This 30-Day PSMF and Carnivore Diet Challenge is the perfect way to start the new year! Try this squeaky clean high protein keto diet challenge for 30 days and see if you not only feel great but look great too!
30-Day Diet Challenge
Did you indulge like I did over the holidays? As much as I love eating and making my own keto treats, like these Easy Keto Peanut Butter Marshmallow Truffles, this Keto Chocolate S'mores Snack or even these deliciously tasty Keto Rosemary Brown Butter Nuts, I still end up eating way TOO MUCH of these sugar-free treats.
And that's why I love a New Year's reset.
This 30-Day PSMF and Carnivore Diet Challenge is meant to eliminate all our bad habits that accumulate throughout the year. I, for one, eat too many "healthi-fied" keto treats that would border on the verge of what some might call an addiction.
Truth is, I am not sure that I have gone without some form of a keto sweet treat for longer than a couple of hours. And although I justify my actions by calling my keto creations "healthy", the truth is, when eaten in massive quantities, even the "healthiest" treats become unhealthy.
So, I decided to create a 30-day diet challenge that would not only remove all all baked goods but also simplify the foods I am eating to try to consume ingredients in their most native form.
*if you want to learn more about either of these diets, check out Keto Adapted by Maria Emmerich. You can find her PSMF diet book as well as her Carnivore diet book on Amazon. I will be using some of her recipes as well as my own and others that I find online. I will always note and give credit to the original creator of a recipe.
What is a PSMF diet?
A 30-day diet challenge is a short-term commitment to a specific diet or eating plan for 30 days. People undertake such challenges for various reasons, and the motivations can vary from individual to individual. Here are some common reasons why someone might choose to do a 30-day diet challenge:
- Jump-start Weight Loss: Many individuals use a 30-day diet challenge as a way to kickstart their weight loss journey. The short-term commitment provides a focused and structured approach to shedding a few pounds quickly.
- Establish Healthy Habits: A 30-day diet challenge can serve as a foundation for establishing healthier eating habits. By committing to a specific plan for a month, individuals may form new routines and become more conscious of their food choices.
- Break Unhealthy Patterns: For those looking to break free from unhealthy eating patterns, a 30-day challenge can act as a reset. It allows individuals to distance themselves from unhealthy foods and adopt a more balanced and nutritious diet.
- Increase Discipline and Willpower: Completing a 30-day diet challenge often requires discipline and willpower. It can be a way for individuals to test and strengthen their commitment to achieving their health and fitness goals.
- Improve Energy and Well-being: Following a healthier diet for a month may lead to improved energy levels, better digestion, and an overall sense of well-being. This can serve as motivation to continue making positive dietary choices.
- Event or Occasion: Some people choose to undertake a 30-day diet challenge in preparation for a specific event or occasion, such as a wedding, vacation, or reunion. The short time frame provides a targeted approach to looking and feeling their best for the event.
- Explore Dietary Preferences: A 30-day challenge can be an opportunity to explore and experiment with different dietary preferences or lifestyles, such as trying a vegetarian or plant-based diet.
- Accountability and Support: Joining a community or group undertaking the same challenge can provide a sense of accountability and support. Sharing the experience with others can make the journey more enjoyable and motivating.
It's important to note that while a 30-day diet challenge can offer short-term benefits, long-term success often involves sustainable lifestyle changes. Before starting any diet challenge or making significant changes to your eating habits, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to ensure that the chosen approach is safe and appropriate for your individual health needs.
What is a 30-day PSMF diet challenge?
A 30-day PSMF (Protein-Sparing Modified Fast) diet challenge typically involves following a specific diet plan designed to promote rapid weight loss while preserving lean body mass. PSMF is a type of very low-calorie diet that prioritizes protein intake while severely restricting carbohydrates and fats.
The key features of a PSMF diet include:
- High Protein Intake: The primary focus of the diet is on consuming a sufficient amount of protein to meet the body's needs and prevent muscle loss during the rapid weight loss phase.
- Low Calorie Intake: The overall calorie intake is kept very low, often ranging from 800 to 1200 calories per day. This extreme calorie restriction is meant to induce a significant calorie deficit and rapid weight loss.
