Carnivore Diet Meal Plan: 4 Killer Menus with Shopping Lists

By Liam McAuliffe M.T.S Updated on

Table of Contents

Maybe you’ve heard the stories of carnivore diet health transformations and seen the before and after pics.

Or you’ve read the recent research strongly suggesting that humans were hyper-carnivorous apex predators for nearly 2 million years. Now you’re ready to create the ultimate carnivore meal plan of your own. 

This article is for you! 

Let’s take a closer look at four types of carnivore diets, and detail a weekly shopping list and meal plan for each. 

What is a Carnivore Diet?

Simply put, the carnivore diet means eating 100% animal foods. Most types of carnivore diets eliminate all vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds. 

Ancestral Eating

The concept of the carnivore diet is based on ancestral ways of eating. 

In the vast period of human evolution (some 2 million years) almost none of the vegetables and fruits you see at the grocery store existed. Grains only came on the scene some 7,000 years ago. Before that humans ate mostly meat.

Since the dawn of agriculture, human health has taken a nosedive as incidences of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and other “diseases of civilization” are skyrocketing. 

By eliminating the foods our ancestors didn’t eat, and consuming only nutrient-rich animal foods, the carnivore diet may be an effective way to improve your health. 

4 Main Types of Carnivore Diets

There are four main types of carnivore diet meal plans categorized by how restrictive they are, as well as by their inclusion of organ meats. 

1. Typical (Standard) Carnivore Diet

The typical carnivore diet meal plan includes all the ruminant animals above and allows pork, eggs, seafood, poultry, and dairy if tolerated. You will also likely begin experimenting with some organ meats. 

2. Nose-to-Tail Carnivore Diet

If eating a high-carb standard American Diet is treating your body like a cheap Yugo (the much-maligned communist-era car), nose-to-tail eating is treating your body like a Ferrari! Lavishing it with high octane racing fuel and lovingly attending to every detail of health and longevity. 

Nose-to-tail–whole animal eating–is about prizing healthy fat and nutrient-packed organ meats over everything else. It’s the way of eating that our ancestors evolved on, and it’s a practice observed among hunter-gatherer tribes, some of whom toss the tenderloin (what most of us think of as meat) to the dogs! 

3. Lion (Elimination) Carnivore Diet

Also known as the carnivore elimination diet or, “water, meat, salt” approach, the lion diet was popularized by Michaela and Jordan Peterson. 

As the most restrictive version of the carnivore diet, it allows only the meat of ruminant animals. 

The only other additions to this diet are salt and water. 

The lion diet was created to be a first step in reclaiming your health and wellbeing. It takes into consideration the sad truth that most doctors receive less than 15 hours of training in nutrition, yet diet and lifestyle are our greatest health factors. 

By removing all problematic foods, it puts you back in the driver’s seat of your metabolic health and even allows you to slowly reintroduce some foods. In essence, you are the subject of your own nutritional study. 

In the short term, this diet is aimed at eliminating all other dietary variables that could be contributing to diseases and disorders while providing adequate nutrition. 

In the long term, the lion diet should be modified to meet your micronutrient needs.

4. Carnivore Adjacent Diet

If a full-on carnivore diet feels too intimidating, or you just can’t fathom cutting out all plant food cold turkey, a carnivore adjacent diet might be a good fit for you. 

Think of it as training wheels. In a carnivore adjacent diet, whole, fatty animal foods account for 80-90% of calories. So you get the nutrient-packed benefits of ruminant meat, pork, fish, shellfish, and full-fat dairy. 

The other 10-20% of calories can come from low-carb and/or low-toxicity plants and fruits. 

Because some of the benefits of a carnivore diet are linked to eliminating plant toxins and antinutrients, it’s important to be vigilant of the plants you continue to eat. 

To make the carnivore adjacent diet as ancestral as possible, many adherents only eat “roots and fruits.” This means eliminating all leafy greens and other vegetables. 

Intermittent Fasting on a Carnivore Diet

Whole animal foods loaded with healthy fats, complete proteins, and micronutrients are extremely satiating. For this reason, each of our carnivore diet meal plans calls for only two meals per day.

