Mental health worsening after 8 day on carnivore diet?



I started this diet as an attempt to improve my mental health and gained a lot of hope when in the first 2 days I felt great. I then started to decline each day until now, day 8, where I feel much worse. Is this normal? If so, how long will it last?

Thank you!

(Bob M) #2

Were you keto before this? If so, for how long?


No I’ve jumped strait from a high carb diet.


Yes it is normal.
Your body is in full detox. And jumping in from SAD menu will make it all seem worse. Those coming in from keto or general LC with time on plan under their belt don’t get hit as hard most times thru adaption, but if you weren’t even lc, then yea, your adaption/detox phase can be rougher for sure.

Eat well at all times. Eat all you need. Eat all the meats/seafood fish and fowl you enjoy!!! You might have some sleepless nights, some body aches, some big fatigue and some mental issues while you are fighting carb withdrawl and the healing is starting. HOLD strong!! Get thru this and the other side is a whole lot nicer :slight_smile:
wishing you the best.

(Tim Cee) #5

I second what fangs said. I’m in treatment for depression and also carnivore leaning. I do much better mentally when I stick to the plan. But there is a detox phase. Sugar is a narcotic.


Thank you for your message! How long will it take to get to ‘the other side’ do you reckon?

(Tim Cee) #7

It is variable. I usually notice a big improvement on the fourth day. For some it takes two weeks. In athletes, performance returns to baseline after 3-6 weeks.

Another factor to consider is that, if your mental health challenge comes in waves, it might be that the cycle is adding to your detox symptoms. Ketosis isn’t a quick fix. It’s a long term change in trajectory. I would say give it at least a month and then re-evaluate how far you’ve come when you’re having a good day.


Thanks Tim, I appreciate you sharing your knowledge. I’ll give it a month and keep hoping until then!

(Tim Cee) #9

You might find that your dietary changes improve health in ways you don’t expect. Medicine is no replacement for food, and food is no replacement for mental training. In my case, I have to choose to see the good in things. The medicine and the diet help me do that. But no one dimension of the treatment is a replacement for the others. I’m thankful to have them all available. :sunglasses:

(Take time to smell the bacon) #10

Going carnivore from a standard American diet (SAD) involves a number of different adaptations simultaneously, so be kind to yourself, and don’t give up too soon.

You are likely to feel lethargic, and your exercise is going to feel more difficult for the next six to eight weeks, as your muscles readjust to metabolising fatty acids (certain pathways get shut down from lack of use, while others get damaged from too much glucose, so the healing takes time). You may also feel lightheaded and headachey for a while (increasing your salt intake a bit will take care of that; later on, you may find yourself no longer needing salt, but for now, be sure to get a bit more). You may also experience cravings for sugar and carbohydrates.

So give yourself plenty of time to get through all this, and be patient with yourself in the meanwhile. The advice from long-term carnivores is that, during the initial stages, the solution to almost every difficulty is to eat more meat. Don’t cut calories, just eat. Don’t try to fast, don’t worry about how many meals you need, just eat meat. If you put on some weight at first, don’t worry about it; that will sort itself out later.

Good luck, and let us know how things work out.

(Tim Cee) #11

Amen Paul

(Robin) #12

I’ll probably ruffle some feathers here… but you might consider sliding into carnivore by first becoming adapted to keto… Just keeping carbs under 20g a day. After that has become your new norm (at least a few months) you might decide to stay there a while. Or you can easily start eliminating certain foods until you reach carnivore. That’s the route I took and it was easy and felt natural, like my body was making the decision.

I also respect jumping in with both feet and going straight for Carni. But if your goal is long term and it’s becoming too difficult, don’t be afraid to take what might be a smoother path. You do you. That’s always true.

You got this!


Thanks everyone, you have all really put my mind at ease which is what I needed to keep going with this diet. I’ll try to remember to post an update on how I am feeling after the month is up.

(Robin) #14

Please do. As often as needed.

(Bob M) #15

Personally, I would have gone keto for a while (6 months at least), then carnivore. Keto is hard enough initially, to make the extra step to eating only meat is even harder.

Back when I was going between Atkins and high carb, I always felt it took a month or more to truly transition. Back then, I kept thinking I needed carbs for exercise, so that’s why I’d go back.

Also, it can help to keep salt levels high, which is something I didn’t know when I first started.

Making it a week is great, though.


Many have gone in straight into zero carb and do fantastic!! It is all about ‘who you are’ and are you one of those dead set I am gonna do this type people, if you got that personality to rage thru adaption and some crazy times in that adaption ya got it made in the shade :slight_smile:

You hold strong. Eat very well! But most people easily experience issues for like a month, but some it can easily be into month 3-4 even with having ‘some issues’ that come and go, some leave and others get crazier but in the end, when you get thru the crazy a bit, believe me you healed the body well and you are changing to such better health it is well worth the small bit of crazy times :slight_smile: Hang in there!!


If I were to opt for introducing minimal carbs into the diet, what would the best choice be?

(Take time to smell the bacon) #18

Leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables, under 20 grams’ worth a day.


Okay, thanks once again!


none on zero carb :slight_smile:

if you wann do Keto Plan then there are tons of people to easily help you on this forum.

don’t try to ‘do both’ keto plan or tackle carnivore.

Pick one ya know and go at it full speed ahead and learn from that plan you choose. That way you don’t lose focus or get jumbled up on individual plan issues or guidelines.

ZC and Keto Plan really are not the same in approach so just kinda pick a plan and go all in and be ok with that. Keto is a great plan for so many and could suit you very very well. Key is to pick one and learn and move forward.

wishing you the best tho!