Carnivore Diet Meal Plan for Beginners

The carnivore diet is gaining popularity as a simple anti-inflammatory diet that can help you lose weight and get rid of some health problems. It is a specific type of ketogenic diet that restricts all plant foods. How to start a carnivore diet to get all the health benefits? What can you eat while on a zero carb diet?

The rules of the carnivore diet are simple. You need to gradually or abruptly eliminate all plant foods and eat only animal foods. In this way, you will eliminate all foods that can cause inflammation or contain carbohydrates.

We have put together a simple carnivore diet meal plan for beginners that will help you start the zero carb nutrition without difficulty or hesitation. It is very simple and does not require any special recipes or ingredients from you. Let’s take a look at all the details together!

The Basics of the Carnivore Diet for Beginners

So you’ve decided to start the restrictive diet. It is very easy to do this – you just need to exclude all plant-based foods from your menu. It applies to all vegetables, fruits, cereals, nuts, seeds, etc. You can eliminate plant foods gradually or do it in one day. Your diet should consist only of food of animal origin.

In addition, a pure carnivore diet includes “nose to tail” red meat cuts. Moreover, it would be better to choose grass-fed meat, wild-caught fish, and seafood. However, the carnivore diet should be comfortable and not too expensive, so choose the meat you can afford.

If you are familiar with the keto diet and intermittent fasting, you understand that while on a low-carb diet, you may experience a lack of appetite, which is normal. Often people eat 1-2 times a day during the carnivore diet, feeling full without limitation. But this is also fine if you need to eat 3-4 times a day during the adaptation period.

Maybe it’s old habits, or your body accumulates healthy fats after exhausting diets. In this case, you may even gain some weight, which is actually good. After your body has recovered, you will lose body fat without losing muscle mass.

Carnivore Food List for Beginners

Starting the carnivore diet, you can consume all foods of animal origin. It is divided into several categories that contain different amounts of nutrients. You should diversify your carnivore menu at the beginning of your diet in order to get all the nutrients and stay full [1]. Here are the main carnivore food groups.

Meat

  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Goat
  • Lamb
  • Venison
  • Wild boar
  • Rabbit, etc.

Poultry

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Duck
  • Quail
  • Goose, etc.

Organ Meats

  • Brains
  • Liver
  • Kidneys
  • Language
  • Heart
  • Sweetbread
  • Bone marrow
  • Chitterlings, etc.

Fish

  • Trout
  • Salmon
  • Perch
  • Cod
  • Tuna
  • Mackerel, etc.

Seafood

  • Shrimps
  • Squids
  • Crabs
  • Mussels
  • Octopus
  • Scallops, etc.

You can also eat any kind of animal fat (tallow, lard, fish oil, chicken or duck fat, etc.), chicken, duck, or quail eggs, and low lactose dairy foods (grass-fed butter, Ghee butter, and low lactose kefir). ). You should avoid milk, yogurt, and other high-lactose foods.

Simple Weekly Carnivore Shopping List

Choose the foods of animal origin, which you like and which you can afford. Also, I do not recommend that you ignore organ meat, which is full of vitamins and essential nutrients. Here is a small list of food that you can buy for a week while adapting to the carnivore diet:

  • Bacon
  • Ribeye steak
  • Ground beef
  • Eggs
  • Grass-fed butter
  • Beef liver
  • Canned sardines
  • Cod liver
  • Pork belly
  • Chicken tights
  • Zero carb seasonings.

I recommend that you start with a variety of foods and gradually decrease the list if that is your goal. This way, you can get used to eating a variety of animal products, from high-protein, low-fat foods to high-fat, low-protein foods. You need to eat enough healthy animal fat [2] so that your diet does not contain too much protein and does not lead to heart disease.

Carnivore Meal Plan for Beginners

As I have said before, you can eat as many times a day as you feel comfortable. I will tell you a few options for each carnivore diet recipe so you can find what you like and add them to your menu. When you cook meat, fish, eggs, or seafood, try to add animal fats to every meal (tallow, lard, fish oil, chicken or duck fat, Ghee, etc.). This way, you will maintain a healthy carnivore proportion of fats and proteins. You need to do this to avoid any health issues associated with excess protein consumption in carnivore dieters during a high-protein diet.

