What is the Carnivore Diet? Zero Carb Diet Results
Sometime in the last week of February 2015, I was directed to a blog called My Zero Carb Life written by Kelly Williams Hogan (there will be links at the bottom of this article).
In 2015 I was still wrapping my head around Keto and the idea of losing weight with so much fat and then these people who just eat meat come along! I think they were there the whole time, I just didn’t notice. And it blew my mind!
Ya, ya so dramatic, I know! That day I read that whole blog, and I mean every single article in it.
I immediately knew I had to at least try it and I starting eating what they called Zero Carb but everyone else in the Keto world calls Carnivore.
I lost 12 lbs the first week which was pretty amazing for someone who complained of a slow metabolism!
This happened without tracking anything in My Fitness Pal, not even once. I didn’t count carbs or felt like I had to eat anything at the end of the day to get my fat up or tweak one single effin thing about what I put into my mouth!
It was both the easiest thing I had ever done in my life as well as the hardest!
So What Did I Eat on the Zero Carb Carnivore Diet Plan Anyways?
The first thing that I want to stress is that the Zero Carbers use the term zero carb, but the goal is not about ‘eating zero carbs’. They don’t count carbs at all.
The goal of zero carb is to eat foods only from the animal kingdom. We are talking about meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and if you can tolerate it, some dairy.
And none of this lean meat stuff either. Untrimmed meat with fat. Eat the skin on the chicken! Leave the expensive lean ground beef on the shelf and get the fattier stuff.
No sweeteners, no chemicals, no processed food, no fruits, vegetables, grains, nothing but basically meat and water.
How can anyone get excited about meat and water?
I don’t know, but I did! I can’t explain it, I know I am still sane, at least I think so. I think sometimes these things are all about timing.
Maybe if I had read that blog a few months ago, a year ago or whatever, I would have just said wow, this Kelly Hogan, what a crackpot. But I didn’t.
She talked about giving up sweeteners (something I have struggled on and off with for years) and so I knew I had to do that and I didn’t have a single drop or granule of sweetener the entire 30 days.
And even though I am not strict carnivore any more, to this day I drink my coffee black. Which is a small miracle!
Carnivores don’t measure or weigh anything. They eat until they are full and then they stop. When they are thirsty they drink water.
That’s it, that is the zero carb diet plan. It’s as simple as that.
So how did I do on that 30 days?
30 Days of Zero Carb Carnivore Eating
So that first week after reading Kelly’s blog, I gave up sweeteners but I still ate a salad with my meat. Then one day I ate a pickle because we all know that pickles have no carbs right. Then I ate another one, then another and then I was off to binge land.
When it was over I knew. I knew I was one of those people who are hyper sensitive to carbs of any kind, even the good ones.
So for the rest of the 30 days, I stuck to just meat, no salads. I also ate eggs, but stayed clear of dairy. I’m not gonna lie, it was tough!
Although I was never able to give up coffee, I never thought I could actually drink it without sweetener. I typically ate meat, as much as I wanted, as well as eggs and some cheese.
Some people seriously eat just meat. No cheese and maybe even no eggs. Meat and water.
I have since found out that there are some different sub camps in the Carnivore world.
What are the different types of Carnivore Diet?
If you are Carnivore Curious, then this list might make you feel better and offer a path to get started if the idea of meat and water only scares you.
- Strict Carnivore. Also called Zero Carb and Lion Diet. This is the meat (focus on beef) and water plan.
- Standard Carnivore. Includes meat of all kinds, dairy, eggs, spices and coffee (if wanted).
- Keto Carnivore. Also called Relaxed Carnivore or Carnivore-ish. It is like Standard Carnivore with some plant items, mostly treated like condiments. For example sauces made with avocado oil or maybe some bbq sauce with your ribs, jalapenos on top of your ground beef, that sort of thing.
How did Carnivore help me moving forward?
I want to be transparent about this. I have periods of time where I am Relaxed Carnivore but I am mostly Keto. I like to do Carnivore challenges on a regular basis because I feel it keeps me on track better and helps with inflammation.
