Evidence-Based, Simplified Nutrition and Lifestyle Strategies


The Best Way to Do the Carnivore Diet

best carnivore diet

The Best Way to Do the Carnivore Diet

best carnivore diet

When navigating the broad spectrum of dietary advice, it’s clear that the carnivore community is not immune to dogma. Voices from within argue fervently for their own interpretations of this diet, each claiming superiority over the others. This diversity of opinion, however, leaves out a vital point: there is no one-size-fits-all approach to diet, including the carnivore diet.


Like any dietary plan, the carnivore diet requires a nuanced, individualized approach. Our bodies, health histories, and nutritional needs are as unique as our fingerprints, necessitating a diet that is tailored to each individual. Recognizing this, we advocate for a personalized carnivore diet, one that respects the individual’s health requirements, goals, and reactions to different foods.


Understanding that the path to optimal health is personal, we aim to guide you through finding your own ideal carnivore diet, helping you navigate the intricacies and variations to discover what truly works for your body.


What Is the Carnivore Diet?


Carnivore Diet Food Pyramid


The carnivore diet, centered around animal-derived foods, presents multiple adaptations to suit individual health objectives and dietary needs. Here’s a closer look at the various iterations:


  • The Beef-Only Carnivore Diet: Focusing solely on beef, this method is praised for its simplicity and effectiveness, particularly within elimination diets aimed at addressing autoimmune or chronic conditions. For a well-rounded nutrient profile, it’s advisable to eventually broaden the diet to include diverse meat sources.


  • The Lion Diet: A more stringent version, the lion diet limits intake to ruminant meats, salt, and water, serving as an ideal elimination diet base, with the possibility of reintroducing other meats over time. This diet is particularly beneficial for those focusing on autoimmune issues and gut health.


  • The Nose-to-Tail Carnivore Diet: Advocating for the consumption of the entire animal, including organ meats, this variant ensures a full spectrum of nutrients. Individuals with specific liver conditions should moderate their intake of liver and kidneys to avoid potential vitamin A toxicity.


  • The Meat Only Carnivore Diet: Expanding the menu to include all types of animal muscle meat, while excluding organ meats, dairy, and eggs, this plan suits those seeking an introductory elimination diet confident in their tolerance of muscle meats.


  • The Zero-Carb Carnivore Diet: Targeting foods with minimal carbohydrates, this diet includes dairy, eggs, and all meats, focusing on meats and animal fats. Some may opt to include seasonings. This variation suits individuals without autoimmune or severe chronic issues who can digest dairy and eggs well.


  • The Carnivore Keto Diet: Merging ketogenic principles with the carnivore lifestyle, this low-carb, high-fat strategy seeks to replicate fasting benefits, adding low-toxicity ketogenic foods such as avocados and coconut oil. It’s best suited for those who are metabolically healthy and have addressed their chronic health concerns.


  • The Carnivore-ish Keto Diet: Offering greater flexibility, this diet merges additional ketogenic elements while prioritizing animal-based foods. It allows for keto sweeteners, some nuts, and other keto-friendly foods, recommended for those without metabolic issues or food addiction.


  • Animal-Based Diet: A more inclusive approach that still centers on animal products but incorporates fruits, honey, and raw dairy. Our clinical observations suggest that only those with high metabolic flexibility and elite athletes thrive on this diet. We don’t recommend this variation generally because of the risks of mixing fruit with high fat.


Each variation of the carnivore diet caters to different dietary needs and health goals, emphasizing the importance of personalizing your approach for optimal health benefits.


What Are the Benefits of the Carnivore Diet?


benefits of carnivore diet


Starting on a carnivore diet offers many health benefits that appeal to a wide audience. This dietary approach has gained traction for its simplicity and the profound impact it has on various aspects of health. Here’s a quick overview of the benefits that make the carnivore diet an attractive option for many:


1. Simplified Nutrition: The carnivore diet simplifies meal planning and preparation. With a focus on meats, eggs, and sometimes dairy, it eliminates the need to track multiple micronutrients and vitamins found in a varied diet, as animal products are rich in essential nutrients required by the body.


carnivore diet for gut healing


2. Improved Digestive Health: Many individuals find relief from digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) on a carnivore diet. This is largely in part due to the elimination of dietary fibers and anti-nutrients found in plant-based foods, which can irritate the gut lining and disrupt digestion.


