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Carnivore Diet and Intermittent Fasting: Benefits and Meal Plan

By Liam McAuliffe Published on

The carnivore diet and intermittent fasting are two popular approaches to health and wellness. From the perspective of dietary evolution, carnivore and IF align with ancestral eating patterns. 

In other words, our bodies are designed to thrive on a fast-and-feast cycle

In this article, we’ll explore the science-backed benefits of combining carnivore and intermittent fasting and provide a seven-day carnivore diet and intermittent fasting meal plan. 

Table of Contents

The Carnivore Diet and Intermittent Fasting: An Evolutionary Match

Recent research has revealed that for over 2 million years, humans were hypercarnivorous apex predators that fasted and feasted on fatty meat. 2


When our ancestors were successful at hunting or scavenging megafauna (giant animals) feasted. Between successful hunts, they fasted.  

As this pattern played out over eons, the early humans who functioned best in fasted states became the best at hunting, and therefore surviving and reproducing. 

We modern humans are the recipients of this genetic predisposition towards feasting on fatty meat and fasting between meals. 

This metabolic genetic inheritance is evident in the way our bodies

  • easily store fat on our bodies. Humans store more fat, more easily than all our primate ancestors. Stored fat is how our bodies store fuel between hunts 
  • easily enter ketosis even without entering a starvation state: Ketosis is the way our bodies utilize stored fat when carbs and fat were unavailable–i.e. when we’re fasting [3]
  • our cognitive abilities improve when we’re in a fasted state, and decline when we’re full. Caloric scarcity honed our brains in a way that helped us hunt for meat. [4]
Doctor Kiltz Nutritional Supplements

What is Intermittent Fasting? 

diagram comparing body of normal eater vs someone who intermittent fasts

Intermittent fasting (IF)  simply means cycling between specific periods of eating and not eating. 

There are numerous intermittent fasting methods. Here are a few popular options

When combined with ancestrally aligned foods–namely fatty meat–IF has been shown to offer numerous benefits, including 2 3 4

  • Blood sugar regulation
  • Improve blood lipid profile–better cholesterol and triglycerides levels
  • Reduced risk of heart disease
  • Reduce excess body weight
  • stimulate human growth hormones
  • Activate autophagy–a process of cellular renewal
  • activate stemcell production
  • reduce the risk of certain cancers

What is the Carnivore Diet? 

The carnivore diet means eating only animal products and eliminating all processed foods and plant foods. These include toxic seed “vegetable” oils, grains, added sugars, as well as fruits and vegetables. 

Of course, there are variations on this approach, with some approaches being more restrictive than others. 

For example, many people begin with a carnivore elimination diet of red meat, salt, and water. This approach was popularised by Jordan Peterson and Joe Rogan

Dr. Kiltz’s BEBBIIS is a more inclusive approach that may be better for long-term use. It calls for all kinds of meats, blue cheese, duck liver, and even allows for occasional treats like homemade low-carb ice cream and french fries fried in tallow. 

All of these approaches are low-carb high-fat ketogenic diet. This means that you’ll be consuming between 70-80% of your calories from animal fats

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Benefits of Combining the Carnivore Diet with Intermittent Fasting

According to a Harvard University survey study on the carnivore diet, of the 2029 participants, 64% ate two meals a day, 17% ate only one meal a day, and 2% ate less than one meal a day. 6  This means that 83% of carnivore dieters surveyed practiced some form of intermittent fasting. And the reported results were dramatically beneficial. 

The study revealed the following results: 

  • 93% improved or resolved obesity and excess weight
  • 93% improved hypertension
  • 98% improved conditions related to diabetes
  • 97% improved gastrointestinal symptoms
  • 96% improved psychiatric symptoms

findings from the harvard carnivore diet study

Other benefits that can come from combining a carnivore diet meal plan with intermittent fasting include

Let’s take a closer look at a few of these key benefits. 

Reduced Inflammation

Worldwide 3 out of 5 people die from chronic inflammatory diseases, including[1] [2] 

  • Stroke
  • cardiovascular disease
  • respiratory diseases
  • heart disorders
  • Cancer
  • Obesity,
  • type 2 diabetes
  • various autoimmune disorders. 

Intermittent fasting and low-carb diets like carnivore have both been shown to be powerful interventions against inflammation. 

One key factor is that carnivore dramatically reduces carbs.

Numerous studies show that high-carb diets promote inflammation while low-carb diets decrease inflammation. 2 1 6 9 10 11

Studies on intermittent fasting show that it effectively reduces markers of inflammation, including cells called monocytes and C-reactive protein, and cortisol. 5 7 8 5

Reducing levels of inflammation is associated with powerful “downstream” benefits, including [11]: 

  • A reduction in symptom severity and risk of neurodegenerative disease
  • Improved ‘healthspan’
  • Improved longevity

Improved Cognition and Neuroprotection

Combining the carnivore diet with intermittent fasting simulated the ancestral pattern of feasting on fatty meats and fasting in between successful hunts. 

Research shows that when we are in a state of caloric restriction, we have faster cognition, our blood vessels become dilated, and our muscles are more resistant to lactic acid. [3]

From an ancestral perspective, this all adds up to us being better hunters. While in modern life these factors enhance our quality of life

On the other hand, when we’re constantly eating we trigger hormone imbalances like leptin resistance that make us fat, inflamed, and less motivated.[4] 12 16

A 2020 study looking at the effects of combining a ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting found that doing so reduced biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease. 4

Another study found that keto and fasting can improve cognitive function for people already suffering from age-related cognitive impairment. 5

While numerous studies on ketogenic diets have found that they promote cognitive abilities and tackle disease progression.6

diagram of brain with benefits of ketones

Overview of cognitive domains affected by ketogenic interventions in patients with mild cognitive impairment or AD

Improved Gut Health

Research shows that intermittent fasting can reduce endotoxins–toxic substances that get released when bacteria break down in our gut. 

