Carnivore Diet: Food List & Nutritional Guide

Why might you need to read about a Carnivore Diet food list?

Well, were you aware that the Carnivore diet was one of 2018’s biggest food trends? You heard right, more and more people are trying to eliminate carbs from their diet, sticking to a strict regimen of meat-only meal plans.

But why might you want to do this?

Cutting your grocery list down to just meat – with the occasional egg – sounds peculiar, but the Carnivore diet, with its similar extremes to the Keto diet, is proving incredibly popular among members of the fitness industry, and is pitched specifically to help people achieve leaner bodies and faster muscle repair.

In this article then, you’ll find out what the craze is all about: what to expect, what the benefits of the diet are, as well as some of the dangers, and most importantly, what a carnivore diet food list should consist of.


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What is the Carnivore Diet?

Before we move on to looking at the carnivore diet food list, let’s talk a little about the diet itself…

Generally, the Carnivore diet, also known as the zero-carb diet, consists of no plant-based foods, no fruit or vegetables, and no processed carbohydrates (for instance, cereals and grains).

The initial phase of the diet, often referred to as the experimental phase, lasts for a period of 30 days. During these 30 days, high levels of protein will be consumed, which comes with its own advantages and disadvantages.

So, to answer your first question, yes: the diet is radical, and you need to be careful with how you balance your meat consumption by following the tips below:

In essence then, the carnivore diet, like the Keto diet, looks to shift the emphasis of your nutritional intake, from relying heavily on sugar for energy, to relying on other macronutrients.

Where the Keto diet looks to transform your body into a fat-burner, we might say that the Carnivore diet looks to transform you into a protein burner.


A Carnivore Diet Success Story? 

The breakthrough story of Mikhalia Peterson is one of the reasons the diet has exploded in popularity.

Mikhalia, Daughter of the psychologist and professor Jordan Peterson, has been outspoken about her results as a result of following the carnivore diet. Diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis at the age of seven and severe depression at the age of 12, Mikhalia then had a hip and ankle replacement at seventeen.

Following this, she had to take Adderall to stay awake, sleeping approximately 17 hours a day. Mikhalia adopted the carnivore diet approach having previously started out on an elimination diet in late 2015, and now claims to be healthier than ever.


The best tips if you’re thinking about starting the Carnivore Diet

For many, the idea of eating an entirely meat-based diet is a radical shift from what they have been taught about nutrition.

And it’s true, if you’re thinking about getting started with the Carnivore Diet, you might be a little concerned about the ins and outs of what that means.

Of course, later in this article, we will take a significant burden off your shoulders by showing you what our Carnivore Diet Food list would look like.

For the time being though, let’s go through our 8 best tips, tricks and FAQs for getting started with the Carnivore Diet.

1. Learn to live without plants

No plant-based foods also mean no plant-based protein. In some cases, dairy has been added into the diet, this is purely optional, it may add some variety in to your diet rather than it being just meat. 

2. Three meals a day?

Depending on your weight loss goal you can stick to three meals a day or undertake the even newer craze of intermittent fasting. 

3. Hot drinks are your friend

Another thing to add to your diet could be tea and coffee in order to change things up a little. However, make sure you’re not adding any sugar. 

4. Mine’s a rare!

In terms of cooking the meat, cook it as you usually do depending on taste, though rare to medium rare is advised (when talking about red meat).

5. All kinds of meat are good kinds of meat

Your carnivore food list should consist of red and white meat, whole eggs, dairy products, and bone marrow.

Advantage should be taken of the organs from meats (i.e. heart, liver) and bone broth. These contain more micronutrients than vegetables, especially the organ meats. 

6. Athletes should be patient to see results

Athletes should note that for their bodies to adapt to this extreme diet it will take around six months.

High-performing athletes may need the diet modifying to meet their body’s needs. Adding vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and kale may sometimes be required, despite the fact that they are technically prohibited by the diet. When it comes to energy before exercise, sweet potatoes and apples are best advised.

7. Beef as fat

When on the diet try to use beef as your main source of fat. And to add variety consider these cuts: steaks (ribeye, sirloin, strip and chuck eye), roasts (prime rib, chuck, brisket) and ground beef. 

