Should carnivore be the starting point?

(charlie3) #1

The word about low carb has spread a lot in the year since I started doing keto. Lately I’m talking to a couple of people who want to try it and thinking about how to start. Keto is not easy to explain. Juggling carbs takes learning and practice.

Why not suggest carnivore as a starting point, a 30 day elimination diet? Advise stocking the fridge with meat, seafood, eggs, cheese, and heavy cream and only eat those for 30 days to jump start fat burning and ketosis. (I’m fine with any drink that doesn’t have more than trivial carb calories, coffee, tea, etc., same as Dr. Westman.) After the 30 days may be carry on with carnivore or introduce carbs (20 total, 20 net, or 30-50 net, etc.) if you feel the need.

I did keto for a year before starting carnivore a week and a half ago. Instead of 30-50 net carbs on keto (probably higher because of sneaky carbs), I’m seeing 10 total carbs on carnivore. Carnivore is saving me significant time and money. The frig used to be crowded by the plant food. Now it looks empty. On carnivore I expect to be food shopping twice a month food at one location instead of once a week at three locations.

So why not start beginners on a 30 day carnivore “elimination diet”?

(It's all about the bacon, baby) #2

It’s a good idea, but so many people have trouble cutting carbohydrate to less than 20 g/day that it might not be feasible. Probably best billed as a very useful alternative, rather than the “right” way to start keto.

(Chris - #3

Knowing what I know after a year and a half of carnivore and countless years of keto, I wish I started carnivore first.


In practical terms, Carnivore might be a better starting point because it is largely all or nothing, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to lose water weight and get yourself over sugar dependence. Psychologically however, I think it would be too hard on newbies, who are already struggling to give up foods they love, and then to tell them they have to give up even more. Most couldn’t handle that. I probably couldn’t have if I’d started Carnivore.

(Raj Seth) #5

cue Dramatic music, drum roll or whatever…


Mo’:bacon: Mo’:bacon: Mo’:bacon: Mo’:bacon: Mo’:bacon: Mo’:bacon: Mo’:bacon: Mo’:bacon:
Mo’:bacon: Mo’:bacon: Mo’:bacon: Mo’:bacon: Mo’:bacon: Mo’:bacon: Mo’:bacon: Mo’:bacon:
Mo’:bacon: Mo’:bacon: Mo’:bacon: Mo’:bacon: Mo’:bacon: Mo’:bacon: Mo’:bacon: Mo’:bacon:

(aka Nick) #6

I think it’s because it would freak people out and they would run into the waiting arms of Jillian Michaels. :yum:

Seriously though, I’m a proud and happy meat eater, but if somebody had told me that “keto” was “carnivore” at the beginning, I would have told them “go sell crazy somewhere else; we’re all stocked up here”. I would have thought it was crazy, and I’m the kind of guy that has a 30 gallon pit barrel smoker, a charcoal grill, and a propane grill.

Now that I understand carnivore better and have chatted with folks who are living it, it makes sense to me and I totally get it. I may try it myself when the snow melts off my smoker. At the beginning though, it would have sounded crazy.

That’s my 2 cents.

(G Whistler) #7

I’ve been doing it for 4 weeks and I’m giving up. I’m going to add some veg back in. Carnivero isn’t nutritionally complete and constant constipation is no fun. Unfortuantely the people advocating this don’t have anything to back up the claims. Meat yes. Meal solely. I remain unconvinced. Whatever works for you…


It’s weird how some get constipation and others don’t. I’ve always been regular on Carnivore, going once a day normally or once every other day. No constipation. But I’ve always been animal-based in my eating, so my body is probably just really efficient at breaking it down.

(charlie3) #9

What I’m proposing to the newbie is they are only doing carnivore for 30 days, not forever. There can’t be a nutritional emergency in that short time. I would propose it as short term with only the potential to be long term.

I find covering micros the same challange as keto.

(Chris - #10

Highly dependent on what you’re eating. Not all meat is created equal.

And your comment about nutritional completeness…show me the science.


My only concern for that would be that newbies would risk regression as soon as they could add more carbs, even low carbs, back in, a la late-stage Atkins. And I wouldn’t want them to view Carnivore as a punishment, that they “suffer” for a month and then get treats again.

(Liz Ellen) #12

When people ask me about keto, I just try to keep it as simple as possible. It’s high fat, moderate protein and low carb. You can have about two cups of salad greens a day, and one-half cup of low-carb veggies. Base your diet around meat, fish and eggs, and add fat such a cheese, cream and olive oil to satiety. Importantly, KCKO.

(Running from stupidity) #13

But the paradox is that you’ve got 18 months of accumulated learning to drive it.

30 days seems like forever when you’re making a change like that, so the difference is not a difference.


