I know starting the Carnivore diet can feel daunting, but here are five tips for anyone thinking about giving it a try:
- Decide whether you want to transition slowly or cold turkey.
- Set a realistic goal for yourself.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you have a cheat meal.
- Have a strong “why.”
- Buy the meat you like and can afford.
Transition Slowly or Cold Turkey?
Before starting your carnivore journey, deciding whether you want to transition immediately or gradually is crucial. Cold turkey is beneficial if you are struggling with food addiction, and just like any addiction, abstinence is key. However, the downside to transitioning cold turkey is you have a higher likelihood of getting the “keto flu,” which I wrote about in my previous article: What is the Carnivore Diet?
Now if you are curious but nervous about how restrictive carnivore is, then transitioning slowly may be the best option. The downside is that you may still experience the keto flu and never actually transition. As mentioned, food addiction is difficult to break, and many people do not even realize they suffer from it. So, if you end up giving Carnivore a try but find that you cannot fully commit, remember that you can still see tremendous benefits from removing seed oils and ultra-processed foods from your diet, prioritizing fatty protein, and eating real, whole food.
Set a Realistic Goal
The second tip is to set a realistic goal for yourself. It is common for people to set a goal of thirty days, but if that seems too intimidating, then set a shorter goal; you must figure out what will work best for you. If that means starting with five days, begin with five days. If that means taking it one day at a time, take it one day at a time. If you are truly serious about making this lifestyle change, then the last thing you want to do is overwhelm yourself right out of the gate.
The third tip is to go easy on yourself if you have a cheat meal. We’ve all done it, especially in the beginning. I am not encouraging anyone to have a cheat meal, but please don’t throw in the towel if it happens. This WOE (way of eating) is about healing, not necessarily following certain dietary guidelines. So, brush yourself off, remember your why, and try again.
Have a Strong WHY
Your why or reason for choosing this WOE needs to be strong because, I’m not going to lie to you, making such a drastic lifestyle change can be difficult. You will constantly hear from naysayers that you are killing yourself and throw in some intense cravings on top of that; who wouldn’t want to quit? (People with strong why, that’s who!)
Buy the Meat You Like
My final tip is to buy the meat you like and can afford. Please don’t worry about getting the highest quality, most expensive meat. I have been eating cheap grocery store meat for over three years and still have seen amazing mental and physical health benefits. Also, don’t force yourself to eat something you don’t like; your taste buds will gradually change the more meat you eat. So, in the beginning, focus on the meat and animal products you can tolerate, but make sure you are eating enough fat. Fat is important since you will no longer be burning carbs for energy, and nothing beats animal fat!
*Starts to drool thinking about a big juicy buttered-up ribeye.*
Bonus Tip: Do your research and ask questions! As mentioned above, people will say you’re killing yourself by eating only meat and animal products. You must feel confident in your decision and understand why and how it can significantly improve your health despite the popular mainstream beliefs.
Here are five books I recommend to people interested in learning more about the carnivore diet:
- The Carnivore Diet: Shawn Baker: Amazon.com: Books
- Carnivore Cure: The Ultimate Elimination Diet to Attain Optimal Health and Heal Your Body: Judy Cho, Ken Berry: 9781735581002: Amazon.com: Books
- Why We Get Sick: The Hidden Epidemic at the Root of Most Chronic Disease–and How to Fight It: Bikman, Benjamin: 9781953295774: Amazon.com: Books
- The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet: Teicholz, Nina: 9781451624434: Amazon.com: Books
- Sacred Cow: The Case for (Better) Meat: Why Well-Raised Meat Is Good for You and Good for the Planet: Rodgers, Diana, Wolf, Robb: 9781948836913: Amazon.com: Books
See you next week when I will answer more carnivore-related questions and share more about myself!