Though technically you can eat these meals at any time, we recommend combining them with an intermittent fasting practice. There are a number of methods you can choose from with varying levels of restriction. 

There are also intermittent fasting protocols designed specifically for women, including a simple approach to align eating with your circadian rhythm

Standard Carnivore Diet Meal Plan

The standard carnivore diet meal plan is focused on ruminant meats and healthy fats. Pork, poultry, fish, and shellfish play supporting roles, adding both nutrient and gastronomic variety. 

Many people turn to the carnivore diet for relief of gastrointestinal issues like leaky gut. For this reason, we recommend eliminating potentially irritating dairy products for at least the first 4-6 weeks. 

Standard Carnivore Diet Menu

RuminantsPorkPoultryfishseafoodOrgan meatsWild meatsfatEggsDairyFruits and Veggies
Beef 

Bison

Goat

Lamb

All typesChicken

Duck

Goose

Game hen

Turkey

Qual

Pheasant

Salmon

Halibut

Mahi-mahi

Trout

Tuna

Cod

Arctic Char

Sardines

Anchovies

Mackerel

Herring

swordfish

Snapper

Walleye

Catfish

Oysters

Shrimp

Prawns

Lobster

Mussels

Scallops

Crab 

Clams

xElk

Venison

Antelope

Bear

Rabbit

Boar

Rattlesnake

Kangaroo

Tallow

Lard

Butter

Ghee

Chicken eggs

Duck eggs

Goose Eggs

Ostrich eggs

Quail Eggs

Butter

Ghee

Cream

Creme Fraiche

Cheese

Full-fat

yogurt

x

Standard Carnivore Diet Shopping List 

We recommend sourcing free-range, grass-fed, pastured, and sustainably produced meat and seafood whenever possible. This will ensure you’re getting the most nutritious foods possible. 

Food# of MealsLbs per MealTotal lbs to buy
Ribeye Steak212
Pork Belly212
Lamb Chops212
80/20 Ground Beef2.751.5
Prawns2.751.5
Pork Ribs212
Eggs3 (part of)(3 eggs per meal)9 eggs total
Wild Salmon2.51
Oysters2 meals (Part of)3 oysters per meal6

7 Day Typical Carnivore Diet Sample Menu

Here’s an example of what this shopping list looks like in action.  

Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6Day 7
LunchRibeye Steak and EggsEggs and Salmon pan-fried with tallowRoasted Pork ribs8 oz. Pork belly8 oz Prawns with butter  and 2 eggsPork ribs

and eggs

Pork belly
DinnerLamb Chops

and raw oysters (3)

Beef burger with tallowPrawns with tallowBeef burger with tallow and raw

Oysters (3)

8 oz Ribeye steak with tallowLamb chops with tallowSalmon roasted with tallow

Nutrient Analysis of the Menu

Let’s take a look at the nutrient analysis of all food on day #5 of our typical carnivore diet menu: 

270g Ribeye

(untrimmed)

8 oz prawns5 tbsp tallow3 eggstotal% Daily Value
Calories486255.4576208.51525
Fat30g4.5g64g15g113.5g
Carbs5.4g4.5g0g1.511.4g
Protein54g52g0g19.5125.5g
Vitamins
Vitamin C000000
Vitamin A19IU680IU0810IU1681IU186%
Vitamin D11IU9.0IU18IU123IU161IU26%
Vitamin E001.5mg1.8mg3.3mg22%
Vitamin K5.4µg0.9µg00.3µg6.64%
Vitamin B119%6.8%04.5%.36mg30%
Vitamin B2.7mg0.07mg0.9mg1.67128%
Vitamin B311mg00.3mg11.3mg70%
Vitamin B501.1mg02.4mg3.5mg70%
Vitamin B6.77mg.4mg0.3mg1.47mg113%
Cholineo306mg50mg441mg797mg144%
Vitamin B128.1µg3.8µg01.5µg13.4µg558%
Minerals
Calcium16mg205mg084mg30530.5%
Magnesium65mg83mg018mg166mg42%
Sodium238mg2104mg0213mg2555mg110%
Potassium972mg384mg0207mg156339%
Iron8.1mg.7mg02.7mg11.5mg72%
Copper.5mg.7mg0.3mg1.5mg100%
Phosphorus567mg691mg0297mg1555mg124%
Selenium68µg112µg045µg225µg409%
Zinc22mg3.6mg0 2.1mg27.7mg277%