Breakfast

  • Pan-fried eggs and ground beef
  • Boiled eggs and baked salmon
  • Scrambled eggs with bacon and butter
  • Grilled pork sausages with cheese
  • Scrambled eggs with cheese and cold-smoked salmon
  • Grilled beef patty and egg
  • Poached eggs with bacon

Lunch

  • Roasted salmon
  • Ribeye steak
  • Pan-fried beef liver with butter
  • Roasted duck breast
  • Lamb chops
  • Pan-fried ground beef
  • BBQ beef ribs

Dinner

  • Roasted pork ribs
  • Pork chops
  • Roasted beef heart with cheese
  • Bone broth and baked chicken tights
  • Grilled trout fillets
  • Roasted chicken breast with skin
  • Baked seafood, butter, and low-dairy cheese

Snacks

  • Pork rinds
  • Boiled egg and bacon
  • Roasted turkey sausages
  • Homemade cold cuts
  • Boiled pork tongue
  • Boiled shrimps and butter
  • Grilled beef burger patty

When compiling a menu for a day or a week, be sure to include various organ meats, especially beef or chicken liver (fatty acids, amino acids, vitamin E, vitamin C, etc.). This way, you will make up for a possible deficiency in the vitamins you usually get from vegetables. Remember that by eating an animal from nose to tail, you will get the full range of essential nutrients and, in addition, make your meat diet less expensive.

How to Upgrade Your Carnivore Diet?

So, imagine that you have successfully completed the first phase of the carnivore diet. It was a transition phase during which your body adapted to a new style of eating – learning to eat proteins and fats and eliminating plant foods. During this time, you can experience many benefits, from healthy weight loss to reduced symptoms of chronic diseases.

After this period, you have several options. First, you can continue to eat this way, leaving eggs, low-lactose dairy foods, fish, and seafood on your menu. If you’re experiencing the benefits you’ve been looking for, this nutrition style is right for you, and you don’t need any changes.

However, you can also move on by cutting out different foods little by little and watching the changes that happen to your body. For example, you can completely eliminate dairy foods even if they contain a small amount of lactose. Unfortunately, dairy products trigger chronic inflammation [3] in many people, causing serious autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, ulcerative colitis, hypothyroidism, IBS, etc. Also, eggs can provoke chronic inflammation [4] less often than dairy foods.

Therefore, if you are on a carnivore diet to treat certain diseases, you should move on to the next stage. Gradually eliminate dairy foods, eggs, fish, and seafood. Leave only the meat and organ meats of various animals such as beef, pork, chicken, turkey, duck, etc.

After a short adjustment period, continue to eliminate foods, leaving only grass-fed beef and water. You can eat any part of beef. Especially you need to include liver in your menu, as it contains many vitamins and minerals [5]. By following such a clean whole food diet, you can get all the benefits of carnivore nutrition.

Conclusion

In order to start an elimination diet, you should gradually or sharply limit all carbs and plant-based foods. You can eat meat cuts, organ meats, poultry, fish, and seafood in any quantity. You can also eat eggs and low-lactose foods if your body tolerates them well. Eat as many times a day as you feel comfortable. You can eat once a day and combine the carnivore diet with intermittent fasting or eat 3-4 times a day.

You can follow this meal plan without time limits or gradually eliminate foods after the adaptation phase. If you’re aiming for a clean carnivore diet, your menu should end up with only grass-fed beef and pure water. In this case, you can feel the maximum benefits of the carnivore diet in terms of weight loss and the alleviation of many diseases.

 

Sources:

  1. O’Hearn A. Can a carnivore diet provide all essential nutrients? Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2020 Oct;27(5):312-316. doi: 10.1097/MED.0000000000000576. PMID: 32833688. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32833688/
  2. Liu, A. G., Ford, N. A., Hu, F. B., Zelman, K. M., Mozaffarian, D., & Kris-Etherton, P. M. (2017). A healthy approach to dietary fats: understanding the science and taking action to reduce consumer confusion. Nutrition journal16(1), 53. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12937-017-0271-4
  3. Hess, J. M., Stephensen, C. B., Kratz, M., & Bolling, B. W. (2021). Exploring the Links between Diet and Inflammation: Dairy Foods as Case Studies. Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.)12(Suppl 1), 1S–13S. https://doi.org/10.1093/advances/nmab108
  4. Mazzucca CB, Raineri D, Cappellano G, Chiocchetti A. How to Tackle the Relationship between Autoimmune Diseases and Diet: Well Begun Is Half-Done. Nutrients. 2021 Nov 5;13(11):3956. doi: 10.3390/nu13113956. PMID: 34836210; PMCID: PMC8620243. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34836210/
  5. Hassan, A. A., Sandanger, T. M., & Brustad, M. (2012). Level of selected nutrients in meat, liver, tallow and bone marrow from semi-domesticated reindeer (Rangifer t. tarandus L.). International journal of circumpolar health71, 17997. https://doi.org/10.3402/ijch.v71i0.17997

 

 

About

Ana Rinkevich is a freelance writer specializing in health, nutrition, fitness, and weight loss. Over the past 10 years, she has used various methods to deal with obesity, metabolic syndrome, and eating disorders. Proud keto follower for 6 years - lost 100 pounds and fought insulin resistance. Ana shares her experience, tips, and motivation to help people use eating habits for better health and harmony with the body.