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The Carnivore Diet for Beginners Everything You Need to Know

The Carnivore Diet for Beginners: Everything You Need to Know

Have you heard of the carnivore diet but you’re not quite sure how it works? Are you intrigued by the idea of a meat-based diet but you’re not exactly sure what the rules are for following the carnivore diet for beginners? 

This article is a complete guide to the carnivore diet for beginners. It explains the basics, how it works, and what beginners need to know. The aim is to make the carnivore diet easy to understand for beginners, giving them the knowledge they need to start.

The Carnivore Diet for Beginners: The Basics and How it Works

Here are a few things you need to know about the carnivore diet for beginners:

What is the Carnivore Diet?

The carnivore diet is a diet that focuses on eating animal foods and excluding plant foods. Those who have followed a carnivore diet have reported various benefits such as weight loss, improved body composition, improved digestion, better cognitive function and focus, improved symptoms of autoimmune conditions, less inflammation, less pain, improved skin health, etc. The carnivore diet is a very promising diet for anybody experiencing any health concerns they would like to address.

What Can You Eat on a Carnivore Diet?

As stated, on the carnivore diet, you stick to animal foods. There are variations of the carnivore diet and there is no one-size-fits-all approach for beginners. Here are a few variations of the carnivore diet and what you can eat with each of them:

  • The Lion Diet: On The Lion Diet, you stick to ruminant meat, salt, and water. That means that you can eat meat such as beef, lamb, bison, and other game meats. The diet excludes poultry, pork, eggs, and dairy. This is the most extreme version of the carnivore diet but it’s perfect for people who are sensitive to dairy, eggs, pork, and even chicken. Many beginners start by following other versions of the carnivore diet and then try The Lion Diet when they want to see even better results.
  • BBBE: On the BBBE version of the carnivore diet, you can eat beef, butter, bacon, and eggs. It is a very popular approach to following the carnivore diet and many have seen great success in eating this way. If you love bacon, the BBBE version of a carnivore diet could be perfect for you.
  • Zero-Carb Carnivore: A zero-carb carnivore diet focuses on animal foods that contain zero carbs. This includes any type of meat, eggs, cheese, and even heavy cream, and it excludes animal foods that do contain some carbohydrates such as yoghurt and milk. This version of the carnivore diet is great for those who are extra focused on reducing or eliminating their carbohydrate intake.
  • Carbed-Up Carnivore: On this version of the carnivore diet, you can eat all animal foods, including those that contain carbs such as yoghurt and milk. Some people even choose to include honey in this version of the carnivore diet. This is perfect for those who want to follow a carnivore diet that focuses on animal foods but also don’t want to eliminate carbohydrates entirely from their diets. 
  • Hypercarnivore: A hypercarnivore diet is a diet where 70% or more of the foods you eat come from animals but you allow some plant foods in your diet. Many who follow a hypercarnivore diet will add some plant foods such as avocado, olives, some vegetables, and sweet fruits to their diets but in moderation.

As you can see, what you can eat on a carnivore diet depends on the version of the diet you choose to follow.

Why Eat Animal Foods and Exclude Plant Foods?

Animal foods are some of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. They are the best foods on the planet. Most plant foods contain plant toxins and anti-nutrients, they are harder to digest, the nutrients aren’t as easily absorbed and bioavailable as with animal foods, and they simply don’t taste as good as animal foods.

Why is a Diet That Focuses on Animal Foods Beneficial?

A diet centred around animal foods is beneficial for various reasons, including:

