Protein Over-consumption In Ketogenic Diets Explained
Protein over-consumption is one of the main issues discussed at the Ketogains Group everyday. People are always reading, hearing and/or misunderstanding that eating protein will cause gluconeogenesis and kick you out of ketosis. Tyler Cartwright splendidly refuted the claim that protein supply activates GNG in this post, I recommend you check it out. So, if protein consumption doesn’t massively increase gluconeogenesis, then two questions remain: Why doesn’t ketogains recommend you eat tons of protein? Why does protein over-consumption lower ketones? Ketogains Protein Recommendation Of these questions, the first is easier to answer. The reason we don’t advocate the consumption of tons of protein is because beyond a certain point -arguably somewhere between .8g and 1.2g per pound of lean mass(lbm)- there’s just no benefit. Protein also carries a couple of minor inconveniences: It tends to be expensive and it can cause indigestion. If there were no other reason not to over-consume protein, this would simply be enough. There is also a minor debate over whether or not protein over-consumption prolongs the adaptation phase (irrelevant if you are already adapted). Also some people argue that it may be sub-optimal for performance, but these are secondary to the previous points: It’s unnecessary to eat more, so there’s no reason to recommend over-consumption. Protein and lower ketones The second gets a bit more complicated, and touches on something that Tyler just hinted at in his article. My soapbox is diabetes, and to a lesser extent, obesity… Diabetes has a lot to tell us about blood sugar control and precisely how and why certain food items impact blood glucose. In type one diabetes, the population of beta cells in the pancreas mostly dies, leaving the alpha c Continue reading >>
How Much Protein Should You Eat On Keto Diet
You have probably wondered how much protein you should be consuming on a keto diet in order to optimize your results, and you have probably checked a few of the keto calculators available online, only to find yourself even more confused than before. We all know that protein is essential for our health. Our bodies use it to maintain, build and repair the tissue of our organs and muscles. Additionally, it’s a major contributor to the feeling of fullness, which, as we all know, helps tremendously with diet compliance and weight loss. But what is the exact role protein plays in the keto diet and how much of it do you need to consume to maintain optimal ketosis? There is a lot of conflicting information online, so we would like to bring some clarity to the heated debate of protein and the keto diet. Let’s start with the basics. What is Protein and Why Is It Important? Protein is the most important structural component of your muscles and other bodily tissues such as organs, skin, hair and practically all body parts, and without it, your body cannot repair and maintain itself. Protein is made of amino acids. While our bodies can make some amino acids from scratch, we need to get others from our diet, and these are the so-called “essential amino acids”. The primary function of protein metabolism is to maintain the body and its tissues and functions. Protein can be used as an energy source, although it is clearly not the body’s first choice – carbs and fat come before that (1). Does Excess Protein Turn into Sugar on a Ketogenic Diet? There is a common misconception that excessive protein will turn into glucose, thus hampering your progress. First of all, when people say “excessive protein” will turn into sugar or kick you out of ketosis, they need to define how Continue reading >>
Can Too Much Protein Stall Your Results?
It’s true that eating protein may boost metabolism and help you to feel fuller but this doesn’t mean that Atkins is the protein ‘free for all’ that many believe it to be and excessive amounts of steak, cheese, eggs and other foods shouldn’t be over-eaten, and this is for a valid reason. If you consume too much protein then this can be converted into glucose by a process called ‘gluconeogenesis’. The conversion of protein to glucose occurs as a result of the hormone, glucagon, which prevents low blood sugar and so isn’t a bad thing unless you are OVER-consuming protein. You see, when you reduce carbs, you go into ‘ketosis’ or fat burning and you produce ketones which are also used for energy. The small amount of glucose needed for brain function comes partly from the process of gluconeogenesis. This means you’ve no need for high amounts of carbs, above and beyond the ‘good’ carbs which you get from vegetables, pulses etc.; and this is for their nutritional factor as they are packed with fibre and other nutrients. When following Atkins, if you do overeat protein foods then you can stall the transition to ketosis; or even get knocked out of this fat burning state altogether. Don’t worry too much though as gluconeogenesis is a slow process and so you’ll not instantly stop burning fat if you eat a steak that’s too large, or you have an extra helping of bacon on your full English breakfast. However don’t eat large helpings of meat or eggs on a daily basis as this may set you back and stall weight loss. It’s also depends on you as a person as some people are more sensitive to protein and are best advised to err on the lower end of the scale when choosing meals. Others can eat more protein and needs will increase if you’re exercising too. S Continue reading >>
9 Reasons Why You Aren’t In A State Of Ketosis
