Do you ever feel like your body is running on fumes? You’re feeling sick, out of energy, over-exhausted, and can’t seem to break the cycle?
Well, friends, we’ve all been there!
But with this ultimate guide on how to start an animal based diet (no tofu here!), I can help you get back in tip-top shape so that you can reclaim your health and vitality!
So sit back, grab a beef stick if you have one handy, and let’s start creating a meaty plan that nourishes your body AND become stronger every day!
Table of Contents
What is an animal-based diet EXACTLY?
An animal based diet is exactly what it sounds like – it’s a diet that primarily consists of animal foods, such as meats, seafood, eggs, and dairy products.
This type of diet is also known as a carnivore diet, paleo diet, zero carb diet, or ketogenic diet.
Let’s take a quick look at the specifics of each…
Primal Paleo Diet
- Also known as the Caveman Diet or the Stone Age Diet
- Only whole, unprocessed foods such as meats, seafood, eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. (nothing processed)
- Avoids dairy products
- Avoid legumes
- Limits or avoids added sugars
- Limits or avoids processed vegetable oils
- Allows some plant foods
- Completely avoids all grains/gluten/whole grains
- Specific Macros – High fat intake, usually around 70-75% of total daily calories
- Very low carbohydrate intake, usually less than 50 grams per day
- Cuts out most grains, legumes, fruits, and starchy vegetables –
- Includes high-fat, low-carb foods such as meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, and non-starchy vegetables
Zero Carb Diet
- Consists only of zero-carb animal foods, such as meats, seafood, eggs, and full-fat dairy products
- No carbohydrates are to be consumed
- No fruits vegetables, grains, legumes, and other plant based foods
- Best for disease management
- The strictest form of animal-based eating!
- Strong emphasis on red meat and eating animal products.
- ONLY animal-based foods (no plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, or legumes, are allowed).
- Specific focus on nutrient-dense animal-based foods, such as organs, seafood, grass-fed meat, and pasture-raised eggs.
- Nothing processed or fake (including zero carb sweeteners and condiments, etc.)
Why you should try an Animal-based diet
There are several potential benefits of an animal-based diet, including weight loss, improved blood sugar control, decreased inflammation, and increased energy. Let’s take a deeper look…
Some people also find that an animal-based diet can improve mood and mental clarity. (This happened for me almost right away!)
An animal-based diet provides a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals that are important for overall health, as well as being some of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet!
Animal-based diets can be beneficial for weight loss since it promotes fat burning and muscle preservation while also helping to reduce appetite.
Animal-based foods are generally more satiating than plant-based foods, which can help to prevent overeating (Especially for those with leptin resistance)
Improved glucose metabolism
An animal-based diet can also improve blood sugar control by reducing insulin resistance, benefiting people with diabetes or prediabetes. This is because animal-based foods are typically lower in carbohydrates than plant-based foods (which can add up in carbs quickly!)
In terms of inflammation, animal-based diets can decrease inflammation in the body, which can be beneficial in reducing the risk of chronic conditions such as autoimmune disease, heart disease, migraines, and even cancer.
Foods to eat on an animal-based diet
When you get started on an animal-based diet, it’s important to choose high-quality, nutrient-dense foods that will provide your body with the necessary vitamins and minerals. (Say no to processed hotdogs and yes to grass-fed beef!)
Here are some of the best foods to eat on an animal-based diet:
Grass-fed beef is a good source of protein, iron, and zinc. It also contains beneficial fats such as omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for heart health.
Fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and are a great source of lean protein.
Pastured eggs are a good source of protein, vitamins D and E, and the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin.
Organ meats such as liver, kidney, and heart are a great source of important nutrients like vitamin B12, iron, and zinc. (I know it sounds a little disgusting, but the benefits are HUGE!)
Full-fat dairy products such as butter, cream, and cheese are good sources of fat-soluble vitamins and minerals. (If you can tolerate dairy)
How to start an animal-based diet for yourself
Wondering where to start? Here are a few quick tips that helped me shift to animal based…
Making a sudden switch to an animal-based diet can be overwhelming for your mind and body, not to mention be difficult to keep up!
Gradually transition to the diet over a few weeks or months by slowly increasing the amount of animal-based foods in your diet.
Focus on nutrient-dense foods
An animal-based diet should include nutrient-dense foods such as organ meats, seafood, grass-fed meats, and pasture-raised eggs.
These foods provide a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals that are important for overall health, and you’ll see the benefits immediately!
Experiment with different types of animal-based foods
Not all animal-based foods are created equal. Experiment with consuming different types of meats, seafood, and dairy products to find what you enjoy and what works best for you.
Remember, there are no awards for being the MOST Carnivorous!) So do what is BEST for YOU!
Meal planning and preparation are key to success on an animal-based diet. Make sure to prepare meals in advance to ensure that you always have healthy meaty options on hand at any time.
I always keep cooked burger patties and hard boiled eggs in the fridge and meal prep 1-2x week!
You can be as strict as YOU need on an animal-based diet. Listen to your body and make nutrition adjustments as necessary.
Remember that transitioning to an all animal foods is a personal journey, and everyone’s experience will be different. The most important thing is to find what works for you over time and ensure you can stick to it over the long term.
Animal based recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks
Ready to get started? Here are my favorite animal based recipes and ideas for you!
- Scrambled eggs with bacon (and avocado if you’re feeling gutsy!)
- Breakfast sausage + fried eggs
- Coffee with butter and/or heavy cream
- Two lean burger patties with 1-2 tbsp butter
- 8-10 oz. lean ground beef with 1-2 tbsp butter
- Deli turkey with Egg White Protien Bread (I’m in LOVE with this bread recipe!)
- Beef and broccoli stir-fry: Cook sliced beef in a pan until browned, then add broccoli and a stir-fry sauce made with soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Serve over rice. (If you can tolerate SOME vegetables… I usually have one serving of plants each day at dinner)
- Pork chops with apple and sage: Season pork chops with salt, pepper, and sage and then pan fry in a mixture of butter and olive oil. Add diced apples to the pan and cook until tender.
- Salmon with lemon and herb: Season a salmon fillet with salt, pepper, lemon zest and thyme. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Serve with a side of roasted vegetables (Again, if you are eating SOME plants
- Hard-boiled eggs: Boil eggs for 8-10 minutes, then peel and eat as a snack.
- Beef Jerky: Beef jerky is a great high-protein snack that you can take on the go. Epic Bars are my FAVORITE!
- Cheese and Egg White Protein Bread – Pair a few slices of cheese with bread for a satisfying snack.
- Bone broth: my favorite brand is Kettle & Fire!
Sample meal plan for one day on an animal-based diet
A sample meal plan for one day on an animal-based carnivore diet could look like this:
- 2-3 eggs fried in butter, served with 3 slices of turkey bacon
- Grilled steak or ground beef with butter (and a side salad of mixed greens if you’re eating plants)
- Beef pot roast with a few vegetables (e.g. broccoli, cauliflower, carrots if you’re eating plants)
- Beef/Turkey Jerky or a small piece of cheese
- Egg White Protein Bread
Obviously, consult with your healthcare professional before starting any new diet, especially if you have any underlying health conditions!
The Wrap Up – Animal Based Diets
In conclusion, starting an animal-based diet can seem daunting, but with a little planning, preparation, and education, it can be a healthy and sustainable way of eating with many health benefits.
Consult with a healthcare professional and focus on nutrient-dense foods, and you’ll be on your way to optimal health
Let me know if you try and what you think!