Carnivore Diet FAQs: You’ve got questions, I’ve got answers!

If there’s one thing that is likely unequivocally true for people who are eating a carnivore diet, it’s that people will ask you a million questions! It’s to be expected—it’s not every day you meet a person who only eats animal products. Below, I’ve compiled a list of questions I was asked most frequently about the carnivore diet, along with my answers. If you’re considering a carnivore diet, you may have these questions, too!

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This post is part of a series about my six week carnivore diet experiment. To read more about my experiment, check out one (or all!) of my other helpful carnivore posts:

How does your grocery bill compare?

Surprisingly, my grocery bill was about the same, if not less, than normal. I already purchased my meat from ButcherBox, and I had gotten a fresh shipment right before I started the challenge. One thing I focused on during carnivore was eating high quality meats, since that was my only source of nutrients. That meant grass-fed and grass-finished meats, pastured or cage free eggs, organic dairy, and wild caught fish. Although these sources are typically higher in price, you are buying a lot less “other” food, so it kind of evens out. 

Since I got most of my meat online, I actually only went to the grocery store about 4-5 times during the 6 weeks for things like cheese, eggs, and the occasional canned fish (sardines, salmon, tuna, and mackerel). My freezer looks pretty one note these days (pictured left).

What did you eat in a typical day?

I wrote all about a typical carnivore day for me in this series! Check it out to learn more.

Were there any foods you’d planned to eat but didn’t?

I initially approached this challenge like I do all my menus—before I started, I made a list of about 10-15 carnivore meals to make and detailed menus so I wouldn’t get bored. That was all over by about week 2 when I realized it really wasn’t that serious. While there were definitely some things on my list that might have been interesting, by week 3 I was perfectly happy just eating some ground beef or a steak for dinner and maybe adding eggs if I was really hungry.

Were there any foods you absolutely hated?

Let me state this for the record: I am one of the rare people who enjoys liver. I especially enjoy beef liver sauteed with onions. But guess what’s not on the carnivore diet? Turns out I’m not a huge fan of beef liver on its own. But, since liver is so full of nutrients, I fought my way through sometimes before finally grinding it up and adding it with beef to make burgers.

Also, and this was COMPLETELY unexpected, I kind of lost a taste for fatty things. As a child, I used to sneak the fat off my father’s plate of steak when he wasn’t looking, and as an adult I live for the fat on a good pork chop. But, for some reason, I found myself leaving or discarding the extra fat on a good ribeye and even getting a little repulsed at the thought of eating pork cracklins (a long time favorite).

What was your favorite carnivore meal?

Ribeye and scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese! I could (and did) eat this for days straight. I hadn’t had or even wanted steak in a long time, so it was kind of interesting to me that I enjoyed it so much. By the end of the challenge, actually, I was mostly just eating beef.

Did you use spices?

Yes, I did use spices, although sparingly. Honestly, I used whatever seasonings I wanted and didn’t limit myself there. However, more often than not, those seasonings were just salt and pepper.

How compliant were you with the rules you set?

I would say I was about 96% compliant. There were two occasions when I succumbed to my cravings and ate a PowerCrunch protein bar after a bike ride. They were just staring me in the face and begging me to eat them!

Also, although I planned to only drink alcohol 3 times during the six weeks, I may or may not have lightly indulged on 5 different occasions.

Did you take any supplements during the challenge?

During the challenge, I took my normal supplements: MSM for joint health, Natural Calm and Redmond’s Real Salt for electrolytes, and Isopure Zero Carb after workouts to quickly replenish my muscles and get a dose of BCAAs. I was more vigilant than usual about taking the electrolyte supplements as I felt like I needed them even more during carnivore. 

The only supplement I didn’t really take was my casein protein at night, because I usually mix that with almondmilk and I felt like that was cheating. I did, however, eat cottage cheese before bedtime to try to get some casein in my diet. (Casein is the “bedtime” protein—it digests slowly and prevents muscle breakdown during sleep.)

Do you have any tips for incorporating organ meats?

Organ meats are so clutch for all diets due to their nutrients, but especially so in a diet where you don’t get those nutrients from random vegetables. The best way I’ve found to add some organ meats in your diet (if you don’t like the taste on its own) is to grind it up and sneak it in ground meat meals like hamburger, meatloaf, or meatballs.

Also, be sure to get the highest quality organ meats—this means from grass-fed and pastured animals. Organ meats from conventionally-raised animals don’t have anywhere near as much nutritional value.

Did you ever get the meat sweats?

For those of you who haven’t experienced meat sweats and have no idea what I’m talking about, meat sweats are what happen when you eat too much meat in one sitting and start sweating as a result—and yes, they’re real. According to Live Science:

"Proteins are extremely complex molecules and require a lot more energy than fats or carbohydrates to metabolize," or break down, Mukherjee told Live Science. "If you're eating a lot of protein in your diet and you're not eating much of anything else, your body will be producing a lot of energy and a lot of heat. Of course, this could result in sweating."

But, just FYI—no, I did not experience meat sweats. I think that’s chalked up to the fact that although I was only eating meat, I wasn’t overeating meat.

What foods did you miss the most? 

Sugar! I got all kinds of sweets cravings for some reason. Although I resisted most forms, I did have a taste or two of low carb ice creams (Halo Top and Enlightened). 

But, surprisingly, I only missed vegetables when it was inconvenient not to eat vegetables, like when I wanted a quick snack that didn’t require cooking.

Can you exercise while carnivore?

Of course! I exercised the entire time. Some people have reported feeling slightly weakened during the adaptation phase, but I didn’t experience this, most likely because I was already very low carb. I actually think I had a better capacity to work out during the carnivore challenge in both high intensity workouts and endurance workouts.

What does your blood test have to say about all this meat?

That’s a great question! I will be getting bloodwork done this week and I’ll report back!

Will you continue?

Yes! It’s been 3 weeks since the official end of the challenge, but I am still at least 95% carnivore. I hadn’t planned to, but I was impressed with my results and the simplicity of my life since I started the carnivore lifestyle. I won’t be as restrictive—if I want a salad or a jalapeno popper I’ll eat one—but for a couple more weeks, at least, I think I’ll keep this up.

Are you worried about the effects of an all meat diet?

Maybe I should be? But so far, no. The same people who told me fat was bad for me are the ones who have decried meat, and mine and countless other people’s results have proven that fat was in fact no the enemy. I feel fantastic, my heartburn has gone away, my menstrual cramps have all but disappeared, and my performance has increased...what’s there to worry about?

That being said, I do have some blood tests to take this week, so maybe I’ll change my tune...we’ll see! 

Do you have any questions about the carnivore diet? Ask them in the comments!