Indeed, it’s not actually difficult.

(Chris - #14

Which can then be passed along.

(charlie3) #15

as for nutritional completeness I was refering to what I have to do personally, not what everybody might feel the need to do. For plant foods to make a substantial contribution I had to eat more than 10 servings per day. (The nutrition crowd like to say “a good source of…” and what does that mean exactly most of the time?) Even with careful keto meal planning I had to do some vitamin and mineral supplimenting. I’m finding the same is true for carnivore and some would argue whether the extra micros are necessary. Do realistic meals based on the the official government food pyramid have 100% of all the rda’s?

(Laurie) #16

I agree with the OP. This could be an option for some people–like me, for example. I’m a black-and-white thinker and addict. I am not much interested in vegetables, which not only are inconvenient to store and prepare but also constitute a slippery slope.

If I’d known then what I know now, I would have been happy to get my carbs from coffee, cream, spices, and condiments (which is basically what I do now)–instead of fooling around with salads and broccoli, getting confused about which kind of squash is okay to eat (and in what quantities), and trying to justify whether a certain chocolate bar or brand of tortilla is “allowed.”

Recently I’ve tried to reinstate vegetables in my diet, but really it’s just a hassle. Meat, eggs, fish, and cheese please.

(Robert C) #17

Keto induction is written up in several books and might be what you want support on if you go to

Trying to make Carnivore the induction phase for Keto means skipping all of the learning you need to undertake to handle Keto properly (which would be a disservice to someone visiting the

Do we want people leaving upset with this site because they get constipated following Carnivore and feel like that means Keto is not good for them?

When I initially visit the I am not sure I would be happy with a part of the community pushing the whole, ancestral and natural vegan diet as the way to do Paleo.

What would you think of an OP title:
“Should vegan be the starting point?”

Might be best keep the starting point Keto (in and let people find the Carnivore section.

(Karim Wassef) #18

It’s personal. Frankly, I find it easier to go carnivore. Not better, but easier.

A new lifestyle can be stressful and having to look at the back of everything you eat is a pain. I didn’t start carnivore, but I wish I had too. It would have reduced a lot of wasted time and energy. A lot of my early delays were due to mistakes eating plants and dairy… nuts were my biggest weakness.

Carnivore is also easier to manage with other people and public events - “just the steak please”.

It just takes a lot of guesswork out and makes the progression less stressful.

I agree that there’s an opportunity to learn, but that can happen gradually over time. Introduce the necessary and safe veggie fats and fibers. I am slowly adding more veggies to the list myself.

Instead of looking at carnivore as a potential scary starting point that would make people quit keto, I see it as a fast introduction and one that actually has really fast results (with minerals of course).

Is it the only way to get on keto? No
Is it the best way to get on keto? No
Is it the easiest way to get on keto? I would vote Yes

(Consensus is Politics) #19

Thats what I did. After six weeks of no progress on the suggested ADA diet, after being dx DMII with an A1c of 11.7% (and a BG level that honestly should have killed me. I went carb cold turkey. Carbonongrata. I never heard the term carnivore related to diet the way keto has been. But it worked for me, easy as cake (made with almond flour and xylitol?) :sunglasses:

(Brian) #20

My first thought was where the person is starting from, as in where are they now? If they’re a plant based vegan, I’m not sure going carnivore “cold turkey” wouldn’t be pretty traumatic for the physiology.

Personally, I would think that if carnivore is drastically different, a series of steps to get there might be better for some. If carnivore isn’t that big of a change, sure, jump right in.

But that’s just me. I came from a vegetarian background so I went keto with a good many veggies to start with. Then I gradually moved to more animal based proteins. The veggies have dropped off but I’m basically animal based keto and eat some veggies. From the position I am in now, I think I’d have a pretty easy time going carnivore if that’s the direction I wanted to go. From my position as a vegetarian before I started keto, I think I’d have had a lot more difficulty making it happen.

FWIW, I do eat some carnivore meals. But I still like my veggies enough that I still want at least some of them. I’m still slowly losing and have a few pounds to go (less than 20 from the current weight range) and am in no particular hurry to get there. I am finding that I follow my cravings more than I used to but that is typically within the normal keto diet. If I crave fish, I will eat some fish. If I crave beef, I’ll have beef. If I crave eggs, I’ll have eggs. If I crave broccoli, I’ll have broccoli. If I crave asparagus, I’ll have asparagus. It’s interesting to me how often just a single meal of whatever I’m craving will satisfy me and how the cravings will continue until I get whatever it is. Perhaps there is something to that. I’ve heard people poo-poo the idea but getting in tune with one’s hunger signals might open up a few other things, too, don’t know.

Just sharing a bit from me. :slight_smile: