Can I Lose Weight on a Carnivore Diet? How Much? How Fast? (2024)

If you’ve tried many diets but haven’t lost weight, if you’re dealing with inflammation, insulin resistance, or metabolic syndrome, if you’re sensitive to plant foods, if you’re curious about biohacking or prefer simplicity in dieting, the Carnivore diet can help you. Let’s learn how much and how fast you can lose weight on a Carnivore diet and how to boost the results.


What Is a Carnivore Diet?

The Carnivore diet is a way of optimizing your eating habits by focusing on animal products to lose weight and gain various health benefits.

You only need to consume animal-based products, including meat, organ meats, poultry, seafood, eggs, and limited dairy products, and avoid plant-based foods, from vegetables and fruits to legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds.

It may sound strict, but it is not, as these rules are necessary for losing weight and gaining health benefits because

  • Consuming high fat and protein and low carbs leads to weight loss [1].
  • Meat contains nutrients you can’t easily obtain from other sources [2].
  • Meat supports skeletal muscle and bone health [3].
  • Plant foods contain antinutrients that interfere with nutrient absorption and cause nutritional deficiencies, headaches, nausea, bloating, rashes, etc. [4], so we should rethink consuming fruits and vegetables [5].

The Carnivore diet aims to provide sustained health benefits, including

  • Reduced inflammation,
  • Alleviated symptoms of autoimmune conditions,
  • Better digestive health and metabolism,
  • Increased energy levels and mental clarity, and
  • Better blood sugar control.

But can it really help with weight loss?

Learn More: How to Start a Carnivore Diet? When Should I Start? [Expert Guide]

Can You Lose Weight on a Carnivore Diet?

The short answer is yes, you can lose weight on a Carnivore diet, as many Carnivore success stories show the positive effects of this diet on weight loss.

But how does this diet result in weight loss?

  • The Carnivore diet minimizes carbohydrates and increases fat and protein intake to induce ketosis. In this fat-burning state, your body uses fat instead of carbohydrates to produce energy due to increased fat oxidation. Using fat for energy and increasing protein intake helps to shed extra pounds [7].
  • Consuming more fat can also increase satiety, which helps control appetite and reduce the overall calorie intake, which leads to weight loss. High-fat diets like Carnivore can also increase insulin sensitivity and help manage type 2 diabetes.
  • Consuming protein can help stabilize blood glucose levels and lower the risk of insulin spikes. Protein can also increase satiety, which is a great help in reducing caloric intake and managing weight [8].
  • The thermic effect of protein is higher than that of carbs, i.e., the body expends more energy to digest and process protein, leading to increased calorie expenditure - another positive effect boosting weight loss.

The Carnivore Reset: The Primal Approach to Restoring Your Gut Health, Reducing Inflammation, and Losing Weight

So, the Carnivore diet can help you lose overall weight and belly fat. But there are myths about fat loss we need to uncover.

Will I Lose Belly Fat on a Carnivore Diet?

Yes, you will lose belly fat on a Carnivore diet, but we should first uncover some myths about spot reduction and overall fat loss.

  • Myth 1: Targeted exercise burns fat in specific areas: Exercises targeting certain muscles can strengthen those muscles, but they don't necessarily lead to significant fat loss as fat loss occurs throughout the body.
  • Myth 2: Ab exercises alone will give you a flat stomach: While ab exercises can strengthen your core muscles, they won't magically melt away belly fat. You need a healthy diet and calorie deficit to reduce body fat, including belly fat.
  • Myth 3: Sweating more means more fat loss: Sweating is not directly linked to fat loss. By sweating, the body tries to regulate temperature, which isn’t necessarily a sign of calorie burn or fat loss.
  • Myth 4: Wearing sauna belts or wraps reduces fat: Sauna belts or wraps can lead to temporary water weight loss through sweating, but it’s not sustainable, and you’ll regain weight once you rehydrate.
  • Myth 5: You can choose where to lose fat: Genetics are essential in determining where your body stores and loses fat. We can’t choose where to lose fat, as it's a process influenced by genetics, hormones, and overall calorie balance.
  • Myth 6: High-rep, low-weight training burns fat locally: While such exercises can increase overall calorie expenditure, they don't necessarily target fat loss in certain areas.

ZERO CARB CARNIVORE DIET COOKBOOK: 100 + Mouthwatering Recipes and food list guide to Fuel Your Body, Ignite Weight Loss, and Unleash Optimal Nutrition!

Myths aside, if you think you must burn the fat you can pinch and feel in your belly, keep reading because that’s not the fat we need to get rid of.

