Why You’re Not Losing Weight on the Carnivore Diet and How to Fix It

The carnivore diet can lead to significant weight loss for many people, but some find that they hit plateaus or stalls in their progress. This article looks at some of the main reasons why you may not be losing weight on carnivore and provides tips on how to get back on track.

Be Patient and Trust the Process

When starting a new diet, it’s easy to get impatient if the weight doesn’t come off as quickly as expected. The initial water weight loss will be fast, but fat loss takes time. Give it at least 90 days before assessing your progress. Focus on how you feel – improved energy, better sleep, reduced joint pain. Non-scale victories like looser clothing are also signs of progress. Trust that fat loss will follow.

Optimize Protein and Fat Intake

Finding the right balance of protein and fat is crucial for maximizing fat burning on the carnivore diet. Consuming too much protein can actually impede ketosis and weight loss in a few different ways:

  • Excess protein gets converted to glucose via gluconeogenesis. This process interferes with ketosis, takes the body out of fat burning mode and can stall weight loss.
  • Protein causes an insulin response, while fat does not. Higher insulin levels make it harder for the body to access and burn its fat stores.
  • Protein is not as satiating as fat. It’s easier to overeat protein, leading to excess calories that get stored as fat.
  • High protein diets reduce levels of ketones, the powerful fat burning molecules produced in ketosis. Lower ketones mean less fat burning.

A good guideline is to aim for a 1:1 ratio of fat to protein by weight in your daily carnivore diet. So if you eat 100g of protein, you’ll want around 100g of fat as well. This balance allows ketosis to flourish, maximizing fat burning.

If your protein intake tends to be on the higher side, make an effort to up your fat percentage. Eat fattier cuts of meat like ribeye, add butter or tallow to your food, cook in animal fats like lard or duck fat, and eat higher fat dairy like cheese if including.

Some people do better with an even higher fat ratio, like 1.5:1 or 2:1 fat to protein. This helps counteract any glucose-raising effect from gluconeogenesis. Monitor your results and adjust your fat/protein balance until you find your personal sweet spot for fat loss.

Keeping protein moderate also helps optimize weight loss. Very high protein diets can impair fat burning, so don’t overdo it. General guidelines are 0.6-1g of protein per pound of lean body mass. There is no need to “max out” protein on carnivore.

Finding your optimal fat and protein intake may take some trial and error, but it’s one of the most important factors for successful fat loss on the carnivore diet.

 Stay Hydrated – Proper hydration is key for fat loss

Adequate hydration is a crucial factor for weight loss on the carnivore diet. Water supports fat burning in several ways:

  • It increases lipolysis – the breakdown of fat for energy. Studies show fat oxidation increases by 10-30% in hydrated individuals compared to the dehydrated state.
  • Water reduces appetite by filling the stomach and promoting satiation. People tend to eat less when properly hydrated.
  • It keeps digestion regular. Constipation is common on low-carb diets, and can cause temporary water retention and scale weight increases. Staying hydrated prevents this.
  • Water is needed for optimal liver and kidney function. These organs are involved in metabolizing fat and eliminating waste products.
  • Drinking cold water raises the metabolic rate slightly, leading to more calories burned. About 8-10% of calories consumed get used just to warm cold water to body temperature.

Aim for at least 2 liters (68 oz) of water daily as a minimum. Intense exercise, heat exposure or larger body size may necessitate 3-4 liters per day. Urine color is a simple way to gauge hydration – it should be pale yellow.

Adding a pinch of Himalayan pink salt and lemon to water mimics electrolyte drinks without the carbs. Broths made with bone broth powder are another hydrating option. Just avoid high-carb sports drinks.

Dehydration is a common roadblock to weight loss, so optimizing water intake lays the foundation for fat burning success on carnivore.

Avoid Undereating

It may be tempting to cut calories very low in hopes of accelerating weight loss. However, severe calorie restriction causes the body to go into starvation mode, slowing metabolism and burning less fat. Eat until satiated, focusing on fatty meats. The high satisfaction from carnivore makes undereating unlikely.

Stick to Simple, Whole Foods

When trying to break through a weight loss plateau on carnivore, it’s best to simplify your diet and stick to basic whole foods. Avoiding processed products and unnecessary extras will get you back into fat-burning mode faster. Avoid processed foods like pork rinds, cheese, heavy cream and sweeteners – at least initially.

