Want to start carnivore...but need to drop weight

(Karnivore) #1

Hey all! I need some advice.

Basically I am a female athlete in a profession where I need to be strong, but lean, and have very cut/defined muscles/minimal fat. (a part of it is I get lifted by people and do acrobatic stuff…so it’s a safety thing for me and the lifter)

I’ve gotten a bit fluffy over the past few months and I need to drop some body fat because 1. I don’t feel good in my skin right now and 2. It’s affecting my ability to perform in my profession.

So… I’ve dabbled with keto in the past and love the way I felt on it, but eventually fell off the wagon…nowadays I pretty much eat whatever and however much I want (which is a lot…I have a huge appetite) and I’ve gained about 10 lbs in the past two months.

So, my question - can I lose body fat on carnivore, and if so, are there any tweaks I can make so I wouldn’t need to count calories? (For example - would an idea be, at least in the beginning, eating mainly leaner meats like turkey, lean beef cuts, chicken, and fish?)

I know that carnivore is a healing diet, and I want those benefits as well, HOWEVER I simply cannot afford to gain any more weight, in fact I must lose it. The success of my career is kind of on the line here… I don’t feel good about my body and I don’t feel as fit and healthy as I know I could be.

Thank you for reading and for any advice you have!!!


You can heal yourself on any diet, just takes the tweaks you need. As somebody into bodybuilding that cares about physique (and losing it really bad once) I can’t see how you’d pull off not tracking when you not only want, but require a specific body.

No, because eating dietary fat has nothing to do with bodyfat, and even moreso as a female even if you weren’t eating Keto or Carnivore, low fat diets destroy hormones.

I’d also say if you fell off keto, how long will you be able to stay on Carnivore, which is much more restrictive? Sounds like you just need to get a hold of your macros and stick to them, regardless of WOE.


I agree with @lfod14. If you can’t stick to keto, how are you going to stick to carnivore?

If you want to try anyway, I have some doubts that the usual approach of just eating fatty meat until satiated is the right approach in your case. I guess your fat percentage needs to be less than normal. I’d say you will have to experiment. I don’t think there is a lot of data available how to reduce body fat below what is maybe considered normal.

But low fat carnivore is probably the exact opposite of what you should try. Also I wouldn’t expect quick results in terms of fat loss since you already are somewhere close to optimal weight. You will lose some kilos of water though in the first few weeks.

Intermittent fasting is also your friend

(Joey) #4

Agree with posts above.

High-fat carnivore (or something close, with side green salads but highly carb-restricted) will serve you well given your goals.

The dietary animal fat will ultimately satiate your incessant hunger over time - and the lack of carbs will help the extra pounds melt and stay off. Your protein needs will be properly met and you will promote the lean muscle growth you are presumably working out to achieve.

In short: If you feed yourself primarily healthy animal fatty meats, your mitochondria will transition and you shall become a fat-burner. Go for it.

(Geoffrey) #5

Absolutely you can and will lose weight on carnivore. I lost 45 pounds in 170 days and a whole lot of inches.
But, it’s not just a quickie weight loss gimmick. It’s a lifestyle change, or at least it should be for you.
Also, be aware that, from what I’ve seen around here, women lose on carnivore differently than men. I read where some complain about gaining in the beginning or not losing for a month or so but eventually they do begin to lose.
Don’t fear the fat. Embrace it. It’s necessary for good health, weight loss and energy.
Good luck and share your progress.

(Alec) #6

If you HAVE to lose bodyfat I would do the below:

  1. Eat fatty meat, eggs, salt and water only for 4 weeks. Be strict.
  2. Eat enough to be satisfied, BUT, eat slowly, and as soon as you feel in any way full or satiated, stop eating, and put the rest of your meal into the fridge.
  3. I find that the most satiating food is fat: pork, lamb or beef fat. I would recommend eating a lot of this. I think you will find you can’t eat much of it.
  4. After 4 weeks, do a review… have you lost weight? How is your athleticism? How easy are you sticking to the diet? If you are losing weight/bodyfat, and you feel you can continue, then do so for another 4 weeks and then do another review. At this point, I think you will know whether this works for you or it doesn’t.
  5. I don’t know how much weight you have to lose… I suspect not much given what you have said about your career. If you are close to your target weight after 8 weeks, then I would be going to being fully satiated before stopping eating. The danger with any kind of volume restriction is you depress your metabolism, and eventually you will start gaining weight again. Try to avoid this by not doing crash diets (ie go reasonably slowly and patiently), and trying to eat to full satiety as soon as possible.
  6. If keto has worked for you in the past, I reckon your weight gain is due to insulin resistance, and hence dropping the carbs is likely to work. This, for me, would be where to start.
  7. Longer term, you need to be aware… if you go back to eating the carbs, you will gain weight again. That’s just what happens. So be aware.

Take care and good luck.


