Can Too Much Protein Get You Out Of Ketosis?

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Keto Problems: Too Much Protein?

A ketogenic diet requires that a person eat a high fat diet while keeping carbohydrates to a minimum. The third macronutrient category, protein, is an interesting one and often creates heaps of discussion. Carbohydrates and fat are primary energy sources for the body. Protein, on the other hand, is a source of essential amino acids which are the building blocks for the body. However, the amount of protein needed by each person varies greatly based upon a number of factors, including activity level, lean mass, sex, and personal preference to name a few. One question I am often asked is, “can you eat too much protein on a ketogenic diet?” Protein is a very satiating food, and usually the more protein a person eats, the less hungry the person is. One trick people use is to eat a diet high in protein (150 grams + per day) while limiting carbs and fat. This strategy is often wildly successful for fat loss, but it can create other problems to eat so much protein while limiting carb and fat calories so dramatically. I do not advocate eating a high protein/low carb/low fat diet, especially for women. But I do believe wholeheartedly that it is important to eat enough protein. This is ev Continue reading >>

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  1. mylo

    so apparently too much protein (30%+) will kick you out of ketosis? this is what i've read online, so whatever happened to dave palumbo's keto diet which is high in protein (65%)?
    i take it i should put the whey powder aside?
    i'm currently 220 at 22% bodyfat.

  2. bla55

    Never heard of too much protein kicking you out of ketosis...
    High Protein, High Fat, under 30g of carbs is the standard.
    50/40/10 or less at the carb end.

  3. Wocheezy

    Too much protein can indeed kick you out of ketosis, but I haven't had that problem and I have been doing 64% fat 33% protein and 3% carbs.
    From Lyle Mcdonald's "The Ketogenic Diet":
    "58% of dietary protein will appear in the bloodstream as glucose (3), raising insulin
    and inhibiting ketogenesis. Note that the insulin response from consuming dietary protein is
    much smaller than that from consuming dietary carbohydrates. Consequently protein must be
    restricted to some degree on a ketogenic diet as excessive protein intake will generate too much
    glucose, impairing or preventing ketosis."
    "a protein intake of 1.5-1.75 grams protein per
    kilogram of ideal body weight (ideal body weight was used to approximate lean body mass) would
    spare most of the nitrogen loss, especially as ketosis developed and the body’s glucose
    requirements decreased."
    "Assuming zero carbohydrate intake, during the first 3 weeks of a ketogenic diet a protein
    intake of ~150 grams per day should be sufficient to achieve nitrogen balance. Therefore,
    regardless of bodyweight, the minimum amount of protein which should be consumed during the
    initial three weeks of a ketogenic diet is 150 grams per day.
    After 3 weeks of ketosis, as little as 50 grams of protein per day should provide enough
    glucose to achieve nitrogen balance."
    Hope that helps

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