If you are reading this article then you no doubt are looking to lose weight or improve your health. The carnivore diet, which is also known as The Zero Carb Diet, is a great place to start.

Its not the easiest diet to start, but gets easier the longer you stick to it.

You will also need to have an open mind as much of what you will learn here goes against traditional wisdom when it comes to nutrition and diet.

 

What is the Carnivore Diet?

 

The Carnivore diet (or Zero Carb) is a simple diet that is easy to follow. It is a plant free diet that excludes fruit and vegetables, grains and nuts.

Also, any diary that has a high level of lactose which is the sugar from dairy. Milk is excluded, but most cheese, butter and full fat cream is allowed.

With these foods excluded from you diet, there is minimal carbs which is where the name Zero Carb comes from.

So, it’s a diet that consists of meat, and full fat dairy, and nothing else. There is no limit to the amount you consume. You eat till full.

Its important to eat as much as you need to feel full and not to restrict the amount of meat you consume, even if your goal is weight loss.

This can be difficult for the first week or two while you break the carb addiction, but after this period of no carbs or sugar, the craving for such foods disappear.

 

Freedom from food addiction

 

With this comes the freedom from food addiction and the constant thinking about your next meal like with most other diets. The amount of time planning your meals, prepping and cooking your meals is radically reduced.

Its not a new diet like some people mistakenly call it. There are people out there, that you can find on forums and Facebook pages, that have done this diet for 20 years or more.

But it hasn’t been well researched until recently, and so long-term studies are few and far between. There is a lot of evidence that suggests it is indeed a healthy life style, and that fat is a very important part of our diet.

Anecdotally there are plenty of success stories around of people who have lost weight, reversed sever health conditions and are healthier than ever.



Is this a Keto or Paleo diet?

 

You only have to search the internet to find tons of keto and paleo type diets, there seems to be a new version every week with different thoughts and ideas around the best way to eat this way.

Some groups focus on high fat or the amount of protein you eat. They vary in what the macros should look like and thoughts around calories in calories out theories.

The thing they all have in common is they avoid most processed high sugar foods.

At first glance the carnivore diet seems an extreme version of these, restricting the carbs to a much lower quantity. Resulting in the body being in Ketosis.

This also happens in the carnivore or zero carb diet, but ketosis isn’t emphasised on the carnivore diet.

Lets look at what these diets are, so we can compare to the carnivore diet.

 

What is the Keto Diet?

 

Ketogenic diets have a very low in take of carbs, daily carb amounts need to be under 20g. This will kick your body in to a state of Ketosis, which means the body is using fat for fuel.

It converts fat into ketones which is then used to fuel the body. When you have carbs in your diet, the body will use glucose as its fuel.

This is because glucose is easier for the body to process, yet it is much more inefficient than ketones, and is really designed for short term use.

You can test if your body is in ketosis by detecting ketones in your blood or urine. This can be done by a pin prick test or a urine strip.

If ketones are found, this means the body is burning fat and not glucose. When you are burning fat for fuel, you are no longer storing fat on the body.

This is great for weight loss. This diet also helps to control you blood glucose level as well as other health conditions. It is widely used for epileptics as ketones can go a long way in preventing seizures.

They are not the only benefits; most people report improvements in cognitive ability and much more stable moods.

Ketosis can also be increased by exercise, fasting and by increasing the amount of good quality fats. MCT oil and butter are used to do this. Some people even put these in their coffee to increase their intake.

Taking starchy foods and grains aside, the keto diet doesn’t restrict any food type, as long as you keep your carbs low and your fats high. Sometimes if carbs are increased, by exercising or adding more MCT oil can keep you in ketosis.

The goal of the keto diet is to remain in ketosis as much as possible. Your body does come out of ketosis at various times such as during times of stress or inactivity.

Its all about the ketones.

 

The problem with Keto

 

As great as the keto diet is for weight loss and health, the drive to remain in ketosis can lead to a poor diet.

It is still miles better than the standard American diet (SAD) but your choices could still lead to health issues. For example, it is common to under-eat to keep your ketones high.

Or you may be tempted to include high fat keto type bars that have an inadequate amount of protein in them to stay healthy.

Another part of the keto diet is measuring your MACROS.

This is where you measure what percentage of your daily calorie intake is from fat, protein and carbs. The amounts will depend on your weight, height, activity level etc.

This means measuring carefully how much of each you consume. You have weigh, count and record what you eat.

This can be difficult, and can lead an unhealthy obsession with your food. It becomes a large task, and if you weight stalls you need to revisit your macros. Its not always easy when you first start.

On the keto diet, you can have artificial sweeteners, and so there are thousands of keto deserts out there that you can have.

Again, you need to make sure it fits in with your daily macros. This isn’t good for someone who has food or carb addiction.

It keeps you focused on searching out that sweet taste. Its often the downfall for many people.  You are tempting yourself too much, and when your mouth detects that sweet taste, it gets ready to for the sugar hit. But it never comes and so you start to crave carby foods.

The keto diet is a great diet and has amazing results, especially with weight loss. But it does come with its downside as we have discussed.

Ketosis is just one small part of the bigger picture, but this diet is focused on it more than any of the others.




The Paleo diet

 

The principles of the Paleo diet is to eat similar to the way did in the Palaeolithic period, before we had the overwhelming amounts of diseases and health issues we now face.

Our bodies are not designed to eat in the way the world does now. Our food is full of chemicals and fake ingredients.

