Brand New to Carnivore - Question on Protein/Fat Percentages


Brand new here to Carnivore - I noticed at a number of sites where the recommendation is the diet consists of like 70% fat and 30% protein. I’m confused how you get to that high of fat. I saw some data that a ribeye steak is 11% fat and 23% protein. How can i possibly get to 60-70% fat? Probably a really stupid question, sorry if it is.

(Bill) #2

No stupid questions…

However the macro breakdown requires you to convert the fat and protein into their caloric values

So to take the example of a 100g rib-eye steak with 21% fat and 17% protein (according to my UK website) you’d get a breakdown of

Fat 21*9(cals per 100g) = 189 cals

Protein 17*4 (cals per 100g) = 68 cals

Whcih gives you a roughly 65/35 breakdown of fat and protein.


Thank you so much. That makes sense now to me. I appreciate your taking the time to help me out. Have a great 2023!

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #4

It is always confusing, because people aren’t usually careful to say whether they intend the proportions to be by weight or by calories. Because of their number of calories per gramme, equal weights of fat and protein come to 69% fat and 31% protein by calories.

Bear in mind, however, that while the advice you read is a good starting point, you may very well find yourself needing to adjust the proportion of protein to fat somewhat, to suit your body’s individual needs.

(Marianne) #5

I have been carnivore/zc for almost two years. Some people prefer a guideline when starting but I never used one. I brought all of my questions here if/when I had any. As long as I was eating clean, one ingredient meats (pork, beef, bacon, cheese, heavy cream, very little chicken, etc.), I considered myself okay. Seems to have worked.

Good luck to you.


Thank you Paul for the great info! I’m excited on Day Two LOL


thank you so much for the wonderful welcome here, gingers mommy! It’s a nice place here, being on Day 2 I figure I’ll be here a lot looking at the posts and getting help. Thanks for the “good luck” - in just one day I’m feeling very good.

(Megan) #8

Hi @JOE2 welcome to the forum. I’ve been eating carnivore for 7 months now and, like @gingersmommy, the only guideline I follow is to eat one ingredient animal foods. I don’t try to meet any particular macro as far as protein and fat %s go. Some days are very fatty meat days, other days are leaner. I just eat whatever I feel like eating from the carnivore list of foods.

One major major health concern I wanted to address was inflammation - very bad arthritis, in particular. Removing all processed foods, including all the inflammatory seed oils, and removing all sugar and all carbs in general has very definitely reduced the pain and swelling I had. What are your reasons for trying carnivore?


Your original question was answered… But you don’t even need to go up to 70%. Or track :slight_smile: If it works without it.
I was nauseous on carnivore first even at 65% fat (my normal on any diet I think) so I ate less for a while.
Today I experimented so 83% unless I eat more… Not sustainable for me but it’s just a test :smiley: I think 55-60% is ideal for me now? 65 if I can pull it off that way? But it’s irrelevant, I just do my best to eat right things and get my needs without overeating (undereating isn’t something I do, of course lower-cal days happen here and there, no problem with that).
My mentioned percentages came from my own protein and energy need and my abilities to stick to them. Taste matters too. There is no such thing as you can’t do it just right with 55% or 86% fat or with a wildly varying percentage, we are all different.

I am no carnivore, I just try to stick to it for longer than some days as I feel there best (it still can’t ensure me staying but I came a long way!). Still, I had plenty of carnivore or very close days in the last few years and it’s my chosen default woe. As it is very beneficial while mere keto didn’t give me so much, the remaining carbs interfered.

Welcome here, you seem a nice one, suit this forum :wink:
We have a monthly carnivore thread with potentially too many too long comments but you still may check us out :wink: It’s a lovely place.

(KCKO, KCFO) #10

Welcome to the forums @JOE2

If you haven’t done so, check out Amber O’Hearn. She held a carnivore festival in Boulder in 2017, most of the speakers are on youtube. A couple of people addressed this percentage issue. She has also done a lot of podcasts.

(Marianne) #11

When I started, and even now, I am on here all of the time. Great people and very helpful information.

Another tip, more than counting your macros or anything, just make sure you are eating enough. When people first start out here, all they usually know is conventional dieting which is based on deprivation and calorie restriction. Keto/zc is different. Eat, and eat to satiety, otherwise your metabolism may stall. Also, don’t get caught up in the concept of carnivore. I’ve been doing it for two years, but there really is no magic to it and I wouldn’t say the benefits are miles above clean keto. If you feel like having a vegetable or salad now and then, have it. (I was making home made blue cheese dressing - my favorite - and extremely easy. I always knew that my dressing was “clean.”) Whatever you choose to consume, I’d keep it clean and make sure to keep the carbs (I always did total carbs), less than 20g/day.