  • Animal foods are very nutrient dense. Muscle meats contain large amounts of amino acids. They are high in zinc, iron, B vitamins, and potassium. Eggs, and particularly egg yolks, are high in vitamin A, vitamin D3, and choline. Cheese is high in vitamin K2 and calcium, and you get a lot of omega-3 fatty acids in various types of seafood and fatty fish. Did you know that there are over 8 micronutrients that you can get from animal foods but you cannot get from plant foods? This includes carnitine, creatine, carnosine, taurine, heme iron, DHA, vitamin B12, and vitamin D3.
  • The nutrients in animal foods are also easier to digest and absorb. Many plants are high in hard-to-digest fibre and they contain anti-nutrients, such as oxalates, tannins, goitrogens, phytates, and lectins, which actively prevent the absorption of certain minerals like magnesium, zinc, calcium, iron, and magnesium.
  • Animal foods are generally good sources of both protein and fat, as long as you don’t only stick to lean meats and egg whites. The protein in animal foods is also superior to that found in plant foods. Animal proteins are complete proteins, meaning they contain all the essential amino acids, while plant proteins are not. Animal proteins are also a lot easier to absorb and utilise by your body.
  • Meat also has a very low risk of causing side effects in your body, such as inflammation. In fact, a carnivore diet is the best elimination diet. If you have a health problem and want to see if anything you’re eating is causing you problems, cutting out all plant foods and sticking to a meat-based diet is a grpeat strategy as you are basically cutting out all foods that could potentially be causing problems. Eating only meat, organ meats, and salt and only drinking water gives you a clean slate and you can then add in other foods one by one to see which foods are causing you problems. If a meat-only diet is making you feel incredible and is getting rid of your symptoms, you can also stick to it and don’t have to add back other foods.
  • Animal foods are also very delicious. What sounds better: a steak or a bowl of lentils and vegetables? Cheese or tofu? Eggs or beans? Real, whole milk or oat milk? Personally, all the animal foods sound more delicious to me. Many people on plant-based diets claim that they really enjoy the plant foods and yet, they keep trying to imitate animal foods with things like plant-based burger patties, vegan chicken nuggets, vegan sausages, fake eggs, etc. If plant foods were more delicious than animal foods, why are plant-based eaters and vegans trying to copy meat? 

Why a Plant-Based Diet isn’t Optimal

While you may have been told that a plant-based diet is the best way to go if you want to be healthy, this is not the case. The truth is that plants have the potential to affect your health negatively in various ways. Here are a few things you need to know about plant foods that will help you understand why cutting them from your diet and switching to a diet of only animal foods is an idea worth considering:

  1. Plant foods are harder to digest than animal foods.
  2. Plant foods contain anti-nutrients and plant toxins that make it harder for you to absorb important nutrients, such as zinc, iron, calcium, and magnesium.
  3. The nutrients in plant foods aren’t as bioavailable as in animal foods. This includes iron, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids.
  4. Plant-based diets can lack essential nutrients like vitamin B12, heme iron, EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids, and complete proteins. 
  5. Allergic reactions to certain plant-based proteins such as gluten (present in wheat) and soy, as well as to compounds like sulfites and certain nuts, are common.
  6. Plant foods don’t taste as good as animal foods.

What are the Rules of the Carnivore Diet for Beginners?

The great thing about the carnivore diet is that the rules are simple: stick to animal foods as much as possible and avoid plant foods as much as possible. The reason why I say “as much as possible” is because I don’t think you have to avoid plants in your diet 100% of the time to be a carnivore. If you choose to add spices to your meat, you’re still a carnivore. If you have coffee or tea in your diet but only eat animal foods, you’re a carnivore. And if you exclude plants at all costs, you’re a carnivore. You’re part of the carnivore community.

How Much Can You Eat on the Carnivore Diet for Beginners?

On the carnivore diet, it’s best to eat until you are full and satiated. Don’t try to restrict how much you eat when you’re a beginner. Your body will already have to adapt to the diet itself. You don’t want to add stress to your body in the form of calorie restriction. Most carnivores will encourage you to eat intuitively and let your body guide you on how much to eat. Eat as much as you want at first and once your body has adapted to this way of eating, then you can play around with the amount of food you’re eating and your macronutrient ratios.

General Guidelines for Following The Carnivore Diet for Beginners

If you are considering following the carnivore diet for beginners, here are some general guidelines that will help you succeed:

  1. Eat enough fat. Many people who start the carnivore diet don’t eat enough fat. Dietary fat is essential for energy, healthy sex hormone production, skin health, the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, and more. Choose fatty cuts of meat, cook your food in beef tallow, butter, or ghee, and even add butter as a side dish to your meals. 
  2. Consume enough salt. It’s important to eat enough salt, especially when you first switch to a carnivore diet. When you switch to a low-carb diet like the carnivore diet, you can lose a lot of water weight in the beginning, and with that, electrolytes like sodium. Therefore, I recommend that you increase your salt intake when you go carnivore.
  3. Try it for at least 90 days. I don’t think you can accurately say if the carnivore diet worked for you or not unless you’ve done it for at least 90 days. Some people have tried it for a week or two and then gave up because they didn’t see the results they were hoping for. You have to give your body time to adjust to this diet and give some time for your body to show the benefits. If you want to try the carnivore diet as a beginner, commit to at least 90 days.

I hope this article provided enough clarity on the basics of the carnivore diet for beginners. If you want to try the carnivore diet, give it at least 90 days and see if it changes your life and health the way it has for so many people. 

 

 

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