Fat Loss and The Carnivore Diet

Fat Loss and The Carnivore Diet

Fat Loss and The Carnivore Diet

how to lose fat on the carnivore dietPeople come to the Carnivore Diet for various reasons.

Some people experiment to regain physical or mental health. Some people want more focus and energy to fuel their work. Some want more performance in the gym and in their sport.

Many come from a Ketogenic Diet when joint pain or autoimmune issues linger or weight loss stalls.

But the #1 reason people come to The Carnivore Diet is for Fat Loss. 

Fat Loss on The Carnivore Diet (…and Fat Gain)

Daily I hear another 100lb+ fat loss story.

Frank just eats beef franks and his gut melted away. Sally’s bacon, egg, and beef diet chiseled out her bikini body. Success stories abound.

But the stories you aren’t hearing about are carnivore experimenters who gain body fat.

They follow the diet to the tee – they eat only meat, drink only water, and they gain weight.

Why the discrepancy? 

Carnivore Starting Point

When starting this diet, everyone comes from a different place.

Some people come from a SAD (Standard American Diet), some from Keto, some from decades of yo-yo dieting. Some start the diet with 40% body fat, some with 4%. Some people have gut issues and insulin resistance. Some are “fat-adapted” and others come from years of fat-restrict eating.

All of these different starting points impact the transition to a Carnivore Diet and whether someone will experience fat melting off their waistline or the scale tipping in the wrong direction.


Let’s say John is a 51 year old male who has eaten a SAD diet for decades.

He is pre-diabetic, 65lbs overweight, and doesn’t exercise. He decides to experiment with the Carnivore Diet. In the first 30 days he’s loses over 20lbs. He’s excited.

He decides to extend the experiment another 30 days. Another 15lbs fall off.

The experiment now has an indefinite timeline. All he’s doing is eating meat until he’s full. He prefers ribeyes and fatty beef cuts. He generally eats 2 times a day, though occasionally he eats just one, and other days he eats 3 meals. He listens to his appetite.

And 9 months down the road, he’s loving meat more than ever. It’s all he craves. He’s lost over 50lbs of fat and gained over 10lbs of muscle. He looks better than he did at 30. His blood sugar has dropped, and his energy has skyrocketed.

This story is not an outlier. This is common. 

But Sally had a different experience…


Let’s say Sally is a 42 year old female who has watched what she’s eaten for years.

In the past she’s tried vegan, the Mediterranean Diet, and most recently a Ketogenic Diet. She watches her calories and tracks her macros like a scientist. She does an hour of cardio 3 times per week and some light weights.

She’s gotten some good results with Keto but her fat loss has stalled. She also has an autoimmune disorder that hasn’t resolved.

She saw what the Carnivore Diet has done for John, so she decides to experiment herself.

She follows the diet to the tee – she “eats meat. drinks water.”

Unlike John however, Sally is ravenously hungry. She almost embarrassed by how much she eats.

She knows from the “Ultimate 30-Day Guide to Going Full Carnivore” that she isn’t suppose to track calories or macros but eat until satisfied. So she does.

The first 30 days go by and she’s gained 5lbs!

She considers going back to Keto. She considers staying Carnivore but cutting back on calories. But she remembers the “Warning” section in the 30-day guide she read. No tinkering.

She decides to stick with the experiment another 30 days, because her energy has been amazing and she’s seen improvements in her autoimmune disease. 

Another 30 days go by, and another couple pounds added to the scale.

Sally doesn’t know what to do. She’s feeling better than she can ever remember, but her weight is going in the wrong direction.

What’s going on…?

John vs Sally

John and Sally started the same diet from completely different points. John was obese and had never restricted a calorie in his life. His diet was composed of junk. A switch to the Carnivore Diet, or any diet, would lead to weight loss. Most people see dramatic improvements in body composition because most people are overweight/obese. They and the scale move in the right direction no matter how many steaks or how much bacon they eat.

John had some transition issues. He had some sugar cravings the first couple weeks but easily overcame them by eating more steak. His rapid success led to more motivation and more success.

Sally started off far leaner than John. She also couldn’t remember a time when she wasn’t restricting her diet in some way. When Sally was told she could eat as much meat as she wants without measuring or monitoring, two floodgates broke open.

  1. The first floodgate was the mental switch from famine to feast.
  2. The second floodgate was the complete nutrition meat provided her malnourished body.

For decades her body wasn’t getting the protein and fat it desired. She was deficient in micronutrients as well as macronutrients. She was malnourished. And when she finally started giving her body the nourishment it craved, it wanted to get as much of it as it could.

I was a “Sally.”

I came from a restricted Keto diet. I gained weight and fat when I started. My body needed it. My brain needed it.

Is the Carnivore Diet a Fat Loss Diet?

I get nervous when someone who is already lean and in good shape tells me they want to experiment with the Carnivore Diet for fat loss. Usually this person wants to get a ripped 6 pack or a bikini body with unnaturally low levels of body fat.

Eating a carnivore diet that is consistent with what we are designed to eat, results in natural body fat levels. And for most people, single digit body fat is not natural. The body feels a lot “safer” when it has a bit more energy reserves than that.

However, most people have body fat levels that are far above their natural set-point. And the further someone is above this natural set-point the more dramatic their results tend to be. But for people who are closer to their natural body fat (not to mention those who are already very lean) – they may experience the opposite – fat and weight gain.

Many people are just like John. They lose fat. And they lose it fast. They feel better. They look better. And they never think again about leaving the diet.

Yet, for every few “Johns” there is a “Sally.” It seems unfair, she was the one who has worked to stay health and get fit. But often a “Sally” has to take a step or two backwards before taking steps forward.