8. Fewer Snacks, Bigger Meals

For the duration of your diet, if you are hungry and feeling the urge to snack = eat either bigger meals or eat more often.


The Carnivore Diet Food Pyramid

As you might expect, the food pyramid for someone following the Carnivore Diet looks a little different from what we’re used to seeing.

A food pyramid basically tells us what foods we should be eating throughout the day, and in what quantities: in a traditional food pyramid, foods like bread, cereal and rice are at the base of the pyramid, with fats oils and sweets at the top.

The interesting thing about comparing a traditional food pyramid with a Carnivore Diet food pyramid is the placement of meat.

In traditional diets, meat, poultry, and fish are all found as the second highest level of the pyramid, equating to around two suggested servings a day.

This is completely inverted in the Carnivore Diet food pyramid, where meat and eggs form the bottom layer of the pyramid, alongside the instruction to eat these foods whenever you feel hungry.

This means that they are the base of your diet: in essence, everything revolves around your regular consumption of meat.


Looking at the food pyramid, you may encounter what many people see as the primary obstacle for people wanting to try the Carnivore Diet…

Aside from meat and eggs, where’s all the food?

If you’re looking to start building a carnivore diet food list, then your variation is going to come from your choice of meats, rather than through how colourful your dishes are with vegetables and greens.

On the other side of that, the diet does specifically cater for a fitness-based audience, allowing for energy snacks and supplements. Though again, these should all be as natural as possible.


What are the benefits of a Carnivore Diet?

You may be sat at your desk thinking the answer to this question is fairly obvious…

Steak. Every. Day.

And it’s true, when we come to looking at our Carnivore Diet food list later in this article, there is enough red meat to send any hot-blooded mammal into a frenzy of excitement.

Aside from swapping cereal for steak though, what are some of the health benefits to swapping a traditional varied diet for the Carnivore Diet?

Experts have given their views, claiming that the diet aids performance and heals the body:

Dr Shawn Baker


“When I went Carnivore, that’s when I performed the best, and remained lean. Achy joints, skin issues, and fatigue all went away” 

Dr Anthony Gustin

“Meat heals. Time to give my body the raw materials it needs to build back up. Remember: your cells are literally made of what you eat. I want to be a savage animal, so that’s what I eat.”

Again, we start to see why the diet has been so successful in recent times with athletes and individuals working in the fitness industry.

If you can get your head around the lack of variation in your diet, then a meal plan comprised largely of meat and protein will mean that, alongside a strict regimen of exercise, you should be looking and feeling leaner.

Perhaps more importantly for elite athletes, a meat-based diet should ensure that your muscles will have the adequate stores of essential amino acids that they need to repair themselves.

For the more discerning nutritionist, let’s dive a bit deeper into what the carnivore diet might offer you from a health perspective.


In essence, the carnivore diet is a very simple way of eating that provides the individual with mental clarity and a clear head. It will improve their digestive system and decrease inflammation.

If all you’re eating is meat, eggs, water, and some supplementary snacks, then there’s not too many areas where you can go wrong.


What are the downsides to going on the Carnivore Diet?

Well, it can’t be all good…

While it is true that the Carnivore Diet is proving incredibly popular right now, there are always going to be downsides to a nutritional programme that radically changes your diet, which is going to be true unless your standard day-to-day shopping list already resembles a Carnivore Diet food list.

Before saying anything else, let’s address the huge, roaring, elephant in the room…

Restrictive diets are incredibly difficult to stick with in the long-term!

Yes, there will be success stories and celebrity endorsements. Yes, there are undoubted benefits to motivate you to stick to the diet.

But remember, a celebrity or elite level athlete has the time to dedicate themselves to sticking to this diet. You on the other hand, being as you are a mere mortal like the rest of us, will have to balance eating a restrictive diet with jobs, family commitments, and life.

Suddenly, steak for breakfast every morning might not seem so appealing when you’ve slept in and you’re late for work…

Perhaps unsurprisingly, like all trending diets, the Carnivore Diet has also been met with fierce opposition, as well as passionate support.