There are two main types of belly fat: subcutaneous fat and visceral fat.

  • Subcutaneous fat is located between the skin and the underlying muscle tissue. It is the fat you can pinch and feel, which usually has a soft and squishy texture, with various functions, including providing insulation, regulating body temperature, and storing energy. It also produces a protein hormone (adiponectin), which is essential in insulin sensitivity and reducing inflammation [9].
  • Visceral fat lies deeper in the abdominal cavity, surrounding internal organs like the liver, pancreas, and intestines. You can’t see visceral fat from the outside, and it gives the abdomen a firm and bulging appearance.

While visceral fat can protect the internal organs, excessive amounts of it can cause health risks, including the following:

  • Negatively impacting metabolism: Visceral fat is metabolically active and can release free fatty acids, hormones, and inflammatory cytokines into the bloodstream, which can negatively impact metabolism [10].
  • Damaging insulin resistance: Too much visceral fat can damage insulin resistance, i.e., it can make the body's cells less responsive to insulin, which can raise blood sugar levels and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes [11].
  • Cardiovascular risks: Visceral fat can multiply the risk of cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and hypertension [12].
  • Inflammation: Excess visceral fat can cause chronic inflammation, leading to various health problems, including inflammatory conditions and atherosclerosis.
  • Hormonal changes: Visceral fat can disrupt the hormonal balance and interfere with appetite regulation and energy balance.

So, how can we get rid of this dangerous fat surrounding our organs? The great news, according to Dr. Sean O’Mara, is that you can burn visceral fat by avoiding carbohydrates and processed foods and focusing on consuming meat, which is the foundation of the Carnivore diet.

You can watch my interview with Dr. Sean O’Mara to learn more.

Learn More: The Carnivore Diet and Skin: How Can Carnivore Improve Skin Health?

So, if we start the Carnivore diet to avoid carbohydrates and consume meat, how soon can we see the weight loss results?

Learn More: Bodybuilding on a Carnivore Diet: Bulking or Losing Muscles? [Meal Plan]

How Soon Do You See Results on a Carnivore Diet?

Each body responds differently to changes, and personal factors, including adherence to the diet, activity level, metabolic rate, health status, and starting weight, influence the results and how soon you can reach them.

But generally, your body needs some time to adapt, i.e., to regulate hormones like leptin, ghrelin, and cortisol and help your body induce and maintain ketosis.

As Dr. Sean O’Mara pointed out, you can start to see the results after two weeks into the Carnivore diet, and the progress can continue until you reach your desired outcome. Generally, it can take 2-4 weeks for some individuals to see the results, and for others, 3-6 weeks or more.

So, how much weight can we lose in this period on the Carnivore diet?

Keto Carnivore Diet For Beginners: A Complete Guide to High-Fat, Low-Carb Animal-Based Nutrition

How Much Weight Can I Lose on a Carnivore Diet?

You cannot compare your results with others as each individual’s starting weight,

metabolic rate, activity level, caloric intake, response to dietary changes, adherence to the diet, hormonal performance, and water retention are different.

But personal reports show that Carnivores could lose 7kg (15.4 pounds) in 30 days, 121 lbs in 12 months, and so on. Generally, aiming to lose between 0.5 – 0.75% of your starting body weight can be realistic.

If you want to lose 0.5% of your body weight weekly, multiply your starting weight by 0.005 to determine your weekly weight loss goal. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, the goal would be to lose around 1 pound per week (200 * 0.005 = 1).

So, as you start a Carnivore diet to lose the amount of weight you desire, your body goes through some changes. Let’s find out what happens in our body within 30 days of going on a Carnivore diet.

Learn More: Suet vs. Tallow: How Do These Dietary Fat Resources Differ?

What Else Happens to Your Body along with Weight Loss on Carnivore?

Knowing what happens to your body during a month on a Carnivore diet can help you understand what’s normal and what’s not and overcome the possible challenges more easily.

You may experience these changes sooner or later than mentioned here, as individual differences significantly affect the results.

Week 1-2

  • Initial weight loss: The initial weight loss experienced during the first or second week is mainly the result of water weight loss and carb reduction.
  • Metabolic changes: Your metabolic rate starts to speed up, and you may start experiencing increased energy levels and improved mental clarity, which result from stable blood sugar levels and ketosis.
  • Hunger and cravings: You may experience decreased hunger and sugar cravings, which helps maintain a caloric deficit.
  • Cravings for non-carnivorous foods: You may crave the high-carb foods you used to eat. You can gradually reduce non-carnivore foods. Also, you may feel hungrier at first and overeat. Try eating until you're satisfied and consuming nutrient-dense foods, including fatty cuts of meat, which help control hunger and provide sustained energy. You can also join our Carnivore community to learn from our Carnivore doctors and nutritionists to help with side effects, cravings, and any questions you may have.
  • Carb withdrawal symptoms: Avoiding carbs can cause fatigue, headaches, and irritability as your body adjusts to a lower carbohydrate intake. Try drinking enough water, increasing your salt intake, and being patient. These symptoms often improve after the initial adjustment period.
  • Electrolyte imbalance: Minimizing carbohydrates can imbalance electrolytes. Increasing salt intake and consuming magnesium and potassium-rich foods or supplements can help.