The Carnivore Diet Meal Plan (Nose-to-Tail with Dairy)

Nose-to-tail eating is a close as to how our ancestors ate for most of history as most of us will get. This means incorporating organ meats and less-common animal parts like liver, bone marrow, and salmon roe

Nose-To-Tail (with dairy) Carnivore Diet Menu

RuminantsPorkPoultryfishseafoodOrgan meatsWild meatsFatEggsDairyFruits and Veggies
Beef 

Bison

Goat

Lamb

All typesChicken

Duck

Goose

Game hen

Turkey

Qual

Pheasant

Salmon

Halibut

Mahi mahi

Trout

Tuna

Cod

Arctic Char

Sardines

Anchovies

Mackerel

Herring

swordfish

Snapper

Walleye

Salmon Roe

Oysters

Shrimp

Prawns

Lobster

Mussels

Scallops

Crab 

Clams

Beef Liver

Chicken liver

Heart

Brain

Kidney

Sweet-

Breads

Pancreas

Tongue

Tripe

Bone Marrow

Testicals

Elk

Venison

Antelope

Bear

Rabbit

Boar

Rattlesnake

Kangaroo

Tallow

Lard

Butter

Ghee

Chicken eggs

Duck eggs

Goose Eggs

Ostrich eggs

Quail Eggs

Butter

Ghee

Cream

Creme Fraiche

Cheese

Full-fat

yogurt

x

Nose-to-Tail Carnivore Diet Shopping List 

Food# of MealsLbs per MealTotal lbs to buy
Ribeye Steak212
Pork Belly212
Beef short ribs212
Creme FraichePart of 32 tablespoons per meal1 container
80/20 Ground Bison1.75.75
LiverPart of 2100g per meal200g
Bone MarrowPart of 2100g per meal200g
EggsPart of 3(3 eggs per meal)9 eggs total
Wild Salmon2.51
Oysters2 meals (Part of)3 oysters per meal6

1 Week Sample Meal Plan: Nose-to-tail Carnivore Diet (with Dairy)

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 2 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

Nutrient Analysis of 1 Day on Nose-to-tail Carnivore Diet 

Let’s take a look at the nutrient analysis of all food you’d eat on day #7 of our typical carnivore diet menu:

8 oz. Pork Belly8 oz Wild Salmon1 tbsp tallow3 oz Liver2 tbsp 

Creme Fraiche

total% Daily Value
Calories1168422.6115.21691101984.8
Fat120g27.1g12.8g5g11g175.9g
Carbs0005g.5g6g
Protein20.8g45.2g027g.5g93.5g
Vitamins
Vitamin C.8mg00.7mg12mg13.5mg18%
Vitamin A24IU1024IU016899IU125IU18072IU602%%
Vitamin D003.6IU49IU052.6IU6.5%
Vitamin E.8mg3.4mg.3mg.5mg05mg33%
Vitamin K0.7µg03.9µg.4µg5µg5%
Vitamin B1.8mg.4mg0.2mg01.4mg107%
Vitamin B2.8mg.4mg03.4mg04.6mg353%
Vitamin B39.9mg20mg017.5mg047.4mg296%
Vitamin B5.8mg2.3mg06.9mg.2mg10.2mg204%
Vitamin B6.4%.7mg01.0mg02.1mg177%
Choline0010mg418.2mg4.9mg433.1mg86%
Vitamin B121.6µg17µg083.1µg0101.7µg4237%
Minerals
Calcium11mg95mg06mg25mg137mg13.7%
Magnesium8.854mg022mg2.5mg87.3mg22%
Sodium72mg109mg077mg8.1mg266.1mg11.5%
Potassium424mg836mg0351mg32mg1643mg41%
Iron.8mg1.8mg06.2mg08.8mg110%
Copper.6mg0014.6mg015.2mg1013%
Phosphorus248mg470mg0485mg19mg1222mg175%
Selenium18µg70µg032.8µg0.8µg121.6µg221%
Zinc2.4mg1.1mg05.2mg08.7mg87%

The Lion Diet Meal Plan 

Though the lion diet is wonderfully simple, it’s important to remember to choose the fattiest cuts of meat. 

