I am sixtythree and I have been eating what I like to call “mostly carnivore” for the last year and am doing quite well.
Before embracing “mostly carnivore”, I was already following a regular keto diet (low carb, high fat, moderate protein) and enjoying the benefits of less inflammation, clearer thinking, and no hangry episodes. The switching over to carnivore was mostly out of laziness on my part. The transition was pretty easy since I wasn’t eating that many fruits and veggies anyway. I was doing intermittent fasting naturally usually eating just once a day and when you eat as much healthy fat as I do, you really aren’t that hungry. I work an eight hour non-sedentary job and find that I still have plenty of energy to get through my day. And as far as the “you need fiber to keep things moving” that hasn’t been a problem at all.
These days my mental clarity is good and my mood seems balanced. I generally have a good outlook on life. It wasn’t always that way when I lived on carbs. Back then I dealt with constant mood swings, I tired easily, and I had constant achy joints, which I have sense learned was due to inflammation. I’m not a small woman, but I’m no longer walking around with a puffy carb face due to water retention.
Let me insert that I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. This article is not intended to advise or prescribe any program or diet. This is simply me sharing my personal experience with the carnivore keto lifestyle. Please consult your physician before trying to implement any new health regime.
I first heard of carnivore keto listening to an interview on the Ketovangelist podcast with guest Amber O’Hearn who has been eating only meat for 8 or 9 years now with no ill effects. Since I had already been intermittent fasting, eating usually one meal a day and having a fatty coffee in the morning, losing the hassle of having to make side dishes, low carb versions of carby favorites, and veggies sounded like a good fit. It has been.
This way of eating is sometimes referred to as zero carb dieting. Personally, I think it’s near impossible to eat absolutely zero carbs and using that term tends to raise the hackles of both nay sayers pointing fingers, and purists that insist you aren’t doing it right if you cross that line. That’s not what I do. I do what’s best for me eating mostly carnivore. What’s important is that you do you. Find your happy spot and do what works for your body. I do try to keep my carbs well below 20 gm per day. I eat animal products. Meat, eggs, fish, shrimp, some dairy such as butter, heavy cream, and some full fat cheeses. I use coconut oil, and have an avocado now and then. Once in a while I will have some brussel sprouts, broccoli, or cauliflower, but for the most part I don’t. This isn’t a religion, I do what works best for me.
I eat mostly fat.
I start by adding heavy cream and some Ballistic MCT powder to my cup of coffee in the morning. That usually holds me over until around 3:30 in the afternoon. When I do eat I have fatty meat. Bacon, is a favorite. I don’t eat chicken breasts, they are much too lean. I eat the chicken thighs instead. After I cook most meats ( in bacon grease or coconut oil) I remove the meat from the pan to my plate. I then pour a little heavy cream into the hot skillet, making a creamy flavorful sauce that I then pour on top of my meal. I find that eating this way is quite satisfying. The fat really satiates and fills me up quickly.
Salt is important
I try to get two tsp of salt in a day to keep up my electrolites. (I am no longer eating all the junkie carbs that help retain water) I like Himalayan pink salt rocks and I can pop them under my tongue throughout the day. I usually use sea salt when I’m cooking.
Here is a great article on salt:
Ease into this way of eating
A great podcast to get you started on your keto journey
I have found that the best way to go carnivore is to start with regular keto. Take it in manageable steps. If you’ve been eating sugary, carb laden baked goods at every meal, start first by eliminating grains and sugar. Begin eating fatty cuts of meat, enjoy bacon and eggs, and gnash on an avocado or two. Next eliminate milk heavy lattes opting for americanos with heavy cream. Then trim the starchy, carby veggies and sugar laden fruits from your menu allowing yourself a few berries once in a while. The first couple of weeks you might want to try some of the delicious carby food replacement recipes that use almond meal to help ease the transition from sugar burner to fat burner. A good source of ideas can be found here
Shoot for 20 grams of carbs and under per day
This way you will get past the emotional side of eating. As you continue you will notice that you aren’t hungry all the time. Sometimes you might just forget to eat. The end goal here is to get your carb intake down to 20 grams and below per day.
Cravings are gone
By now you will notice that food no longer talks to you. You can be right next to all of your old favorites and not give in. The one caveat I will make is that if you find yourself in an emotional state you might find yourself looking for that drug like fix that sugar gives. At this point it’s a mind game. Eat some fat. Pop in a couple of salt nuggets. You can do it. We just need to train ourselves not to seek comfort from temporary sugar highs. Diving into a vat of pasta will not pay the past due bill or make your boyfriend come back.
If you fall off… and you might
Get back on the program. Don’t use the “I’ve messed up so I may as well get it out of my system and start over tomorrow” tactic. I’ve been there done that. It’s hard to shake that addiction again once it hits your blood stream. Step by step.
You may be content to just be keto
Thats perfectly fine and great for your health. I have just gone mostly carnivore because it’s easier.
Some of the health benefits of going keto
- Go from sugar burner to fat burner
- Your body releases less insulin so less fat gets stored
- You are no longer hungry all the time
- Helps fight type two diabetes by creating normal blood sugar levels
- Helps fight heart disease by lowering bad (LDL) cholesterol, lowers triglycerides, and raises good (HDL) cholesterol
- Improves mitochondrial function
Here are a few of my favorite resources