Week 3-4

  • Stabilized appetite: Your appetite starts normalizing during the third week, facilitating portion control.
  • Better sleep: Stabilized blood sugar levels and reduced inflammation can improve sleep quality, which positively affects our energy levels. High energy levels, together with satiety, support appetite control, which helps create a caloric deficit.
  • Changes in the body composition: You may start experiencing water weight loss (due to reduced water retention caused by lower carbohydrate intake and lower calorie consumption), fat loss, improved muscle definition, reduced bloating (for eliminating plant foods), and muscle gain (for consuming enough protein and exercising).

Although these are the most common weight loss changes that occur during the first month of the Carnivore diet, some may experience no weight loss during or after this period. Let’s see why this can happen.


Why Am I Not Losing Weight on the Carnivore Diet?

There are many reasons for not losing weight on the Carnivore diet. If you’re not losing weight, you may be caught up in a plateau.

A plateau is a period where your progress levels off or slows down. While plateaus can be frustrating, they are a natural part of many dietary and fitness journeys.

Plateaus can occur for various reasons, including

  • Body adaptation to dietary changes,
  • Metabolic factors and hormones
  • Food quality,
  • Lack of exercise,
  • Insufficient protein intake,
  • Stress and sleep,
  • Digestive issues,
  • Medical conditions,
  • Psychological factors, and
  • Consuming too many calories.

Let’s explore each of these obstacles and ways to overcome them.

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Adaptation Period

During the initial weeks of a Carnivore diet, the body undergoes significant adaptations, such as adjusting to lower carbohydrate intake. Weight loss might be more rapid at first due to reduced water weight, but as the body adapts, the rate of weight loss can slow down.

So, don’t consider this a problem, as your body only tries to adapt. You just need to stay patient and let your body lose weight at its own pace.

Metabolic Factors and Hormones

Some individuals have naturally slower metabolisms. The metabolic rate may also decrease due to calorie restriction. Additionally, hormonal issues like thyroid disorders can impact metabolism and weight loss. Controlling thyroid function can help regulate metabolism.

Food Quality

Fatty cuts of meat contain more calories, but leaner protein sources contain fewer calories. Also, processed meats include additives that can negatively affect weight loss. Consuming whole, unprocessed cuts of meat is healthier and better for weight loss.

Lack of Physical Activity

If you don’t have enough physical activity, you may not burn calories and lose weight as much as you like. Your calorie expenditure must be more than your calorie intake so you can burn calories and lose weight.

So, consider daily exercise as a part of your weight loss plan.

Get the Magic Pill.

Insufficient Protein Intake

You need to consume adequate protein to maintain muscles and support overall health. You don’t want to lose muscles together with fat. If protein intake is too low, it may affect muscle mass and metabolic rate, which can lead to a plateau. Use this free Carnivore diet macro calculator to find the right amount of protein you need to reach your weight loss goals.

Stress and Sleep

High stress levels can influence hormones like cortisol, which may negatively impact weight loss and body composition. Meditation or yoga can help reduce stress. Also, lack of sleep can interfere with weight loss efforts. You generally need 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night.

Digestive Issues

Digestive issues like inadequate stomach acid production, inadequate enzyme production, electrolyte imbalance, food sensitivities, and bacterial imbalances can hinder nutrient absorption and weight loss.

Consulting a healthcare professional can help with these issues.

Medical Conditions

Medical conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or insulin resistance can disrupt weight loss efforts. Healthcare professionals can help you with these conditions.

Psychological Factors

Emotional disorders can influence eating habits, causing overeating. Consulting a psychologist or nutritionist can help.

Caloric Intake

You may eat big portions and consume too many calories. Be cautious of added fats and calories in cooking oils, sauces, and dairy products.

You must monitor portion sizes, control your overall caloric intake, and create a caloric deficit to lose weight.

When we speak about too many calories, some may think they need to count calories in every food they eat. Should we do so on a Carnivore diet? Well, you don’t!

Do I Need to Count Calories on a Meat-Only Diet?

