Carnivore Weight Loss Getting Started Guide
Carnivore is a pretty simple concept, but the executions can vary a lot. So the reason for doing carnivore becomes important. So we always first ask “What is your why?”. Your reason for doing carnivore can change how you implement it.
WHAT IS YOUR “WHY”?
A carnivore diet can be great for a lot of situations. But the first thing you need to do is determine what is YOUR why? Why are you doing carnivore? The answer to this questions changes how you approach a carnivore diet so it is important to figure that out first.
WHY #1: WEIGHT LOSS AND GENERAL HEALTH
You can group the “why” into two basic groups. One group is doing carnivore for general health and weight loss. Or are just curious how they will feel eating carnivore. This group can generally enter at any level they want. But look to the “Breaking stalls” section for tips if you stall or just want to speed up weight loss.
WHY #2: AUTOIMMUNE AND OTHER CHRONIC DISEASES
The other “why” are people that want to reduce symptoms from autoimmune disease, bipolar and mood issues, skin issues like eczema, Lyme disease, digestive issues like Colitis and diverticulitis, chronic pain and fibromyalgia, and many other chronic conditions. These are people who may see some relief on Keto, but still have issues and want to take their healing to the next level. For these people following our Carnivore Autoimmune Protocol (CAIP) is a powerful tool and can act as an ultimate elimination diet. Let’s breakdown each of these in more detail.
For the Carnivore for Weight Loss challenge, we will of course be focusing on weight loss. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still heal. You will feel great, have more energy and see all kinds of health improvements.
Basic of Carnivore
We were all told growing up that fruits and veggies are where we get all our nutrients and there is nothing bad about them so eat unlimited amounts. We know now that the sugar in fruits can be very damaging, cause inflammation and even metabolic syndrome and diabetes in excess (fruit juices, etc). But what about other plants. Do veggies have any negatives?
It turns out that vegetables also have issues we are never told about. All plants have antinutrients. These are compounds in plants the plants use to protect themselves. You see, plants can’t run away or growl to defend themselves from being eaten. Instead they have developed defense mechanisms to protect them against bugs and bacteria.
These antinutrients are really just the plants natural pesticides. Plants don’t want us to eat the leaves, stalks or roots. It kills them. They only want us to eat their fruit to spread their seeds. So they protect their leaves stalks and roots with compounds that can kills bugs or bacteria.
There are thousands of antinutrients. Some common ones are oxalates (nuts, seeds, leafy greens and many others), phytates (seeds, nuts, beans, grains), glucosinolate (cruciferous veggies), glycoalkaloids (nightshades), Many of these compounds have never been studies in humans to know what level we can tolerate. Cabbage has over 50 antinutrient compounds in it!
Antinutrients are not used in any way in the human body and can cause problems in larger amounts. Our body detoxes these through detoxification pathways once they enter the system. But people with compromised immune function (Lyme and others) or metabolic state (diabetes, etc.) can have lower tolerance levels before issues arise. For example, the toxicity level (the level that can kill you) for oxalates is 3-30 grams, depending on your metabolic state. A man with type 2 diabetes in Spain died of oxalate toxicity after eating 2 large bowls of sorrel soup (about 3 grams oxalates).
So, plants are not a free food without any negatives. Especially for people with Lyme or other chronic conditions or those with metabolic issues like type 2 diabetes, avoiding antinutrients (and thus all plants) can actually be very helpful for healing. Plus, veggies are not where we get most of our vitamins and minerals! More on that in the next section. To make things worse, many of these antinutrients actually latch on to nutrients (calcium, magnesium, zinc, etc.) and leach them from the body. Many of the nutrients in the plants (or in the meat you eat with the plants) end up getting robbed from the body. Eating just the meat gives you none of these negatives.
The Carnivore Diet pretty much started for us after we adopted Micah and Kai. Life was so busy juggling a baby, a toddler and work and carnivore simplified my life! Plus, my boys didn’t like vegetables. I thought they needed to eat them, so Craig and I started to research the most nutrient dense foods. GUESS WHAT? It is not veggies with the most nutrients, it is BEEF and ORGAN Meat! Just look at this comparison of nutrients.
Beef beats out Kale, blueberries and apples in 13 of the 15 vitamins and minerals! Beef liver is off the charts and pretty much blows away any fruits and veggies. Beef is the real superfood.
My boys LOVE bologna, hot dogs and sausages, we just make sure to get organic products from US Wellness Meats which makes the most delicious Tomahawk Rib-eyes, bologna and hot dogs without sugar and even braunschweiger without sugar! Click HERE to check it out!
About two years ago we found out Craig had Lyme. We were also desperate to find something that would help Craig with the pain he has from Lyme. He has suffered for almost 7 years with chronic pain. Nothing was working and he tried everything! Three high power antibiotics taken for 9 straight months (all three taken together for 9 months). Herbal treatments and tinctures. Ant-parasitic drugs that cost over $10,000. Mold treatments, sauna, red light therapy, charcoal, stevia, high dose vitamin-C IV’s, cavitation surgery where he had his jaw opened up and infection scraped away from the bone from old wisdom tooth cavities and another root canal tooth removed that had an infected cavity. He had all his silver amalgam fillings removed and replaced. He treated his nasal cavities for MARCoNS (mold and bio-films). He even tried acupuncture, peptide therapy and many others. Nothing really worked to reduce his pain, especially the migrating pain in his joints. The migrating pain was the worst. He would wake up one morning and his knee feels like it was sprained. Then the next morning it is in his ankle or his hip or both. It made it hard for him to even go on short walks with me.