- Carbohydrate and Fat Restriction: Carbohydrates and fats are severely restricted to minimize calorie intake and force the body to use stored fat for energy.
- Supervised Approach: PSMF diets should ideally be conducted under the supervision of a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian. Due to the extreme nature of the diet, it's essential to ensure that it is safe and suitable for an individual's health condition.
- Short-Term Duration: PSMF is not intended for long-term use. It is usually a short-term intervention lasting a few weeks. Prolonged use without medical supervision can lead to nutritional deficiencies and other health risks.
People may take on a 30-day PSMF diet challenge as a way to jump-start their weight loss or break through a weight loss plateau. However, it's important to approach such challenges with caution and consult with a healthcare professional before embarking on any extreme dietary changes, especially one as restrictive as PSMF. Individual results may vary, and not everyone may benefit from or tolerate this type of diet. Always prioritize your health and well-being when considering any drastic changes to your eating habits.
Why try a PSMF
People may consider trying a Protein-Sparing Modified Fast (PSMF) for various reasons, primarily related to rapid weight loss and fat loss. Here are some potential reasons why individuals might choose to try a PSMF:
- Rapid Weight Loss: PSMF is designed to create a significant calorie deficit, leading to rapid weight loss. This can be appealing to individuals who are looking for a quick way to shed excess pounds, especially if they have a specific goal or event in mind.
- Breaking Through Plateaus: Some people turn to PSMF when they have hit a plateau in their weight loss journey. The drastic reduction in calorie intake can potentially kickstart the metabolism and overcome a stall in weight loss.
- Preparation for an Event: Individuals may consider PSMF as a short-term strategy to quickly slim down for a specific event, such as a wedding, vacation, or photo shoot.
- Motivation and Discipline: Following a highly restrictive diet like PSMF for a short period may require a high level of discipline. Some individuals use it as a way to test their willpower and dedication to achieving their weight loss goals.
- Medical Supervision: In some cases, healthcare professionals may recommend a PSMF under strict supervision for certain medical conditions, such as severe obesity or as part of a treatment plan for individuals with obesity-related health issues.
It's crucial to note that while PSMF may offer rapid weight loss, it is an extreme and highly restrictive diet. Therefore, it is not suitable or safe for everyone. Before attempting a PSMF or any other significant dietary change, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian. They can provide personalized advice based on individual health conditions, dietary preferences, and overall well-being.
Moreover, PSMF is typically intended for short-term use due to the risk of nutritional deficiencies associated with prolonged extreme calorie restriction. Long-term sustainable lifestyle changes that include a balanced and nutritious diet, regular physical activity, and a focus on overall well-being are often recommended for lasting health benefits.
PSMF Meal Ideas
When following a Protein-Sparing Modified Fast (PSMF) diet, it's important to prioritize high-protein foods while keeping overall calorie intake low. Here are a few PSMF-friendly recipes that focus on lean protein sources:
- Tuna and Avocado Lettuce Wraps:
- Canned tuna in water
- Avocado (sliced)
- Iceberg lettuce leaves
- Lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Drain the canned tuna and mix it with sliced avocado.
- Add lemon juice, salt, and pepper for flavor.
- Spoon the tuna and avocado mixture into iceberg lettuce leaves to create wraps.
- Egg White Omelette:
- Egg whites
- Tomatoes (diced)
- Onions (chopped)
- Feta cheese (optional)
- Whisk egg whites in a bowl.
- Pour the egg whites into a non-stick pan.
- Add spinach, diced tomatoes, and chopped onions.
- Fold the omelet over and cook until the egg whites are set.
- Optionally, sprinkle with a small amount of feta cheese.
- Grilled Lemon Garlic Shrimp:
- Shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Olive oil
- Garlic (minced)
- Lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a bowl, mix shrimp with olive oil, minced garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
- Thread shrimp onto skewers and grill until opaque.
- Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon.
- Baked Lemon Herb Chicken Breast:
- Chicken breast
- Lemon zest
- Fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven. Season chicken breasts with lemon zest, fresh herbs, salt, and pepper.
- Bake until the chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.
- Seared Tuna Steaks:
- Tuna steaks
- Sesame oil
- Soy sauce (low sodium)
- Sesame seeds (optional)
- Rub tuna steaks with sesame oil and soy sauce.
