The Pros and Cons of a Carnivore Diet | Should You Try it and Is It Sustainable?
Pros of The Carnivore DietThe number one thing is I've killed my sugar cravings. This is something I've struggled with for years, sometimes doing better than...
A complete guide to carnivore wouldn’t be complete without a list of the pros and cons.
Since I’m personally following a flexible carnivore diet, I lean toward the pros more than cons because my results are so worth it. That said, there can still be certain cons to a carnivore diet that may affect you more than others, so this list will help you be prepared.
PRO: THE CARNIVORE DIET IS SIMPLE
The carnivore diet is absurdly simple.
There are a few reasons for this.
First, there are fewer foods you eat on a carnivore diet.
Sure, there are countless animals, but the majority of what most people eat fall into one of the following categories:
- Wild game
That’s about it.
It gets even simpler because within each category of these primary animal categories the options are often limited as well. For example, I stick to ribeye steaks, strips, and sirloins. Sometimes I’ll do a roast.
With shellfish, I stick to clams and oysters.
With fish, it’s salmon, sardines, mackerel most of the time.
The simplicity of the carnivore diet is an obvious pro.
CON: LACK OF VARIETY ON CARNIVORE DIET
So this kind of follows the pro just mentioned. The flip side of a simple carnivore diet is you may get sick of eating the same things over and over.
Personally, after eating a steak every breakfast for 60 days, I noticed my appetite starting to crave other things. This has led me to a more flexible approach, which we will talk about more through this guide.
IN the world we live in today with the sheer amount of addictive and enticing foods vying for our eating pleasure, it does take resilience to constantly ignore these options.
This is not an excuse to eat them, and you will decide how flexible you want to be only our carnivore diet, but either way, it’s something to be aware of
PRO: A CARNIVORE DIET HELPS KILL CARVINGS
I’ve had a sweet tooth most of my life. Whenever science can invent an ice cream that’s just as sweet but without the sugar, I could see myself having a bowl every single day.
Since going carnivore, I’ve been able to nearly kill my inner sugar monster.
I haven’t completely killed it just yet since I’m still eating Rebel ice cream as my regular “cheat”—it’s so good, be careful, they are addicting.
The first 60 days going carnivore eliminated my hunger pangs. I was to a point where I wasn’t eating enough calories even. So I figured out how to do steak meal 1 and ground beef meal 2 to make sure I was eating enough protein.
For most people, this would be a good problem to have. So definitely a major pro of the carnivore diet.
CON: GAINING WEIGHT ON CARNIVORE IS HARDER
Now, this may not be a pro to some people. For others, it is.
In this case, if you make sure to eat enough fat, you could likely gain weight following this strategy.
And if you are trying to build muscle, optimizing protein then filling in the rest of the gaps with fat would probably get the job done.
If severe weight gain is a need, there could be a case to be made for including certain carb-dense plant foods to assist. After all, these foods naturally lend to fat gain.
PRO: GAINING WEIGHT ON CARNIVORE IS HARDER
When you are eating protein and fat from animals, you are less likely to overeat, your hormones are stabilized and it’s generally that much harder to gain weight.
So from a maintenance perspective, carnivore diet is the perfect diet for not having to worry about your health.
CON? MAYBE?: CARNIVORE CAN BE EXPENSIVE
I’m not yet ready to claim that a carnivore diet is more expensive.
It can be, but it doesn’t have to be.
Of course, you can do a carnivore diet in an expensive way by eating tomahawk ribeyes every meal, but that doesn’t mean carnivore is expensive.
We will cover how to do a clean carnivore diet in a budget-friendly way, but for now, let’s just keep this at a neutral not-pro/not-con just yet.
Some tips if budget is a concern:
- Invest in a Crockpot or Instapot and buy large roasts.
- Buy in bulk when deals come up from your favorite online suppliers and/or at your local grocery store. Here are my two favorite online suppliers right now.
- Practice intermittent fasting and eat one or two meals a day. This makes your diet stupid simple and cheap since you have zero food waste not to mention the amount of time you save.
CON: THE ADJUSTMENT PERIOD SWITCHING TO CARNIVORE
Depending on how close you are to eating the standard American diet will determine how hard the transition potentially is for you.
It depends on a lot of factors, but generally, it’s going to come down to whether your body has a hard time adjusting your gut microbes to eating primarily animals and away from the plants and grains and other foods you were eating.
Some people complain of disaster pants and other digestion-related troubles like constipation. I’ve not had much experience with this myself, but I’ve been eating animal proteins for years now and they’ve always been a constant. So adjusting for me was minor.
No matter how hard it is for you, there are a few things you can do to make the adjustment as East as possible.
- Drink a lot of water
- Consider using a digestive enzyme or HCI product with your meals
- Take electrolytes
PRO: A CARNIVORE DIET FOR HEALTH
This is a blanket category that includes hundreds, if not thousands, of benefits.
From autoimmune issues to skin issues clearing up to improved digestion to thwarting off inflammation which is connected to just about every modern disease, a carnivore diet is likely helpful in one way or another.
Keep in mind, for legal reasons, you can’t claim any diet cures disease or anything like that. I’m not claiming that about carnivores.
Imagine this: if you can eat in a way that reduces inflammation, will that positively or negatively affect your long-term health? So should you try a carnivore diet and you find that you start feeling better, performing better, and testing better, then you have the answer for yourself.