One big reason for me to try to do carnivore is losing fat. I don’t seem to have ANY chance to do that on keto (of course, it’s possible, I just need to eat little - I am simple, I lose fat if I eat little enough, ketosis isn’t needed - but I can’t do that on it). But carnivore gives me several benefits anyway :slight_smile:

Leaner or fattier meat is needed for fat-loss, it depends on various things. I need to go as lean as I can as my energy need is smallish and I am used to overeating. And I love fat so I easily overeat fatty meat. But I don’t only eat meat so maybe I wouldn’t overeat ONLY meat. I never want to figure that out, I need my eggs and dairy, I just try to minimize them (it’s almost as hard as minimizing fat. too tempting. but not satiating enough. leaner red meat is. but satiation is highly individual).

So… No idea what would work for you, obviously, we are individuals. Your body may need fatty meat. By the way, even I can’t just eat lean meat, some eggs (mostly whites), minimal dairy and expect good things as I need more fat than that! But good luck to separate me from my butter and cream and even scratchings when I make them… So I eat enough fat whatever I try to do. That’s important, not too little fat, not too much fat. My protein is always okay enough and carbs just don’t seem to matter on carnivore, for me at least.

I wouldn’t go too lean right away in your stead, try somet enjoyable carnivore style that fits you, maybe it will be enough. And avoiding certain dairy items may be a better idea than eating leaner meat? Many of us can overeat cheese or whatever. I don’t (often) but I tend to overeat dairy in general, I have plenty of dairy favs, I just managed to use them only when I really need it, a dish call for it. Not snacking on sour cream without a care in the world :smiley: I can’t afford that.

I do track my macros as I am curious and tracking helps me figure out things but apart from the tiny knowledge I get from them, it has no effect on my fat-loss at all. I eat until my body has enough. I often track the other day. Not like I can track accurately with more or less fatty meat, the fat content is unknown, after all. It’s just vaguely. It’s good to know if I ate 1300 or 4200 kcal (I did both on carnivore. the latter one happened with 1kg fatty pork and of course eggs and dairy. and maybe it was 3600 or 4500, how could I know with fatty meat? still, I saw I need to be careful with pork shoulder. and I don’t even like it so much, it’s just very easy to overeat for me).
So, it’s not about stopping eating when your numbers are up anyway, it would be some very uncomfortable fat-loss (attempt). At least it seems so to me… Now I know which food satiates me best, which not at all so I can use this knowledge when I choose my food. And then I eat as much as I feel like. There are exceptions but this is the default. I don’t bring timing here, it’s already too long but that matters a lot to me as big meals last WAY longer and my satiation is fuller, repelling stupid urges to eat when I enter the kitchen very late (I can’t avoid the kitchen due to its central position downstairs)…

You are very different from me as you have bigger motivation and surely way bigger willpower to put into it. I hope you will quickly find your sweet spot and get success! Good luck!

It has a lot to do with, at least for mere mortals. Eating tons of fat doesn’t encourage the body to lose fat, it would be wasteful. Maybe some people can do it, I definitely can’t and it’s quite logical that it’s common.
Of course one usually shouldn’t do low-fat keto/carnivore but lower-fat may be needed.

I have found carnivore way nicer and easier personally… The carbs on keto messed with me, carnivore made me another person when it came to food needs and desires. It gave me benefits while ketosis did nothing apart from fat adaptation (but I kept that even off keto so nothing kept me on keto for long) and that was highly encouraging.
And I love the carnivore guys on this forum too :smiley: So it may sound surprising but carnivore may be easier (carnivore-ISH in my case as I do needed a teeny tiny extra sometimes - and I go off all the time but I did it on keto too and sticking to the woe itself is way better and easier when it’s carnivore and not keto). In the first years after I tried carnivore the first time, I was UNABLE to do keto without carnivore. If I added some carbs, I added much more, it was weird (I understand a stupid part of me might have wanted to “use the chance” but I couldn’t explain it with only that. the carbs simply messed with me again and drove me astray). So sometimes carnivore is the sweet spot where we feel best and do it easier.

Sadly, fat doesn’t really satiate some of us. Maybe a tiny bit but not well. It’s why I easily could add 100-200g fat on top of my other food and my satiation would stay about the same. Overeating protein is similar but I actually stop eating protein around 220-240g while I don’t have this limit with fat.
I need the right kind of protein, enough fat and as few meals as possible for satiation. Of course, it’s just me. But overeating fat is my problem in my whole life, it’s just too easy and doesn’t give me satiation.
So some of us really need to be very careful with fat. Or else we happily eat a ton and that won’t help. It never did in my case. But I never had a keto year or something. Not even a month when already fat adaptated.
But I did lose fat quickly enough to see it in weeks, on low-carb and on carnivore too, I just had to eat little (for me. of course too little wouldn’t be good but I have zero chance to do that as I have the opposite problem. and even when I eat little, I keep my occasional high-cal days, they are probably useful). That is the key I know (all my experiences point to it and it’s logical anyway) but it’s not easy to do, I don’t stand hunger or even lack of satiation. I need top satiating food to pull it off. And no late eating.
Hence leanish pork as it’s super satiating and I like it enough (if I cook it right).
Too many eggs? Not satiating enough. Anyway, too tempting…
Dairy? Worse than eggs.
Fatty meat? It depends. I need stricter limits regarding eggs and dairy and very few meals (as my meals are inevitably larger). And I don’t want those limits and have other reasons too. So, green ham to me, every day :slight_smile: With fattier lovely items in moderation.

