A meat-based diet is the most basic of setups, so it’s actually incredibly easy to get into. You’re eating meat, a few animal-based extras, while dropping everything else. That’s the blueprint, and it’s a simple one. Sticking to it may be a few levels more challenging.
But you might still be wondering about the optimal way to approach this diet. Whether optimal means better energy, adherence, fat loss, whatever you’re after. And that’s where things can get more complicated. So we’re going to be covering the classic questions that crop up amongst curious newbies.
Are You Allowed Cheese On The Carnivore Diet?
There’s no reason you can’t eat cheese during this diet. It meets the technicalities of being an animal product, and it’s also been taken through the fermentation process. This allows the bacteria to breakdown lactose (milk sugar), making it low carb and much easier to tolerate.
This being said, not all cheese is created equal, and you’re best of going for hard cheese. These will be more aged, with the least amount of lactose. Some people will also have an intolerance for cow milk, perhaps due to A1 caseins, which cause bloating and discomfort. In that case, you could either try cheese sourced from A2 dairy, or feta cheese. The latter is made from goat milk, which is more tolerable for some.
Cheese is fine for the most part on carnivore, but you’ll probably want to moderate portions. As I’ve described, there are some intolerance issues, and cheese itself contains addictive compounds, such as casomorphin.
Shredded Cheese (Might contain starch)
Cheese With Carbs
Are You Allowed Yogurt On Carnivore?
Yogurt is a little trickier than cheese, as it will have some sugars, although research suggests that half of those sugars never get absorbed. This is in greek yogurt, your standard yogurt tub should just be avoided. Greek yogurt, as well as cottage cheese and quark, are fermented foods that add a lot of flavour, while opening up a few new recipes on the carnivore diet.
So as is the case with cheese, it would be ideal to moderate cheese, while using it for calcium and just to break up the monotony of steak and eggs. Not that there’s any reason to mess with that delicious combo.
Full-Fat Greek Yogurt (Non-Fat contains more sugars)
Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
What About Milk?
Milk will contain more sugars, as well as IGF-1 (Insulin-Like Growth Factor), which has an inflammatory effect. This means you’re best off avoiding it, at least during the initial month of carnivore. Since carnivore is an elimination diet, you’re throwing out all foods that are potential sources of inflammation. Then you can reintroduce them one by one, and see which of them are dragging you down.
No, at least for the first month
Can You Drink Coffee On Carnivore?
Coffee does contain some toxins, as it’s a plant and therefore doesn’t enjoy being eaten. But it works pretty well as a way to reduced perceived fatigue, and it’s not a great idea to drop it if you’re relying heavily on it for energy. You’re already losing out on carbs, so it would be better to keep coffee in for the first month, then wean off it once you’re fat-adapted and a little perkier.
Yes, but try to lower doses as you go
Is Stevia Allowed?
Stevia, as well as the other no-calorie sweeteners, might be causing cravings even without creating insulin spikes. The experience of sweetness alone can cause hunger by giving the body an expectation of incoming sugar. It might sound like I’m getting far too picky, but the mental side of dieting can’t be understated. Conquering it is going to be the biggest factor of long-term weight control, you can forget about everything else. So if you need a little teaspoon of stevia in your coffee, that’s a sign that you should quit.
What’s The Cheapest Way To Do The Carnivore Diet?
Right, so when some of you jump on carnivore, your wallet’s going to take a knock. You follow the advice of the meat influencers and start dining on grass-fed steak. You’re paying £6 for a little 2-ounce Sirloin, and then you still have to get through another kilo of meat before the day’s done. Carnivore then becomes an extremely expensive diet to maintain. And all the while, it’s completely doable on a student budget.
Ground beef is simply bits of muscle meat mashed together, so you’re getting a similar nutritional content to steak, at a much cheaper price. Even better, the best option is the cheapest option. 15-20% fat beef mince has the perfect ratio of fat to protein, 1:1 by weight. There’s also a ton of ways you can spice it up, baked with cheese and eggs, or formed into a burger.
Eggs are also inexpensive and stacked in nutrition, although pastured eggs are better due to the chickens not being fed as much soy. But that’s splitting hairs. Add in hard cheese, and you’ve got the holy trinity of the broke carnivore.
Just eat fatty beef mince, eggs, and hard cheese. That’s probably going to be far cheaper than a vegan diet. It’s low-volume, high-density, meaning you won’t need to eat huge meals.
How Should I Calculate My Macros On Carnivore?
Finding your macros is made much easier, thanks to carbs being completely taken out of the picture. Barring a few stray grams of lactose from dairy, carnivore is effectively a zero-carb diet.
That leaves you with protein and fat. You’re going to want to set this according to your goals.
The Fat : Protein Ratio
Fat Loss – 1:1 by weight – 70% Fat, 30% Protein
Fat Loss At Less Than 10% Bodyfat – 0.7:1 by weight – 60% Fat, 40% Protein
Muscle Gain – 1.3:1 by weight – 75% Fat, 25% Protein
Why lower fat when you’re leaner? At this point of a diet, you’ll be down to the bare minimum of calories, and you shouldn’t be sacrificing protein to get there. So the fat gets lowered, possibly messing up ketosis, but this stage of a diet will always be uncomfortable. Regardless of how magical the food is.
You can work out the calories using the calculator linked on my resource page.
Is Carnivore Just Meal After Meal Of Salted Meat?
There’s actually a metric ton of variety available on carnivore, just as long as you can branch out, be bold, and test out different cuts of meat. You may well develop a love for foods you’d never expect, whether that would be beef liver, fish, whatever you can forage from the animal kingdom.
I’ve laid out a few carnivore recipes that can help get you started. Head through the link below to check them out, and maybe even get started on the road to becoming a fat-burning, inflammation-free machine!
Carnivore Diet Coach And Personal Trainer