The carnivore diet is not a low carb diet? (and not necessarily ketogenic) Dr Gabrielle Lyon



Another classic…
It applies here, as well - frankly, my dear body, I don’t give a damn… :joy:

(Justin Jordan) #43

And Shawn Baker has surprisingly high blood sugar (both A1c and day to day monitoring) on a carnivore diet.

Bodies are weird.

(Justin Jordan) #44

The problem with N=1 stuff is that we tend to think (and then look for information that supports) that our state applies to other people. It might, it might not. Some stuff is more common than others.

The other bit is that a lot of stuff is like, say, Newtonian physics - often very useful, but also incomplete.

I mean take gluconeogenesis. Sure, let’s say it’s demand driven. What is driving that demand? Is the amount you can produce limited by lowering protein intake, so your blood sugar rises if you consume more. What if your glucagon response is messed up, etc.

The actual answer is that biochemistry is immensely complex and we literally don’t know everything. So a lot of stuff is essentially a rule of thumb. Potentially useful, but not a Law.

Maybe you can eat hundreds of grams of protein and not have a response. That doesn’t mean people who try it and have bad results are wrong. And so on.


We just learned that what works for someone may not work for others… :wink: There are 10+ years veterans everywhere…

(Jenna Ericson) #46

I’ve sadly decided I’m going to add some plants back into my diet for the time being since carnivore has been causing some unfortunate side effects. I thought I’d share on this thread what I think my issue is because it relates to something I heard in this podcast. Maybe I’m misremembering this, but I think Dr. Gabrielle Lyon was saying that cortisol levels tend to be elevated on a carnivore diet (I’m honestly not sure if she said they are also elevated on just a keto diet and I don’t want to go through and re-listen).

Anyway, I think cortisol is my issue. Over the weekend was the first time I felt this unexplained, overwhelming sense of dread so I went for a drive and it eventually went away. For context, I’ve been mostly just eating animal products for about a week and a half. Last night, or I guess this morning, I had a full-on meltdown. I’ve heard of carnivore causing mood changes, but that would be an understatement - more like existential crisis sitting (clothed) in the bathtub at 1AM just balling my eyes out. Why the bathtub? I honestly don’t know, but it felt right at the time. I eventually calmed myself by scrolling through r/aww for a while and then went to bed. Weighed myself this morning and found I’d gained a whopping 2.4 lbs since yesterday, which for me has become unusual.

The reason I am attributing this to cortisol is that I believe I’ve had issues with high cortisol in the past. I’ve never had it checked with bloodwork, but here’s by crazy theory: I tend to have a really hard time maintaining my weight in the summer and I also experience more hair loss, fatigue, irritability, and weight gain if I spend a lot of time outside in the heat. I like to hike and these symptoms would usually occur in the summer after or during a particularly hot day of hiking. I think the combination of exercise and heat is really stressful to my body and would trigger too much cortisol release. I put this together after seeing a study a while ago that indicated that heat can cause stress to the body and raise cortisol. Thinking of things in a genetic context, my ancestry is northern European and Scandinavian so I think my optimal outside temperature is like 50 degrees Fahrenheit :slight_smile:

Anyway, circling back to carnivore, I think if it raises my cortisol at all, that in combination with other stressors has the potential to cause me to become emotionally dysregulated. I could be completely wrong, but this was my best guess at an explanation. I’m about to take a kabocha squash out of the oven (I think also called buttercup squash) and I’m hoping I won’t experience too much digestion related distress. Wish me luck!

(Full Metal KETO AF) #47

@jennasaurus I hope you’re feeling better as the day rolls on Jenna. Take care of yourself. :cowboy_hat_face:

(Jenna Ericson) #48

Thanks @David_Stilley, I’m feeling better now. It actually really helped to share how I was feeling here. This is a great community and I’m thankful to be a part of it :slight_smile:


OK, I must must must must and another must get this into a true context for me to reply with a decent post back to you.

You were carnivore for a week and a 1/2 and MOSTLY animal?

before I even chat further I don’t want to comment truly so if you can go a bit further on this I would appreciate it :slight_smile: Wishing you nothing but the best but I need to know what is going down about ‘true carnivore’ before I even take a chance at replying…thanks

(Jenna Ericson) #50

I’ve been eating meat, mostly lamb, bison, beef, and salmon with lots of tallow, a little butter, cheese, yogurt, some unsweetened chocolate and a few strawberries each day. Obviously not completely carnivore, so I probably shouldn’t be jumping to conclusions, but this is definitely less carbs/veggies than I used to eat (used to eat a lot of avocado, cauliflower, squash, etc)


ok I get it all I think :slight_smile:
Your side effects have nothing to do at all with the carnivore plan.

You are doing an extreme low carb/keto plan combo some type of situation.

