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How to go from Keto to Carnivore

How to go from Keto to Carnivore

How to go from Keto to Carnivore

how to go from keto to carnivoreAs the Carnivore Diet picks up speed with people feeling better, healing disease, and performing at new heights, the largest segment taking the plunge – by far –  are people going from Keto to Carnivore.

It has become the natural progression. Bad diet to Keto to Carnivore.

And while the Keto and Carnivore are similar in many ways, there are some critical differences that people need to be aware of when making the transition.

Unlike going from a SAD (Standard American Diet) to a Ketogenic diet where getting “fat-adapted” can be a tough transition to get through, those going from Keto to Carnivore are already fat-adapted.

They’ve already been through the “Keto Flu.

Yet, going from Keto to Carnivore often results in “Round 2” of the “Carnivore Flu.”

The Carnivore Flu

In going from Keto to Carnivore the transition symptoms are not about getting fat-adapted or switching to a fat-based metabolism or using ketones for energy.

If you zoom out and look at both diets the glaring difference is vegetables.

A typical ketogenic diet consists of a lot of vegetables. And removing these can cause some side effect. And it’s not because of any vitamins or minerals or antioxidants they might contain. It’s the fiber.

Fiber

In the Carnivore Diet there are no plant-based foods. And thus, no fiber.

As you might expect, this results in many people experiencing a significant change in bowel movements.

While fiber is not necessary for healthy digestion (and can be causal of digestive issues) it does impact bowel function. Absorbing water, creating bulk, and regularity, fiber lets the colon to get lazy.

A major function of the colon is to reabsorb water. Since fiber does most of this work in a diet high in plant-based foods, the colon gets lazy. It quits doing its job. It’s like a muscle that hasn’t been worked out. It gets weak.

Going from a Ketogenic Diet to a Carnivore Diet results in a drastic change in fiber intake. And since the colon hasn’t gotten a good workout in a while, and is now being asked to do its job, it’s lost some of its capacity. It needs to “on-ramp.”  During this “on-ramp” water gets through. Loose stools are common.

Fiber isn’t there to absorb the water and the colon needs time to re-build its “water-absorbing-muscles.”

This “on-ramping” of the colon can take several weeks.

Frequency

So not only are loose stools common, so are infrequent bowel movements.

Meat is absorbed extremely efficiently in the small intestines. Not much goes to waste.

Many people mistakenly think they are constipated when in fact they just aren’t making as much waste.

After a time, stools normalize, become firmer (though soft is still common), and more regular. But this “regular” tends to me a more infrequent regularity schedule.

Fiber Part 2

Fiber is food for bacteria in the large intestines.

Bacteria love fiber. They ferment it and create the gases that make you unpopular at parties.

Removing fiber makes some of these bacteria unhappy. There is research that shows that the microbiome can signal hunger and cravings as the bacteria do everything they can to get you to feed them before they die.

We know very little about the microbiome. Most of what’s written is pure speculation. Research is lacking. But this is a “re-balancing” of gut microflora – I’d argue – is probably a good thing.

This leads us into the next transition symptom.

Cravings

Carb Cravings

A nice, but dangerous, feature of the ketogenic diet is that food can be made to taste like SAD foods.

Artificial sweeteners abound.

Because of this many people never beat the addiction to sugar and carbohydrates. They can’t imagine black coffee. Stevia is a major food group for most ketogenic dieters.

Completely removing these can result in some strong craving signals.

Luckily, meat is delicious, and crushing these cravings with steaks isn’t that terrible of a sacrifice.

More Meat

In fact, you may experience the next step in cravings.

Meat. And wanting more and more.

Many people that come from a Ketogenic Diet are use to maniacal measuring, counting, and testing.

They track macros, calories and ketones. They restrict themselves and their diets to extreme degrees.

And even though they eat a “healthy” diet, many are malnourished, depleted in vitamins and minerals, calories and cholesterol, protein and pounds.

In this state, when they are told they can eat meat until satisfied, without measuring or monitoring, the flood gates break loose.

The body craves the nutrition, and their brain relaxes from famine mode to feast mode. It can take weeks, months, or longer until the appetite regulates.

This can result in weight gain to the surprise of many. And this weight gain can lead to fear and back to restriction.

This is a mistake.

The key is to let the appetite re-regulate and normalize. Let the body fuel up on the nutrition it needs and desries. Be in it for the long haul.

After a time the appetite regulates and the cravings disappear. In fact, all you will want to do is eat a steak. Everything else seems non-satisfactory.

This is when amazing things start happening. Fat starts to melt off. Muscles begin to bulge. Diseases disappear. The brain is bolstered. You can go long periods of time without eating or thinking about food. There is a new found freedom in what seems a very restricted diet.

Cravings Cousin

On the flip side, some people experience a lack of appetite.

Meat is satiating. Protein is satiating.

This can lead some people who transition from Keto to Carnivore to under-eat.

Then comes the fatigue. The low energy. The crabby mood.

The key is to eat.

Early on, hunger is not the only signal to listen to as to when to eat. If you are tired, dragging, crabby – eat.

Making the Switch from Keto to Carnivore

The two major transition symptoms in switching from Keto to Carnivore are bowel changes from a lack of plant material and fiber as well as appetite swings. Being aware of these and having a game plan and commitment to overcome these issues is key to a successful transition from Keto to Carnivore.

If you’d like to learn more about how to transition to a meat-based / carnivore diet, I’d highly recommend watching the Meat Health Masterclass:

50 Replies to “How to go from Keto to Carnivore”

  1. Hi Kevin, do you know the effects of the carnivore diet on someone without a thyroid and on thyroxine?

    Also do you have any advice for sugar addiction transitions through the carnivore?

