically IIFYM, but I really do think overeating/undereating and not enough protein are the cause for most peoples' body composition woes.

 

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