We tried Dr. Shawn Barker's Carnivore Diet to see if it's really effective or not.
In case you're not very familiar with it, it's another version of the Classic Carnivore Diet.
With that being said, we're going to share some helpful info with you:
- how it works
- its basic details
- our results
In addition, we're going to find out if it helps with weight loss.
Is it actually better than any of the other versions of Carnivore Diet? Let's find out!
Note: This article includes references and studies on Dr. Shawn Barker’s Carnivore Diet.
Dr. Shawn Barker’s Carnivore Diet (In A Nutshell)
There are a lot of things you should know about Dr. Shawn Barker's Carnivore Diet:
- how it works and its basics
- my experiences/observations during and after trying it
As I mentioned, I stuck with the diet for around 8 days.
So let me give you my overall observations after following this diet type:
- Weight loss was definitely noticeable.
- I had headaches the whole time I followed it.
- My concentration and energy levels decreased.
- I also felt that my mental well-being was affected pretty badly.
Honestly, my results were pretty similar with those from another type of Carnivore Diet I followed.
Although this version seemed easy to follow, it's was hard to adjust to the overall routine.
The diet requires high-fat, high-protein and low-carbohydrate foods.
As you can see, it's definitely not a balanced one, so it's not too sustainable.
Honestly – any special type of diet is truly hard to follow at first:
- Very few people will find it easy.
- Many others might not adapt to it (no matter how long they try).
Now, my main goal was losing weight, improving my digestion and keeping my blood sugar within the limits.
The fastest effect I noticed was that I lost some pounds.
But to be honest, I don't think it was all worth it.
Even though I achieved my goal, it came with several issues (like terribly low energy).
Overall – I realized that there are still better ways to get a healthy body.
In my view, this diet is definitely not one of them.
Who Is Dr. Shawn Barker?
Let's get to know some basic info about Dr. Shawn Barker :
- an experienced orthopedic surgeon
- co-founder and chief medical officer at Revero
- an advocate of the carnivore diet
- also an athlete and author
In addition – he's the author of the book “The Carnivore Diet.”
He also shares some content on his podcast called “The Human Performance Outliers Podcasts”:
- benefits of sticking to a meat-only diet
- the science behind it
- other topics connected to his advocacies
Again, there are other versions of the Carnivore Diet (Jordan Peterson's and the classic one).
But we're going to discuss below what makes Dr. Shawn Barker’s Carnivore Diet unique.
How Dr. Barker's Carnivore Diet Works
As I mentioned, Dr. Shawn Barker’s Carnivore Diet has some slightly different instructions.
Well – you will see that it has some very similar rules to the classic version of this diet.
Since the regular Carnivore Diet is already restricted – well, expect Dr. Barker’s approach to be even stricter.
But the main idea is the same.
You should consume high-fat, high-protein and low-carbohydrate foods.
With that, here's how this dietary regimen works :
- start by eliminating plant-based foods (grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables and sugars)
- focus on consuming only red meat, fish, eggs, full-fat dairy products, organ meats, salt and water
- eat the allowed foods until you feel full
- your food intake should also depend on your activity and metabolism
- you can also try fasting (when your body already adjusted to the diet)
- of course, the importance of water in this diet is to help with satiety and hydration 
Now – let me highlight what makes Dr. Shawn Barker's Carnivore Diet quite different :
- he recommends that you focus your diet on red meat
- the rest of the allowed food groups are supplementary to help you feel full
- you should follow your appetite instead of controlling the amount of food you eat
Basically, the key to this diet is to follow your hunger, so that you won't crave in between fasting.
In other words, there are no quantity restrictions – only quality ones.
You can eat as much food you want (as long as it's among the allowed food groups).
Lastly – there's no need to look after or count your calories.
But again, it's a restrictive approach so you should work with a healthcare provider before trying it.
In fact – Dr. Shawn Barker recommends consulting with him directly.
Dr. Barker's VS Classic Carnivore Diet
Honestly – there's not much of a difference between Dr. Shawn Barker's and the classic Carnivore Diet.
