The Carnivore Diet is a pretty radical shift for most people, and I would applaud anyone for trying the diet, and I wouldn’t call them out for failing if they give up.
There are many people out there who wouldn’t even try it in the first place, and there are probably even more people out there who haven’t even heard of it and don’t realize you can live quite happily on a meat-only diet.
At least I have for the past 2+ years.
Carnivore diet basics
So, let’s just define what a carnivore diet is to start with, as it can mean different things to different people.
A carnivore diet is basically a zero-carb diet or close to it that involves you eating only animal products.
You also avoid eating plant products. That’s the simplest way to think about it.
The idea is that by eliminating plant food you will give your body a break from their chemical compounds like polyphenols, salicylates, lectins, phytic acid, and stuff like oxalates.
Of course, some people use this diet as a way to lose weight.
To get a really good understanding of this way of eating then I’d just go ahead and order this book right now, “The Carnivore Diet” by Dr. Shawn Baker. FYI, Dr. Baker practices what he preaches!
And then read this article:
Resort to the dictionary
What does fail even really mean?
1. be unsuccessful in achieving one’s goal.
“he failed in his attempt to secure election”
2. neglect to do something.
“the firm failed to give adequate risk warnings”
(Taken from the Oxford Dictionary)
Reasons for failure
Like I was saying before, the carnivore diet is not easy. That’s why we are going to outline some of the top reasons people do fail when they attempt the all-meat diet.
At least these are the more popular reasons for failure I have witnessed over the years.
Some people don’t give the diet long enough to work. They have spent decades eating in a certain way, which has caused whatever problems they are having.
Then they expect the carnivore diet to heal all their ills in a matter of days.
It doesn’t work like that folks. Some people can heal in days and with others, it might take years. You just have to believe in what you are doing and be patient.
2. Unrealistic Expectations
If you go on a meat-based diet because you want to lose 28 pounds in 28 days because you want to fit into your favorite bikini on your beach holiday.
But you only lose 10 pounds, so you give up and blame it for not working.
Having goals are great for motivation, but they are arbitrary really. Yes, you might have “only” lost 10 pounds but say you sleep better, you have more energy, your libido is up, and your skin and hair have improved.
If these things have happened, has the carnivore diet failed you because you didn’t lose 28 pounds?
With the carnivore diet, you provide your body with nutrient-dense healthy foods, and you don’t give your body processed junk…you then just have to let your body get on with its healing.
It will do what it wants, and will do it in its own time.
And while on the topic of improvements you may want to see the reults some people have acheived. Check out these testimonial resources:
The initial transition period can be very rough for people. Some people sail through it.
You have to be prepared for the worst and have the mental fortitude to see it through.
Whatever diet you are coming from, switching to carnivore will be a change and your body will have to adapt.
Going from a Vegan Diet to Carnivore could mean you are coming into the diet with weak stomach acid, so that will have to be upregulated.
If you are coming from a Standard Western Diet, you will be a sugar burner so your body will have to switch to being a fat burner.
Even coming from a Ketogenic Diet, you still could face transition issues just from dropping that last bit of plant food.
This adaption period which is sometimes known as the keto or carnivore flu could entail headaches, migraines, smelly breath, energy crashes, diarrhea, or constipation.
Yes, it will be unpleasant but will pass eventually, usually in a couple of weeks. The general rule of thumb is the closer the previous diet is to a carnivore diet the less the transition issues will be, and they will last for a shorter time.
Sometimes electrolytes can help mitigate the severity of symptoms but it’s really worth checking out this article:
It is common sense that there might be bigger problems shifting from vegetarian to carnivore, than from keto to carnivore. Make sense?
Plus the transition of eating highly addictive food to only meat can be a challenge. That’s why I suggest getting a cookbook to learn how to make a carnivore diet exciting.
Pick up this book “The Carnivore Cookbook” by our friend Jessica Haggard. You will learn the proper way to cook meat! (Plus, for a limited time, use ANDY5 at checkout for $5.00 off)
I wish I had that book when I first started.
4. Not eating enough
It can be hard to eat enough both mentally and physically on a carnivore diet, especially in the very early stages.
We have been bombarded for decades about eating low fat, avoiding saturated fat and cholesterol.