Abundance in meat = deficiencies elsewhere

Many critics of the diet argue that eating just meat will cause deficiencies in certain areas of your diet. However, of the existing research relating to meat consumption, the number of studies relating to physically active people are few and far between.


Consider how you’ll feel

As explained in our 4-week plan of the Carnivore Diet later in this article, some people may find the diet boring and may lack energy.

Once the body adapts and enters into ketosis, you will experience a noticeable increase in energy. However, before this you may be left feeling lethargic and drained, especially in the first fortnight. When it comes to fitness fanatics, who have a very active lifestyle, a supplement/ food/ drink that provides energy might be a good way to offset this lack of energy in the early weeks.


Be weary with your choice of meat (within your budget)

Some red meat has been found to have added hormones, which have been linked to breast cancer, so stick to organic where possible.

This will, of course, be determined by availability, as well as your budget. However, when in doubt, also try and steer away from mass-produced meat and instances where you can’t discern the origin of the meat.


Social Disadvantages

There are potential social disadvantages to the Carnivore Diet, too.

When going out to eat with your friends, it may be a problem when it comes to the menu, especially if the place you’ve decided on is very carb-heavy, or lacking in fresh cuts of meat. However, it is also fair to point out that most restaurants will probably be able to help you out with the matter, and will be able to accommodate your needs.

If you are going to take on the Carnivore Diet in the long run, you should also think about whether it’ll damage your wallet or purse. However, as the fitness supplement industry is growing, there are places where you can get cheaper organic/ clean meat.


What will my day-to-day meal plan look like on the Carnivore Diet?   

Now, we’ve gone through all the pros and cons of the Carnivore Diet, and by now you should be fairly confident in being able to say what the diet is and whether it’s right for you.

The next stage then, is to look at what your day-to-day meal plans are going to look like while following this diet.

While, later on in this article, we’ll take you through the essential Carnivore Diet food list for 2018, in this section we’ll take a quick look at some of our recommendations for meals and snacks, and how you can vary your mealtimes while still abiding by the diet’s strict rules.


Timeline of Expectations: Weeks 1-4 of the Carnivore Diet

One of the scariest aspects of starting a new diet is knowing how to measure your expectations in the first few weeks.

Generally, we diet for a handful of reasons: we want to lost weight, we want to gain weight, we want to build muscle, etc. etc. etc.

On making the decision of what diet to choose, it only makes sense that we want to know what our results are going to be, and how fast we are going to achieve them.

If you’re about to embark on the carnivore diet, we’ve outlined what you might expect to see over the first four weeks, in terms of how you’ll feel and how your body is going to adapt to the nutritional change.


The Ultimate Carnivore Diet Food List 2018

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for!

OriGym’s ultimate Carnivore Diet food list!

Yes, we know what you might be thinking…It’s all meat, how could I possibly go wrong?

If that’s the case, great! At the very least it shows you’ve been listening, and that we’ve not spent the last 3,000 words shouting at the clouds.

If not, then this next section is for you…

We know that starting a new diet is daunting, let alone radically changing how you approach food. Our Carnivore Diet Food List is therefore designed to be treated as a shopping list: what you need to immediately get started on the Carnivore Diet!


Before you go!

Now that you have your ready-to-use carnivore diet food list, and all the expert tips and tricks to succeed with your new nutrition programme, we hope you're ready to make a start! 

OriGym also offer a Level 4 Certificate in Nutrition for Sport and Exercise, an ideal stand-alone course for enhancing your knowledge of sports nutrition.

If you're interested in becoming one of our amazing students, go ahead and download our free prospectus!


Pursue Your Passion & Enquire Today!

Follow Your Passion for Nutrition & Become a Level 4 Nutrition Coach!

Written by George Aird

Fitness Professional & Marketer

Join George on Facebook at the OriGym Facebook Group

George Aird is a content writer and marketer with specialist knowledge of health and fitness, online marketing, and start-up businesses. In his spare time, he is a keen climber, and a (reluctant) runner. 

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