How Fast Can You Lose Weight on a Carnivore Diet?
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How long until the carnivore diet works? Is Carnivore the Magic Pill? Can you lose weight on a diet that includes animal fat?
I have seen carnivore diet success stories with truly magnificent results. Reversing diseases people would never imagine were diet-related. Diseases where Doctors will just hand you stronger and stronger drugs, rather than looking at the root cause.
Check out these success stories relating to Lyme Disease, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Anxiety, and Arthritis.
These are truly incredible examples of healing.
However, let’s be real here. The vast majority of people will try the carnivore Diet for one thing, and one thing only…
The great thing about the Carnivore Diet is:
- You can potentially lose weight
- You can potentially lose weight damn quick
- You can potentially keep the weight off
- You can potentially heal from issues you might not even know you had
Disclaimer: Obviously I’m not a doctor so speak with one prior to any modification to diet and don’t misconstrue our website as medical advice. The information presented on this site is in no way intended as medical advice or as a substitute for medical counseling.
What is the Carnivore Diet
There are different versions of the Carnivore Diet, put simply it revolves around:
- Only Eat Animal Products – the majority of the time people eat red meat like beef. Then they top that off with other meats, fish, seafood, eggs, and dairy.
- Do Not Eat – grains, seed oils, fruit, and vegetables.
You see the carnivore diet isn’t really magic, but it is effective because it results in you eating a lot of nutrient-dense and bioavailable food, whilst also eliminating harmful junk foods that are high in calories and low in nutrition.
It’s a WIN WIN as it’s the ultimate elimination style diet.
Banish old reasoning
If you never try anything new….then nothing new happens.
If you are a classic yo-yo dieter and have tried every mainstream diet under the sun. Then surely it is time to try the opposite? Right?
Nearly all mainstream diets rely on fancy marketing but deep down just rehash the calories in calories out model.
Carnivore pays little or no attention to this, you eat when you are hungry, you eat as much as you want and as often as you want.
We will look at some of the more sciencey reasons why you lose weight and lose weight fast on Carnivore.
However, if you are not into the details, then there are 2 very simple reasons why the carnivore diet works.
- Decision Fatigue – the more decisions you have to make, the more likely you will mess something up eventually. Counting calories, syns, points or carbs is just plain silly. On Carnivore, you really only have 3 things to consider. Am I hungry? Yes. Then eat. What should I eat? Any animal product you damn well like. Am I full? Yes. Stop eating then. So simple.
- Easier to get back on track – You have been doing carnivore for a few weeks, and you feel great. You have a moment of weakness and eat some chips. What do you do? Don’t beat yourself up about it, and you make sure your next meal is a strict carnivore meal. Then get on with your life. Other diets are full of loopholes and guilt. You know the ones. Oh, I am allowed 100 syns a week, so if I am good during the week, I can go out and drink booze and eat pizza all weekend. That is clearly not a sensible way to think about food, but it is what millions of people do every week.
- No cheat days- as these days of excess garbage can do more harm and get you off track. We go deep into the negativity of cheat days in this article: “Are Cheat Days Allowed on a Carnivore Diet?”
… and Science rules
So now let’s look a little deeper into weight loss, and why carnivore ticks a lot of the boxes you need to tick:
The Keto Diet is becoming synonymous with rapid and stable weight loss. Over the last 10 years, it has slowly been moving through the top 10 of diet-related searches on google trends. (1)
This is not because it is getting the backing of Doctors and Governments. It is gaining popularity from the ground up, the wisdom of the crowds, it is working for real people in the real world, and people are passing on the message.
Keto works by limiting carbohydrates, which forces your body to switch from a sugar-burning state to a fat-burning state. Ketosis is the process of breaking down fatty acids into usable energy, in the form of ketones. (2)
So that extra weight you are carrying goes from being a hindrance to a source of clean-burning energy.
The longer you are in this fat-burning state, you become more fat-adapted, this means you become more efficient at burning fat for energy. Hopefully, it is pretty obvious why this would be beneficial to you losing weight quickly. (3)
The good thing about carnivore is that it can also be classed as a ketogenic diet because a ketogenic diet really just means a diet that allows you to be in ketosis.
The carnivore diet is even lower in carbs than a standard keto diet, so you can potentially get into ketosis quicker and more easily using a meat-only diet.
However, there are some mistakes that people make while attempting a carnivore diet and that’s why we made this list to help identify them:
So Carnivore fits under the Keto umbrella, but it is greedy and it also fits under the Intermittent Fasting umbrella too. It is another extremely effective weight loss tool. This is where you restrict your eating into an eating window.
- 16:8 – where you eat in an 8-hour window and then fast for 16 hours.
- OMAD – where you only eat One Meal A Day.
- Extended Fasts – where you eat nothing for 48 hours, 72 hours, a week, and even longer. These have been shown to be safe but the longer they go the more dangerous they potentially become. You do need to do your own research to make sure you are doing them properly and consult with a doctor before any fasting attempt. Any fasting should be done under the supervision of a doctor. (4)
The good thing about carnivore is that it is very easy to do a 16:8 or OMAD method.