It’s important to eliminate endotoxins because their closely linked to intestinal permeability and systemic inflammation. 2 [4] [2]

Both the carnivore diet and intermittent fasting compel the body to break down fats into energy molecules called ketones. These molecules nourish stem cells that regenerate the intestinal lining. Energized stem cells in the gut help heal intestinal permeability. [26] 4

The carnivore diet also eliminates nearly all sugars along with fiber, and plant antinutrients and toxins. All of these substances have been shown to damage the intestinal lining and promote bacterial overgrowth. 5 5 13 


Weight Loss

Low carb eating and intermittent fasting have both been shown to promote weight loss.4

Research on intermittent fasting has found that eating within a four-hour window is significantly more effective for losing weight than restricting calories while consuming three meals a day. [5

While studies have found that intermittent fasting may be even more effective in reducing weight than reducing carbs. [6

Combining these approaches likely enhances the weight-reducing benefits of each. 

side by side carbs vs carnivore before and after pic


Intermittent fasting promotes a process of cellular renewal called autophagy which means “self-devouring.” 

During this process, your body breaks down old and damaged cells and cell components and recycles them into new parts and cells. 

Studies show that autophagy kicks in when you fast for at least 16-18 hours overnight. [1] [2] 6 [3]

Autophagy supports many important physiological functions, including

  • Slows aging and promotes longevity
  • Supports teh health of every organ in the body
  • supports cardiovascular health 5
  • reduces inflammation 6
  • protects against infection from bacteria and viruses 6
  • protects against neurodegenerative diseases 
  • protects against cancer 6

Combining carnivore with IF means that you’re nourishing your new cells with nutrient-dense foods loaded with fats and cholesterol that make up the membranes of all living cells. 

diagram of autophagy

Rebalances Hormones

The standard American diet calls for eating three high-carb meals per day with snacks in between. 

This eating pattern leads to chronically high insulin levels, which are associated with 

  • Diabetes [13]
  • Parkinson’s [14]
  • Alzheimer’s disease [15]
  • Cardiovascular problems [16
  • PCOS

Intermittent fasting has been used to reduce hyperinsulinemia for over 100 years. [17

Additionally, numerous studies show that diets that dramatically reduce carbs (like carnivore) can quickly reverse hyperinsulinemia. 4 5 6

Food Addiction

Part and parcel to the standard American diet is food addiction. Addictive, hyper-palatable junk food is available everywhere, twenty-four hours a day. 

A 2020 study in the Journal of Addiction Research looking at intermittent fasting as a treatment for food addiction found that “most if not all organ systems respond to intermittent fasting in ways that enable the organism to tolerate or overcome” food addiction. [27]

The researchers point out that after a fasting period, the type of food you refuel with is important for keeping food addiction in remission. 

This is where combining IF with carnivore makes it an especially potent one-two punch that can knock out carb cravings and the addictive cycle that comes with them. 

Carnivore Diet Foods for Intermittent Fasting


Here are a few tips for successfully combining the carnivore diet with intermittent fasting: 

  • Carnivore is an extremely low-carb diet; this means you need to get 70-80% of your calories from fat. Focus on fatty meats, butter, tallow, lard 
  • When you cut carbs, your body flushes electrolytes–replenish by salting your food liberally
  • Prioritize fatty meat, like ribeye and lamb chops, fatty fish, and seafood, and eggs
  • Creamy carnivore cheeses, especially creamy blue cheese, provide thousands of beneficial bioactive compounds
  • Go nose-to-tail for the most nutrient-dense meats 
  • Explore ancient superfoods like salmon roe and oysters

Carnivore and Intermittent Fasting 7-Day Meal Plan

Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6Day 7
LunchRibeye Steak and EggsEggs and Salmon pan-fried with tallowPork Belly

3 Eggs

8 oz. Pork bellyGround bison with butter and 4 eggs4 scrambled eggs with  tallow and creme fraiche8 oz 

Pork belly 

Dinner3 oz. Beef liver fried in tallow

3 oz Wild salmon baked with creme fraiche

Ground bison fried in tallow

With 3 oz bone marrow

Beef bone marrow and short ribsBeef burger with tallow and raw

Oysters (3)

8 oz wild salmon baked with creme fraicheBeef short ribs with tallow8 oz

Salmon baked with creme fraiche

3 oz liver friend in tallow

OMAD Carnivore: The Takeaway

The Carnivore and intermittent fasting are a match made in metabolic heaven. 

Studies show that for nearly 2 million years hunter-gatherers thrived on a hyper-carnivorous diet of fatty meats. Without refrigeration, our ancestors had to feast on meat while it was fresh. Between successful hunts (and feasts) they fasted. [1]

Our bodies are primed by millions of years of evolution to thrive on exactly this combination of eating practices. 

Some of the key benefits of combining carnivore with intermittent fasting include:  

  • Reduced inflammation
  • Improved mental clarity 
  • Better energy
  • Improved gut health
  • Hormonal balance
  • Weight loss

Many carnivore dieters find that intermittent fasting is a natural response to eating highly satiating, nutrient-dense foods. In other words, it’s a no-brainer.

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