High fat or high protein on the carnivore diet?

You need ENOUGH fat and ENOUGH protein, both will be in high demand. However due to calorie density, this ends up being predominantly calories from fat as opposed to protein. A good rule of thumb is to shoot for 1g to 2g of fat for every 1g of protein, which ends up being around 70 to 80% calories from fat. What does this look like on your plate? An American ribeye steak is about 1:1 grams of fat to protein, and 65/35 ground beef is about 2:1 grams of fat to protein. An Australian scotch fillet is less than 1:1 grams of fat to protein though because they trim off most of the exterior fat, so you may need to add fat trimmings or butter to this.


Animal fat is an essential nutrient, not just a calorie source. There are essential fatty acids that you have to have for proper health and development that you cannot get from any other source, such as the Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA which make up a significant portion of the structural components of your brain. There are also very long chain fatty acids, 20 and 22 chain fatty acids, which only exist in animal fats that are essential to proper brain function and development that we are unable to make in sufficient quantities, so it must come from our diet. Some will try to tell you that plants have omega-3 fatty acids so you don't need animal fats, but this is only a half truth.


While The Omega 3 fatty acid ALA exists in plants, this is not the chemical that we need for our brains and many sources show that there is either extremely small conversion of ALA into DHA or EPA, or none at all. So animal sourced omega-3 fatty acids are essential for proper health and especially for the development of growing brains in children. Animal fat also has fat soluble nutrients that again are essential to life, optimal for health, and only exist in animal fats such as retinol, vitamin D3, and vitamin K2, among many others.

When it comes to knowing how much fat to eat, listen to your body and use your taste to guide you. If it tastes good then eat it. But, you should also check your stools. We have a limited capacity to absorb fat and after that your body eliminates it in waste, like a spill-over mechanism, which is why I don't think there is such a thing as "too much" dietary fat. This excess fat is what keeps your stools soft. So, if your stools are dry and hard then your body is absorbing every ounce of fat and not letting any through, in which case you should increase the amount of fat you're eating. If they are loose and runny this could be because you are eating more fat than your body can absorb, but it's not harmful and you're not sick, it is just inconvenient. You want the Goldie Locks amount that will give you normal, soft stools.


EXCEPTIONS: Coffee, tea, non sugar sweeteners like monk fruit sugar etc, magnesium supplements, and certain medications such as metformin are low grade laxatives and can mask too little fat that would normally result in constipation or even drive normal stools into diarrhoea, so be mindful of these and anything else that can quicken the pace of your digestion.


Additionally, you can get so constipated that you form a mild blockage and liquid stool will flow around it, giving you watery diarrhoea intermixed with hard, dry stools. This is called overflow diarrhoea, or spurious diarrhoea. If you experience this, you need a LOT more fat in your diet. So while there may be different reasons you are getting loose or watery stools, if you are getting dry, hard stools by definition it means that you are not eating enough fat. And always remember that constipation refers to the consistency of your stools, not the frequency. As you will absorb 98% of the meat that you are eating if you are only eating it on its own, you will have only about 2% to eliminate. Contrast this with plants that can have upwards of 90 or 95% of their solid matter in the form of fiber which cannot be digested and must be eliminated. If you are eating things it must be eliminated then obviously you're going to eliminate more. If you are eating things that your body can readily absorb and utilize, almost as if we were designed to eat it, then you will have much less waste and need to defecate much less often. However the stools should always be the proper consistency.

Most meat you buy at the store will be too lean, so you may need to add in additional fat in the form of butter, tallow, lard, ghee, or even off cut fat trimmings. Butchers tend to trim off the fat as that has been the market demand for the past several decades due to the unwarranted vilification of fat, so ask them to give it back!


You don’t need to take ox bile to help you absorb fat. Your body is very precise and specific with the things that it does, and I do not believe that it is going to make a random amount of bile to absorb a random amount of fat. Your body makes a specific amount of bile, which is an expensive resource, because it wants a specific amount of fat in return. So while you shouldn't be able to physiologically absorb more fat than your body wants, if you take ox bile you can force this, and this could be "too much" fat.

If you've had your gallbladder removed you may have trouble absorbing a large amount of fat in one go. If so, just split up your meals into smaller portions throughout the day. Many will form what is called a pseudo gallbladder though, which works similarly to the gallbladder, and you can eat large, fatty meals without a problem. So just self-experiment and see what your body can absorb. If you are fine with one meal a day then you can do that, if you find that this gives you diarrhoea then you can always split up the fatty meals throughout the day.

You also don’t need to take protein shakes or bars etc. because you will be eating more than enough protein in its most bioavailable form, meat, And you will avoid all of the problematic added ingredients that are nearly always put in these products as well, such as artificial sweeteners and ingredients.

Photo by @zackstrength

Back to blog


I am struggling to put on weight. I was 55kg when I started now I am 50KG. I am a small eater and always have been. I have a fast metabolism too. I get full very fast. It’s hard to find help for people like me on how to gain weight. Thank you


This was VERY helpful.

Vibeke Vale

Love this. Thank you

Donna Young

Leave a comment