Carnivore Diet Meal Plan

Carnivore Diet Meal Plan

There’s a new dietary trend making waves, and it revolves around a meat-centric approach. Known as the Carnivore Diet, this meal plan gained significant attention after being popularized by Shawn Baker and has garnered a considerable following since 2018.

The Carnivore Diet takes an extreme stance by advocating for an all-meat diet, dismissing the importance of vegetables and fruits. The emphasis lies on consuming grass-fed meats, reminiscent of the dietary habits of our ancestors. Proponents of this diet believe that by eliminating carbohydrates, they can free themselves from the negative consequences and health issues associated with a modern Western diet, which is often laden with carbs and inflammatory ingredients.

While there is some validity to these claims, it’s crucial to acknowledge that the Carnivore Diet is highly controversial. In this discussion, we aim to delve deeper into the intricacies of the Carnivore Diet, enabling you to make an informed decision that aligns with your lifestyle and goals.

What Is The Carnivore Diet Meal Plan?

The carnivore diet, as its name suggests, is a dietary approach centered around the consumption of meat. In essence, it stands in direct contrast to a vegan diet, as it excludes all animal-based foods.

The carnivore diet gained significant traction in recent years, particularly after podcaster Joe Rogan featured guests Dr. Shawn Baker and Paul Saladino on his show. Rogan personally adopted the carnivore diet and endorsed it to his audience. Baker and Saladino, both influential figures in the field, have continued to produce content on the subject and have authored popular books dedicated to the carnivore lifestyle.

At first glance, a diet consisting solely of meat may appear extreme. However, it’s important to recognize that the carnivore diet operates as an elimination diet. It is not meant to be followed indefinitely. Instead, the diet recommends strict adherence for a period of 2-3 months, after which non-problematic foods can gradually be reintroduced into the meal plan. This phased approach allows individuals to identify potential sensitivities or intolerances to specific food groups.

By adopting the carnivore diet as an elimination strategy, individuals have the opportunity to assess the impact of various foods on their overall well-being and make informed decisions regarding their dietary choices.

The carnivore diet, characterized by its low carbohydrate content, bears striking similarities to the ketogenic (keto) diet. In fact, individuals often structure the carnivore diet as a variation known as the keto carnivore diet, where protein intake is moderated while a larger proportion of calories is derived from fat. This approach aligns with the principles of the keto diet, which emphasizes a high-fat, low-carbohydrate intake to induce and maintain a state of ketosis.

WHAT CAN YOU EAT ON THE CARNIVORE DIET MEAL PLAN?

The carnivore diet is a straightforward meal plan where you can consume food derived from animals. This includes beef, bison, elk, venison, lamb, chicken, turkey, fish, shellfish, eggs, lard, bone marrow, bone broth, and organ meat. It is recommended to limit processed meats like pepperoni, sausage, and hot dogs, and whenever possible, opt for grass-fed meat.

While the diet is clear-cut, there are a few areas that may be subject to interpretation. Butter and ghee, both animal products, are generally permitted, but other dairy products are not. It is advised to stick to low-lactose dairy options such as hard cheese (cheddar, Swiss, parmesan), yogurt, and kefir. Some individuals choose non-bovine milk products like goat milk and goat milk yogurt.

Beef tallow, which is purified beef fat, is highly encouraged on the carnivore diet due to its nutritional value and energy content.

If dairy products cause discomfort, it is advisable to exclude them from the diet. However, if no adverse reactions are experienced, a small amount of low-lactose dairy can be acceptable. Research suggests that individuals who include dairy in a calorie-restricted diet tend to lose more fat and maintain more muscle mass.

Coffee and tea, despite being derived from plants, are allowed on certain carnivore diets. Spices and seasonings are also permitted, offering the freedom to enhance the flavor of meat dishes.

WHAT SHOULD YOU AVOID EATING ON THE CARNIVORE DIET MEAL PLAN?

If you’re not a fan of vegetables and plant-based foods, the carnivore diet could be a suitable option for you.

This diet completely eliminates fruits, vegetables, veggie proteins, legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, and even vegetable oils.

It operates as an elimination diet, aiming to remove any potentially problematic food items.

Carnivore Diet Benefits

While the credibility of the carnivore diet remains a topic of debate, there is ample evidence suggesting that individuals attribute significant transformations to this eating approach. Some common anecdotal accounts include the following:

1. Weight Loss

Similar to the ketogenic diet, adhering to a strict meat-based diet can expedite weight loss by shifting the primary energy source from carbohydrates to fats.

When the body becomes fat-adapted, meaning it enters a state of ketosis, the metabolism becomes capable of utilizing both dietary and stored body fat as fuel. Consequently, one can burn off their own body fat and use it for energy.

