How to Get Started on the Carnivore Diet

The Carnivore Diet is so different from the Standard American Diet (SAD) that getting started can seem overwhelming.

There is no one-size-fits-all, but I can tell you how we started, and how our reactions were.

I’m also going to address some expectations. We had an idea about what to expect, which helped us overcome them and only suffer mild symptoms.

The Carnivore Diet Is Ultra-Keto

You don’t eat any carbs when you go carnivore, unless you eat honey.

This means that this diet is even more strict than “ordinary” ketogenic diets.

It’s a complete change of eating habits.

If you go all-in and throw out all your old groceries, you can expect to suffer from “keto flu” for a shorter or longer period.

What Is “Keto Flu”?

When you suddenly lower your intake of carbs dramatically, your body reacts.

And those reactions feel like having the flu.

Some symptoms of the keto flu can be:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Body aches
  • Cramps
  • Difficulty concentrating/focusing
  • Dizziness/drowsiness
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Stomach issues
  • Sugar cravings

It’s not pleasant.

Millions of people are addicted to sugar and carbs. So, weaning yourself off these foods is akin to quitting an addiction and going cold turkey. It’s inevitable to face some discomfort. The good news is that the keto flu is only temporary.

Within a week or two, your body will adapt and be able to function as normal with the higher fat intake and carb restriction. It’s imperative that you stay the course and not throw in the towel because of the keto flu symptoms.

Quitting will mean that your weight loss will take longer and will be more difficult. So, endure the symptoms till your body adapts.

What Can You Do to Avoid It?

It helps if you’re already on a keto diet before going carnivore. We were, although we had taken back up the bad habit of eating bread. And more chocolate than we used to, because our local supermarket always persuaded my husband into buying it.

We chose to go cold-turkey and drink lots of water and ate Himelayan salt.

My husband, who used to eat more bread than me, had the worst symptoms, but they only lasted about a week.

I had only mild symptoms.

Start with One Meal

I discovered the Carnivore Diet April 4th, 2021. That was a Sunday.

We shop for groceries every Wednesday.

I told my husband about the diet, and he was positive, but we had already written our grocery list, and we had a subscription to organic vegetables that arrived every Friday morning.

So we decided by starting with the breakfast, which was easier to do.

April 7th was the first day of our Carnivore life… but only for breakfasts for another week.

After one week, we had cancelled our subscription to the vegetables, and we ready to start.

Throw Out Your Old Food

We threw out almost all of our “wrong” food items. That meant:

  • Vegetables
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Fruit

We had recently bought 5 liter vegetable oil, and we decided to use it up. Not a wise decision, but it felt bad to throw it all away.

We also kept a whole bag of falaffel, plus a whole bag of white beans.

Everything else went.

We followed recipes for all (both) of our daily meals to begin with. And we spent a long time checking what minerals and vitamins we needed, and how to get them.

Start Easy and Cheap

A lot of our beginning meals consisted of ground beef or eggs, or a combination of the two.

Later, we were lucky to find a butcher who delivered grass-fed organic meat directly to our door, so now we order from him every two weeks.

The trick is always to start as easily as possible so you don’t run into road blocks.

Lemon Juice and Water

Every morning we drank a glass of freshly squeezed lemon juice with lukewarm filtered water.

We didn’t want to give that up, because we liked it, and it would provide us with C-vitamin.

But one day, this previously so delicies drink suddenly tasted rotten. I struggled on to the next day, but then decided to speak up and say that I no longer wanted lemon juice.

My husband had, at the same time, also lost his interest, so we threw out all our lemons.

Coffee and Tea

Coffee and tea are not carnivore, and a lot of strict carnivore dieters don’t drink it.

We do. So far we still enjoy it, and as long as we do, I’ll keep drinking it.

So you don’t have to give it up, unless you want to.

If you’re going carnivore because of health problems, this may be different for you.

We first and foremost went on the diet to drop fat. I’ve experienced a lot of health improvements, but I didn’t know that until a couple of days into the diet.

Yes, it’s that fast. At least it was for me. But more about that in other articles.

My Recommendations

I think our switch into being carnivore went well and with very little unpleasant side effects.

So I recommend that you ease into the diet the same way, if it’s possible for you.

Start with one meal. We started with breakfast, because that was easiest.

Throw out your worst sinners, like flour, bread, soft drinks (including juice) and sugar.

Then after a week or two, go all in and only eat carnivore products.

Enjoy the results. They will come quickly.

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