- Carnivore diet
- Keto Flu
- Calorie Intake
From Keto to Carnivore
The Carnivore Diet is the new trend that has seen people feeling better, healed of diseases, and performing at new heights. Of all the people who attempt the carnivore diet, a large segment is those that move from keto dieting. Keto to Carnivore has wraps up the natural progression – from bad diet to Keto to Carnivore. Let’s walk through how to accomplish this progression in the most painless way.
How easy is it to move from keto to carnivore?
While the Keto and Carnivore diets are similar in many ways, there are some critical differences one needs to be aware of when making the transition.
Unlike the ketogenic diet, there are no macronutrient ratio preferences in the carnivore diet. You just eat meat. Because you’re not eating any carbs, you’ll likely reach ketosis on a carnivore diet.
The process of going from a SAD (Standard American Diet) to a Ketogenic diet is a tough transition where one needs to get“fat-adapted”. Fortunately, the transition from keto to carnivore does not involve this phase as it has already happened.
Listed below are some of the things you might actually go through:
- While on Keto, one gets the“Keto Flu.”When transitioning from Keto to Carnivore, there is a somewhat similar process that can either be called the “Carnivore Flu“or the “keto flu”.
- Loose stools are common. As the major difference between the keto and carnivore is consumption of vegetables, fiber intake is severely affected, leading to a potential for significant change in bowel movements. While fiber is not necessary for healthy digestion (and can be causal of digestive issues) it does impact bowel function. In absorbing water, creating bulk, and establishing regularity, fiber lets the colon to get lazy. A major function of the colon is to reabsorb water. Since fiber does most of this work in a diet high in plant-based foods, the colon gets lazy. It quits doing its job. It’s like a muscle that hasn’t been worked out and gets weak. Going from a Ketogenic Diet to a Carnivore Diet results in a drastic change in fiber intake. And since the colon hasn’t gotten a good workout in a while, and is now being asked to do its job, it’s lost some of its capacity. It needs to “on-ramp”, and during this “on-ramp” water gets through.
- Your stool is also not as frequent as it used to be. This is not constipation; You are just not making all that much stool as meat gets majorly absorbed and leaves little waste behind.
- Fiber is food for bacteria in the large intestines. Bacteria love fiber. They ferment it and create the gases that make you unpopular at parties. Removing fiber makes some of these bacteria unhappy. There is research that shows that the microbiome can signal hunger and cravings as the bacteria do everything they can to get you to feed them before they die. We know very little about the microbiome. Most of what’s written is pure speculation as research is lacking. This “re-balancing” of gut microflora might actually be a good thing.
- Cravings. As your body gets used to doing without carbohydrates, you are likely to experience intense cravings. It advisable to eat more meat when the craving strikes. Many people that come from a Ketogenic Diet are used to maniacal measuring, counting, and testing. When they move on to the Carnivore Diet and are told they can eat meat until satisfied without measuring or monitoring, the flood gates break loose. The key is to let the appetite re-regulate and normalize. Let the body fuel up on the nutrition it needs and desires. Be in it for the long haul. After a time the appetite regulates and the cravings disappear. In fact, all you will want to do is eat a steak. Everything else seems non-satisfactory.
- On the flip side, some people experience a lack of appetite. Meat is satiating. Protein is satiating. This can lead some people who transition from Keto to Carnivore to under eat which can lead to fatigue, low energy, moodiness. The key is to eat. Early on, hunger is not the only signal to listen to as to when to eat, so if you are tired, dragging, and crabby, then eat.
How can you prepare to move from Keto to Carnivore?
Now that you are ready to make the transition, what do you need to do?
1. Analyze what you have been eating
If you don’t already keep a food journal, then start immediately, ideally with an app like Noom. This will help you know how much nutrition you get from plants as opposed to meat.
2. Calculate how much of your calorie intake is from plants
Now that you know how many calories you take in from meat and plants, you can determine how much you need to make up by replacing plants with animal products. If you’re at a healthy weight, then stick to the same calories.
But if you still have some way to go to reach your weight loss goals, then consider reducing the calories a little more. I have found that the amount of all meat diet weight loss is higher than on keto, and the meat seems to keep me full for longer allowing me to reduce my calories more efficiently.
3. Gradually replace greens with meats
It is much easier on your body if you make the transition gradual, say over a period of 7-10 days.
4. Eat from a larger array of meats
It is very difficult to constantly eat the same thing, even if it’s a delicious ribeye steak from grass-fed beef cooked in butter, you can quickly get sick of it. The best thing you can do is switch between beef, pork, chicken, fish, and organ meat for your meals. An added benefit of variety is a more diverse range of vitamins and minerals.
5. Monitor your ketone levels
As you gradually switch to more meat, you should notice an increase in ketones. You can buy devices and test strips that measure these levels in your urine, and they are reasonably accurate. It’s a good indicator that you’re moving in the right direction. As you keep track of your ketone levels, note down mood level. This can be a very motivating exercise, as generally speaking you’ll be in a better mood with high ketone levels.
Are you now confident enough to make the transition?
In the whole keto vs carnivore debate, it really shouldn’t be a question of which one is better. They definitely complement each other. In case you are completely new to it all, then start with keto and after a few weeks transition to carnivore on regular on and off cycles.
The two major transition symptoms in switching from Keto to Carnivore are bowel changes from a lack of plant material and fiber and appetite swings. Being aware of these and having a game plan and commitment to overcome these issues is key to a successful transition from Keto to Carnivore.
If for some reason you are struggling to commit to this lifestyle, then simply reducing your carbs is a good health move to make.