Did you listen to Dr Shawn Baker MD explain the benefits of his all meat diet & you want to know how to try it out yourself?
I’ll share 5 simple steps to help you get started, today.
This is my resource guide with hints & tips from what I have learnt from reading & listening to meat only diet advocates & experts. Plus of course; personally trying out the diet myself to see what happened with my before and after results – just like you are going to start doing too.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is the Carnivore Diet?
- 2 How to Get Started (5 Basic Rules)
- 3 List of Where to Buy Your Meat
- 4 List of Common Mistakes to Avoid
- 5 Online Support Groups and Forums
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions with Answers
What is the Carnivore Diet?
How to Get Started (5 Basic Rules)
The best way to begin is to do a 30 day challenge. For most people who want to try start eating a meat only diet then this 1 month challenge is a good way to start.
For 30 days you will follow the recommended protocols rules and tips.
Use this time to see if you subjectively feel better (better energy levels, less aches and pain, better sleep , less hunger etc…), or you can see better objective health changes (weight loss, better blood results like HbA1c numbers for diabetes, thyroid levels etc…).
Taking before and after pictures, keeping a health diary or tracking these lab results will then help you know if this is the diet plan for you, or not.
Don’t worry, tt is very easy to get started. This way of eating is not complicated, but just needs a little preparation.
I found following the following five rules below will give you a great baseline from where to begin your own dietary experiment.
1. What to Eat List
The carnivore diet, a.k.a zero carb diet, is primarily an animal meat based diet. This means you can eat 100% meat only when on the diet.
You will not be eating plant based protein like, soy or pea protein. The recommended types of meat you can eat will be any type of animal based protein. Some people will add in minimal dairy fat and protein products like some cream or cheese, but some choose not to.
|Red Meat||Beef, pork, lamb, wild game, birds|
|White Meat||Chicken, turkey, fish, seafood|
|Organ Meat||Liver, kidneys, tongue, bone marrow, heart, brain|
|Eggs||Chicken eggs, goose eggs, duck eggs|
|Dairy||Heavy cream, cheese, butter, ghee|
Eat the fatty cuts of meat & not only lean cuts of meat.
Natural saturated and unsaturated animal fat on the meat provides additional daily nutritional needs that your body requires to stay healthy; along with the protein, minerals, vitamins & other nutrients you get from meat. Plus, adding fat makes any food more tasty (palatable).
2. How Much to Eat
You will want to eat till you feel full (satiated).
Your appetite will change during the course of the the first month. Do not go hungry; eat to your energy needs. Dr Baker mentioned on the Joe Rogan #1050 episode podcast interview how he has seen many people eat on average about 2 lbs (900 grams) of meat per day. However, since he workouts out heavily, he likes to eat about 4 lbs (1.8kg) of meat per day.
3. When to Eat
You can eat three meals a day or practice intermittent fasting (IF).
This depends on your daily schedule and if you want to try add in more health benefits like practising timed fasting. If you follow circadian biology thinking then protein in the morning within the first hour of waking helps to set your body clock; so breakfast is an important meal. If you follow the advise from protein researcher Prof Stuart Phillips then eating protein throughout the day and in the evening is a good idea to help maintain lean muscle mass.
4. What to Drink
This depends how strict you want to be on your carnivorous way of eating. Most people are recommended to try drink water only in the first 30 days. This can be regular tap water, mineral water, spring water or filtered water.
Some people, like Amber O’Hearn, find they still wish to drink coffee or tea. Do this as long as you are not adding sugar or sweeteners into your hot drinks. Avoid any hot or cold beverages with added carbs like: soda drinks, vegetable drinks, energy drinks, protein powder shakes etc…
5. How to Cook Your Meat
On the zero carb diet (carnivore diet) you can cook your meat how you like it.
High-end steak restaurants that value good tasting food cook red meat, like beef, to be medium rare and not well done. If you are not a fan of steak that is still pink or slightly bloody; you might find your tastes will change over time when eating meat everyday. You’ll likely come to start enjoying eating medium rare steak vs well done steak.