In fact, most people end up doing one of these two ways naturally without even thinking about it. This is an important point because, the less you have to think about something, the less decision fatigue you will have.
This theory places protein as a vital component of what we should be eating. We know there are essential amino acids that we must consume for our bodies to build, repair, and maintain.
It is believed that this is built into our hunger signals.
We will continue to receive hunger signals, until our protein needs are met, regardless of the energy load.
So for healthy weight loss, people try to aim for a protein target in as little energy (carbs and fat) as possible. (5)
Can you think of any way of eating that will achieve this more efficiently than Carnivore? I can’t.
Protein thermic effect
The consumption of protein is said to actually increase your metabolism. This means that even when just sitting around on the couch watching TV, you are burning more energy than if you were on a low protein diet.
For reference, the thermic effect of protein is around 30%, carbs around 10%, and fat is around 1-3%. (6)
The carnivore diet is obviously one of the highest protein diets going similar to the Atkins diet, and high protein diets are renowned for helping people lose weight.
This is often ignored or misunderstood.
The human body isn’t like a car, where you put a certain amount of petrol in it and you can drive for a certain distance. The human body is far more complicated.
Yet the very simple diet that is the Carnivore Diet can produce optimal levels of the hormones that help with weight loss.
Insulin is one such hormone. It is effectively a storage hormone, which enables energy you consume in food to be stored as body fat.
Controlling insulin levels and flattening insulin spikes is a very important tool in making weight loss achievable and easier. In fact, if you are constantly spiking your insulin, it may prevent your body from accessing your stored body fat. (7)
So it is possible to use a carnivore diet to control your insulin and then make your weight loss dreams possible.
Mirrors > Scales
If you are coming from a Standard Western Diet which is the same thing as a Standard American Diet (SAD) to carnivore, you should experience rapid weight loss in the first week. Mainly due to water weight loss.
In the first couple of months, you could be losing weight as much as 3 times quicker than on a normal diet at least there is anecdotal evidence and testimonials out there showing such.
Some of these testimonials will blow your mind:
Over time weight loss will settle down to a normal level, but you will likely find that you will be able to keep this weight loss going for a longer period before you potentially stall.
However, the best thing about weight loss on this diet is the way you lose weight. You may have less water retention, less inflammation, less swelling, you possibly may maintain lean muscle mass, be full of energy and you will sleep amazingly.
This will not only result in excellent weight loss in general, but you will look better in your clothes for the equivalent weight loss on a more standard mainstream diet.
What the Carnivore Doc says about obesity and weightless
There are a few pages dedicated to weight loss and obesity in the book, “The Carnivore Diet” by Dr. Shawn Baker. Dr. Baker looks at obesity as a malnutrition problem.
He says when on a Standard American Diet the body is loaded up with carbs and garbage foods that it really causes issues with hormones, enzymes, and ultimately malnourishment.
Plus the overconsumption of calories plays a major part in the obesity factor.
So, do people lose weight because calories are cut on a carnivore diet?
He sums it up by saying, “Yes, for some people that certainly is what occurs. Meat tends to be pretty darn satiating to most people. Many people struggle to eat much meat, particularly when they start the carnivore diet, and they lose weight.”
He further says, “…early weight loss is due to water weight coming off, particularly if a person is switching from a high-carb diet. Carbs stimulate insulin to the greatest degree, which leads the kidneys to hang onto fluid that is often stored with glycogen.”
The cool thing is that Dr. Baker recognizes the potential health benefits of the carnivore diet as the real gaol and weight loss is the complimentary benefit.
He says, “If you approach this diet with the focus of weighing a certain amount or fitting into a certain size of jeans, then you will likely struggle. It’s not that those things won’t happen, but they are secondary to improvements in nutrition.”
“Nutrition precedes health; health precedes body recomposition.”
Those are some wise words! In fact, he has even said that some people don’t lose weight right off the bat. So, think of the carnivore approach as health first.
Think about this
I have touched on some of the reasons and potential ways the carnivore diet can lead to quick and effective weight loss, but there are many ways it works.
I like to think of it as you are giving your body everything it needs to prosper, and then you get out of its way, and let it do its thing.
Possibly for the first time in your life, you will experience natural appetite control which you can trust.
When you feel hunger on the carnivore diet, you will know it is real hunger and you should eat. It is not due to hormone dysregulation or sugar cravings.
This will mean you have broken the shackles of disordered eating, and that means you can get on with your life in great health.
I’ve seen people have amazing body composition changes while on this diet. However, it’s not always easy and that’s why I highly recommend picking up Dr. Baker’s book:
This book provides a great outline and way to approach this style of eating.
I would also recommend signing up for Carnivore Diet coaching at MeatRX. Here you will find a great roster of coaches, and I should say I am one as well. Try either of these links:
And, of course, I recommend our YouTube channel Wild Lumens where you will find awesome carnivore diet content and recipes.
Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. Consult with and ask your doctor about any diet or medical-related questions. No information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition.
3. Diet Review: Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss
4. Research on intermittent fasting shows health benefits
5. Obesity: the protein leverage hypothesis
6. Thermic effect of a meal and appetite in adults: an individual participant data meta-analysis of meal-test trials