Once he eliminated all plants and the anti-nutrients (like oxalates) that came with them, his pain was greatly reduced! His migrating joint pain completely disappeared. Beef and salt (level one, see below) was the key to eliminating his migrating pain and greatly reducing his overall pain level. A low oxalate food plan was essential to having my husband back. No one seems to understand how Lyme has changed his life and eating Carnivore has finally provided some relief. He has since been able to add back in other proteins, eggs and some dairy without increase in pain. But when he adds back in too many plants, the overall pain increases and the migrating pain returns.
Carnivore is a great option for anyone who has any chronic disease or issue like autoimmune, mood issues like bipolar, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, Lyme, or other chronic issue that have seen some relief with keto, but not total resolution or reduction in symptoms. Carnivore can be the next step to realizing full relief. That is why we outlined the carnivore autoimmune protocol (CAIP) in this book to give you the tools to fully heal and reverse your issues and find your threshold for what foods you can add back in and keep symptoms away. This can enable you to take control of your life back like Craig has been able to do with a carnivore diet.
There are 4 levels of carnivore as we have defined them. Let’s take a look at the four levels and what is included in each.
LEVEL 1: BEEF, BEEF TALLOW, AND SALT
This phase is about elimination and healing. You eat only beef products and salt. Here are the foods included in Level 1:
• All parts of the cow—muscle meat, organ meats, tallow, bone marrow
• Beef tallow for cooking
• Salt for seasoning
• Melted beef tallow as a sauce
LEVEL 2: ALL MEATS, ALL ANIMAL FATS, AND SALT
In this phase, you can eat all types of animal protein. Here are the foods included in Level 2:
• All parts of any animal—beef, pork, lamb, goat, poultry, fish, seafood, etc.
• Beef tallow, lard, duck fat, and schmaltz for cooking
• Salt for seasoning
• Melted beef tallow, lard, duck fat, and schmaltz as a sauce
If you are coming to this level from Level 1, try adding one type of protein at a time (like pork) and give it a week to see how your body reacts. Also, every recipe from Level 1 can be used for Level 2.
LEVEL 3: ALL MEATS, ALL ANIMAL FATS, SALT, DAIRY, AND EGGS
Level 3 introduces eggs and dairy. Here are the foods included in Level 3:
• All parts of any animal—beef, pork, lamb, goat, poultry, fish, seafood, etc.
• Eggs and Low-sugar dairy products such as butter, cheese, sour cream, and heavy cream
• Beef tallow, lard, duck fat, schmaltz, butter, and ghee for cooking
• Salt for seasoning
• Sauces made with animal fats, eggs, and/or dairy, such as mayonnaise, hollandaise, and cheese sauce Every recipe from Levels 1 and 2 can be used for Level 3.
LEVEL 4: ALL MEATS, ALL ANIMAL FATS, SALT, DAIRY, EGGS AND ZERO CARB SPICES AND SAUCES
This is sometimes called Zero Carb or Keto Carnivore. This levels include some plants like spices and zero carb sauces like mustard. We don’t include any recipes in this book that are level 4 to keep it true carnivore. But if you are doing carnivore for weight loss or general health and want to add your favorite spice or zero carb sauce to any recipe feel free to do so.
WHY #1: CARNIVORE FOR WEIGHT LOSS AND GENERAL HEALTH
For weight loss and general health, you can start at any level you like. Or move around between levels and see how you feel. We do recommend from those trying to lose weight to omit dairy. That helps with weight loss.
Many people with this goal also can move back and forth between keto and carnivore if they like. If you do find issues that come back when adding certain plants (bloating, pain, discomfort, etc.) then you might want to avoid that plant in general.
WHY #2: CARNIVORE AUTOIMMUNE PROTOCOL (CAIP)
The Carnivore Autoimmune Protocol (CAIP) helps you use carnivore as an ultimate elimination diet to find your tolerance for foods that won’t elevate your symptoms from whatever condition you are suffering with. You start out at level one for 30 days. After 30 days you can try adding different proteins from level two. Add them one at a time giving it a couple days to see how your body reacts. If symptoms come back, remove that protein again. If not, you are free to continue eating that protein as much as you like.
After you have found the animal proteins your body is happy with, you can try adding eggs from level 3. Last you can try adding dairy. Dairy is last because it is one of the most common foods people are sensitive to. If you find your symptoms are not elevated, you can even try adding in some herbs and spices or zero carb sauces. If symptoms reappear, remove the offending food. From there you can keep experimenting with different foods and even more plants if you like to find what you can tolerate. Or you can stay carnivore forever. I (Craig) plan to stay carnivore for life as I feel the best eating this way.
If you do plan to stay carnivore long term, we recommend getting organ meats at least once a week. Beef liver is one of the best. Other organs are all great too. This will ensure you are getting all the nutrients your body needs to thrive.
Carnivore for Weight Loss Challenge
Since this is the Carnivore for Weight Loss Challenge, we will be focusing on Why #1. The meal plans supplied are dairy free and with the right macros to maximize fat loss.