Can eating like a lion trigger easy weight loss and roaring good health? Devotees of the carnivore diet say it can — and they’ve got so many people curious, the meat-centric approach has gone viral on TikTok. So far, #carnivorediet boasts more than a billion views and interest in the diet on social media has risen significantly since the start of the year. And it’s helping women over 50 lose big when other diets fail. Keep reading to learn more about science behind the trend, then get ready to be inspired by carnivore diet before and after photos of women who found amazing success.
How the carnivore diet works
The carnivore diet is an offshoot of the carb-cutting keto diet, but it’s a good deal simpler: The key is to eliminate all plant foods and eat only animal foods. So you’ll enjoy options like eggs, butter, bacon, cheese, fish, poultry, pork and beef until you’re comfortably full. And since carnivore staples are naturally zero-carb or quite low in carbs, you don’t have to measure, count or track anything.
In many ways, carnivore works exactly like keto. By replacing most of the carbs you eat with protein and fat, your body no longer makes enough blood sugar to fuel itself. “This triggers your body to naturally begin turning excess fat into an alternate fuel called ketones,” explains Tennessee-based keto expert Ken Berry, MD, author of Lies My Doctor Told Me. The result? Your body can burn a lot more fat.
Why carnivore may work better than keto
“A basic keto diet is great for many people. But if it’s not working for you or you want those next-level results, that’s when you try carnivore,” Dr. Berry says. That’s because the fewer carbs you eat, the more ketones you make. And studies show boosting ketone production speeds weight loss by up to 1,150%. On top of that, carnivore guarantees carb intake stays very low, “which leads to remarkable hunger control,” the doc says. “Some people only eat one or two meals a day because it’s all they want.” (Click through for more on how the carnivore diet for weight loss may be more effective than keto.)
Another potential carnivore advantage: “You’re eliminating a lot of foods that may be inflammatory specifically for your body,” notes Dr. Berry. That might be anything from artificial sweeteners or soy to spinach or zucchini. “When inflammation comes down, you lose retained fluid, burn more fat and see health turn around.” (Click through to read more about the link between inflammation and weight gain and find out how the carnivore diet even helped one woman cure chronic sinus infections.)
Is carnivore safe?
“When I first tried carnivore myself, my metabolic health improved so much that I did research to see if was safe to skip veggies long-term,” Dr. Berry shares. “I learned that, for millennia, cultures have thrived eating carnivore-style.” He’s been mostly carnivore for years.
Maintaining a 65-pound weight loss, Dr. Berry adds that carnivore can jumpstart wellness as well as weight loss. “You dramatically improve diabetes, joint pain, mood and so much more in a few days or weeks.” No matter your starting point, it’s not too late. “We see people in 50s, 60s, even their late 70s use carnivore to look and feel decades younger.”
Carnivore diet: Before and after success stories
Women who’ve transformed their bodies and health using the carnivore diet are quick to back up the doc. And the following transformations are sure inspire you. Want to try it yourself? Click through to learn more specifics about the carnivore diet and get some fun recipe ideas to get you started.
Connie lost 122 lbs — and got off 28 pills
Though retired and living in Hawaii, Connie Joy was miserable. “I was over 300 pounds, taking 28 pills a day. I knew if I didn’t get weight off, I’d die,” she recalls. But after years of low-calorie diets, her metabolism was shot. Internet research led her to Dr. Berry’s keto and carnivore guidelines. She was already losing at a steady rate when Dr. Berry ran a BBBE challenge. BBBE is an ultra-simplified version of carnivore during which folks eat only beef, butter, bacon and eggs. He finds that temporarily avoiding chicken can actually help some carnivore dieters amp up their results.
“Steak and eggs became my favorite meal,” says Connie, 65, who shed as much as 21 pounds in two weeks as her constant urges to eat disappeared. In six months, she lost 80 pounds. “Even after losing 110 pounds, I did a 30-day BBBE challenge and lost 10 inches!” Down 122 pounds in all, “I’m off all my prescriptions. No more diabetes, high blood pressure, GERD, heart arrhythmia. I feel like I’m 30 again,” she says. “This way of eating makes your life so much better!”