Here are some tips:

  • Remove snacks and replacement foods like pork rinds, protein bars, keto sweets and nut flours. Stick to meat, eggs, fish and water.
  • Limit dairy like cheese, heavy cream and butter, especially if you have any dairy sensitivity. Only include small amounts if tolerated.
  • Ditch sweeteners, including natural ones like stevia and monk fruit. They can trigger cravings and hunger. Get used to the natural sweetness of meat.
  • Avoid recipes and modern creations like carnivore nachos, pancakes, breads etc. These are not essential and can disturb fat adaptation.
  • Stick to basic preparations of whole cuts of meat, fish, organs and eggs. Bake, grill, pan fry or sous vide. Avoid complicated recipes.
  • Remove alcohol and coffee if relying on them. Stick to water, herbal tea and bone broth. Caffeine and alcohol impair fat burning.
  • Eliminate vegetable oils and processed seasonings. Cook only in stable animal fats like tallow, lard or duck fat. Salt generously for flavor.

This back-to-basics approach eliminates any potential fat-loss impediments. After a month or so of sticking to just whole food animal products, healthy fats and water, your body will reset and switch into an optimized fat burning state.

Then you can try carefully reintroducing small amounts of dairy, coffee, or other animal products as desired, while monitoring their effects on your goals.

Consider Intermittent Fasting

Fasting powerfully complements carnivore for weight loss. Try an eating window of just 8 hours per day. Or do 24-hour fasts 1-2 times per week. Fasting teaches the body to access and burn fat stores. Be cautious at first and work up slowly. You’ll find detailed articles on intermittent fasting at datingfast.com

Prioritize Sleep

Research shows sleep-deprived dieters lose 55% less fat than those getting 8 hours nightly, even on the same calories. Adequate sleep optimizes fat-burning hormones.

Sleep is absolutely crucial for optimal fat burning and weight loss success on the carnivore diet. Research clearly shows that inadequate sleep negatively impacts fat metabolism:

  • Studies find short sleep duration leads to a 55-60% reduction in fat loss compared to those getting 8 hours, even on an equivalent diet.
  • Appetite hormones get disrupted – ghrelin is increased while leptin is reduced, leading to more hunger and overeating.
  • Growth hormone, essential for fat burning, is severely decreased with insufficient sleep. This hormone breaks down fat stores for energy.
  • Insulin sensitivity is reduced with poor sleep, making it harder for cells to utilize fat for fuel. Fat storage is increased.
  • Cortisol levels are elevated, which promotes fat accumulation around the abdomen.
  • Fat cells themselves demonstrate less effective fat processing after sleep deprivation.

Ensuring adequate shut-eye is therefore crucial for weight loss success. Shoot for 8-9 hours per night minimum. Consider tracking sleep with a wearable device to stay accountable. Improve sleep hygiene by limiting screen use before bed, blocking out light, keeping the bedroom cool and using earplugs or an eye mask if needed.

Prioritizing quality sleep alongside a well-formulated carnivore diet sets the stage for efficient fat burning. Don’t underestimate the importance of sleep for your weight loss goals!

Be Physically Active

Increased activity boosts metabolism and fat burning. While diet drives fat loss, being physically active provides immense benefits that enhance weight loss on the carnivore diet. Exercise yields the following advantages:

  • Increased calorie burn during workouts directly contributes to your calorie deficit for fat loss. More activity means more calories expended.
  • It builds and preserves metabolically active muscle mass. Muscle burns far more calories than fat at rest, so maintaining muscle boosts your resting metabolic rate.
  • Exercise improves insulin sensitivity, making it easier for the body to use fat for fuel instead of storing it.
  • Working out releases endorphins that reduce stress and cortisol levels. Lower cortisol enables efficient fat metabolism.
  • Strength training and sprinting in particular help optimize fat-burning hormones like growth hormone and testosterone.
  • Being active improves mitochondrial density and function. Mitochondria are the cellular engines that burn fat. Better mitochondria mean enhanced fat breakdown.

Start where you’re at. Even light walking provides benefits. Slowly increase activity levels, and add short bursts of intense effort like sprints or kettlebell swings to drive mitochondrial adaptations. Incorporate strength training to maintain and build metabolically active muscle mass.

As you get leaner, ramp up both cardiovascular exercise and weightlifting to fully optimize fat burning. Pairing an active lifestyle with the carnivore diet is the ultimate combo for weight loss success!

Get Medical Testing If Needed

In some cases, an underlying issue may be stalling weight loss. Get thyroid and other hormones tested to identify any deficiencies hindering progress. A functional medicine practitioner can help uncover potential roadblocks.

Patience and persistence are key on the carnivore diet. By making simple tweaks like optimizing protein/fat intake, staying hydrated, managing stress and getting enough sleep, you can break through plateaus. Focus on overall health improvements, not just the number on the scale. Trust the process and see the amazing transformations possible from going carnivore!

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