Read here how following a Carnivore diet benefits women.
I have learned so much from trying this way of eating and have received great benefit from it.
- I am no longer dependent on sweeteners to get me through the day. This was something I fought for years!
- I no longer use heavy cream in my coffee and I now generally consume a minimum amount of dairy.
- Meat is the mainstay of my diet and all other carbs and veggies are seconday.
- I think twice and three times before eating any processed foods, keto or otherwise.
I would highly encourage anyone who is curious just to give it a try, even if just for a 30 Day Challenge and see what happens! You might not be ready to be 100% Carnivore but that doesn’t mean you won’t benefit. It might be just the thing you need!
Where can you learn more about the Carnivore/Zero Carb way of life?
Since you haven’t run screaming from this page here are some links for you to do further research:
Kelly’s blog My Zero Carb life
I’ve put together some Carnivore Diet Resources here that include authors, youtube channels and tools that I have found to be helpful.
This book is a great resource for anyone who wants to learn more about the Carnivore diet.
Recipes You can use for Zero Carb or Carnivore Eating
Recipes and Meal Ideas for Carnivore and Zero Carb
These recipes can all be used if you are considering trying zero carb or carnivore. Keep in mind that Carnivores focus on food from the animal kingdom. Some of these are relaxed Carnivore plan so feel free to omit any non animal ingredients.
Carnivore Friendly Lemon Cheesecake
You can eat this cheesecake when doing Carnivore! It is sweetener optional. Make it as is and then serve with various topping options that guests can put on while you stay on your Carnivore diet plan! Crockpot and Instant Pot instructions.
Carnivore Pizza Crust
My favorite crispy thin crust pizza is Keto, Carnivore, Dairy Free, Gluten free, flour free and zero carb!
Make the crust and choose your toppings depending on your own Keto or Carnivore goals!
Easy Keto Maui Ribs Recipe | Low Carb and Gluten Free!
Maui Ribs are a summer time tradition in my backyard! Easy to make, bursting with a sweet and salty flavor and fast to grill, these thin slices of beef heaven will become a favorite in your grilling rotation! If it rains, these Maui style beef short ribs are just as easy to cook in the oven.
Savory Keto Bacon Cheeseburger Soup
There are few soups as satisfying as a good hamburger soup! This keto bacon cheeseburger soup is low carb comfort food at it's best. Leave out the cauliflower to make it Carnivore! A perfect family dinner on a cold winter night.
Keto Slow Cooked Oven Brisket
Nothing gets the men in my family over to my house faster than hearing I am making a brisket! You will please any crowd with this slow cooked oven brisket that is truly melt in your mouth! And it's soooo easy to get perfect results every time!
Keto Carnivore Pasta Noodles
If you are missing pasta on Carnivore then these will help! You can use them in soups and sauces and make some fun Carnivore meals to add variety to your menus!
Carnivore Ham and Cheese Noodle Soup
A Carnivore recipe that is a true comfort food! Hearty Ham and Cheese soup topped with bacon and even optional noodles! Makes a warm Keto or Carnivore meal.
Carnivore Skillet Pepperoni Pizza
This cast iron skillet pepperoni pizza recipe is good for both Keto as well as relaxed Carnivore. If you are doing a Carnivore challenge, you don't have to miss pizza night! Serve with wings on the side!
Keto Egg Drop Soup with Egg Fast version
Keto Egg Drop soup is one of the fastest and easiest low carb meals you can make! Yet it's so good for keto flu as well as the Egg Fast or Carnivore.
Keto and Carnivore Bone Broth
Bone Broth is perfect for people doing Keto and Carnivore, but did you know that there are incredible health benefits for women? Make your own and have a daily cup!
Keto Carnivore Waffles
These keto carnivore waffles are going to surprise you because they don't really taste like the list of ingredients! These are perfect for taking along to lunch for work or a quick snack.