Cook other meats (chicken, bacon, fish) to make sure they are safe to eat. For example, I would not eat raw chicken or raw bacon from a food safety point of view. However, raw seafood is a must try like, sushi salmon, tuna sashimi or fresh oysters.
List of Where to Buy Your Meat
- Your local butcher shop (great place to learn & discuss anything meat)
- Local grocery store of supermarket
- Local farmers market (great place to meat the farmer & ask questions)
- Order meat online delivered to your home
Recommended Meat Cooking Gear
Here is a list of cooking appliances and utensils that aid to the pleasure of carnivore cooking experience:
- Wood butcher cutting board – to cut & carve all your meat on. I like this bamboo cutting block from Amazon.
- Sharp carving knife for meat – to easily cut large chunks into smaller portions for cooking. I like this Victorinox Fibrox Pro knife from Amazon.
- Strong steak knife set – to easily slice through your tender steak when eating. I like this kitchen knife set with storage block and knife sharpener on Amazon.
- Cast iron skillet or grill pan – to cook your meat on the stove top like a pro chef. I like this Le Creuset signature iron handle skillet on Amazon for cooking anything.
List of Common Mistakes to Avoid
- Eating too little food (this causes unwanted excessive weight loss or other symptoms)
- Not drinking enough water (drink to satisfy thirst and avoid dehydration)
- Not adding salt to food (you can experience same keto flu symptoms on this diet too)
- Eating a moderate all meat diet with added fruits, vegetables & other types of carbs
- Avoiding fatty meats (don’t fear the cholesterol it is good for you)
Online Support Groups and Forums
If you need online support from others following this way of eating (WOE) then I would recommend the following resources:
- The Carnivore Training System online health coaching by Dr Shawn Baker
- The nEqualsMany experiment started by Dr Shawn Baker
- The World Carnivore Tribe public Facebook group
- The Zero Carb Health closed Facebook group
- The Principia Carnivora closed Facebook group
- The Zero Carb subreddit forum
Frequently Asked Questions with Answers
Q: Do I Only Need to Eat Grass Fed Meat?
No, grass fed meat has health and ecology benefits, but it does tend to cost more. There is no problem eating meat that doesn’t cost much and fits within your monthly budget available. Do not let choosing or trying to find only grass fed/finished meats stop you from starting.
Q: Can I Eat Processed Meats?
Processed cold meats like ham, salami, chorizo, & pepperoni are best avoided in the first 30 days if possible. This is because you may be ingesting extra carbohydrate fillers unknowingly with these types of deli meats. However, they are good for snacking on if hungry or travelling. Try eating one of the various Epic meat bar options, plain beef jerky or South African biltong when on the road.
Q: Are Sausages & Bacon Ok to Eat?
Yes and no. Bacon is great to eat how much you want. However, some sausages contain added ingredients like wheat to help fill them out. So watch out for eating only cheap hotdogs & pork sausages.
Q: Is This a Long-Term or Short-Term Diet?
It can be used for needed short-term health changes like weight loss or long-term general health benefits. You will find people in the zero carb diet community forums on Facebook and Reddit who have been eating a meat only diet for several years or decades with no negative health effects reported by them. A good example of someone who has been eating an all-meat diet since 1998 is Joe Andersen and his wife. You can make only eating carnivore diet a new way of life for you if you feel & see the benefits in your body.
Q: What About the Risk of Constipation?
The most common question is the worry about becoming constipated. You’ll find you will likely have regular bowel movements with less stools (faeces) per day. This is said because the meat is more easily broken down and absorb in the intestines and so there is less output vs a diet high in insoluble fibre. This stool chart is a good guide about consistency, which can change depending on many factors.
Q: Do I Need To Take Supplements?
Typically, no. However, some people may find a benefit from taking some electrolyte support like a magnesium or potassium supplement. A common worry is what about getting enough vitamin C? Long-term carnivore, Amber O’ Hearn, explains this is not the case and why not. Strict carnivore eaters feel if you are eating the right types of meat, and enough of them, this should provide all your required vitamin and mineral needs.