Sorry I got carried away, it helped me to make me more pumped up for my planned carnivore November with fat-loss this time, I hope. I have the method, I just need to do it. With enough fat for my body and “soul” but not too much to get into the way of my fat-loss.
But I felt the need to show something different from the usual belief, even experience. We are all different and may need a different aproach.

Likely, at most. I never could gain quickly on high-carb even with very high-fat (as I normally did it in the past)
It’s not actually true for everyone. My body need extreme overeating to gain super slowly (I got borderline obese with 1kg/year but I ate high-carb super high-fat, serious overeating was involved there)


I think you should seek a professional advisor who knows the complexity of female biochemistry and physiology.

You are seeking professional advice here with some quite high personal stakes.

There are many good women’s health practitioners in the keto world. Hopefully respondents will list some more.

In terms of athletic and acrobatic sports performance look at the work of Dr. Jaime Seeman, I think.


(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #9

It is a mental trap to assume that all fat eaten must necessarily be stored. The human body is perfectly capable of excreting what it doesn’t need. However, restricting calories is what signals “famine!” to the body, in which case it’s going to hang in to every scrap of fat as a means of getting is through the famine.

A carnivore diet puts the body into fat-burning mode, which is what you want. Carnivore is not, however, a quick-loss diet. There is a period of adaptation, during which you may in fact gain a little, before the actual weight loss starts.

Something to bear in mind as well is that a meat-only diet is pretty much what fuelled our evolution as a species, and women evolved to carry a layer of subcutaneous fat as a reserve for pregnancy. So a body composition of 21-23% body fat is what your body is going to be aiming for on such a species-appropriate diet. If that’s not acceptable, then you may need to look for a different fat-loss strategy.


I don’t think anyone even hinted at that here… I can eat lots of fat, no gain, sure. But LOSING fat… That’s trickier. I can’t eat a ton of fat for that to happen. And very many people experience the same. (Some carnivore even gain fat rapidly when forcefully overeating fat but that’s a stupid thing to do, one shouldn’t eat like that. But people do a lot when hoping some high fat/protein ratio will help. I couldn’t do 80% fat without serious overeating either, I need my protein.)

(Bean) #11

I went full carnivore 10 weeks ago. I did put on a few pounds, but also some muscle. I’m very active but adding some light strength training. Weight is creeping down now.

Adding some IF the last week or so.

(Geoffrey) #12

Correct me if I’m wrong Shinita but don’t you get most of your fat from pork?
Is it possible that a diet primarily based on pork, with the omega 6 vs omega 3 imbalance, versus those of us who eat primarily ruminant meat, make a difference in how our diet affects us?


I don’t know but I don’t think it matters to my body at all (it would make no sense to me, wasting fat when it’s not needed? nope, my body loves this amount of fat. I don’t. 40lbs extra fat for a short woman is significant and how will I show off my muscles when I will have more than now?). I had it with zero pork (and carbs) too: little food, I lose, much food, I don’t. My SO is the same and his meat is mostly pork (he just eats a lot of carbs as well). We are simple like that.
(And yes, I heavily depend on pork, I will track how much in November but I suppose 90+ % of my meat is pork.)

I easily can imagine it matters to some people… Either way, I can’t change it, I need to eat mostly pork (not like I mind, it’s my favorite).

Even the source of pork may matter, I have read about huge differences if the breed and feed was very different… Europeans have it a bit better than Americans, I have read.


Most keto’rs are eating around 70-80% of their intake from fat, so no, that’s not correct. I never stated eating “tons”, nor did I say eating over what your TDEE was. Context matters.


No, you didn’t write that, I wrote that. You wrote “eating dietary fat has nothing to do with bodyfat”. It totally is as eating too much dietary fat keeps me and probably many others (everyone, probably if they do it excessively but it may be impossible for many) from losing bodyfat. But I already wrote these, it seems clear to me…

80% is serious overeating in my case, of course it works for many others. Percentages say not much about the amounts anyway and I talked about that but it’s individual. I don’t say one can’t lose fat eating super high percentage fat (way over 80%) or even a few hundreds gram of it. Sure it is possible for some, even may be very much needed to avoid starvation.
But very much compared to ourselves, that’s probably not useful when fat-loss is our goal.

(Edith) #17

You may actually find carnivore easier than keto. Keto still has some carbs and those carbs may be enough to cause you to keep falling off the wagon. Carnivore really does seem to remove all cravings.

That being said, you will mostly likely have a transition between keto and carnivore, a milder version of keto flu, so don’t be surprised if that happens.

I would give carnivore a try, you may find a short stint on carnivore is all you need to get off the weight. Like the others said, start with the fattier cuts. If you go too low in fat you will just be hungry. The other thing you may want to look into, is doing a fat fast for a few days to help you get going.


I would look at the work of Dr. Stacy Sims. https://www.drstacysims.com/
What is the composition of the 10 lbs that you have gained in the last two months? Is it all fat or muscle or some combination of both?
Fuel for the performance. If you under eat your performance will suffer 100%.