Juicy Keto Baby Back Ribs (Crockpot or Instant Pot Prep)
This is the very best way to make ribs! So juicy and tender they fall off the bone, no need for sauce at all!
Air Fryer Salt and Pepper Crispy Pork Belly Crack
The best carnivore snack or breakfast or anytime!
I love this recipe. That is all.
Easy Keto Rack of Lamb with Herbs and Garlic
Rack of Lamb is so easy to make even on a week night and makes a perfect carnivore dinner! Who needs vegetables?
Oven Cooked Bacon Recipe Perfect and Crisp!
Bacon is staple when doing carnivore and so I meal prep it in large quantities and this is the best way to do it!
Crispy Keto Tuna Melt Chaffles for Carnivore or Low Carb
What!? I know this doesn't look like it would be Carnivore but it's all from the animal kingdom! Tuna, cheese, eggs. Yup a Chaffle Tuna melt!
Keto Staples - Herb and Garlic Whole Roasted Chicken
Nothing like an entire roast chicken to get a Carnivore's heart to flutter!
24 thoughts on “What Is the Carnivore Zero Carb Diet? My Results!”
at first the thought of all carnivore scared me. i’ve been listening to kelly hogan and dr. berry.
but all meat? yikes.
then i came across your you tube videos.
all i can say is thank you, thank you you, thank you. you are a Godsend. i am grateful that i found you. Now i can see doing this diet.
i’ve already been making some of your recipes. i love them. also, thank you for including dairy substitues for your recipes. i can’t handle dairy very well. i appreciate it.
thank you and May God bless you richly for helping us.
Thank you so much for your comments! While I like the simplicity of just making a steak (which I do quite often) I also like to get creative and have different textures so I’m happy that some people agree!
I want you to know I have printed and made many of your recipes and most will be staples in mine and my daughter new lifestyle. We absolutely love the pasta noodles, and the egg white powder bread. I even made your lasagna after seeing your video.
Not having pasta or a side dish was a real issue for us, but not anymore and that is thanks to you!
I also saw your crepe video and then watched a few others and tried the recipe of 4 ounces of softened cream cheese blended with 4 eggs and they were a hit. We sometimes add a bit of Monk Fruit sweetener and/or cinnamon for the French toast taste.
Thank you again for all you do. You have truly helped us stay the course.
Yours in mostly carnivore, Karen
Oh this comment makes me so happy! Thanks so much for taking the time to tell me here! (mostly Carnivore here as well!)
Originally went on NC because of a candida overload in my system. Had no idea I was going to lose weight. Lost 25lbs and stopped being sick all the time. Decided I could go back on carbs. Gained back the weight and got sick again! Why are we so hard-headed? Anyway, back on my diet… Feeling great & losing weight!
That’s awesome. Funny how we self sabotage isn’t it? Congrats on getting back to it.
I’m addicted to Splenda…what can I use. …please!
All of the Zero carbers that I know have left the sweets behind. And after doing it for 30 days I sure lost my taste for those sweeteners! I now drink my coffee black and haven’t had sweetener in I don’t know how long ! And even though I am not a zero carber, just a very low carber, I have gone on to lose another 35 pounds since writing this article about my ZC experiment. I attribute that to giving up sweeteners and dairy! Best of luck to you!
The last post here was about three months ago..
Are you still ZCing?
How much weight have you lost all up, if that’s not a rude question..
I am definitely a ZC eater, as nearly all carbs and dairy cause me grief, but I don’t lose weight as I think I should. Only real difference is, I don’t eat much fat. Could that be it?
I am 55yo female, but I do running and gym 6 days a week.
I don’t post very often, it’s true! Working full time and keeping teenagers under control takes up a lot of hours. I am not ZC, after my 30 day zero carb trial I crashed and burned and didn’t want to be ZC anymore. But the funny thing is that I have been thinking about it a lot lately so who knows, I might try again. For ZC weight loss questions it’s best to join one of the FB groups because I just don’t have enough experience with it.