Consider the Lion diet as an elimination protocol that can be helpful in resetting your gut microbiome along with other metabolic factors that are unbalanced as a result of eating the Standard American Diet

On the lion diet, it’s important to pay close attention to your body, making sure to get enough salt and water, since your body will be dumping glycogen stores as you become keto-adapted. 

This guide offers tips to eliminate any transitional side effects. 

Though not on the “official” lion diet, keto bone broth fits squarely in the protocol and can help with staying hydrated and replenishing electrolytes. 

You will eventually add back in other animal foods like eggs and organ meats that can round out your nutrient needs. 

Lion Diet Menu

Ruminant animal meat, salt, and water, that’s it! 

RuminantsPorkPoultryfishseafoodOrgan meatsWild meatsfatEggsDairyFruits and Veggies
Beef 

Bison

Goat

Lamb

xxxxxElk

Venison

Antelope

xxxx

Lion Diet Shopping List 

Food# of MealsLbs per MealTotal lbs to buy
Boneless short ribs212
Tri-tip roast414
Beef back ribs212
Ribeye Steak414
80/20 Ground Beef212

1 Week Sample Meal Plan: Lion Diet

Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6Day 7
LunchBoneless short ribsRibeye steak80/20 ground beefRibeye steakTri-tip roastRibeye steakBeef back ribs
DinnerTri-tip roastBeef back ribsTri-tip roastBoneless short ribs80/20 ground beefBoneless short ribsTri-tip roast

Nutrient Analysis of Day #7 on the Menu

1lb boneless short ribs1lb Tri-tip roastTotal% Daily Value
Calories10651164.82230
Fat81.6g67.7g149.3g
Carbs000
Protein77.3g136.1g213.4g
Vitamins
Vitamin C0000
Vitamin A69IU069IU6.9%
Vitamin D22IU022IU3.6%
Vitamin E1.1mg1.1mg2.2mg15%
Vitamin K6.9µg06.9µg7.6%
Vitamin B1.5mg.5mg1mg83%
Vitamin B21.1mg1.6mg2.7mg200%
Vitamin B316mg18mg34mg212%
Vitamin B52.7mg2.5mg5.2mg104%
Vitamin B61.6mg1.6mg3.2mg246%
Choline283mg517mg800mg160%
Vitamin B1213µg13µg26µg1444%
Minerals
Calcium53mg53mg106mg10.6%
Magnesium80mg123mg203mg50%
Sodium352mg325mg677mg29%
Potassium1243mg1982mg3225mg80%
Iron11mg17mg28mg155%
Copper.5mg1.1mg1.6mg106%
Phosphorus746mg1201mg1947mg278%
Selenium85µg46µg131µg238%
Zinc32mg32mg64mg640%

Carnivore Adjacent Meal Plan

A carnivore adjacent diet means getting the vast majority of your calories from whole food animal products (80-90%), with the final 10-20% coming from low-toxicity and low-carb fruits and veggies. 

Though you don’t get the elimination benefits of a Lion diet, you do get a way of eating that can appeal to the human desire for novelty (and therefore be more sustainable.  And it allows for more adjustments to individual health needs and goals. 

On this diet, you still focus on fatty cuts of ruminant meat. You may also begin experimenting with small amounts of organ meat. For instance, by incorporating (hiding) some beef liver into a bison burger. 

Fruit on the Carnivore Adjacent Diet Menu

One of the main features of the carnivore adjacent diet is that it includes fruit. 

Fruit is the only part of a plant that is meant to be eaten by predators. It’s sweet and laxative for a reason. When we eat the fruit, walk away, and defecate, we’ve spread and fertilized a plant’s seeds. 

