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How to Start the Carnivore Diet: A Step-by-Step Guide

By Liam McAuliffe Updated on

Tags: Carnivore

Here you are, about to embark on the carnivore diet. Chances are you’re drawn to one or more of the many carnivore benefits. Are you here to resolve chronic autoimmune disorders, reduce inflammation, reverse infertility, shed excess body fat, get off diabetes and heart meds, and improve your mood and mental health? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll introduce you to the carnivore diet, and provide a step-by-step guide for getting started on carnivore today. 

Table of Contents

What is the Carnivore Diet?

The carnivore diet is an ancestral way of eating.  This means that it simulates the diet that our ancestors evolved eating for over more than 2 million years.


That’s right, our human physiology is exquisitely designed to thrive on fatty meats. Before the dawn of agriculture 10,000 years ago, humans did not rely on plant foods. And none of the plant foods that exist today were part of our ancestral diet. 

Accordingly, the carnivore diet means eating only animal products and eliminating all plant foods.  

Nourishing animal fats, muscle protein, and meat-specific micronutrients are the foundation of our healthy cell structures and energy, hormonal regulation, cognitive vitality, and mental health. 

Plant products, on the other hand, expose our bodies to a long list of stressors like excess fiber, excess carbs, naturally occurring antinutrients and plant toxins, toxic molds, and industrial pesticides–all of which damage tissues and promote chronic inflammation–the roots of modern diseases.


Grass-fed Pasture-Raised Beef organ supplements

Why Get Started on The Carnivore Diet? 

The science is clear, our modern diet and lifestyle are killing us! 

Modern so-called “foods,” like grains, sugars, and toxic seed “vegetable” oils, are the fuel for the chronic inflammation underlying the diseases of civilization

At the same time, poor sleep habits, lack of movement, chronic stress, and anxiety stoke the flames of inflammation lit by our disastrous eating habits. 

Across the globe, 3 out of 5 people die from these modern, chronic inflammatory diseases, including stroke, cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases, heart disorders, cancer, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and various autoimmune disorders.

The carnivore diet eliminates the toxic inflammatory substances at the root of these diseases and replaces them with nourishing, nutrient-dense whole-food animal products

Now let’s turn to the step-by-step process of getting started on the carnivore diet. 

Step 1: Commit to a Timeframe (min 30-60 Days)

how to start on a carnivore diet image with lions

Starting with at least 30 days is the doorway through which most people find long-term sustainable success on the carnivore diet. 

Dr. Shawn Baker and Dr. Ken Berry, both found their way from keto to carnivore by experimenting with a 30-day challenge. They fell in love with it and kept going.  Click here or on the image above to join Dr. Kiltz’s 30-day course. 

60-90 days are even more effective goals for people with more experience with self-discipline. 

For most people, the benefits will show up in days. But there may be some common side effects that crop up during the transition from your standard diet, making it important to stick to the diet long enough to allow your body the time it needs to adjust. 

The Fertile Feast a new book by Doctor Kiltz

Step 2: Join a Carnivore Diet Community

Online carnivore diet communities are great places to share ideas and success stories, stay accountable, and get inspired! 

That’s why Dr. Kiltz started his own “Mighty Tribe” that you can join for free, here. 

Other vibrant carnivore, ketovore, and fatavore communities have formed around Influential adopters like Mikhaila and Jordan Peterson, Dr. Shawn Baker,  Dr. Paul Saldino, and Amber O’Hearn. Check them out for more tips and inspo! 

Step 3: Remove Temptations: Clean out Your Cupboards! 

Illustration of a Teenage Fat Girl Closing and Hiding Pantry Full of Junk Food

Most of us don’t reach for processed, high-carb foods because we’re hungry. We eat it because we’re tempted!

And we don’t eat veggies because we want to, but because we’ve swallowed the false advertising that they’re good for us.

Veggies are easy to get rid of. But most people have a bunch of packaged, processed junk hiding in their freezers and cupboards.

The key to making healthy food decisions isn’t about exercising more willpower. It’s about reducing the number and difficulty of the food choices we have to make. 

Studies show that the more decisions we have to make, the poorer we are at making healthy choices.

So a key step on carnivore is to clear your house of every single non-carnivore food. 

Think of it this way. Would you rather wage a battle against chips and cookies 24/7? Or have no choice but to sizzle up that ridiculously delicious ribeye steak with melted blue cheese

List of Foods to Eliminate on a Carnivore Diet

guy giving finger to vegetables

Here’s a rundown of the foods to get rid of today

  • All fruits: Apples, bananas, berries, tomatoes, avocados–all these and all the rest 
  • All vegetables: the usual suspects like broccoli and spinach, along with vegetable broths
  • All sugars: added, natural, doesn’t matter. If it’s a sweetener, it’s off the table, yes even honey
  • All additives: Processed foods that have nitrates, nitrites, MSG, gums like guar, and oils like lecithin
  • All grains: wheat, rice, buckwheat, quinoa, etc. gone, goodbye, good riddance
  • All nuts, seeds, and legumes: almonds, pistachios, peanuts, flax seed, all beans, etc. Adios! 

Ever wonder what naturally occurring plant toxins can do to your body? See chart below: 

Step 4: Stock Up on Delicious Carnivore Foods

When starting the carnivore diet, you’ll be amazed out simple yet satisfying your shopping list becomes. A solid carnivore diet food list includes: 


From these foundational foods, you can avoid setbacks by premaking carnivore diet snacks. And you can boost variety and flavor with a few carnivore diet condiments

Pro Tip: Focus on Fat

It’s important to keep in mind that a carnivore diet is intrinsically a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet. When you cut carbs to nearly zero, you’ll need to get the majority of your calories from fat. This is because our bodies can only get around 35% of our calories from protein without experiencing symptoms of protein poisoning. 

Fortunately, getting enough fat on carnivore is easy. Simply focus on fatty meats and cook with an abundance of animal fats.

Begin with at least a 1:1 ratio of fat to protein in terms of weight. 

Fat has twice the calories as protein per gram, which means that a 1:1 ratio in weight is actually a  2:1 fat-to-protein ratio in terms of calories–damn near perfect for you body’s needs. 

Boosting your fat when transitioning to a carnivore is also key to avoiding carnivore diet side effects.

Fatty meat is also loaded with the essential micronutrients that your body needs. 


How to Start the Carnivore Diet: The Bottom Line

When considering how to start the carnivore diet, there are a few helpful tips that will make the transition smooth and sustainable. These steps include

  1. Committing to a time frame of at least 30 days. 60-90 are even better. It takes time for your body to transition and to get the hang of this new way of cooking and eating–give yourself a reasonable window. And if you slip up, don’t beat yourself up, just get back on the wagon. 
  2. Join the carnivore community. It’s incredibly motivating to hear and share your successes and challenges. Carnivore communities like Dr. Kiltz’s might tribe are links to the tips and tricks earned from thousands of personal experiences. Chances are, if you have a question, a carnivore community is where you’ll get the best, most personalized answers. 
  3. Remove temptations by cleaning out your fridge, freezer, and pantry. It’s much easier to resist non-carnivore foods when they’re not staring you in the face all day long. 
  4. Stock up on all the delicious carnivore foods. Focus on high-quality fatty meats and animal fats. 
  5. Repeat! It takes time to build a habit, get started today and keep going. Godspeed!

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