The First Step

The first, most important step, is getting healthy.

And “healthy” means something different for everyone.

It could be like John who was on the fast track for diabetes and cardiovascular disease who needed to reverse insulin resistance. Or it could be like Sally who needed to cure her gut and autoimmune issues and heal her mental hold on food and regulate her natural appetite.

The “healing” phase can take time.

If a “Sally” is coming from a good ketogenic diet it may take 3-6 months as her appetite regulates, hormones balance, and gut heals. To her it may seem like its 10 steps back and 1 step forward.

With a “John” it may take a year or more to reverse disease. But to him it may seem like every month is a step forward.

Whether you are a “John” or a “Sally” you need to achieve your “Homeostatic Carnivore Set-point.

This is stabilized health. 

There is no objective test for this but there are signs to look for. You will notice body weight/fat stabilizes at a healthy level. A level that most people are ecstatic to achieve. Sleep will become regular. Bowels will normalize. Mood will stabilize. Energy will be consistent. Diseases will remit.

This “natural set-point” is what most people want – a healthy body and healthy brain.

The natural body fat set-point will vary from person to person. Women tend to naturally carry more body fat than men. And there is a range of body fat percentage that people will settle in at. The higher one’s body fat prior to starting the Carnivore Diet, the longer it will take to achieve this natural set-point.

In fact, it can take years.

Most people get impatient and want to start tinkering before achieving this. They see the scale hasn’t moved in a week and they get anxious.

Weight loss is not linear. Often people gain muscle in tandem with fat loss on the Carnivore Diet. The scale can be misleading.

Forget the scale and forget the clock. Regain health. Achieve a natural appetite, normal hunger signals, and natural body fat.

Then, if – and this is a big “IF” – you want to get leaner, there are some tinkering strategies with calories/macros.

Tinkering with the Carnivore Diet

BUT – what if you want that bikini body and the shredded abs…?

I don’t think people should consider tinkering with the Carnivore eiet until Step 1 is complete. Because by the end of “Step 1” 99% of people will be better than they ever dreamed possible – in terms of health but also body composition. They don’t ever need to consider “tinkering” – they just need to be patient.

But what if you’ve been patient, you’re healthy, and you still want to get even leaner…

I’m as guilty as anyone else.

I like to have and stay at low body fat levels. Lower than my body would stabilize at naturally.

It’s important to know that there are trade-offs to getting super lean.

Energy will tend to suffer. Hunger will elevate. Hormones will adjust.

So if you’ve achieved your “Homeostatic Carnivore Set-point” and still want to get leaner, here are some strategies you can use:

Fat Loss Strategies

Strategy #1: Stick with “Level 2”

The first strategy I would use is “Sticking in Level 2” (in the 30-day guide) for the most part. This means removing things like dairy and cheeses cheeses, added fats like butter, and things like pork rinds that are easy to overeat. Stick with lots of fresh meat. This alone can get you to where you want to be.

Strategy #2: Protein

The next step would be to alter your macronutrient ratios. I wouldn’t recommend counting calories or even protein/fat grams. Rather, by this point you should have a good idea of how many pounds of meat/day you eat. Just substitute in some leaner cuts or trim the fat off the fattier cuts.

For example, I ate a lot of strip steaks. Typically, I would eat all the fat and the meat. However, if I wanted to lean out a bit more, I would trim the fat off the side of the strip instead of eating it.

Or if I know I eat 3lbs of beef/day, and I want to lose a bit more fat, I would continue to eat 3lbs of meat/day but I would choose leaner cuts.

Strategy #3: Fat-Cycle

I recommend using this strategy in tandem with Strategy #2. One to two times per week I would increase my fat intake back to normal levels. On these days, don’t trim the fat. This helps with energy, hormones, appetite, and preventing some of the trade-offs that come from getting unnaturally lean.

Strategy #4: Intermittent Fasting

Many people naturally intermittent fast to some degree on a Carnivore Diet. But limiting yourself to an 8 hour window each day in which you can eat can help further fat loss.

Strategy #5: Before Bed

If you want to know if you’re on the right track with your daily eating, go to bed with the feeling “I could eat.” It’s not a feeling of starvation or dying to eat a meal. But just a simple, light “I could eat” type feeling.

Strategy #6: Cardio

Going into cardio and weight training is beyond this article, but a simple concept that can help continue fat loss in the “unnatural territory” is cardio. Use a progressive approach. If you are use to doing zero cardio, then maybe start doing 20 minutes 3X/week. Evaluate results. Want more fat loss, bump it up to 30 minutes 5X/week. Evaluate. Slowly progress. I strongly recommend weight training to preserve as much lean body mass as possible as well. And if you are not accustomed to weight training or cardio, I’d start with the weights, and then slowly add the cardio in from there.

99% of People

The vast majority of people never need to “tinker” with The Carnivore Diet. It is why I was hesitant to even write this. However, for those vain like myself, these strategies can help you get “unnaturally” lean – just beware of the trade-offs you make with the devil 🙂

And if you’re just getting started just start with the 30-day guide to going full carnivore.


I recently updated this article and outlined “The Only 3 Steps You Need” for fat loss on the carnivore diet – and you can get access to it here:

I also uploaded a couple videos further diving into the specifics that I highly recommend watching.


I recorded Podcast Episode 007 that goes into more depth about muscle building on the carnivore diet.

