Transition period tips

Optimize your carnivore lifestyle

Carnivore transition period tips by coach Tracy K

In the beginning of transitioning from your previous diet to the carnivore lifestyle, there will be some adjustment. Paying close attention to your electrolytes is a good thing. Our bowel is getting used to not having carbs and often times drops water along with diarrhea. This can flush out some of  your electrolytes and make you feel really drained. Electrolytes (Re-Lyte or Keto Drops) can help you replenish the lost electrolytes and aid you in the transition.


Another suggestion would be to get plenty of rest. Resting will aid your body to transition and heal. Often you might feel very fatigued. It isn’t anything that you cannot handle and push through, but resting will help immensely! The carnivore lifestyle is more about healing and along with healing, your body begins to balance out weight, fluids, electrolytes. Hang in there and you’ll get through the transition period quickly. When you begin  your transitioning, it is a good idea to take some time off of work if possible or plan to begin over a long weekend. 

 

Support is of the utmost importance! It is what Dr. Baker says is the only supplement needed on this lifestyle. Try to get involved with Meatrx and all the meetings and their forum, or find other carnivores on Instagram or hire a coach on Meatrx. You need support and likeminded friends who can encourage you along your path!

Carnivore transition period tips by coach Michele F

 

During the transition, it’s critical to stay motivated and REMEMBER YOUR “WHY”. Write down a list of all the reasons you are trying this way of eating. What do you want to discover? Or hope to see? Why challenge yourself in this way? What would you like to overcome? What successes have you heard about in others, which you want to see for yourself?

 

Keep your list of reasons in a location such as a small piece of paper in your wallet or purse, or in your phone calendar (with a reminder alert set) and read your list of reasons daily. 

 

During the transition period, stay hydrated. Some of us find that drinking water with sea salt is helpful to maintain electrolyte levels.

 

Make sure you’re eating enough! You may not be accustomed to eating much meat, and filling your whole plate with meat feels unusual. Be sure that you’re eating when you’re hungry and eating until you’re full. There’s no need to plan to eat at specific pre-arranged “meal times”. If you are not hungry, feel free to wait until you get hungry to eat, again. 

 

Deep-diving into Carnivore-related books, websites, and podcasts and immersing oneself in information can help keep us connected to our goals, reasons for trying this way of eating, and benefitting from the available education and knowledge. During my journey, I listened to at least one podcast episode per day during my morning and evening commute, which helped me feel pumped, excited, motivated, connected, and educated during my journey. 

 

I began my journey prior to the MeatRx site being launched, so I listened to Human Performance Outliers podcast or Carnivore Cast. Now, you have the benefit of hearing many success stories and VIP speakers on our very own MeatRx podcast!  Use these resources!! 

 

Utilizing these resources is like having a touchstone to your goal.  Staying connected in the community helps immensely!  It reminds you that you are a part of a large, growing community of individuals and families exploring ways to improve health, lifestyle, and environment. It provides much needed mental, emotional, and social support.  Connection to other Carnivore helps you remember that your goal is part of a much larger movement, and feeling that kind of connection motivates you to stick to your goal.

Carnivore transition period tips by coach Dana S

Difficulty digesting fats (heartburn, diarrhea)

  1. try adding a spore probiotic and ox bile until your body can digest the fat properly.
  2. try changing up the type of fat you are consuming or cutting back temporarily.  Problematic fats tend to be:
      1. dairy
      2. pork
      3. chicken
      4. rendered
  3. Check your salt intake or electrolyte intake.  Diarrhea could be due to taking in too much.



Constipation

  1. Are you truly constipated or just not going as often as you did when you ate all the fiber? 
  2. Try adding magnesium
  3. Eat more fat and cut back a little on the protein
  4. Drink more water or salted water
  5. Have some homemade bone broth



Rashes – Rashes tend to be short lived but can last a couple of weeks.  If your rash persists longer and does not react to the below changes, then you should see a doctor as it may not be related to your dietary change.

  1. try adding in electrolytes, homemade bone broth, more salt, or even a little carb to help curb the symptoms.  Keep the area clean and dry.  Use a topical anti-itch cream if needed.



Problems sleeping (going to sleep or staying asleep)

  1. Have your last meal earlier in the day.
  2. If you are only eating one meal a day try cutting it into two meals and try to make your larger meal the earlier meal, you may be eating more protein than your body can easily digest in one sitting. 
  3. Take a warm Epsom salt bath about an hour before bed. 
  4. Drink a cup of homemade bone broth before bed.
  5. Once the sun goes down, keep lighting dim, and use blue blocker glasses if possible.
  6. Avoid blue light emitting screens (electronics) for at least an hour before bedtime. 
  7. Stick to a schedule for going to bed and rising even on the weekends.  This is especially important during transition. 
  8. Keep your room dark, quiet with or without white noise, and cool. 
  9. Exercise early in the day, but doing some light stretches an hour before bed can be relaxing
  10. If you wake up and absolutely cannot go back to sleep, don’t just lie there.  Get up and quietly find something to do that does not involve blue light.  Try reading with your blue blockers on or writing in a journal until you start to get sleepy again and return to bed if you can. 