    1. Well if you had a thyroidectomy, I’d recommend working closely with your doctor.

      Regarding sugar additions, yes and I think there are 2 main paths. One is the cold turkey approach and the other is a more gradual approach (both can be successful and it’s more about knowing which camp you’d better fit into).
      FYI – In Meat Health Academy we use the “Meat Health Method” to do just this, and if you’re interested in learning more, you should check out the Masterclass: https://meat.health/masterclass/

  2. Hi Kevin, I’m a 59 years old female from Switzerland. Was eating Keto during the last 6 months with IF 16:8, my HBP came down a little (taking pills for more than 20 years now, so it will take me a little more patience to get rid of them), my T2D changed to “only” prediabetes and I lost 23 kg. 6 days ago I started with Carnivore and today I discovered and studied your 30-Day-Guide, which would have convinced me if I wasn’t already! I went Carnivore because of my aching knee, hip and wrist. The pain in knee and hip intensified within the last 6 months, probably due to the fact that I’m no couch potatoe any longer (moderately walk, swim or ride a bike, 5x a week for 30 minutes) – I don’t want to reduce that.

    Especially the protein:fat ratio of 1:1 was interesting for me because up to now I heard of 1:2, which in my eyes isn’t makeable without adding a whole bunch of butter or bacon fat to the meat. I eat beef and pork (steak, grounded, liver, bacon), sardines, salmon, crevettes, 2 – 3 eggs, butter and about 15 g cheese.

    Day 1: 118 g Protein : 109 g Fat
    Day 2: 122 g : 90 g
    Day 3: 118 g : 91 g
    Day 4: 169 g : 134 g
    Day 5: 105 g : 114 g

    But I have a question: Over the last week my average morning sugar went up from 6.5 to 6.9, not too much alarming, but wrong direction. Too much protein, gluconeogenesis? Do you have experience with T2D and can give me a note on what to change or must I be patient and trust in what my body tells me? No tracking any more? My next HbA1c measuring will be in October, I don’t want to be back on 6.x then, the last was 5.9.

    Thanks a lot for your time and help!

  3. Kevin, do you think there is harm in drinking Diet Caffeine-Free Dr Pepper? Do you think it perpetuates cravings for sweets?

      1. What about just zero-calorie drinks, non-carbonated included, with artificial sweeteners in general?

  4. Hi Kevin, just a quick question. I was wondering if going from a high (all) sugar diet to carnivore can possibly help persistent tendonitis? I’m ready to try the carnivore diet for a lot of reasons but the tendonitis is by far my main concern. Any help or comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    1. Yes it absolutely could help improve tendonitis. However, I think it’s important to mention that tendonitis is often a result of improper biomechanical movement (i.e may need to work on your form in the gym, posture, etc..)

    2. I found with carnivore plus a daily nattokinase that my tendonitis disappeared. I stopped the Nattokinase and it came back a little. Available on Amazon, it’s a proteolytic enzyme. I started the enzymes first and both worked together. Lots of other joint pains went away.

  5. Hi Kevin,

    Thanks very much for all the information in the website, very helpful.
    I have started to shift from a whole food diet to the carnivore diet few days ago, I feel a lot of improvement in my digestion problem which is great, the only problem is I have strong heart rate which scares me, and I can’t sleep well at night, any recommendation? I don’t want to give up on the diet, but a little scared of this strong heart rate most of the time. I would greatly appreciate any recommendation, thanks a lot.

    1. Hi Theana – both very common adaptation symptoms. What I’d recommend is reading the 30 day guide (which you can download on this website or at Meat Health: https://meat.health) – it talks about both of these as well as many other transitions tips / advice.

  6. Hey Kevin, I have successfully adapted after a few months and I have a few questions:

    1) 1 meal at day vs. 2 meals: What do you think? It’s weird because 1 meal feels better but I was losing weight, so now I am back to 2 meals. I need to gain weight, should I stick with 2?

    2) I eat 1,75 pounds of organic ground meat everyday for lunch and 12 organic eggs for dinner. However, you don’t recommend having eggs as a main dish. Can you explain this? Should I eat less eggs and more meat?

    3) Since ground meat is the only option for me, both for economical and technical reasons (I spend so much time chewing regular beef that the digestion is affected): Is it easier to overeat with ground meat and hamburgers, since they have no bones or other inedible elements?

    4) The most natural organic beef I can find has around 0,03 percent of rosemary extract, a spice which acts as a natural antioxidant. Can such a small amount of fiber affect us significantly as carnivores?

    5) Some beef variants are made of younger cows. I normally eat the older ones, with 15-20% fat, but these younger ones, with around 10%, taste better (even if they are not organic as the ones I eat, while they have an official “animal wellbeing certificate”) What do you think about this? Should we definitely go for the organic version with more fat?

    Many thanks in advance! 🙂

    1. Hi John way to stick through the adaptation period!

      1. If body composition (building muscle) is a high priority 2 meals are better than 1

      2. Many people don’t feel as good with just eggs (myself included – but I do have just egg meals from time to time) – if you feel good with it, no problem

      3. I would say not likely – but since you are trying to gain weight, I’m not sure I understand what the issue is here

      4. Very unlikely

      5. I say go with what you can afford and enjoy (I am a big advocate of buying meat from regenerative agro farmers for environmental reasons, but when it comes to nutrition, differences are relatively minor)

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