68 Replies to “Fat Loss and The Carnivore Diet”

  1. Hello Doc. I am a Sally too I think. Frustrating but great to read your content and learn that carnivore is not a quick fix, get in shape fast kind of diet. I have been eating carnivore for around 4 months now but have had the odd cheat meal along the way. My stomach always feels terrible after doing such. Still learning I guess. In the past I have got in pretty good shape eating low fat, high protein and moderate carbs. I got to 8% body fat eating that way whilst lifting weights and running. I would eat clean 6 days a wek and one day a week I would indulge in some treat foods. I would see pretty good results in 2-3 weks of eating that way if I followed the plan diligently. Carnivore seems to work a lot differently. For me at least. I can’t seem to move the scales nor the stubborn belly fat I have that has me sticking at around what I would estimate to be around 15% body fat these days. I still lift weights and I feel like I’ve put on some solid muscle underneath the fat. Just hoping it comes out on show soon. Would those cheat meals be enough to hinder my progress? Im talking like one cheat meal every 10-14 days on average. I take some hope in reading what you say about it taking time to adapt and reap the true benefits. Thanks for your help with all this great content. Justin.

    1. Hey Justin, sounds like you are doing a lot right!

      Depending on the “cheat meal” it can definitely hinder progress (at the same time, depending on what it is/how much, etc…it could be a minimal impact).

      A couple things – 15% isn’t too high a body fat percentage, and may be close to your “natural setpoint.” Meaning that’s where your body is happy/healthy. So if you eat until satisfied it may stay around there. To get to 10% and below (the body generally doesn’t want to go there) and may require decreasing energy consumption and increasing energy utilization (i.e. cardio). Creating this energy deficit does have ramifications though (low energy, decrease mood, etc…)

      Some of the things mentioned in this article I think can help you get there if you want to. If I were you I’d probably go a few more months of sticking with fatty meats and reducing/eliminating “cheats.” Then if you want to get leaner, you can employ some of the methods here.

      I’d start my decreasing fat a bit. Just picking slightly leaner cuts or trimming some of the fat. This alone can go a long way towards achieving your body fat goals. Combine this with a slow/progressive increase in cardio and I think you’d be happy with the results. And then if you want to stay at that level of leanness, I’d experiment with “fat cycling” so as to prevent/limit potential downfalls of too low fat intake.

  2. Hi Kevin, thanks so much for all the helpful information.

    I am just over 2weeks of carnivore coming from keto. I do suffer from an auto immune disease as well as hypothyroidism. Coming to carnivore has been amazing on my digestion which was also a major factor for switching.

    Another reason was to heal my auto immune disease as well as loose some weight (though I know this is not what it is initially intended for) I have an extremely hard time loosing weight unless my calories are low and I’m doing a minimum of 45-1 hour of cardio a day.

    I have definitely increased my calories since starting and have gotten a bit more ..fluffy… which I’m ok with as its expected. Do you think I should to do some cardio a couple of times a week tied with my weight training? I am hoping trying to try and keep the weight gain at a minimal if I can help it.

    I know you don’t recommend ticketing with the diet when. You first start out. I gave up coffee and just eat meat. Should I incorporate some of those leaner meat days or wait until im past the 30 days?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Amanda from everything you’ve mentioned, I guess your metabolism is a little “damaged” (for lack of a better work).

      If I were you, I’d do the complete opposite.

      I would reduce cardio (maybe just some HIIT a couple times a week) but would focus a lot on weight lifting. This will help build LBM, boost your metabolism, and overall feel better. You may gain some weight (definitely will gain some good weight), but after doing this from 6+ months then, if you want, I’d consider other “cutting” techniques (at which point with a health metabolism/body – fat loss will be so much easier).

      Currently, you are fighting a “race to the bottom” where all you can do is cut more calories and add in more cardio while your metabolism screeches to a halt. It’s a dangerous spiral, and the way out is being open to putting on some weight, and really focusing on putting on muscle mass. And in case you were wondering/worried about getting “bulky” muscle – this is not a worry, I promise 🙂

    2. Amanda, I also come from keto and feel so much bulkier and puffier doing carnivore. It’s frustrating, but I really LOVE this diet because my stomach feels so much happier and I sleep deeper and better. I still drink tea, pure oolong tea, nothing was added. I usually just eat beef, once in a while, an egg, but no dairy, pork, or chicken. Maybe I should add some lean meat days too.

  3. I do come from a background of yo-yo dieting and prepping for fitness competitions. I knew weight gain would happen which is ok (thank goodness we’re into the fall/winter months).

    I do full body 3×4 times a week. I get the muscle no problem, but under a lot of fat which makes me appear to be bigger which is what I don’t like

    But you are right! I will do just that. I am sedentary which is also why I’ll just hop in the treadmill and walk. Nothing too strenuous! Do you think I should continue with the beef? And maybe some leaner cuts? Finding I am having a histamine reaction to ground beef so it’s just any kind of steaks or roast

    Thanks so much!

    1. If you are having a reaction from ground beef, check if the supplier adds “extenders” to it. There are products made of soy that some places add to ground beef. You can find it for sale under the name “Soy Protein Concentrate” among others. Some even contain carbs. Many fast food burgers taste like soy to me ,after a while on carnivore you can tell. (I’m looking at you Harvey’s 100% Angus)

  4. Hi, I’ve recently discovered the carnivore diet and having looked into it for some time now I’m amazed at, among many things, how simple it is. When I first began to look at it, I got my foods list down to 7 or so (from a previous couple of dozen with the old “normal diet”). But eventually I came full circle to understand that I only needed meat! So simple, And then I realized it was even simpler in that I could get it all from ground beef patties/steak. I couldn’t believe it. This being said, I have a question on cost. I don’t think I can afford steak, so I’m looking into ground beef patties, which seem like it can be purchased for around $2.50/lb. I will probably need around 2-3 pounds/day. So this comes out to around between $150-$225/month. Does sound about right for what it should cost using this type of diet if I were to eat only patties? Is this all that would be needed – ground beef every day?