But I listed below some of their unique features:
- Dr. Barker's Carnivore Diet encourages the consumption of dairy and eggs
- In some cases of the classic Carnivore Diet, these foods are not allowed
- Dr. Barker's versions emphasizes high-quality and nutrient-dense foods (like organ meats)
- Meanwhile, the classic one doesn't focus on the quality of the animal products that much
- Dr. Barker's Carnivore Diet also targets athletic performance and recovery
- The classic Carnivore Diet focuses on people's health in general
Actually – both diets recommend the addition of salt as a source of electrolytes.
However, I don't think sodium is enough to avoid electrolytes imbalance.
It's better to include the eliminated food groups in this diet (to get enough minerals for your body).
Now – I already mentioned the benefits of the classic Carnivore Diet.
But here are the health conditions Dr. Shawn Barker's Carnivore Diet claims to improve :
- chronic diseases
- type 2 diabetes
- heart disease
- mental health
- digestive problems
- skin disorders
Honestly – almost all types of the Carnivore Diet have the same health goals.
It's really up to you which version you're going to follow.
So if you want to try Dr. Shawn Barker's Carnivore Diet, you can consult him or his partners in this dietary approach.
My Carnivore Diet Results
In this part of the article, I'm going to share with you my results.
But let me share with you a little background first:
- my main goal was to lose weight
- I also wanted to improve my digestion and consume less sugar
Also – I followed Dr. Shawn Barker's Carnivore Diet for roughly 8 days along with all of its guidelines.
So if you're curious, here are my observations along the way:
- I definitely experienced weight loss (around 12 lbs).
- My energy was very low and I felt sleepy all the time.
- It was also hard to concentrate and finish my tasks.
- I had some intense headaches to the point that I felt like vomiting.
- My skin was looking pale.
- I found myself constantly craving food (but I can't pinpoint what food exactly).
- Also, I had mood swings and I felt irritated easily.
Lastly – I was stressed out even with the smallest things around me.
Now – I can't deny that I lost some weight even after following the diet for only 8 days.
Although the food groups allowed were easy to find, it still felt like it was hard to follow.
As someone who prefers a balanced diet, I wasn't not a huge fan of the restrictions of this regimen.
Not to mention the physical and mental issues I encountered during the journey.
So my final takeaway is that I could have had a fit and healthy body with healthier alternatives.
Is It Effective And Worth It?
As usual, I noticed my body after discontinuing Dr. Shawn Barker's Carnivore Diet:
- I started focus on my daily tasks again.
- There were no more constant cravings and feeling of hunger.
- I felt improvement in my mood again and I didn't feel very irritated.
- My headaches were gone and I feel more energetic.
So to answer the question if it's effective and worth it, I don't think it's worth it.
Well – that's my conclusion based on my personal journey with it.
Again – a lot of Carnivore Diet advocates will tell you that there will be an adjustment period.
However, the mere fact that you're eliminating a lot of nutrient-dense food groups is not ideal.
Sure – the foods allowed in Dr. Barker's Carnivore Diet are still nutritious.
But following a balanced diet is still unmatched.
In terms of health conditions, you can still find other ways to improve and even treat them.
Also – if your goal is weight loss (just like mine), there are way better alternatives.
So personally, I wouldn't try it again, since I also want to avoid possible long-term complications.
Plus, there are still very limited studies about the Carnivore Diet as a whole.
So it's not properly established as a healthy option.
Overall – better consult a healthcare professional before trying any type of diet.
Overall – I don't think Dr. Shawn Barker's Carnivore Diet is worth trying.
Here's my experience and the reasons why I said that:
- I definitely noticed weight loss but the consequences were serious
- it affected my mental health badly
- my energy level and concentration were very low
- I experienced constant headaches
As I always say – each person is different.
So this type of dietary regimen might work for you and not for others.
You can still try it at your own risk.
But I would certainly not.
Again – this article is based on my experiences only.
My goal is to just give you some additional advice before you make your final decisions.
Overall – I lost weight after following the diet for 8 days.
But the negative reactions I felt made me decide to discontinue it.
I realized that there are healthier and safer ways to achieve my weight goals rather than this dietary approach.
With that – it's still up to you whether you want to try it or not.
1 – https://www.linkedin.com/in/shawn-baker-md/-about/
2 – https://carnivore.diet/-category/carnivore-articles/-carnivore-guides/
3 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/-pmc/articles/-PMC6209729/
4 – https://carnivore.diet/category/-carnivore-articles-tips/
5 – https://carnivore.diet/-carnivore-diet-benefits/