(Marianne) #12

Yes! I experienced that within days of starting. It was incredible. When I was eating SAD, my body was years older than my actual age.


Hi Megan, TY for the welcome! Like you, I have inflammation issues…not arthritis so much but as I get older I’m noticing it more. I was on a diet about 1.5 years ago to address the inflammation and also to lose some pounds but the amount of protein in that diet was just too low and it banned a lot of fat. I ended up being hungry ALL THE TIME! What I like about Carn/Keto is the protein and fat and that satisfied feeling (I as on Atkins like 15 years ago). So, i want to get a handle on the inflammation and at the same time, really want to lose around 25 pounds.


Thank you so much for the nice welcome Shinita, this certainly is a nice place to hang out. I’ve always been a meat eater and it’s nice to finally be “Me” and not some sort of grazing being that nearly moos. LOL


Thanks Collaroygal! Great to be here, for sure.


Marianne, great tips! Well, you had me with “blue cheese dressing” … hahaha…you found my weakness. I’ll put that off for awhile - I’m experimenting today. I just roasted my first pork belly ever and I have to admit, it turned out TERRIFIC. By the way, what is “SAD”?

(Laurie) #17

Standard American Diet.

Just eat normal cuts of meat, and the ratios will probably be right. Tweak later if necessary.


I felt about the same on high-carb physically… But mentally there is a huge difference between eating a significant amount of plant carbs and close to none. I became a different person regarding my attitude/desires towards food. I already felt more free when I went low-carb (shopping was so nice in the beginning. look at all the food I don’t need! :D) but it was an even bigger change when I almost completely stopped eating vegs (I mean 10-20g here and there still happens. sometimes more but very rarely). They are surely fine for many people but they were a problem for me, apparently.

Definitely. Even beyond that is it’s still undereating… Or if it’s impossible or one doesn’t consider it mentally healthy or something, tweaking is needed.
I saw too many people (usually not on carnivore) saying they eat to satiety, they just don’t need much for it. And it turned out they barely eat. That’s wrong. Some people pull off not having hunger (or needing food as I am often not hungry but still feel I need food) even when seriously starving, it doesn’t make the amount of food enough.
But being not satiated and satisfied and still not eating because of some idea about macros? That can be very wrong. If we have bad ideas about the macros. It’s very right to aim not to eat too much, I do that as I have too good overeating skills. The almost complete lack of plant carbs helps A LOT though. Carbs used to make me hungry and even less disciplined than I normally am. But choosing my food right is still important.
Some people gains a lot of fat on carnivore, it’s possible if one pushes things not for them. It must be somewhat rare though… And it’s pushing things, not just eating to satiety on a way we like. Though maybe it happens then too, sometimes.

So not too much, not too little but don’t worry about much especially in the beginning. We don’t even KNOW how much food, meat etc. we need, most probably, at that point. Trying to focus on percentages and even fixed grams doesn’t seem hedonistic or necessarily healthy to me, it can be dangerous, I saw people overdoing macro control (not on carnivore but carnivore doesn’t give immunity)… I am the opposite, I don’t respect my otherwise very good ideas about my macros when my body wants food :wink:
But even after years of tracking, experimenting, learning about myself, I can’t possibly KNOW exactly what I need on some day. It’s changing anyway… Flexibility is needed IMO. It definitely feels best to me. It’s possible some people need stricter rules, even about percentages. But not most of us.

It’s best just to get used to the new woe in the very beginning IMO. Maybe it will work without tweaking! If not, there is time for that later.

No wonder. I could never do such a diet (unless it’s life or death situation I suppose). My old number one rule was “if I am hungry, I eat”. It is not so simple anymore but I am not too far. It’s a sign from my smart body. It knows what it wants and knows how to get it :wink:

There are specific styles that work for some people. Even for many. DON’T believe that it’s the only right way for everyone. We are all different!

(Marianne) #19

Standard American Diet as @islandlight said. It’s all carbs, sweets, fast food, processed food and junk! (it was delicious, though, and addictive - that is why people are so fat).


Carni food is delicious and addictive too (more than carby food if you ask me :smiley: of course it’s individual) - but it satiates me waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better (especially if I do it right. some carni food is bad at it). Carbs actually made me hungrier… And uncontrolled. Having stupid desires. BAD combo. I was hungry and DIDN’T care just wanted more and more food… It doesn’t matter if I ate natural food and my own cooking or not, carbs are carbs. (Well simple carbs are simple carbs. Starches, simple sugars and the rest are very different from each other if you ask my body.)

Sugars and carbs in general work way better for many others. Very much not for me.