3. Weight Loss and Body Composition: The high protein content of the carnivore diet can enhance satiety, reducing overall calorie intake. Protein also has a high thermic effect, meaning it burns more calories during digestion compared to fats and carbohydrates. These factors contribute to weight loss and improved body composition.


carnivore diet for mental health studies


4. Mental Clarity and Mood Stability: In our clinical experience we have seen enhanced mental clarity and mood stability. This could be due to the elimination of sugar and refined carbohydrates, which cause blood sugar spikes and crashes, affecting mood and cognitive function. Additionally, the high levels of omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish and grass-fed meats offer further cognitive function benefits.


5. Enhanced Nutrient Density: Animal-based foods are abundant in highly bioavailable nutrients, such as vitamins B12, A, D, and K2, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, and selenium. This diet promotes a substantial intake of these vital nutrients, which are essential for numerous bodily functions.


6. Benefits for Autoimmune Conditions: By eliminating potential dietary triggers, the carnivore diet has shown promise in alleviating symptoms or achieving remission in individuals with autoimmune diseases. This effect is likely due to the diet’s ability to reduce gut irritants and inflammatory foods.


Learn more about the incredible benefits of the carnivore diet here.


What Carnivore Diet Variation Is Best for Me?


carnivore diet variation options


Selecting the right variation of the carnivore diet hinges on many-sided considerations of individual factors, including medical history, long-term health objectives, personal food preferences, tolerance levels, and existing food addiction concerns. Understanding these components is important in tailoring the diet to meet your unique nutritional and health needs effectively.


For individuals with a history of autoimmune diseases or chronic conditions, starting with a more restrictive approach such as the beef-only or lion diet is highly recommended. These variations can serve as powerful elimination diets, helping identify food sensitivities and alleviate symptoms of autoimmune conditions by removing potential dietary triggers. As your body adapts and heals, gradually reintroducing other meats and animal products can help diversify nutrient intake without compromising progress.


In contrast, if you are generally healthy, seeking to optimize body composition, or enhance metabolic health, incorporating a wider variety of animal-based foods, including dairy and eggs, might be more suitable. This approach allows for greater flexibility and may prevent potential nutrient deficiencies over time.


Personal food preferences and tolerance levels also play a significant role. If certain meats or animal products cause digestive discomfort or allergic reactions, it’s essential to adjust your diet accordingly. Similarly, individuals struggling with food addiction may need to steer clear of variations that include triggering foods, such as dairy or processed meats, to ensure success on the carnivore diet.


Ultimately, the best carnivore diet variation is one that aligns with your health goals, accommodates your medical and nutritional needs, and fits within your lifestyle and preferences, ensuring sustainability and enjoyment in the long term.


Knowing Your Carnivore Why



Understanding your motivations for beginning the carnivore diet is a powerful first step that can significantly influence your journey and success with this dietary approach. Whether you’re seeking relief from chronic health issues, aiming for weight loss, or looking to enhance your overall health and well-being, knowing your ‘why’ can guide you in choosing the most suitable variation of the carnivore diet to begin with.


We often recommend starting with a more restrictive form of the carnivore diet, such as the beef-only carnivore diet, lion diet, or meat-only carnivore diet. This stringent approach serves as an effective elimination diet, helping to identify food sensitivities, reduce inflammation, and reset your body. Starting strict provides a clear baseline from which you can assess how your body responds to the absence of certain foods and ingredients commonly found in broader diets.


This initial phase is temporary and primarily diagnostic. As you gain insights into how your body reacts and adapts, you can gradually introduce more diversity into your diet. Progressing to other variations of the carnivore diet that allow for more inclusivity can help create the diet to your specific needs, preferences, and health goals, making it a sustainable and enjoyable lifestyle choice.


The Best Carnivore Diet Option for You


best carnivore diet for you


The optimal carnivore diet is highly individualized, stressing the importance of personalization for long-term sustainability and the achievement of personal health goals. The diet’s efficacy is not one-size-fits-all; what yields remarkable benefits for one person may not produce the same results for another. This variance can be attributed to differences in metabolic health, digestive tolerance, pre-existing conditions, and individual health objectives. Therefore, adopting a carnivore diet tailored to your unique needs, preferences, and reactions to certain foods is key.


Personalization ensures the diet aligns with your lifestyle, making it more enjoyable and easier to adhere to over time. It allows for the flexibility to adjust based on your body’s responses, helping to identify the most nourishing and beneficial foods for your health. Taking up a more personalized approach rather than adopting someone else’s n=1 experiment as your blueprint acknowledges the unique complexities of your body and health journey.


Essentially, the best carnivore diet is the one that resonates with you, supports your health in a holistic manner, and can be maintained joyfully and without undue burden. Through careful observation and adjustment, you can discover the variation of the carnivore diet that propels you towards your health goals while respecting your body’s individuality.