As Professor Bart Kay describes in the interview on top of this page, you don't need to count calories. Calories are arbitrary units of energy and do not correlate exactly to our human bodies.

Instead of counting calories, focus on eating meat, salt, and water, and reduce your meal frequency to an OMAD (one meal a day) or 2MAD (2 meals a day) to reach your optimal weight.

The fasting window in OMAD and 2MAD allows your body to digest all the food and use your body's stored fat as energy.

When we talk about focusing on meat, you may think that if you’re following a diet with a similar focus on meat, like Keto, you don’t need to try the Carnivore diet for weight loss. Think again because the Carnivore diet offers what the Keto diet offers but in a simpler way. Let’s compare them and see!

Learn More: Carnivore and OMAD Diet | Results In 2 Weeks!

Is Carnivore Better than Keto for Weight Loss?

The Carnivore and Keto diets are similar in nature as they both try to induce ketosis by reducing carbohydrates and increasing fat and protein, which results in weight loss.

But, the Carnivore diet is more targeted toward this aim as it tries to minimize or avoid carbohydrates by eliminating plant-based foods and focusing on simplicity. The following table helps you compare them in different aspects.

Carnivore vs. Ketogenic Diet
Aspect Carnivore Diet Ketogenic Diet
Focus Almost zero carbohydrates, moderate protein, and high fat intake Low-carbohydrate, moderate protein, and high fat intake
Simplicity Simple and easy-to-follow Simple but not as simple as the Carnivore diet
Foods Allows animal-based products, including meat, organ meats, poultry, seafood, eggs, animal fats, and limited dairy. Eliminates all plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds. Allows animal-based products, including meat, organ meats, poultry, seafood, eggs, animal fats, limited dairy, and low-carb vegetables.
Macronutrient Ratios 65-80% fat, 20-35% protein, 0-5% carbohydrates 70-75% fat, 20-25% protein, 5-10% carbohydrates
Ketosis Induces a state of ketosis, using ketones as a primary energy source. Induces a state of ketosis, using ketones as a primary energy source.
Variety of Food Choices Limited to animal products Wider variety compared to the Carnivore diet.
Weight Loss Can contribute to weight loss through caloric deficit. Can contribute to weight loss through caloric deficit.
Health Benefits Reduced inflammation, Digestive improvements, Better mental clarity, Satiety Positive effects on autoimmune diseases, Satiety, Positive effects on blood sugar control, Reduced inflammation, Positive effects on cardiovascular health, Satiety, Positive effects on neurological conditions, Improved blood sugar control
Health Considerations Individuals with specific health conditions may need consideration. Individuals with specific health conditions may need consideration.

So, if you are considering starting the Carnivore diet to lose weight, following the tips below can help you boost your weight loss results.

Tips to Boost Weight Loss in a Carnivore Diet

  • Consume more protein. You can use this free Ideal Weight Calculator to determine how much protein you need to reach your ideal weight.
  • Try intermittent fasting.
  • Join this 4-week Carnivore fat loss course for personalized guidance about your weight loss process.
  • Eat mindfully and avoid emotional eating. Drink plenty of water to control appetite.
  • Balance protein and fat. You can use this free Carnivore diet macro calculator to learn the proper amount of macros.
  • Exercise regularly to improve weight loss results and general health. Resistance training can also help maintain muscle mass.

The Bottom Line

All in all, you can lose weight on a Carnivore diet if you stick to the rules, plan based on your needs, and set realistic goals. Also, staying motivated during the weight loss journey is essential.

Starting a Carnivore lifestyle for weight loss can be very confusing. Join the 30-day fat loss program in our Carnivore community to get simple meal plans every week, target weight loss, and learn from our Carnivore coaches who have lost over 200 lbs.

You will also meet your favorite Carnivore doctors like Dr. Anthony Chaffee to support you.

Can I Lose Weight on a Carnivore Diet? How Much? How Fast? (2024)


Can I Lose Weight on a Carnivore Diet? How Much? How Fast? ›

But personal reports show that Carnivores could lose 7kg (15.4 pounds) in 30 days, 121 lbs in 12 months, and so on. Generally, aiming to lose between 0.5 – 0.75% of your starting body weight can be realistic.

How much to eat on a carnivore diet to lose weight? ›

With the right amount of fat and protein, you can reach your body composition goals while enjoying delicious meals. If you are looking to lose weight, an ideal caloric intake is around 1,500-1,750 calories per day, deviating from the normal 2,000.

