How to follow a carnivore diet
Let me precede the following information with this important reminder: If you are on insulin, or take any other medications, the carnivore diet must always be done under the careful supervision of a qualified medical doctor who can monitor you and adjust your medications as needed.
One of the benefits of the carnivore or zero carb diet that was not mentioned previously is the simplicity of it. On the carnivore diet, there is no tracking of macros, calories, or ketones. Though many carnivores do practice fasting, it is neither a required or recommended part of the diet.
The basic rule of thumb is to eat when hungry, and to stop when full. It’s best not to snack. So if you’re hungry, don’t nibble; have a meal. If you’re not hungry, don’t eat. This rule is an important tool in both re-nourishing and healing your body. This is especially true if you’re coming to carnivore after years of restricting food or calories. It’s also the first step in resetting your natural weight set point, and in learning to recognize your body’s hunger and fullness signals.
Humans are the only animals who decide ahead of time how much or how little they’re going to eat. Animals in the wild don’t do this. They just eat when they’re hungry, and stop when they’re full. There are many obese humans in the world, and practically no obese wild animals. That’s because wild animals eat foods that are species-appropriate, and they allow their bodies to dictate how much they should eat. Our bodies can self regulate too, if we eat the proper human diet and allow our bodies to tell us when to eat and how much to eat. Practicing this principle is called mindful eating.
There are 5 basic levels, or variations, of the carnivore diet. These variations range from a very strict version called the lion diet, to the most flexible version which is called ketovore. The different variations or levels of the diet make it easy to find the best fit for your lifestyle and/or your needs. For example, if you’re choosing this diet for overall health, athletic performance, or body composition, than either the ketovore or the relaxed carnivore version might work for you. If on the other hand, you’re interested in using the diet as to aid in resolving auto immune issues, health issues, skin conditions, or as an elimination diet, then the lion diet, the carnivore diet, or somewhere in between will be a better fit. Generally, you can customize any version of the diet, to make the diet work for your individual needs, lifestyle, or goals. Use the table below as a guide.
Carnivores think of non-animal foods as medicine, so apple cider vinegar for example is allowed, as it is helpful as a cure for heartburn and as an aid to getting more nutrients out of the bones when making bone broth.
While some zero carb condiments are generally accepted, most carnivores prefer to make sauces for their food from things like butter, heavy cream, egg yolks, and other carnivore foods.
Lastly, let me say that we are all on our own journeys. If you’re considering beginning a carnivore diet, don’t get caught up in dietary dogma. This diet is mostly used as a diet for healing. Feel free to choose the version that best suits you, and your lifestyle or your individual needs.
Beginners Guide to the Carnivore Diet: Table of Contents