But the question of whether or not fruit is a net positive for our health, is a big one that you can dive into here.  

To play it safe, if you don’t have any sensitivities, and are at a healthy weight, small to moderate servings of quality whole fruit are likely not bad for you. But avoid fruit juices and dried fruits. 

Controlling Excess Phosphorus

Though phosphorus is an essential nutrient, a carnivore diet means eating clinically high amounts (over 1000mg) of phosphorus a day. 

Studies show mixed and inconclusive results with regards to high phosphorus intake and health outcomes. And when considering all available studies, the general consensus is that that high phosphorus intake does not lead to health problems in healthy adults.2

That said, consuming moderate fruit may help deplete excess phosphorus for people who are concerned about it. 

Keep in mind that consuming fructose is also a major factor in metabolic disease. So if you’re coming to a carnivore diet to rebalance your metabolism, it’s best to limit your fruit consumption. 3

To Keto, or Not to Keto?

Fruit on a carnivore adjacent diet is also appealing to carnivore dieters who want to cycle in and out of ketosis. And for people who want to avoid ketosis altogether. 

Let’s take a look at two of the main reasons that some carnivore dieters cite for avoiding or controlling ketosis. 

Thyroid

Non-keto carnivore dieters point to studies showing that long-term ketosis can lead to reduced T3 or thyroid hormone.

The reasoning follows that the presence of sugar signals to your metabolism that you’re in a carbohydrate (and a generally calorically) rich environment–where fruits grow, so do many animals. 

Whereas, the prolonged absence of carbs tells your body that you’re in a low caloric environment. Your body responds by slowing metabolism in order to retain your body fat, which it will need to metabolize into fuel. 

Fasting Hyperglycemia

One of the responses the body has to this ongoing “famine” state is to increase insulin resistance. At the same time, it increases gluconeogenesis (the synthesizing of glucose from protein). These two metabolic changes can lead to elevated blood sugar–a state called “fasting hyperglycemia.

The body goes into this state as a way of conserving energy and storing it as fat to endure future deprivation. 

Though many people thrive on long-term low-carb and carnivore diets, others may want to avoid these concerns by eating some fruit and other low-toxicity tubers like potatoes and sweet potatoes. 

Foods on the Menu

RuminantsPorkPoultryfishseafoodOrgan meatsWild meatsfatEggsDairyFruits and Veggies
Beef 

Bison

Goat

Lamb

All typesChicken

Duck

Goose

Game hen

Turkey

Qual

Pheasant

Salmon

Halibut

Mahi-mahi

Trout

Tuna

Cod

Arctic Char

Sardines

Anchovies

Mackerel

Herring

swordfish

Snapper

Walleye

Oysters

Shrimp

Prawns

Lobster

Mussels

Scallops

Crab 

Clams

Liver

Heart

Brain

Kidney

Sweet-

Breads

Pancreas

Tongue

Tripe

Bone Marrow

Testicles

Elk

Venison

Antelope

Bear

Rabbit

Boar

Rattlesnake

Kangaroo

Tallow

Lard

Butter

Ghee

Chicken eggs

Duck eggs

Goose Eggs

Ostrich eggs

Quail Eggs

Butter

Ghee

Cream

Creme Fraiche

Cheese

Full-fat

yogurt

Blackberries

Strawberries

Sweet potato

Russet Potato

Cantaloupe

Watermelon

Kiwi

Asparagus

Kale

Cauliflower 

Avocado

Coconut

Carnivore Adjacent Shopping List 

Food# of MealsAmount per mealTotal to Buy
Ribeye Steak2.75lb1.5lb
Tri-tip roast2.5lb1lb
Pork Belly2.5lb1lb
Beef short ribs1.8lb1.6lb
Creme FraichePart of 32 tablespoons per meal1 container
Heavy CreamPart of 13 tblsp1 small container
80/20 Ground Bison2.75lb1.5lb
LiverPart of 11.5 oz1.5 oz
Bone MarrowPart of 2100g per meal200g
EggsPart of 3(3 eggs per meal)9 eggs total
Wild Salmon2.51lb
Asparagus2.51lb
Avocado2(.5 avocado)1 avocado
Strawberries1½ cup½ cup
Kiwi21 per meal2 kiwis
Potato111
Sweet potato212
Beef Tallow12 tblsp1 jar