I just wish and can’t stress enough the NOT doing carnivore at all and blaming the plan itself is just so wrong. But I do this plan and so do many other great people on the board and the ‘pretending to be any kind’ of carnivore plan person just makes me sigh so loud and always blaming a plan they don’t try or have a clue about truly. That is my little bit of ‘pffft’ on it all but I know you are having big troubles obviously so…I am hoping you get it all straightened out!

I am bowing out at this point since I don’t have a clue on what might be effecting you and I obviously know nothing of your mental health status or lifestyle or anything so I wish you nothing but the best of the best!!!

(Jenna Ericson) #52

Thanks for your response @Fangs. I agree and shouldn’t have said it was a carnivore issue. I get what you’re saying and my last intention was to say that carnivore is bad or whatever. I think I just wish I could be as BA as all of you carnivores :slight_smile:


Thanks a ton for that post :slight_smile: I see people having issues with carnivore and I jump in to help but then I see that it is a combo type carnivore’/keto plan and I kinda can’t help then LOL Everything is cool!!!

I am wishing you nothing but the best of the best and I hope all things get ok for you. I know you will find your center and thrive!!!

LOL we carnivores are BA…hey let me say this BA carnivore had to walk thru hell and back to get where I am now LOL I had my super bad times to the ultimate, but I walked my journey and found my way here where I do very well now…you will also find your way!!!

(Empress of the Unexpected) #54


I listened to Dr.Ted Naiman on a podcast this week. He said some interesting things about the use of carbohydrates and satiety (and the carnivore approach). He presents his points of view from a Protein:Energy ratio approach to optimising body fat loss. We must also remember that he has not ever been overweight, but has changed his body composition over time. That is a different approach than the challenges faced by the obese type 2 diabetic, who needs to lose substantial body fat to normalise, then optimise, health biomarkers.

(Jenna Ericson) #56

That all makes sense, and I also agree that fiber is not necessary to be healthy, but can help increase satiety. Interestingly, when I was eating mostly animal products I had almost no hunger, to the point where I probably wasn’t eating enough, so satiety was not my issue. I loved this about the diet, but I think the low calory intake might have contributed to added stress on my body. In a perfect world if I had optimal gut health, stress control, and gave myself enough time to adapt, I think carnivore would be perfect for me.

While fiber is not necessary, I think that if you eat the right kind of vegetation (purposefully ambiguous) along with eating fermented food or something with “good bacteria” together they can be beneficial in restoring the messed up the gut biomes that I and many people have. I’m hoping that my stint of eating mostly animal products will allow me to have a fresh start as far as adding back in some of that good bacteria. I’d love to try carnivore sometime in the future once I get other things worked out.

(Edith) #57

This is a definite possibility.


I might have lower calorie day or 2 on carnivore but once I do that 1 or 2 days my appetite roars back :slight_smile: I never have a ‘low kcal situation’ effecting my carnivore life. I find that very interesting.


I don’t have much appetite but hunger or the “need for fuel” sign arrives. I simply can’t undereat for longer term on any woe, not even slightly (fasting doesn’t count, 0 calorie is special), my body interferes :smiley: (Sometimes I fall off the actual wagon I am, it depends but I never starve if I have food.)
In my ancient past these signs worked a bit less well and sometimes problems (sudden weakness) arrived without a warning, surprisingly soon after my food intake dropped, my body loves its fuel…

I can eat without appetite or hunger just fine, it matters very little. I often get satiated surprisingly quickly and it’s a hard stop at very low-carb but it’s not like I must do OMAD or 2MAD so I simply have more but much smaller meals, it’s almost always enough. I need to learn now to eat a tad fattier (protein is very satiating, fat less so) and I won’t have problems regarding proper amounts.

(Anjum) #60

I adopted a Ketogenic lifestyle a little over 2 years ago. I began it as a last ditch effort to lose the weight that I had been captive with for more than 10 years. I had immense success but not enough for me to lose my belly entirely nor the scale to drop below 200. I have now ventured into carnivore, believing that zero carb would be the key to unlock the remaining weight. I come with a history of thyroid dysfunction. I seem to be gaining weight, I feel it, and for confirmation the scale agrees. I checked my ketones and they are practically non existent. I’m looking for a little direction, I think. Do I stay the course for carnivore? Will this weight gain level off and drop? Should I go back to eating vegetables? I feel great. Sleeping more deeply as a result of carnivore, also feeling very warm at night. ( this could be thyroid meds too) Any insight would be helpful. Thank you for your time. :balloon:

(Elizabeth ) #61

That’s exactly what happened to me after 2 years of strict keto on a 50 lb weight loss I went carnivore and added 8 lbs my first month. I stayed the same until the 6-month mark when I listened to one of the 12-year veterans and I started eating almost 3 lb of meat a day. Within 6 weeks I had dropped 10 lb. I also take levothyroxine for thyroid. Be aware that when you go zero carb you won’t have the fiber to absorb your medication like it did before so you’ll need to get back to your doctor every three months and get your thyroid levels checked. You may need to adjust your medication quickly. Oh we don’t chase ketones eating this way, Your body may be more efficiently using them in the absence of plants