    Also, i have a question on cholesterol. Before I found this diet, I found out I had high cholesterol, but didn’t want to take a pharmaceutical to deal with it. So I went a natural route and began flaxseed oil capsules, Co-Q10 caps, and Amla powder. Now that I am going on this carnivore diet and understand that it should help lower my cholesterol, do you think I still need those supplements? If not, would it have any negative affects to continue to use since I had bought them and would rather not just discard them?

    1. Yep that price sounds about right, but you can also stock up when meat goes on sale.

      As far as cholesterol, it may go up or down, but cholesterol has to be understood in context – meaning it can be high for good reasons or be high for bad reasons. For example my cholesterol (last checked) was “high” but my HDL was super high, my triglycerides were low, I had miniscule remnant cholesterol, extremely low insulin levels, etc…context is very important. Personally, I wouldn’t take the supplements.

      1. Thanks. Couple other questions. I’ve always understood that low-carb diets adversely affect both muscle gains/growth and fullness/appearance of muscles (stringy effect, etc.). So with zero-carb would seem even worse. Do you believe this not to be true, both regarding adverse affects of low/zero carb diet on muscle growth and fullness?

        Also, if fat loss isn’t a goal, but all the other benefits of a carnivore diet are wanted, do you think a small amount of carbs/day (say 20-25 grams) would negate the positive effects of carnivore? Like say from yogurt, etc. And isn’t it still possible to get into ketosis with a very small amount of carbs like that?

      2. Hi Kevin, THANK YOU so much for writing this post. I feel much better just reading there’s a SALLY out there just like me. I know that you don’t recommend taking supplements. Currently I am still taking trace minerals, mainly for my hair (losing hair like crazy while doing keto) and AVC/lemon water & Betain HCI for the digestion. I did try to leave out Betain HCI once, but then I had a feeling that meat was just sitting in my stomach and didn’t want to move…so, should I continue to take it until my gut heals? p.s I don’t poop daily any more doing carnivore..not really constipate, but once every 2-3 days is just so unusual for me. Should I worry about this? Once again, thank YOU so much for your work!

  5. Hi Kevin, another question!
    If you find you’re getting irritable on this WOE…is that because you might not be eating enough?
    I try to fast for at least 16 hours and will have a steak or two. But some days ill wake up and ill already be irritable especially before dinner and after the gym

    I try to have 2 steaks for lunch (around 11:00am, sometimes 12) and then after i get home from the gym (6:00pm) and ill usually have a steak or two depending on my hunger

    I know everyone says to eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. But i cut it down from 3 meals to 2 to see if it’ll help with the adaption and force my body into ketosis and can start burning body fat. I know it takes time and im already about 2 months in but am hoping to see the light at the end of the tunnel soon!

    Thank you:)

  6. Hi. I started carnivore a week ago from IF and low carb only cause of white potatoes not quite keto lol)I ate meat and greens mostly. I’m 52 post menopausal, 5’3, 207lbs after losing 25lbs with low carb and IF. Now I am eating carnivore as I want to heal leaky gut to heal my hypothyroidism and hashimotos. I have CHS, although I do feel more energetic due to carnivore. but still get tired easily. My adrenals are burned out literally so I cant exercise much and my muscles are very sore like having the flu and weak. I know this will take a while, but with the sore muscles, its hard to even contemplate weight lifting yet I know muscle gain leads to more mitochondria meaning more energy which I desperately need. What would you suggest I can do to optimize my healing? Thank you for your time sir. 🙂 Ps. Started eating LC IF aug 13th after learning I have two leaky heart valves HTN and SOB. Was very SOB but since losing some weight much much better. Im walking a little for exercise maybe 20 minutes a couple of times a week plus walking at work a decent amount.

    1. I would definitely start by reading the 30-day guide to going full carnivore at https://meat.health

      Also I would recommend doing what you can as far as weight training (start slow and just progress gradually), because as you mentioned, it has tremendous positives when it comes to health

  7. Hi Kevin. I find with Carnivore diet my pants get looser but my weight goes up. I am 165 cm and my current weight is 65 kg, that is almost 2 kg up in weight. Is it that I’ve gained fat but dropped water weight?

    1. Early on weight can fluctuate a lot and most is from water but it’s likely you’ve lost fat (i.e. pants are loose) and gained muscle.

  8. Hi Kevin. I suffer from hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue and have several different aches and pains through out my body. I do Pilates and/ or Barre 3-4x a week. I tried carnivore for about a month but noticed my menstrual cycle lasted 13 days after beginning. I see a functional medicine dr who had already had me do DUTCH and some other gut testing before beginning carnivore. She advised that I am not a good fit for this WOE due to being hypo and having very low stomach acid. I really liked the improvements I felt when I did carnivore and would like to try again. I am about to turn 45 so balancing my hormones are important.

    Any tips or guidance on how to successfully achieve carnivore success given my profile?


    1. Hypothyroid and low stomach pH, I don’t think are reasons not to eat a meat-based diet, quite the contrary – these are symptoms of an inappropriate diet (and all the more importance of improving nutrition). That said, it may take quite some time to adapt and hormones, like you mentioned, may take time before re-balancing.

      If you’ve read the 30 day guide (which you can grab on the left) and follow the “3 Level” framework that should help ease the transition.