Ruth lost 105 lbs — and eased menopause symptoms
At 265 pounds, “I had a slow thyroid and was exhausted. My rheumatoid arthritis and gout caused a lot of pain. And my hot flashes and insomnia were miserable,” recalls Montreal mom Ruth Hovsepian, 55. She tried keto but didn’t feel much better. She heard about carnivore on a podcast from nutrition expert Vivica Menegaz. “Vivica said it helps with thyroid and menopause. It seemed like she was talking right to me,” recalls Ruth, who switched to mix-and-match meals made with ingredients like eggs, sausage, salmon and steak.
“It was instantly clear veggies and fruit had been triggers for a lot my problems.” Her hunger, cravings, fatigue, hot flashes and pain disappeared; she began shedding up to five pounds a week. “The healing is amazing, and the weight loss is immediate!” Down 105 pounds, Ruth has traded her size 22s for 6s.
Joann lost 89 lbs — and reversed diabetes
Not long ago, Joann Tarkington’s health seemed to get worse by the day. “I had trouble with my pancreas, my liver, blood pressure, thyroid and heart, type-2 diabetes, digestive issues, a genetic condition that affects my skin and joints,” recalls the Texas travel agent, 59. “And seizures on top of it all. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.” With doctors doing little to make her feel better, she did research and came across Dr. Berry’s videos. “It seemed like his approach might help me, so I tried it.”
Joann leans toward carnivore eating most of the time, but does add small amounts of veggies and nuts. Her typical meals include bacon and eggs and steaks or fish cooked in butter. She’ll also snack on bacon and cheese sticks. “It was easy to get started, and I was losing about a pound a day.”
Her health turned around. “My diabetes reversed, my pain went away, my thyroid began improving and my seizures stopped.” She also has a condition called gastroparesis that was so severe, she was at the point of needing surgery to implant a pacemaker-like device to get her stomach working properly. “As long as I stick to a mostly carnivore diet, I have no symptoms at all. This way of eating really cured me!” Today, Joann is 89 pounds lighter and feels fantastic.
Rebecca lost 82 lbs — and healed her IBS
For decades, “I tried every diet out there, but I never had enough success to continue,” shares Tennessee retiree Rebecca Davis, 63. While battling health setbacks — prediabetes, severe knee pain, pancreatitis — she finally tried keto and had luck. She then switched to a carnivore diet because she read it might help her IBS. When she realized the plan calls for only animal products, “I thought I’d try it for 30 days.”
As she filled up on eggs, ribs, cheese, homemade yogurt, the difference was stunning. Her constant hunger disappeared, she went long stretches between meals without trying. “My knee pain was gone in three days. The scale kept going down. My prediabetes reversed.” All told, she’s shrunk from a size 24 to an 8. “I feel strong again, like I can conquer the world!” Learn more in the Facebook group ‘Keto and Carnivore for Women Over 60 and Beyond.’
Anita went carnivore to get off a plateau — and lost 131 lbs
Anita Breeze first tried keto while caring for her late mother. “As bad as my mom’s health got, the hardest part was watching her struggle to do everyday things because of her weight,” recalls the British Columbia bookkeeper, 64. “I didn’t want that to be my future.” So she went low carb and eventually started a blog to share her experiences.
“Plateaus are common when you have a lot to lose like I did. So I experimented to try get things going again.” Stints of carnivore eating have been one of her greatest successes. “When you have fewer choices, it’s just easier. Plus it’s inexpensive and really kills your appetite,” says Anita.
Keto cloud bread had already been one of the most popular recipes on her site, so she created a carnivore version. “It’s nice to be able to eat a sandwich and still see the scale moving!” All told, Anita is down over 131 pounds and is off the cholesterol meds she took for 15 years. “I highly recommend carnivore whether you’re new to keto or just need a boost. It does amazing things!” Click through to read more about a carnivore-based kickstart egg fast Anita loves.
For more on what a Carnivore diet can do for you
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