What is the 80 20 rule for carnivore diet? ›

Some carnivore enthusiasts even go for an 80/20 carnivore diet. This means 80% fat and 20% protein — no carbs at all. This fat-to-protein ratio carnivore diet is typically for experienced people on a carnivore diet.

What is the success rate for the carnivore diet? ›

Harvard Carnivore Study

93% improved or resolved obesity and excess weight. 93% improved hypertension. 98% improved conditions related to diabetes.

What to expect from a week 1 carnivore diet? ›

The initial week on the carnivore diet often triggers significant physical responses as the body adapts to a very high-protein, zero-carbohydrate intake. Individuals may experience changes in weight and digestive system reactions, among other effects.

How many pounds can you lose on carnivore diet in 30 days? ›

But personal reports show that Carnivores could lose 7kg (15.4 pounds) in 30 days, 121 lbs in 12 months, and so on. Generally, aiming to lose between 0.5 – 0.75% of your starting body weight can be realistic.

How many eggs a day on a carnivore diet? ›

More eggs can support muscle gain, while fewer may be better for weight loss. You can also consider just consuming egg whites to lower your calorie and fat intake. In general, though, many on the carnivore diet consume between 2 to 6 eggs daily as part of their meal plan.

Do you still poop on carnivore diet? ›

It may sometimes cause constipation. The diet is contrary to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans , which emphasize the importance of fiber for good health. Some may worry about becoming constipated due to this diet's lack of fiber.

How much fat should I eat per day on carnivore diet? ›

For those that insist on tracking this type of thing, the simplest advice for starting out is to eat about 1 gram of fat and 1 gram of protein per pound of desired body weight. If your desired body weight is more than 50 pounds away from your current weight then I don't suggest using your desired body weight.

What are the benefits of a 30 day carnivore diet? ›

There is some anecdotal evidence, according to its proponents, that the carnivore diet can lead to weight loss and improve metabolism and autoimmune diseases. Baker also has said it can reverse diabetes. However, research has yet to bear out these benefits.

How long does it take to see benefits from a carnivore? ›

Long-term adaptations and benefits can take months or even years to fully materialize. You may continue to see gradual weight loss and muscle gain, and the benefits to your focus and energy levels may increase as your body becomes more efficient at using fat for fuel.

Can I drink coffee on a carnivore diet? ›

Yes, you can drink coffee on a carnivore diet. Despite its plant origin, many followers of the carnivore diet still consume coffee, considering caffeine's stimulating properties. However, caution must be taken as excessive intake of caffeine may add stress to the body's metabolism and disrupt sleep patterns.

How strict do you have to be on carnivore diet? ›

At its most strict, this diet consists of exclusively animal products without frills: some purists don't even leave room for seasoning. More relaxed versions still don't allow grains or sugars, but some folks choose to include herbs and spices, condiments, or small amounts of low-carb, non-starchy vegetables.

How fast will I lose weight on the carnivore diet? ›

this obviously varies from person to person - your starting body fat percentage, your metabolism, your activity level, and your diet all influence how quickly you see results. For some, you'll see noticeable changes in the mirror and on the scale after 2-4 weeks. For others, it can take beyond a month.

How many days does it take to get into ketosis on the carnivore diet? ›

The bottom line

In general, it should take you 2–4 days to enter ketosis. However, some people may find they need a week or longer. The time it takes depends on various factors, such as your age, metabolism, exercise level, and current carb, protein, and fat intake.

How can I speed up my weight loss on carnivore? ›

How to Lose Weight on the Carnivore Diet: Additional Tips to Help You Shed Some Fat Fast
  1. Get a solid 8 hours of sleep each night. ...
  2. Increase your protein intake slightly if you're not seeing results. ...
  3. Add some intermittent fasting into your routine. ...
  4. Start incorporating more physical activity into your life.
Jan 12, 2023

How much meat should I eat per day on a carnivore diet? ›

An individual typically requires between 1-2 pounds of meat per day, though this will vary based on age, sex, weight, and activity level. For a person needing 2,000 calories daily, this might translate to about 1.5 pounds of ground beef (assuming 300 calories per 100 grams with a 75/25 lean to fat ratio).

How much protein should I eat to lose weight on carnivore diet? ›

In terms of the carnivore diet, we generally recommend eating between 0.8-1 gram of protein per ideal body weight or lean body mass. This is what we consider moderate protein intake. If you eat under 0.8 grams of protein consistently, you will lose lean body mass, bone mass, and overall longevity benefits.

How many calories should I eat on a carnivore diet? ›

Carnivore diet proponents aren't usually concerned about counting calories. However, you should aim to meet your daily caloric needs, which range between 1,600 to 2,200 for women and 2,000 to 3,200 for men.

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