  9. Thank you so much for providing great info and guidelines for us physique athlete type people who want to be radiantly healthy with carnivore but also love to dial in the beyond-average body composition!!!! The context is so important, and getting healthy and to a healthy metabolic homeostasis the first step, but its nice to see I’m not the only carnivore passionate about physique 😀

  10. o my…that Sally is exactly ME! I have so much bigger appetite in carnivore and tend to eat more and more…and I came from KETO eating 1200 calories. Ok, I am a small lady, so 1200 wasn’t really bad…but I am getting so much bulkier in less than 2 months…I am thinking to go back to keto :-(( but veggies make me BLOAT like a balloon!

  11. Hello, Kevin. Thank you for this article. I have been carnivore for 2 years and have recently begun body weight training and moderate walk/runs on alternating days. I exercise about 4.5 hours a week. I am a 56-year-old female, post-menopause, 125 lbs. and 62″ tall. I estimate my body fat at 28%. My question is: do I need to concern myself about the fat-burning zone? As a carnivore, aren’t I always in my fat-burning zone?

    1. Your weight training and cardio really depend on your goals – but no need to worry about any “fat-burning” zone.

  12. Hey Kevin, I love all the helpful information you send out. I was keto for 2 1/2 years lost 100 lbs. veggies started to be a problem for me after having my gallbladder out. I stopped losing and was very bloated all the time. I switched to carnivore 2 months ago. Have not lost or gained on the scale but my pants seem to be fitting more snug. I walk my 5 miles + a day and do a very light tone weight for my arms, and about 40 or more squats every night. That’s the extent to my exercise. I am 5 4” and 140 lb I would love to lose 10 more lbs but it’s been literally impossible. Please any advice appreciated!?

  13. hi Kevin,
    Thank you so much for the great information. I have recently started carnivore coupled with IM fasting – (aiming for warrior), however, I am concerned that I am not getting enough calories within this 4 hours window. I have struggled before with calorie restriction where my metabolism slowed right down, and I’m concerned about this happening again…should I be?

    1. I don’t think IF is ideal for body composition. Yes, it absolutely can be used as a strategy and some people do find it helpful, but in general, I don’t recommend it.

      I’d recommend following the guide (just uploaded an updated version at Meat Health – https://meat.health) – all the info is in there, and let me know if something doesn’t make sense of if you have further questions.

  14. Dr Stock,

    I went Carnivore for 3 months to try and heal chronic Lyme disease and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome after being nearly bedridden by Toxic Black Mold. I lost 7 lbs the first week an addition 9 after. O had a lot of energy, less pain and no brain fog. I also felt “wired up” and had insomnia at times. This didn’t help my anxiety. I also had diarrhea most of the time. There were benefits and drawbacks.

    I got bored and went off for a period of 2.5 months. I am now back on it again, 1 week in. This time is much different. Ive barely lost 2 lbs. I literally cannot sleep more than 2 hours a night. No bowel movements hardly at all. I shake all day despite eating to hunger and using 5g of Real Salt or Himalayan salt, supplement potassium and take copiys amounts of Magnesium ( I did this prior anyways due to Lyme). My ears constantly ring and my heart beats out of my chest most of the day.

    Ideas why the experiences are different? Am I doing something wrong? I’ve tried eatimg more, Magnesium, GABA, Melatonin and even a muscle relaxer to sleep. Nothing helps. One serving of carbs and I’d be out like a though, from past experience. I do have adrenal fatigue and it’s like someone turned on the cortisol pump at full blast.
    Help? I don’t want to give up yet.
    Thanks, Melissa

    1. I’m sorry to hear about the struggle – you are having to go through a large hormonal shift, fluid re-balancing, and it can be rough. As to why it’s worse this time, I can’t say for sure.

      And you are probably right, cortisol is often very high early in this transition.

      If you haven’t gone through the 30-day guide to going full carnivore I really recommend starting there (https://meat.health)

      A last resort option (which can draw out the adaptation) is to do as you mentioned, add small amount of carbs to meals and then slowly scale it to just your last meal, and then maybe every other day, ect…this can help ease the transition, but like I said can also draw it out. Hope you’re feeling better soon!

    2. Melissa, does the diarrhea get quite bad? I’m new to Carnivore (literally day 1 today) but I used to take magnesium regularly. One of the side effects of magnesium use is looser stool, and even diarrhea if taking too much.
      When I first started taking it I took too much (didn’t realise how powerful it was) and thought I was dying because my diarrhea and stomach cramping was so bad. Carnivore often causes diarrhea when you’re first starting out, so I imagine the combination could make your side effects much worse. Might be a good idea to cut back on magnesium while doing carnivore, or to go a few days without

  15. Dear Kevin, first of all: thank you for the high quality content you put out! It’ remarkable what you’re doing and I’m super grateful! I’m 4weeks into “mostly” Carnivore Diet now, as I had to switch to “keto” while on a 10 day holiday with my family. So here’s the question: I can feel my heart beating much heavier and sometimes even have trouble falling asleep due to it. In the first two to three weeks I had heart racing sometimes, I assume that’s normal during adaptation phase but the “heavy heart” has not changed. I do have few thought for possible reasons but as you can guess, the heart issue really makes me a little scared of the whole carnivore lifestyle. I eat lots of beef, different kinds of fish, some pork and chicken. I’ve eaten some organ meat but not from beef and definitely less than once per week. The last few days I woke up with a numb foot sole, which is another reason for concern. Hope you have some advice! I’d appreciate it a lot. Much love from Germany, keep it up!

    1. Thanks so much – and did you read the 30 Day Guide (you can download it over on the left) – talks about symptoms and what to do that I think you’ll find helpful.

