The carnivore diet AKA The Zero Carb Diet; Carnivore is more accurate description as there are some minimal carbs in meat and dairy. So if you ask, what is a carnivore diet?

The simple answer is, it’s a diet that only includes food from the animal kingdom. There is more to it than that, but at its core it’s a simple diet to understand, but can be harder to stick to.

But the positive effects of this diet doesn’t stop at weight loss.  It has a whole host of health benefits.

The carnivore diet is a high fat, moderate protein and very low carb diet. It’s important that you understand that it’s a high-fat diet.

Most of your daily calories will come from fat. Don’t fear the fat, its essential for your body.



What’s on the menu?


On the carnivore diet, you can eat all meats available to you. Here is a basic list of foods that are carnivore approved:

What is the Carnivore diet

  • Lamb
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Bacon
  • Duck
  • Fish
  • Offal (organ meat)
  • Eggs
  • Animal fat – Lard, tallow, bacon grease etc
  • Some dairy – Full-fat cream, cheese, butter and ghee. (Not milk, it has high amounts of lactose, which is sugar.)

Basically, any meat from any animal. If it’s not on the above list, but is meat from an animal, then it’s allowed. 

There is also a list of foods which can be used, less frequent and in small amounts.

Such as:

  • Spices & herbs – Just make sure when you buy them, they have no added sugar or nasty chemicals which can sometimes happen.
  • Dairy – I know this is in the OK list, but for some, it’s a no go. We will talk about this further down.
  • Mayonnaise – Many shops brought mayo has added sugar and is made with vegetable oils which are bad for you. You can make your own with animal fat, which is much better.
  • Tea & Coffee – It’s tough to cut the caffeine, and you don’t have to. Try to stick to it after your meal as it can suppress hunger. However, some people find that some medical conditions will not respond well to coffee. You can test it for yourself if you think you need to.

It’s a good idea when starting on this diet to cut out all these additional foods and stick to meat and water. Then after your first 30 – 60 days you can start to introduce them if you like and see if they have an adverse effect on you.


Dairy – The do’s and don’ts


Dairy has mixed results in the carnivore community. Some people can have it and not experience any problems at all. Some people can only have selected foods from the dairy family.

Its trial and error to find out where you sit.

You have to work out what works for you, for example, I can have as much butter as I like, but when I have cheese it makes my skin dry and itchy. I am fine with cream and eggs.

Some people who have cheese also find that it makes them crave too much cheese or even other sweet treats. This is very common so be careful of this.

Milk is a no go on this diet as it has too much sugar, but you can have full-fat cream in your coffee or food instead. Full-fat cream has far less sugar.


How much can I eat on a carnivore diet?


The mantra here is “Eat when hungry until you are full”.  There is no limit to how much you can eat. When you first start this way of eating you may find you are eating 4lbs or more of meat a day. This is fine. If you are hungry then your body needs it. 

When you start a carnivore diet, your body will be healing years and years of damage and bad health. It needs the meat to heal you.

On the other hand, when you take all carbs and sugars out of your diet, you start to lose the traditional hunger pangs and can end up not feeling hungry for a long time. If this is the case, then you should cook some meat, and eat it until you feel full. 

It’s important not to under-eat on this diet. So make sure you are eating plenty.

Over time you will learn your body’s new hunger signals and eat when you need to. For some, they eat only one meal a day. They will have a large dinner, and that’s all.

There are no counting macros on this diet. You eat when you are hungry from the animal kingdom, and stop when you are full — no measuring anything or counting anything.


Adaptation Period


When you start this way of eating, your body is doing a lot of work to get used to the new type of fuel you are using. It is also breaking the addiction you have to sugar.

When you eat sugar, your body uses it for fuel, but when you take that away and eat fat, it will use the fat as fuel.

Everyone experiences adaptation differently. The common effects are:

Carnivore Flue

  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Cramps
  • Light headedness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Diarrhoea / Constipation
  • Intense thirst
  • Meat aversion (or food aversion)
  • Mood swings

As mentioned above, it can be different for everyone. You might get all of these or just some. You might experience things not mentioned on the list.

Just know that if you do feel bad, lots of water will help as will plenty of meat and fat.

It doesn’t last forever, but like the symptoms, the length of time is different for different people. Most have it for a month or less.

If you are really unlucky it could last much longer.  I was lucky, and it only lasted 2 weeks for me, and I started to feel better after just a week.


What are the benefits of a carnivore diet?


There are a lot of benefits to this diet; you will find a whole range of changes to your body as you progress with this way of eating. It’s a lifestyle change, and once you have it cracked you will not want to go back.


Weight loss

This is what brings most people to this diet. The weight loss can often be dramatic and with no extra exercise needed.

This diet has transformed people and changed their life. However, some people will put on weight at first while their body heals.

This can be off-putting for some people, but know you will eventually lose weight. What is a carnivore diet

It’s hard to say how much you will lose and how quick as everyone responds differently. The body has a lot of work to do to right past damage. 

Some people drop weight dramatically to start, and some people have to wait a few months for this to happen.

If you are underweight, you will put weight on most likely. This diet is making your body healthy and will try to get you to the size you need to be for that.

The goal of this diet is a healthy happy body, and that’s what you will get. The weight is secondary to that.


Good health

This is the main aim of the diet. Many illnesses can be reversed with this way of eating. Conditions like type 2 diabetes and arthritis often dramatically improve with-in the first month.

After a period of time, you can reverse these diseases. People report that conditions going away or improving all the time on this diet.

If you join a FaceBook page you can read all the stories of how peoples health has improved and that they no longer need many of the medications they were taking before.

All autoimmune conditions will eventually right themselves. Cutting out all the junk and carbs will stop these conditions from causing so many issues in the body.

If you have any autoimmune conditions, then this is by far the best diet you could try.

Before I started I was a type 2 diabetic and had awful psoriasis of the skin and joints (psoriatic arthritis). With-in the first month I had such good results with these conditions.

I carried on and never stopped.  Within 3 months, my skin was 99% healed, and I had very little joint point.  Now, 3 years on, I have none of the conditions I had before, and I take no medication.

What is the carnivore diet

I am not a doctor, and so I can not say this will work for everyone, but out of the thousands of people I see online and chat with, none of them who have stuck to this diet have continues to have these conditions affect them.


Another benefit to this way of eating is how great people feel. Everyone describes having more energy and getting sick less.

People with terrible depression and anxiety disorders report them going away and feeling much happier people.

Stress becomes easier to manage, and so you naturally become more positive and relaxed.

This isn’t a surprise to me, sugar messes with our hormones and this will result in us feeling pretty awful. Take that away, and our bodies thrive, and we can become healthy in body and mind.

You do not need to exercise on this diet, but many do start to pick up sports and hobbies as they feel so great.


Is this diet for you?


It’s a big commitment for sure, but the payback well outweighs that. I hope that you do decide to take this journey, for your health and for the ease of it.

There is so much more to this diet than I have covered here in this article. Please have a look around the site and learn as much as you can about it.

There are lots of books that will explain the science of this diet, and why it works so well. You can find FaceBook pages where you can ask your questions, get feedback and see other people stories.

Why not try the 30-day challenge. Eat nothing but meat, and drink nothing but water for 30 days and see how you feel.

Most people that take on this challenge stick to the diet. You can bring in more variety, but you will see how great you look and feel on it.

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below.

Good Luck.