Cravings – Cravings are usually short lived in the moment but can recur for a while until you are fully adapted.

  1. Abstinence works wonders but takes time to be fully effective. 
  2. Avoid trigger foods.  Avoid putting anything sweet in your mouth, especially if you are a sugar or carb addict.
  3. If possible, remove trigger foods from your home or office
  4. Have animal-based products on hand like homemade bone broth, bacon, extra beef patties, cheese, coffee with pure cream, butter, tallow sticks, eggs
  5. Make sure you are eating until completely full when you are hungry
  6. Drink some water, flat, sparkling, salted
  7. Look at the ingredients of any processed foods you may be eating.  Some ingredients can trigger cravings. 
  8. Get a coach or call your support system
  9. Join the MeatRx community meetings
  10. Stay busy, do something else like go for a walk
  11. Avoid trigger locations or trigger activities that you associate with certain foods until you can break that association or establish new ones.
  12. Read your why list



Leg cramps – if related to the diet this can be from food intolerance, electrolyte imbalance, dehydration, or too much protein. 

  1. Take an Epsom salt bath
  2. Add an electrolyte supplement
  3. Cut back on the protein and up the fat
  4. Check your water and salt intake
  5. If a result of food sensitivity, try going strict.  Some choose to do beef, salt, water only.
  6. Drink some homemade bone broth
  7. Stretch
  8. Eat earlier in the day

Carnivore transition period tips by coach Emily R

  1. Keep it simple- Just pick meat you enjoy and can afford! Many people include organs in their carnivore diet, many don’t. Many carnivores enjoy dairy, some cannot tolerate it. Many find that they feel better on ruminant meat only, others eat any and every meat available. You have a long time to play with your diet. For now focus on what you’re NOT eating, and what you can enjoy. A palatable diet is easiest to sustain.

 

  1. Use more than one metric to measure progress- The scale is a useful tool, but it doesn’t tell the whole story! Many carnivores find they lose fat as they simultaneously gain muscle. They see huge changes in their body, but no movement on the scale. This is okay, it’s great actually! Some people come to a carnivore diet for chronic pain. Journaling their levels of pain day to day would be a much better measurement of progress for someone with arthritis than say, a scale. In the same respect, someone changing their diet for mental health purposes might find it useful to log their mood daily. Use the metrics that shows you your progress in the areas specific to you!

 

  1. Give it time – It took years for bad nutrition to wreck our health and while many carnivores do see improvement right away, some things take time. It can take a while to adjust to the diet, and it takes time to improve many conditions. The good news is, MeatRx has success stories of people just like you to help keep you going and show you its possible!

 

  1. Ask for help when you need it- Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Most of us are used to a world filled with unsubstantiated claims that meat is bad for us, and any healthy diet MUST include fruits and vegetables in large amounts. Now that you know these things aren’t true, it opens up a world of questions about what’s good for us and why. Hire a coach, join a meeting, or just ask a friend. Support is critical to success on your health journey. When you know what you’re doing, you can be empowered to take control of your health.

 

  1. Avoid the carnivore police – There is no right or wrong way to do a carnivore diet if you’re eating nutrient dense animal based foods. As long as it was an animal, or it came from one, you’re in carnivore territory. Just because dairy doesn’t agree with one person, it certainly doesn’t mean it can’t work for someone else! Don’t pay attention to people who treat their diet as if it’s a religion. If what you’re doing is improving your health and meeting your goals, continue on! 



Getting started & carnivore transition period by coach Elizabeth B

When you transition from a diet with carbohydrates of any kind that come from plants, it is best to start with a simple meal plan. You will be going through a lot of changes. Your gut bacteria that lived off of carbohydrates will die off. Other bacteria will thrive. This may occasionally cause bloating as the bacteria ferment in the intestines. 

 

Don’t be alarmed. It will gradually lessen and disappear completely. If you have not eaten animal fat of any kind for a long time, your gallbladder, which is a muscle that holds the bile to emulsify fat from your diet, will not be accustomed to reacting. It will not send enough bile to the stomach to break down the fat you are eating. 

 

If you have difficulty digesting the fat from the fatty meat you are now eating more of now, you may have diarrhea, cramps, or constipation. Your intestines are unaccustomed to the new ratio of protein and fat. Different enzymes break down grain and vegetables, and other enzymes break down meat.  

 

If your intestines previously had to break down mostly grain and vegetables, you may not have enough of the meat-synthesizing enzymes in your intestines. Fat and protein are broken down first in the stomach. This requires a good amount of acid, which will also be deficient if it hasn’t been required in some time, especially if you have depended on antacids to deal with indigestion all those vegetables were probably causing. 

 

I usually recommend ox bile to improve gallbladder function, betaine hydrochloric acid to help the stomach, and digestive enzymes, such as protease and lipase, to support intestinal function for the first month as you transition. Some people feel better taking easily absorbed magnesium, such as magnesium glycinate if they become constipated. 

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