- Sear the tuna on high heat for a short time on each side.
- Optionally, sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.
- Egg White Frittata:
- Egg whites
- Cherry tomatoes (halved)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Whisk egg whites and pour them into a non-stick skillet.
- Add spinach and cherry tomatoes.
- Cook until the eggs are set. Season with salt and pepper.
- Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad:
- Cooked and shredded chicken breast
- Greek yogurt
- Cucumber (diced)
- Red onion (finely chopped)
- Dill (chopped)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix shredded chicken with Greek yogurt, cucumber, red onion, and chopped dill.
- Season with salt and pepper.
These recipes focus on protein sources like chicken, shrimp, tuna, egg whites, and Greek yogurt. Adjust the portions and ingredients based on your dietary preferences and nutritional needs. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to ensure that your diet plan is appropriate for your individual health goals and requirements.
Where does the Carnivore Diet come into play?
Good question! So, to keep things simple, this 30-day diet challenge is designed to give you some breaks from the low-calorie PSMF diet by adding in some Carnivore diet days.
When it comes to the carnivore diet, we are going to simplify things and allow any animal products, as well as fats from animals, to be allowed. All spices and herbs can be used along with some butter or lard.
It is up to you to decide how many days you want to do a PSMF diet versus a Carnivore diet. I plan on sticking with 4-5 days of PSMF diet and 2-3 days of subscribing to a Carnivore diet. Feel free to do as many days of each as you wish, as there is no right or wrong way. Also, don't hesitate to add or subtract days from either diet depending on how you are feeling week to week. I like to keep my carnivore days to those days that I am around the house more or have social obligations as finding a steak or eating a burger without a bun is almost always an option. However, finding a restaurant to accommodate a PSMF diet is nearly impossible!
Carnivore Diet Meal Plan Ideas
The carnivore diet is a diet that primarily consists of animal products, emphasizing meat and excluding most plant-based foods. Keep in mind that this diet is controversial, and it's important to consult with a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your eating habits. Here's a sample carnivore diet meal plan:
- Scrambled eggs cooked in butter or ghee
- Bacon or sausage
- Omelette with cheese and diced ham
- Pork sausage links
- Ribeye steak cooked to preference
- Eggs sunny-side-up
- Grilled steak with salt and pepper
- Beef liver (rich in nutrients)
- Ground beef patties with melted cheese
- Sardines or mackerel in olive oil
- Turkey or chicken wings
- Beef bone broth
- Baked chicken thighs with skin
- Salmon fillet with lemon and herbs
- Lamb chops seasoned with rosemary and garlic
- Shrimp cooked in butter
- Venison steak with salt and pepper
- Grilled fatty fish like herring
Snack (if needed):
- Pepperoni or salami slices
- Cheese cubes
- Beef jerky
- Pork rinds
- Hard-boiled eggs
Remember to stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day. While the carnivore diet is high in protein and fats, it may lack certain nutrients found in fruits and vegetables, so consider taking supplements or consulting with a healthcare professional to ensure you're meeting your nutritional needs. It's also essential to listen to your body and make adjustments based on how you feel.
PSMF and Carnivore Diet Ingredients
Although I will be sending out a PSMF and Carnivore meal plan each week, starting next week, there are a couple of things you may want to stock up on beforehand so that you will be ready for this 30-day diet challenge!
For PSMF Diet Days
- Eggs - Both egg whites and whole eggs are allowed on both diets so stock up on eggs as well as carton egg whites.
- Egg White Powder - Egg white powder is in several of my PSMF recipes. I LOVE Naked Egg by Naked Nutrition.
- Canned Tuna - I use Starkist Albacore Chunk Tuna which is always wild-caught. Stock up on several cans (hint - I buy them on Amazon with my Subscribe and Save which makes each can under $1 each!)
- Chicken Breast - Boneless skinless chicken breast is high in protein and low in fat so this is a staple in the PSMF diet recipes.
- Shrimp - I love using shrimp to add protein to my diet! Grab some that are already cooked and some that are raw so that both options are readily available.
- Pork - Grab some pork tenderloins and/or pork loin
- White Fish - Tilapia, Swai, and Cod are all going to be used during this 30-day diet challenge so buy some frozen and then you will be ready to go!