  16. I’m two weeks out from a powerlifting competition, following the above to go from 77kg to 75kg. I could water cut some if it doesn’t come off as I’m pretty lean already thanks to carnivore. I’ll let you know how it goes, I’ve been carnivore for 6 months but have cut out cream, cheese and pork rinds for this.

  17. HI! I’ve recently started your Level 1 2.5 weeks ago and I want to continue for as long as possible – I’m 25, 5’5, and probably 140 lbs at this point (I don’t use a scale) and I have been bulimic/anorexic cycling for ten years but 6 months ago became Keto – I’ve now switched to Carnivore after reading your guide and I do feel a lot better. The weight gain/fat gain(?) is happening so fast it’s a bit scary – I don’t quite have the energy yet to exercise. In fact i haven’t been much into exercise my whole life but hope to move in that direction. (i’m on my feet 6 hours a day working and right now thats about where my energy level is) Do you think adding exercise is important this early on? And do you because I’m pretty young that this weight gain period will end relatively soon? I’m eating grass fed ground beef and occasional bacon (to satiety..2.5 lbs per day) and coffee. I know it’s my body re-calibrating but it’s certainly a test to my commitment to carnivore. Should I lift some weights and such?…I came to carnivore to help my hunger cues and appetite regulate, so this body composition factor is something I’m just now understanding, (I just wanted to be healthy) I also lost my cycle months ago after I began prolonged fasting once a month (not doing that anymore for the time being)
    Anyway thanks for all your incredible information!

    1. First, congratulations on working to get your diet/health under control 🙂 I know that’s not easy.

      Second, I think exercise is always a good idea – I’d start with whatever you can do (if you can learn to enjoy to lift weights that would be my top recommendation), and enjoy and go from there.

      Third, I would strongly advise reading this guide:
      I would pay special attention to Part I – but with your diet history, I’d expect the body to take some time to heal.

      If you can focus on the benefits: how much more energy you have, how good you feel, finally be satiated, menstrual cycle returning, your relationship with food improving, and no longer obsessing with calories/quantities/measuring and monitoring (speaking from experience :), etc…the body comp will come along in time.

      1. Oh my gosh! like magic my cycle came back today – I’m feeling so much better each day! it’s really crazy. I appreciate the support. I read the guide over and over until it really sank inn (part 1 especially) thank you!

    1. The point is – is if fat loss is your goal you should go to bed with the feeling that “I could eat” meaning very slightly hungry.

  18. HI, I have been doing carnivore for the past month with great success. My question/concern is about bowel movements. Can you elaborate on this? how often is it normal to go? and if I’m not doing that what should I do?

    1. “low protein” “less than 500gm” – I’m not sure what you are really talking about.

      1. I wouldn’t recommend low protein
      2. 500g of protein/day would be a tremendous amount for anyone (but especially a 68 year old female)

      Did you read the article/pdf guide?

  19. Hello Kevin! I started Keto a year ago and Carnivore a few months afterwards. I lost a weight in the beginning but have stalled the last few months I am guessing due to the fact I sit at a desk for work, then sit at a desk while I do my college homework, so I sit a lot. I am approx. 5’7″ and 190 lbs, 34 year old male. Is it possible to continue to loose fat through diet manipulation? Right now with school, family, work and other responsibilities finding time for the nearest gym 45min away is almost out of the question. Thank you for your videos, posts and everything!

      1. I have watched them and they make perfect sense, for someone working out. I do not work out and know I am missing a huge piece of the puzzle. Even though I am at around 30% body fat, I would rather be 15% and at the same level of strength than at 30%.
        I am in the sustain phase I am sure; I have been a stable weight for ~8 months and have had 3 blood tests and everything tracks with others (good A1C, PTH, ionized calcium, triglycerides, etc) except my calcium is a bit high @ 11 mg/dl.
        How would I go about loosing some more fat in my current position? When I graduate college and can finally do some gym time, how would you recommend me transitioning into this diet wise?
        Thank you again for contributing to the carnivore movement!

  20. Hi Kevin, Patricia here 5’2 between 148-150 lbs. I workout doing weights and cardio 6 times out of the week. I am on Keto but have been on carnivore for three weeks and no weight loss. I do one meal a day mostly 80/20 ground beef about 1 lb and three to 4 eggs. I am wondering if the no weight loss is because of my gym time. I do notice that I am toning in the waist legs and arms but the weight loss is bothering me. Am I doing something wrong with my meal or gym time?

  21. Hi, Kevin! I love your articles! I am transitioning into carnivore from keto. I am 5’5 weigh 161. I am borderline diabetic and also have leaky gut, so I am both of the characters you mentioned. Does this mean I might gain? I have lost weight on keto, like twelve pounds, but it took seven months to get there.

    1. Thanks Jen, and it is possible. If you read the guide (and watched the videos) then you should be well equipped with expectations as well as how to handle/think about fat loss/gain during the initial transition and achieving long term success.