Even the largest of people are malnourished due the lack of real nourishment modern food provides.

So by eating only foods that the body is designed and adapted to process well will increase health and reduce the likely hood of becoming ill from our diet.

Eating this way will normalise the insulin levels in our blood, resulting in better blood glucose levels.

The amount of inflammation reduces which is the number one reason we have such high numbers of autoimmune conditions.

Grains are a very new food type for us, only being around for the last 10,000 years or so. Compared to how long we have been around, and evolved to what we are now, this is a spec in time.

We have not yet evolved to incorporate grains in our diet, our bodies just can not process them adequately.

Grains and legumes have high levels of lectins which have been shown to be responsible for diseases, mostly autoimmune conditions.

So eating a diet that eliminates these will improve health and result in you feeling better than you did while consuming them.

 

The problem with the Paleo diet

 

This can be a complex diet when it comes to what foods you can and can’t eat. There are some out right no-go foods such as high sugar processed foods.

Dairy, grains, seeds are also off the menu. But most fruit and veg is ok. The idea is we had access to this and so our bodies have evolved to handle them.

The problem here is, much of the fruit and veg we have now, wasn’t around then. Our fruit its is now much larger, sweeter and tastier than they originally were.

We have altered the size, taste and texture through selective breeding and we now have new vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli.

Another fact to think on is, before we introduced agriculture, vegetables do not grow in the wild enough for it to have been a stable part of the diet.

You don’t see vegetables growing naturally in the wild. Also, they didn’t taste good like they do now. Its likely that any type of plant food would have been a last resort when it comes to eating.

Some people on the Paleo diet will also exclude plants from the nightshade family.

This includes eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes and peppers. This family of plants have reportedly had negative effects with a lot of people, especially those with autoimmune issues.

With that said, most plants, not just nightshades, have chemical defences to protect themselves and these can have detrimental effects to our health.

Although many people eating this way do have a low carb intake, some see carbs from fruit is fine and so it can actually be quite high.

It can be hard to determine what you should and shouldn’t eat on this diet. You can find many long and drawn out debates on the internet between people on the Paleo diet.

The Carnivore Diet (Zero Carb Diet)

 

The Carnivore diet really does sit outside of these two diets as a diet of its own. It is similar to both in that it has almost no carbs at all and you will be in ketosis like the keto, and it has a big emphasis on what foods you exclude, like the Paleo diet.

It is often seen as the purest form of Paleo as it is believed that we evolved eating a meat only diet, with plants being used for medicine, or as a last resort when meat was low for the reasons we discussed above.

Eating a meat only diet encapsulates the benefits of both the Keto and Paleo diets while it avoids the negative downsides to them.

Unlike the Keto diet, the food is much purer and of a higher quality, not incorporating sweeteners for a treat or relaying on bad food to up your fat intake.

It allows you to eat as much food as you like or need, without measuring macros. Its simple and healthy. A meat only diet can provide all the nutrition we need.

The recommended daily allowance that nutritionists promote is based on a diet full of grains and sugar, also plants with all their anti-nutrients.

When eating these, you do need an increased amount of nutrients to counter act the anti-nutrients.

But eating a plant free diet goes against what we have always been told about nutrition, and so this diet is often criticised for being unhealthy and dangerous.

This is based on misunderstood science, studies that have now be discounted due to ethical reasons such as studies that say sugar doesn’t cause heart disease or diabetes being sponsored by the Coca-Cola company.

Many studies have been disproved by new science that we didn’t understand before.

 

What does the Carnivore diet look like

 

This way of eating includes all no processed meats; Beef, lamb, chicken, duck, pork, steaks, sausages, burgers, bacon, fish, eggs, cheese, full fat cream, butter, offal.

Basically, anything that comes from an animal.

The higher the fat content, the better. Fats keep us full and stops us feeling hungry.

This diet allows the body to burn fat for its fuel and so the more fat we eat the more satiated we feel.

Spices can be used to flavour food, as long as they pure and have no sugars, sweeteners or chemicals in them.

Sauces contain a lot of sugar and sweeteners and other chemicals and so are not included.

Its good to drink a healthy amount of water.

No sugar free drinks sodas or water flavourings allowed.

Tea and coffee is discouraged, but many people will still drink these as they are well tolerated by the body for most. But not all.

The amount of food is not limited, you are encouraged to eat as much as you need.

You eat until you are full. There is no need to measure macros, or count calories. As long as you stick to the approved foods you need not worry about how much you consume.

It is very hard to over eat on just meat. As much as it is encouraged to eat as much as you can, you must only eat when hungry.

You will start to learn quite quickly that hunger goes away on this diet, you don’t get cravings for food. The hunger signals are minimal and less aggressive.

Although you will most likely at times be in ketosis while eating the carnivore way, it is not the goal. There is no need to test for ketones.

When following this way of eating, you will be in the perfect position to lose weight if needed, gain weight if needed and be healthy.

This is why I describe this as being a diet of freedom. You no longer have to over think your food or worry about quantities.

You just what when hungry till you are full.

My suggestion to you if you are considering this diet, is to go and do your research. Join Facebook pages and learn what it entails.

Read the stories of people who have been eating this way for 10 or 20 years and live a healthy illness free life, there are plenty of them.

Keep your eyes peeled for the new studies being done on this diet. There is a lot to learn if you want to have a deep understanding of why this is a healthy life style.

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

Good luck on your journey!