What is the Carnivore Diet?
I want to say that no one knows exactly what the Carnivore Diet is. Ask 100 people and you'll get 100 different answers.
The general consensus defines the diet, at a minimum, as "Just eat meat and drink water."
That's about it.
I've figured out that there are a few camps of thought out there in carnivore land.
There are the believers. This group of people believes that society has lied to us and that humans were designed/evolved to be carnivores through and through. This belief comes along with a strict adherence to the eat meat, drink water lifestyle. Non-cattle meats (seafood, chicken) and by-products such as dairy, bone broth, etc... have no place.
Then you have the group of people who are less philosophically motivated and have specific physical or health goals they want to achieve through the diet. These people are more open to including by-products and trying to make the diet fit their lifestyle. The questions you see from this camp usually have to do with how much to eat, what kinds of meats are allowed, and if there are exceptions for other animal products.
The third main group I've seen lurking the forums and social media groups are the dabblers. These are the people that are just trying it or want the benefits but still like their carbs. The discussions and way that this group approach the diet is the most flexible and you'll see a periodic inclusion of beans and nuts, sometimes condiments as well.
What's the goal of the Carnivore Diet?
I'm not sure there's a single answer to that. Based on who you talk to, the diet is how humans are best optimized to ingest and process nutrients. Other goals include losing fat, fixing health issues, or eliminating toxins.
The only thing I can tell that most people agree on is that there seems to be a significant increase in bodily functions, recovery, regulatory systems, self-repair, and other systemic improvements within the human body when eating low/no carb foods on a regular basis.
Use that information as you will. The level of low/no carb can be different for everyone to see different results.
As it currently stands, in my limited exposure to the Carnivore Diet, I do not abide the notion that there is a one size fits all. In my experience, there needs to be some variance for lifestyle, individual goals, and sustainability for each person.
Here is a great blog post by Mark Sisson on his thoughts about the Carnivore Diet. He makes some great points and keeps things within the realm of realistic expectation. https://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-carnivore-diet-pros-cons-and-suggestions/
Remember, we don't know what we don't know. There isn't a lot of empirical evidence out there yet. Everything we're doing on this diet is a learning process. Shoot, everything we do in life is a learning process. Nothing is set in stone.
If there's no clear rules and guidelines how do I get started?
First, define what you want out of the diet then keep track of as much data as you can to see how it's affecting you.
I highly recommend that you work with a nutritionist or someone that can tell you if things are going sideways with your health.
There are a handful of programs you can find where someone whos been on the diet for a while can guide you through getting started. I have not done any of them. I cannot verify if any of them are qualified to be giving any sort of nutrition advice.
At the point we're at, most of making this work for you is on you and your ability to self-adjust. My goal for this blog is to help along the way. We're going to get into all sorts of topics and hopefully give everyone some more info to work with.