Troubleshooting the Carnivore Diet


carnivore diet transition supports


Starting the carnivore diet, much as any significant dietary shift, comes with an adaptation period that may present challenges. Fortunately, numerous troubleshooting strategies can be employed to ease this transition. Initial issues often stem from electrolyte imbalances, insufficient fat intake, or adapting to a different source of energy—problems that are typically manageable through dietary adjustments. For instance, increasing electrolyte consumption or adjusting the ratio of fat to protein can often mitigate early difficulties.


However, if challenges persist beyond the initial adaptation phase, extending over a few months, it might signal the need for a more tailored approach. In such cases, consulting with a trusted carnivore diet practitioner becomes pivotal. A knowledgeable practitioner can offer deeper insights into your unique health profile, helping to identify underlying issues that may be hindering your progress on the diet. They can suggest specific dietary tweaks, supplements, or lifestyle adjustments that align better with your body’s needs.


Working with a specialist ensures a more personalized dietary strategy, enhancing the diet’s effectiveness and your overall well-being. Remember, the goal is to find a sustainable, health-promoting way of eating that works for you, and sometimes, achieving this requires expert guidance and a willingness to adapt your approach based on professional advice.


Our Gut Healing Kit can be a great place to start for those starting a carnivore diet and interested in temporary supports to minimize adaptation side effects.

Are You Still Struggling With the Carnivore Diet?

For individuals who have started on the carnivore diet journey for approximately six months yet find themselves grappling with persistent challenges or insufficient progress towards their health goals, it may be an indicator that deeper underlying issues are at play. While the carnivore diet offers numerous health benefits, its efficacy can be limited if foundational health issues remain unaddressed.


Persistent struggles with the diet signal the need for a deeper exploration into potential root causes that might be influencing your health. These could include chronic infections, environmental factors, autoimmune conditions, or deeper root causes that are not fully resolved by dietary changes alone. Such conditions may require targeted interventions beyond dietary adjustments, including comprehensive medical evaluations, specific supplementation, or lifestyle changes aimed at addressing these underlying factors.


Recognizing the need to investigate these deeper issues is a crucial step toward optimizing your health. It points to the importance of a holistic approach to well-being, where the carnivore diet is part of a broader strategy that includes medical oversight and personalized health solutions. For those unable to achieve their health objectives through diet alone, seeking the guidance of a trusted practitioner who can identify and treat the root causes of their health issues becomes essential for achieving lasting wellness.


Closing Thoughts On the Best Carnivore Diet for You

Starting on the carnivore diet is a deeply personal journey, with the optimal path varying significantly from one individual to the next. At its core, the carnivore diet emphasizes animal-based foods, but within this framework, several variations exist to cater to different health needs, preferences, and goals. Starting with a more restrictive version, such as the beef-only, lion, or meat-only carnivore diet, is often recommended. This approach serves as a powerful elimination protocol, providing a clear baseline to identify food sensitivities and gauge how your body responds to the absence of certain foods.


Understanding your personal motivations for adopting the carnivore diet is important. Whether you’re seeking relief from specific health issues or aiming for overall wellness, your ‘why’ will guide you in selecting the most appropriate variation to start with. However, adaptability is key. Initial strict adherence offers a diagnostic phase, which, upon evaluation, may transition into a more inclusive variation, integrating a broader array of animal-based foods and, for some, dairy and eggs.


Yet, for those who, after months of commitment, find themselves facing persistent challenges or health plateaus, a deeper exploration into underlying health issues is advisable. Consulting with a carnivore diet practitioner can provide tailored advice and adjustments, ensuring the diet serves its intended purpose of enhancing health and well-being. Ultimately, the best carnivore diet is the one that aligns with your individual health journey, adaptable over time to meet your evolving needs.


Work With Our Trusted Carnivore Diet Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioners

The Nutrition with Judy practice is honored to be a trusted carnivore diet practitioner support serving clients from around the globe. We’re passionate about helping our clients achieve root-cause healing in order to lead the best quality of life possible that’s nearly symptom-free. Our team is dedicated to providing personalized dietary guidance for achieving wellness goals. We welcome you to explore our free resources and are always available to support you through personalized protocols. Our Symptom Burden Assessment (SBA) is the perfect starting point for discovering your root cause and is required to work with our team— you can learn more in-depth about this powerful tool here.

Start your root-cause healing journey today and contact us any time with any questions or concerns.


DISCLAIMER: This content is for educational purposes only. While we are board-certified in holistic nutrition and are nutritional therapy practitioners, we are not providing medical advice. Whenever you start a new diet or protocol, always consult with your trusted practitioner first.

Nutrition with Judy

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