- Yogurt - Several of my PSMF use yogurt to replace mayo, sour cream and even cream cheese so make sure you grab a container. You will want to buy plain yogurt - my favourite brands are Two Good and Siggi's.
- Cottage Cheese - Although cottage cheese has some carbs in it, it also has quite a bit of protein so used sparingly, it can add creaminess to dishes like these PSMF Ham Egg White Bites. The brand with the lowest number of carbs as well as the fewest list of ingredients is Good Cottage Cheese.
- Protein Powder - Although protein powders are highly processed, they are perfect to use when you are in a pinch so make sure you have some on hand. My favourite brand is Magnum Quattro Shake Series which contains 30 grams of protein and only 3 grams of carbs per scoop.
- Vegetables - We will be using a minimal amount of vegetables. However, spinach and romaine lettuce are always nice to have to help "bulk up" the dinner plate!
- Cheese - A little cheese can go a long way so pick up a block of mozzarella and cheddar. Both of these will be used on the PSMF diet days as well as on the Carnivore diet days.
For the Carnivore Diet Days
The Carnivore diet keeps things simple so you will not need very many ingredients for these days. Also, very little cooking is involved on the Carnivore diet days so pick these days with that in mind when you plan your week!
- Beef - When it comes to the Carnivore diet, you pretty much will need some form of beef. Carnivore diet days are fairly straightforward so stock up on all forms, such as ground beef, steaks, and roasts, to be ready for these days.
- Eggs - Whole eggs are a staple of the carnivore diet so pick up at least a dozen.
- Pork - Bacon and pork butt are both perfect for the carnivore diet as they are high in fat and are filled with flavour you do not need to add any sauces or spices. Hint - cook some bacon and keep the leftover bacon grease for making my Carnviore Bacon Mayo recipe (coming soon!)
- Chicken, Turkey, and Lamb - Since the carnivore diet is higher in fat and lends itself to eating meat in the most natural forms, buy some bone-in and skin-on chicken for some upcoming Carnivore days.
- Salmon - Salmon is high in fat and can be used on a Carnivore day.
- Milk Products - You can choose to add some dairy products (in limited quantity) such as cheese, heavy cream, butter, and cream cheese if you wish.
- Organ Meats - I still have not decided yet if I am courageous enough to create meals using organ meats but if you have a favourite organ meat recipe, let me know and I will add it to a carnivore day!
- Optional - I may end up adding in some Keto Bricks to add some variety to my Carnivore days. You can read all about Keto Bricks as well as order some on their website or wait as I have almost mastered a copycat Keto Brick Bar recipe.
PSMF and Carnivore Diet Challenge Key Points
- Challenge length - The challenge is 30 days as it has often been said that it takes 30 days to break a habit. Since I want to get rid of my sweet tooth habit, this challenge will last 30 days. However, feel free to challenge yourself as long (or as short!) as you wish!
- How to pick PSMF vs. Carnivore - Alternate between PSMF and carnivore depending on how you are feeling. Since PSMF are lower calorie days, you may need to add some carnivore "refeed" days if you start feeling weak or tired. Aim for 2-4 PSMF days.
- Plan your week - Look at your schedule for the week to determine which days you will pick to be a PSMF diet day or a Carnivore day. If you know you will be eating out one day, plan that day to be a carnivore day as it is always easy to eat a steak at a restaurant or a burger without the bun!
- KISS - I am using the "keep it Simple Stupid" methodology and therefore will keep all recipes and meal plans fairly simple and basic. This will not be an exciting meal plan as "exciting" often leads to more consumption as well as added ingredients.
- Meal prep - It is easiest to meal prep for the week so that you know which days are which and what you will be eating on each day. Also, always have some "backup" frozen meals in the freezer just in case. For example, I will always make extra pulled chicken and store it in the freezer.
- Weekly meal plan - I plan on sending out what I ate as well as my macros weekly starting on February 1st so make sure you check in to get my meal plan. Feel free to follow along and email me your results or join me and follow your own personal meal plan.
PSMF Diet Recipes
Here are just a few of my keto recipes that fit into a PSMF diet:
Carnivore Diet Recipes
Here are some examples of approved Carnivore diet recipes: