Can you count your macros on a carnivore diet? If you’ve heard of macronutrient counting, you probably associate it with people eating what they want as long as it fits their macros (IIFYM) or bodybuilders who want to get the ideal ratio of protein, fat, and carbs in their diet.
Perhaps you want to try the carnivore diet, you come from a world of tracking macros, and you don’t want to stop but have been told you shouldn’t track on a carnivore diet.
A lot of people will say that you shouldn’t track your calories and macros on a carnivore diet, but I don’t agree. Tracking can be a very helpful and powerful tool. If you like tracking what you eat, you can definitely track your macros on a carnivore diet.
If you’re curious about how much protein, fat, and carbs you’re consuming, tracking can help you figure it out.
What is Macronutrient Counting?
Macro counting is the practice of tracking how many grams of protein, carbs, and fat you consume in a day, and in which ratios.
The Benefits of Tracking Macros on a Carnivore Diet
Counting macros can actually be helpful on a carnivore diet. If you’re only sticking to lean cuts of meat and don’t consume enough fat, you can go into rabbit starvation. Tracking your macros can help prevent this. It can help you ensure you eat enough fat.
If you’re trying to build muscle and have a certain protein target for the day, tracking becomes important, even if you only track this one macronutrient.
If you want to include some animal sources of carbs like honey or raw milk, tracking can help you stay within your desired limits.
If you want to be on a ketogenic diet and want to aim for a diet that is 70% to 90% fat, you’ll need to track to make sure you’re consuming enough fat and not overconsuming protein.
What Macronutrient Ratio to Focus on on a Carnivore Diet
You might think that being on a carnivore diet automatically means that your macros will only consist of protein and fat but that’s not necessarily true. You can actually eat animal sources of carbs like honey, yoghurt, and raw milk.
You can still go zero carbs, but if you want to work carbs into your diet, you can. Many people don’t follow a strict carnivore diet and follow animal-based diets that include fruit. That’s an option too if being strict carnivore isn’t that important to you.
How to Choose Your Macros on a Carnivore Diet
A good strategy is to pick your ideal macronutrient split and then work the animal foods into your macros. It works the same as the If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) strategy, except you’re only choosing animal foods (instead of anything you want even if it’s junk food) and working them into your macros for the day.
Here are a few examples of macronutrient splits you can try on a carnivore diet:
Zero carbs: 0% carbs, 20-60% protein, 40% to 80% fat
*The macronutrient splits and percentages are just examples. You can play around with your macros within a carnivore diet.
Tips for Macronutrient Counting on a Carnivore Diet
Once you have the macronutrient split you want to aim for in a day, you can pick the best animal foods that will help you hit your macro goals. If you want to go for a higher fat, more keto carnivore diet, then prioritise fatty cuts of meat like short rib or ribeye.
If you want less fat in your diet, prioritise leaner cuts of meat but still eat fatty meat once a day. You don’t want to go into rabbit starvation and mess up your hormones by eating only protein, very little fat, and no carbs. You don’t need to eat carbs, but you need fat.
Don’t worry if you don’t hit your macros perfectly every day. It’s not healthy to obsess over the numbers. As long as you aim for a certain macronutrient ratio, I believe you’ll experience the benefits of macronutrient counting.