It can be hard for people to let go of that, and not think of a giant plate of steak as a heart attack waiting to happen.
It can also be hard physically in the beginning, for example, your body will probably have to increase its bile production in the gall bladder to cope with the extra fat in your diet.
Also, from an energy standpoint, it can be hard to get the energy (I like the term energy rather than calories) needed in the beginning. This is because protein and fat are very satiating, and you just might not feel hungry in the beginning, but you do have to eat.
A standard western diet is very energy-dense but not very nutrient-dense, a carnivore diet immediately increases the nutrient density but you need to be mindful that you do hit your energy needs too.
You need to be your own N=1 experiment. You need to learn from others, but you must forge your own path.
I honesty believe 99.99999% of the world’s population would do brilliantly on a carnivore diet, but that carnivore diet could look very different depending on the individual.
For example, I would say the consensus is that men can do better on slightly leaner meats, where women seem to do a bit better on slightly higher percentages of fat. We go deeper in this article: Is The Carnivore Diet Different for Women vs. Men? . We go deeper in this article: Is The Carnivore Diet Different for Women vs. Men? .
You need to find your own sweet spot, and to make things harder that sweet spot could change over time.
For example, if you were overweight when you started, you might find you can eat very lean meats and still have a load of energy because of your stored body fat.
However, when you get down to a single-digit body fat percentage, you might find you have to up your fat intake to maintain your energy levels.
There are loads of little tweaks like this that you may need to experiment with.
For example, someone who isn’t very active may be able to keep their electrolytes in balance by just putting a bit of Redmond Real Salt on their daily steak.
Other more active people may need to use electrolyte powders (sugar-free of course!) because they are sweating more.
In fact, I’m a very active person who plays sports and sweats a lot. Therefore my body responds well to electrolyte powder. It also helps prevent cramping in my feet and calves.
If you are new to electrolyte powders I would recommend Redmond Re-Lyte electrolyte powder. It’s a high-quality product plus they give our readers a 15% discount when they use this link or use the coupon code “Wild” at checkout.
While you’re at it pick up some Redmond Real Salt. It’s a great sea salt that doesn’t have the contamination and nasty micro-plastics which can be present in salt that comes from the ocean.
My views on coaching
First and foremost, if you are going to stay on a carnivore diet long term, you will need to become your own coach eventually.
You have to take responsibility for your own actions and experiment with what works for you.
In the short-term, if you feel like you need some help, or you are low on confidence, or maybe you just need some accountability.
Then I would say getting a personal coach from somewhere like MeatRX is the best option. As you will be able to work with an experienced Carnivore Coach who knows the potential pitfalls and coaching through MeatRX is extremely affordable.
This is a better option than the cookie-cutter generic meal plans like “lose 7 pounds in 7 days with the carnivore diet.”
These are just likely standard PDFs that are sold to anyone from a click of a button and doesn’t consider you as an individual. They are a cheaper option than a coach, but you are leaving more to chance.
Feel good conclusion
“Failure” is such a hard thing to define.
Are you a failure if you have cured your Colitis on a Carnivore Diet, then find you can add back in some avocado and berries without the Colitis coming back?
Are you a failure if you used the Carnivore Diet as an elimination diet, then reintroduced plant foods back in slowly, and identified that it was only nightshades (like peppers) that were causing you the issues you were having?
Are you a failure if you use the Carnivore Diet, to lose 30 pounds for your wedding day but then went back to eating “normally” after?
In summary, no one really cares that much about what you are doing, as they are dealing with their own s@*#.
Therefore, failure is only a failure if you class it as a failure yourself.
Nothing is really a failure if you have learned from it. When starting the carnivore diet, do your research, plan how you are going to do it, and give it a go.
If you do that, then no matter what happens, it has not been a fail.
Set up for success
Here are a few things I would suggest to get you on the right track. First buy these two books:
- The Carnivore Diet by Dr. Shawn Baker (The best tutorial book on the market)
- The Carnivore Cookbook by Jessica Haggard (Use ANDY5 for $5.00 off at checkout)
Then head over to our YouTube channel for some fun carnivorous content and of course cooking recipes.
We wish you major luck on your journey!
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.