1 Week Carnivore Adjacent Diet Sample Meal Plan

Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6Day 7
LunchRibeye Steak and 2 eggs 

Asparagus sauteed in ghee

3 scrambled eggs with creme fraiche & ½ avocadoPork Belly

3 Eggs

½ cup strawberries

8 oz. Pork belly and 2 eggs with creme fraicheGround bison with butter and 2 eggs

and ½ avocado

4 scrambled eggs with  tallow and creme fraiche

Sweetpotato

8 oz Tri-tip roast

1 medium potato baked in tallow

Dinner8 oz Tri-tip roast

Sweet Potato with 1tbls ghee

8 oz bison burger

½ cup blackberries with 3 tablespoons of heavy cream

12 oz. Beef short ribs Ribeye steak with 2 tbls tallow and raw

Oysters (3)

6 oz. Bone marrow

Asparagus sauteed in ghee

8 oz wild salmon baked with creme fraiche

1 kiwi

6.5 oz Bison burger with 1.5

oz liver blended in 

1 Kiwi

Let’s take a look at the nutrient analysis of all food you’d eat on day #7 of our carnivore adjacent diet menu. 

8 oz. Tri-tip roast9 oz Bison burger1 tbsp tallow1.5 oz Beef Liver1 medium russet potato1 KiwiTotal% Daily Value
Calories600556115.284.5161431559.7
Fat33g41g12.8g2.5g0.7g90g
Carbs000.25g36.310.4g46.95g
Protein68g48.6g013.5g5.2g.7g136g
Vitamins
Vitamin C000.35mg14mg64mg78.35mg87%
Vitamin A01024IU013000IU17IU60IU14255IU491%
Vitamin D003.6IU25IU0028.6IU4.7%
Vitamin E.6mg.6mg.3mg.25mg.21mg2.95mg20%
Vitamin K0002µg3.5µg28µg33.5µg27%
Vitamin B1.25mg.3mg0.1mg.2mgtrace1.75mg145%
Vitamin B2.8mg.6mg01.7mg.1mgtrace3.2mg246%
Vitamin B39mg13mg08mg2.2mg.2mg32.4mg205%
Vitamin B51.25mg1.7mg03.4mg.7mg2.8mg7.15mg143%
Vitamin B6.8mg.8mg0.5mg.7mg.1mg2.9mg170%
Choline260mg010mg209mg00479mg96%
Vitamin B127.5µg4.7µg042µg0054.2µg2900%
Minerals
Calcium27mg27mg03mg31mg23mg111mg11%
Magnesium62mg50mg011mg52mg12mg187mg47%
Sodium163mg170mg038mg24mg2.1mg397.1
Potassium900mg783mg0175mg952mg215mg3025mg76%
Iron.4mg6.6mg03.1mg1.9mg.2mg12.2mg152%
Copper.3mg007.4mg.2mg.1mg8mg533%
Phosphorus124mg461mg0242mg123mg23mg973mg139%
Selenium9µg50µg016.5µg.9µg.1µg76.5µg117%
Zinc1.2mg11mg02.6mg.7mg.1mg15.6mg142%

Carnivore Diet Meal Plans: The Takeaway

Though simple at first glance, the carnivore diet allows for a surprising variety of approaches to help you meet your health and fitness goals. 

A typcial approach makes room for eggs and dairy, while a Lion (elimination) diet calls for nothing but ruminant meat and water. For the adventurous, there’s the nose-to-tail approach that incorporates the entire animal from liver to testicals. And for people who want a gentler path out of the Standard American Diet and into an ancestral way of eating, there’s the carnivore adjacent plant that includes some fruits and roots.

What all these carnivore diet meal plans have in common is a caloric core of ruminant animal meats.

You can learn more about the wholesome animal foods on the carnivore diet food list here. 

Article Sources

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