  22. Hey Kevin,
    Thanks for sharing you knowledge and experience with us about the carnivore diet. I started my journey 4 weeks ago at 130kg. 3 weeks in & I’d lost 11kg. This past week however I actually gained weight (2 kg). I have however been doing quite a bit of cardio (fireman sandbag carries) 1h at 3.5mph & alternating days doing 3h of 3.5mph walks in varying elevation. My question is; Is my training messing with my weightloss? I haven’t changed my caloric intake. Make sure my macros stay anywhere between 73%F29%P – 75%F25%P. I have to admit that I’ve not taken a day off training this past week, seeing how I’m not really doing any intense weight training, but I’m kind of starting to feel really tired throughout the day & muscle soreness because of the sandbag carries.
    Thanks in advance for any advice

  23. Hi kevin, i have been on a carnivore diet for over a year now and 9 month keto previously. I put 5 pounds on keto and another 5 pounds on carnivore the first 6 month which stabilised.i have a really active job and i eat 4 meals a day during thats time to have energy throughout the day and i wasngood with that!!
    I have been on holiday for weeks trying to stay active and i have incorporated weight training, cardio and fasting with 1 to 2 meal a day to keep fit and maybe try to loose some of that weight gained the last 2 year. But i have t
    gained another 6 pounds on in 3 weeks doing that, and i dont know what to do anymore, as i really need to stay fitnfor my work!
    sometimes i just feel like going back to a SAd diet where my weight and body were thinner, so questions, do you think i am just adapting to intermittent fasting and exercice and my weight will move? Or should i go back to a normal diet as i had no problem before starting a keto diet apart wanting to be healthier!!! Thanks for any advice

  24. Hi Kevin,
    Thank you for all the info you provide. I’m 5 months into carnivore eating just meat+eggs no dairy, higher fat and coming from 4 years of keto with counting macros and calories. I stopped working out with weights in Jan this years and only walk on the treadmill for 45 min every 2nd day.
    I’m a Sally and since going carnivore I have lost muscle (gutted to be honest) and gained body fat. Not sure what to do now. Been lean for 15 years previously but my body fat increased quite a lot on meat only. I feel great mentally and all but don’t like how I look at all. Also I like carnivore more than keto. Should I just be patient and see if I’ll start losing fat at some point or should I implement one of your suggestions now,? I’m just so annoyed….feels great to be carnivore but I’ve definitely became SKINNY FAT. Appreciate any advice. I’ve read your guides…thank you for those

  25. thank u for th logic based detailed nfo…too often we think like a “mob” & expect to get th same exact results as other ppl; evn tho our specific circumstances b quite different…

    im a former 3 sport collegiate athlete/physcl ed instructor…i had mild hypoglycemic symptoms as a child & thruout college…never stopped me from participating in sports or completing 2 bachelor degrees in about 5 yrs…

    in my mid 30s iincreasingly succumbed to a severe intolerance to fructose & gluten, then seemingly, to all plant base carbs-evn to th fumes & mist of cooked carbs & dairy…

    in that, i was forced to a strict carnivore diet, unknowingly thru a 11 yrs long process of finding out why i was increasingly getting ill…

    ive always struggled to maintain a healthy with regards to th difficulty of gaining & keeping thth weight on…when i was younger & in college i had to do weight training to gain weight thru muscle gain…i do not do conventional supplements-just meat, water & salt…

    hence, i really appreciate th thoroughness & th logic of yur article…
    terri a.

    1. correctn: i eat animal fat, meat; beef, chicken, atlantic salmon; pork rinds & salt…

      additional comment: i appreciate tht u did not associate th health benefits of th carnivore-zero carbs diet to th unscientific (void of any scientific method evidence/support) darwin’s evolutionism supposing…

      in ths day of material & monetary greed/idolatry, ppl will sacrifice integrity, objectivity, observable & practical & repeatable evidence to win ill gotten support & to win an argument…

      no aspect of darwins evolutionism supposing-now a religious belief system-can b observed n nature, can b repeated n test models & has any logical precedence…

      u also admitted to th unnatural/unhealthy loss of fat-kudos to u for keeping really real…
      terri a.

  26. Hi Doc,

    Quick Overview: 47 year old, 5′ 7″ 237 lbs – Disgusted with what I have become. Used to play a lot of sports, especially rugby (where I played as hooker) and also powerlifting (when I was in the service). Weight ballooned from 180 lbs after I got out to go back to college. I was always a reluctant cardio person. In the service I used calorie counting and the lifting to keep my weight around 180 – was always stocky but carried a bit of muscle.
    Before Christmas, I decided I had enough. I knew I was unhealthy (47 inch distended gut with a FOPA) and already suffered from dysthymia but have been going through a major depressive episode since August. I made decisions to attack this malaise across a number of areas in my life – body being just one of them. Since 2014 I have led a sedentary life – my only PT beginning walking my two large dogs, sporadically. Now, I tried to walk them at least 1 hour a day. Even still, I feel tired and have aches in my hips when walking them. Also, I have as yet an undiagnosed illness, vertigo-like symptoms coupled with nausea (lasts anywhere from hours to days), which can be incapacitating. We have ruled our Meniere’s etc so next stop is a neurology consult. When I decided to start a diet to lose weight in the past, I would do the first 30 days on the diet with little PT to see how my weight responded before adding cardio and weightlifting. Just trying to give you a background.
    On 1 Jan 2020, I started the carnivore, eating 2 lbs (average) of meat per day – mainly 80/20 or 85/15 Ground Beef (grass-fed if I can get it on discount). Others included pork chops, steak, sausage (very little ingredient varieties) and supplements like beef liver supplements. For seasoning I use Himalayan Sea Salt and Ground black pepper. Never had an issue giving up tea or coffee, however, I do like some sort of a hot drink in the morning so I was taking a teaspoon of Raw, unfiltered wildflower honey in a mug of boiling water (3 times daily) to satisfy that requirement. I used grass-fed butter (1 tsp) for cooking meats. That has been the diet since 1 Jan.
    Now, by my calculations and society’s I am probably 40% body fat and my “ideal” weight is 160 lbs. That is my target weight. I purchased ketosis-testing strips and have been using them. My last bloodwork was 8th July 2019. What I have observed so far, feel good on the diet. Busting ass is a lottery. However, my weight has gotten up to 229 lbs (highest) and down to 226 lbs (lowest) – it justs fluctuates around my starting 227. My ketosis strips show me either with no ketosis to trace, nothing ever higher.
    So as you can imagine, I am despondent. I thought I was going to be a “John” but it seems like I am a “Sally”. I have no problem staying strict on the carnivore. However, I do have some questions:
    1. From what I have told you, do you have any advice?
    2. I would like to continue taking the teaspoon of honey in hot water, three times daily. I was considering using Kiva Raw Manuka Honey, for its anti-inflammatory benefits. I really like that hot drink.
    3. Up or reduce the amount of meat consumed?
    4. I would like to lay off upping my exercise (or lack thereof) until 1 Feb to see how the diet is behaving.
    I would greatly appreciate any feedback you may be able to give me and I will not take it to be medical advice or opinion from you.
    Very Respectfully