Furthermore, the satiating effects of fat and protein can lead to longer periods without food cravings, and becoming fat-adapted has been shown to enhance hunger hormones, further regulating appetite.

2. Decreased Inflammation

Consumption of carbohydrate-rich food groups can exacerbate inflammation. Certain components found in vegetable oils, processed foods, and even some plant-based nutrients have been linked to increased inflammatory responses within the body.

Adopting a carnivore diet, which tends to reduce inflammation, may result in alleviating aches and pains. Additionally, higher collagen intake from protein sources can enhance cartilage health.

3. Increased Testosterone

Optimal hormonal function, including testosterone production, relies on the presence of healthy fats. Diets rich in healthy fats have demonstrated improvements in testosterone levels.

Given that the carnivore diet typically involves increased consumption of healthy fats and protein, individuals may experience gains in muscle mass, strength, and energy. Importantly, for women, the higher fat intake does not lead to an increase in testosterone but rather helps regulate overall hormone balance.

4. Mental Clarity

Many individuals following the carnivore diet report heightened focus, increased energy, and improved mental clarity. This can be attributed to the restriction of carbohydrates, the state of fat adaptation, and the utilization of ketones (fats) as the brain’s preferred energy source.

Ketones have been found to possess neuroprotective properties, and the brain demonstrates a preference for utilizing fats over carbohydrates for energy.

POTENTIAL CARNIVORE DIET RISKS

The primary and most significant risk associated with adhering to the carnivore diet is the potential development of heart disease. Certain types of animal meats, such as steak, tend to be high in saturated fat, which has been linked to an increased risk of coronary heart disease. This is a crucial consideration that may discourage individuals from adopting the carnivore diet as a long-term dietary strategy.

Furthermore, fruits and vegetables play a vital role in a healthy diet as they provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. By excluding these food groups, there is a risk of nutritional deficiencies, necessitating the reliance on dietary supplements to compensate for the gaps in essential nutrients.

Lastly, it is important to note that the carnivore diet is highly restrictive in nature. Solely consuming animal products can pose challenges to one’s social life. Engaging in activities such as dining out, traveling, or attending events where only meat is consumed can become considerably more difficult to navigate on this diet.

Carnivore Diet 7-Day Meal Plan

A basic weekly carnivore diet meal plan might look like this:

Monday:

Breakfast: 3 eggs cooked in butter, 3 slices of bacon
Lunch: 8oz grilled steak
Dinner: 10oz ground beef patty with cheese, 1 cup of bone broth

Tuesday:

Breakfast: 4 slices of ham, 2 fried eggs
Lunch: 8oz grilled chicken breast
Dinner: 10oz lamb chops, 1 cup of bone broth

Wednesday:

Breakfast: 3 slices of bacon, 2 fried eggs
Lunch: 8oz grilled pork chop
Dinner: 10oz beef liver, 1 cup of bone broth

Thursday:

Breakfast: 2 grilled sausages, 2 fried eggs
Lunch: 8oz grilled salmon
Dinner: 10oz ribeye steak, 1 cup of bone broth

Friday:

Breakfast: 3 slices of ham, 2 fried eggs
Lunch: 8oz grilled chicken thighs
Dinner: 10oz ground beef patty with cheese, 1 cup of bone broth

Saturday:

Breakfast: 3 eggs cooked in butter, 3 slices of bacon
Lunch: 8oz grilled pork belly
Dinner: 10oz grilled lamb chops, 1 cup of bone broth

Sunday:

Breakfast: 4 slices of ham, 2 fried eggs
Lunch: 8oz grilled shrimp
Dinner: 10oz beef steak, 1 cup of bone broth

After the first two weeks on the carnivore diet meal plan, you’ll likely notice an increase in lean muscle mass, a sharp drop in body fat, clearer healthier skin, and your health problems starting to recede. 

Using this as a baseline you’re now free to add other meats and animal products such as bacon or full-fat dairy and even make bone broth to mix things up a bit.

FAQs

How many meals a day on a carnivore diet?

Many carnivore dieters eat two to three meals daily for efficient fat-burning. Unlike vegans, carnivores feel satisfied faster and remain satiated for longer periods, hence it’s common to have just one or two meals a day.

What should I eat in the first week of the carnivore diet?

During your initial weeks on the Carnivore Diet Plan, you’ll savor ample portions of fatty fish, cooked by roasting with tallow or butter. Ideal heavy fish options comprise Mackerel and Salmon.

How long can you stay on a carnivore diet?

While one person may sustain a carnivore diet for months or years without health complications, it won’t be the case for everyone.

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