Wow your before and after photos are mindblowing, amazingly well done. Just embarking on this jouney myself, couple of months ago gave up sweetners after a serious two-decade lasting addiction and yesterday declared war on bread with the intention to start ZC. Seemed easier than I feared because I love (LOVE) bread but in the night I was sick as a dog, gagged out the entire content of my stomach (sorry too much info) and wondered if this could be a side effect of a life long carb based diet – how did your body react in the transition period?
Going from a carb based diet to zero carb is a pretty rough transition, although your reaction seems pretty harsh! Are you sure you don’t have the flu? If not, many people do experience keto flu and you can feel pretty sick. I hope you feel better soon!
So, few months on, how much weight have you actually lost? have you stayed on this religiously instead of LW or Egg Fast? have you alternated? what stage are you at now? Aren’t you sick of the sight of meat yet?
I’m thinking you missed the part near the bottom of the post where I made an update to the post? Here it is again:
Update (Summer 2015): I’m not 100% Zero Carb
I want to be transparent about this. I am mostly zero carb but not 100%. But I learned so much from trying this way of eating and have received great benefit from it.
I am no longer dependant on sweeteners to get me through the day. This was something I fought for years!
I no longer use HWC and most days have no cheese unless I’m doing the Egg Fast
Meat is the mainstay of my diet and all other carbs and veggies are more like a condiment
I may come back to this at some point, I have no idea. I’m just not ready to be 100% zero carb but I would not discourage anyone else from trying it. It might be just the thing you need!
So I guess I am just basically VLC (Very Low Carb) which only gives me a loss of 1-2 pounds a month. I have a ton of issues going on and it’s the best I can accomplish at this point in time. I hope that answers your question!
I went from ketogenic to very low carb with slightly higher protein to zero carb. The lack of cravings or hunger is something you have to experience. I absolutely love the simplicity. I never think about food any more. I feel amazing. I look forward to seeing you post more – not that there are recipes needed :)
I really appreciate all the people who come to visit even though I don’t post very often! I work a 40 hour week and keeping up with this can be challenging. I have tons of ideas though, so I’m sure I will add them at some point!
Just curious how your second month has gone. Like you I have also read all of Kelly’s blog and testimonies of Eat Meat Drink Water.
Thanks for asking! I wish I had more time to write about this! Things are going well most days. When I just do meat only, wow zero carb = zero cravings! I’m still kind of experimenting because simple things seem to confound me. :-) Down a couple more pounds.
Wonderful post. I followed from Keto to ZCas well. The light also went on for me after reading/studying/absorbing Kelly Hogan’s blog. I love the simplicity, so sick of chopping veggies, lol. Best of luck on our journeys;)
Yes, thank you so much for your comment and support! I am so loving how simple this is and am pleasantly surprised how great I am feeling!
Aren’t you worried at all about gluconeogenesis?
No, it’s actually a normal thing. It just means that my liver naturally creates glucose from protein. Everyone’s liver does it, and it’s why we don’t need dietary glucose (carbohydrate) to supply those few places in the body that require sugar instead of fat for fuel.
Thanks–I read elsewhere that our bodies only make the amount of sugar we need to stay alive & upright–everything else gets excreted. Far less “sugar” comes from gluconeogenesis than from vegs or the standard LC or VLC diet.
No more fears–in I go!
Gluconeogenesis is why you don’t die in your sleep from low blood sugar. People are trying to turn it into the new ketosis or something (remember how no one could tell the difference between ketosis and ketoacidosis?), and that’s simply not warranted. One of the arguments I’ve heard is that it causes “inflammation”–let me tell you something, you want inflammation? Eat more than a narrow range of foods from the plant kingdom. You’ll get your inflammation.
I’m not zero carb but I can see the merits. Because so many people adulterate meat, especially at restaurants, I’m trying to see if I can get by still eating some plant matter. I feel like I don’t really have a choice unless I want to give up any hope of a social life. Someone who has figured out how to make ZC work, though? More power to them.