  27. I am a mix of the 2 people. I started carnivore due to glucose being high and pre to type 2 diabetic. I work out with the big 3 powerlifting moves as well as the other body parts in between and have added some cardio. I have seen a big change in my body composition but the indication on the scale doesn’t change much. I eat eggs every now and then and will add some cheese to my ground meat so that is the only dairy I get. My go to is ground chuck, I love eating it…could this be too much of a fatty meal (80/20) to see a change on the scale? Should I just continue to monitor progress in the mirror versus the scale.

    1. Ideally you would be building muscle and losing fat, so really, worrying about the scale isn’t a good use of time in my opinion.

  28. I made it 12 weeks before messing up, due to smoking a particular herb and going on a candy binge. A day of nonsense turned into several weeks, but i’m back on it now.

    My question is, what is the real impact of taking break and eating some complex carbs? I’ve resolved not to mess with that herb anymore, but I will ‘cheat’ on vacation. We go on city breaks and its just not possible to get enough meat to sustain without cooking facilities (at least $30 for a ribeye and i need four a day).

    To be clear, i’d be happy to see a six-pack but gut health is my key goal and i cannot do FODMAPS. So the ‘cheating’ would be fries or rice so i can get enough calories in me on vacation.

  29. I’ve been keto since 2018. I lost 45 pounds in 9 months on dirty keto then stopped when I started eating a little bit more junk during the holidays. Gained about 15 back then in January of 2019 went strict keto. Lost about 20 pounds and stalled for a whole year even though I did followed a very low carb version of keto. Then, being tired of stalling, I went carnivore in January of 2020. I lost another 9 pounds and stalled out again. When I stall I get really frustrated and bored. The SIP hasn’t helped. I went off it off and on for a few weeks but the weight has been up and down around the same 5 pounds which is normal for me.

    What I noticed during all of this is that I’m losing weight in my butt and thighs. I’ve also noticed some hollowness under my waist line. What I haven’t noticed is my waist moving at all. It’s still this annoying pourch of 47 inches and hasn’t budged. I had a 24 inch waist in my younger but after having 3 kids it never went down. Why doesn’t the waist budge? I’d take my bigger hips and boobs which are natural for me. I’m not used to having this huge waist. Oh, after a cat scan because I had some issue going on with my lower gut at one point they said I “did not have fatty liver” and that I had a small hernia near my belly button and a small heital hernia. Could that be causing the waist issue? My doc just isn’t good at answering those questions. Thanks

  30. Kevin: I have been following carnivore since early May. I am a 55 year old female, 5 feet 4 inches tall, 202 pounds. I have a history of going to extraordinary lengths to lose weight. I have steadily gained about another 3 pounds since May. Prior to that I was doing alot of IF (no weight loss just MISERY); I did very low cal, low fat, mod carb, mod protein prior to that. Rare alcohol. Maybe 2 drinks a week (glass of white whine; Paloma made with Fresca (no cals), lime juice, Tequila, salt. I now eat several eggs a day, some ground beef , 90% of the time grass fed,, eggs are duck or free range chicken. Fish/shellfish/sea food probably 4 days a week. Steak several times per week. I eat generally 2x daily. I seem to do best this way. It’s almost as if my brain thinks I’m starving no matter what. I am at my wits end. I am thinking of going vegan (I DONT want to do this) OR Ted Naimans P:E Diet. Any suggestions?? I also do not believe I EVER burn body fat as I am so stinking miserable if I try to fast. My body does NOT burn its own body fat. It doesn’t switch to fat burning.

    1. Hi Dani I understand the frustration. If I were you, I would focus on Part 1 of this fat loss guide: https://www.kevinstock.io/how-to-lose-fat-on-the-carnivore-diet/ and I would combine it with weight training.
      What I would encourage is a long term / lifestyle goal vs a short term weight loss goal. Because the scale might not drop overnight, but as your body heals and your relationship with food heals and hormones re-regulate I think you’ll be happy you took a long term approach.

  31. For all of you moaning about gaining weight/fat on the Carnivore diet, just be grateful that you body, digestiion and metabolism is working as it should be,, I’m currently under weight, I was doing loads of carbs to try and gain weight, I wanted to gain body fat, gain something, but lots of carbs just made me ill all the time,,, , this is why I started Carnivore to try and fix my metabolism, digestion , organs body, overall health .. I’ve only been doing it just under 2 weeks, I’m still under weight at present, but the day I start gaining weight, body fat, after 20 years of try, it would bring tears to my eyes, this is something I’m so looking forward to … Thanks Kevin for this site , all your input and support for everyone transitioning,, G. Bless you

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