If you’re having trouble getting into ketosis, it is useful to understand the factors that actually impact blood ketone levels. When I first started on the ketogenic diet, I made sure to educate myself fully on how I can efficiently get into a fat-adapted state (ketosis). Just like everything else, there’s going to be some hurdles you’ll face when adopting a keto lifestyle. Watch out for these 8 ketogenic pitfalls you could be potentially be falling for. 1. Carbohydrates Pretty much all steps involved in producing ketones are inhibited by insulin, this means that ketone levels are extremely sensitive to carb intake. There isn’t an exact amount of carbohydrates that works for everyone to get into ketosis. But, there is a general guideline that works for most people. It has been estimated that around 50 grams per day or lower of carbohydrates will elevate your blood ketone levels. You should be eating less than 30 grams in order to get into ketosis. From personal experience, I found that if i’m more active on any given day, I can get away with eating more carbohydrates and still have decent blood ketone levels. I actually have been able to get away with upwards of 100 grams of carbs and still be in ketosis. I believe this is because when you are active, you are burning extra glycogen storages that come from carbohydrates. 2. Protein. Just like carbohydrates, increasing your intake of protein to fat in your diet will limit your ketone production. The reason behind this is because over half of amino acids in proteins are converted into glucose in the body, thus, producing an anti-keto effect. This is not as big of a deal for athletes / people who are very active because the body is utilizing the protein and amino acids to the point where it is not hindering your k Continue reading >>
5 Most Common Low-carb Mistakes (and How To Avoid Them)
A few months ago, I read a book called The Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living. The authors are two of the world's leading researchers on low-carb diets. Dr. Jeff S. Volek is a Registered Dietitian and Dr. Stephen D. Phinney is a medical doctor. These guys have performed many studies and have treated thousands of patients with a low-carb diet. According to them, there are many stumbling blocks that people tend to run into, which can lead to adverse effects and suboptimal results. To get into full-blown ketosis and reap all the metabolic benefits of low-carb, merely cutting back on the carbs isn't enough. If you haven't gotten the results you expected on a low-carb diet, then perhaps you were doing one of these 5 common mistakes. There is no clear definition of exactly what constitutes a "low carb diet." Some would call anything under 100-150 grams per day low-carb, which is definitely a lot less than the standard Western diet. A lot of people could get awesome results within this carbohydrate range, as long as they ate real, unprocessed foods. But if you want to get into ketosis, with plenty of ketoness flooding your bloodstream to supply your brain with an efficient source of energy, then this level of intake may be excessive. It could take some self experimentation to figure out your optimal range as this depends on a lot of things, but most people will need to go under 50 grams per day to get into full-blown ketosis. This doesn't leave you with many carb options except vegetables and small amounts of berries. If you want to get into ketosis and reap the full metabolic benefits of low-carb, going under 50 grams of carbs per day may be required. Protein is a very important macronutrient, which most people aren't getting enough of. It can improve satiety and incr Continue reading >>
How Does Protein Affect Blood Sugar?
One of the common pitfalls for people living a ketogenic lifestyle centers around protein and how it can sabotage your ketosis without you even knowing. You might think you are doing well, eating right, avoiding carbs, but you’re not seeing progress. One of the points I talked about here has to do with moderating your protein as a step to get back on track or break a plateau. So I thought I’d go into a little more depth. Your body has two main sources of energy: glucose and ketones. Ketones are only generated through fat metabolism. Glucose can be created by metabolizing carbs or proteins. A brief interruption to discuss carbs and protein Carbs are, basically, just sugars that are arranged in different structures that can be rearranged into glucose. Proteins, on the other hand, are a complicated matter. Proteins are strings of amino acids. There are 22 dietary amino acids, nine of which are essential, which means they cannot be generated by the cells in the body. So we must get those nine amino acids via our diet. And, of course, meat is the best dietary source for our amino acids. All of our body tissues are constructed of protein, so when we eat protein, we are supplying our tissues with material for rebuilding and healing. That’s why bodybuilders shovel huge amounts of protein into their gullet, because they are constantly breaking down their muscle fibers, so they need a constant stream of protein to heal and build their muscle. Interruption complete Our bodies can use ketones to power roughly 75% of its energy needs. The remaining 25%, almost all of which is used by the brain, comes from glucose. But, if we’re ketogenic, how do we get that glucose? If we are powered by fat, dietary and stored, and fat metabolism results in ketones, then where can we get the Continue reading >>
Too Much Protein Harms A Ketogenic Diet
Too much protein can get you out of Ketosis Protein can get converted to glucose by a process called gluconeogenesis. If you consume too many carbohydrates, your body will stop making ketones and if you consume too much protein, your body will also stop making ketones. Eating too much protein and not eating enough micronutrients are the most common mistakes with the ketogenic diet. More on this here. mTor and too much protein Eating too much protein activates the mtor pathway. mTor is a protein that serves as a nutrient signaling pathway that is the key muscle building mechanism in all mammals. If you active the mTor pathway, cells grow and reproduce quickly. This pathway also reduces cellular repair and regeneration. Because of this, we do not want to stimulate this pathway if we are concerned about longevity and preventing diseases such as cancer. When the mTor pathway is not turned on, your cells are repairing themselves and cleaning up damaged cells (called authophagy). This is a very important component of anti-aging. The Atkins and Paleo diets typically stimulate mTor because of the high levels of protein consumed. The Ketogenic diet is better for anti-aging because a lower amount of protein is consumed, which is important for not stimulating mTor. How to figure out how much protein to eat without stimulating mTor The maximum amount of protein you should eat per day is a calculation based on lean body mass. The formula is 1 gram of protein for each kilogram of Lean body mass. How to figure lean body mass Weight in kilograms x bodyfat % = lbs of fat Weight – lbs of fat = lean body mass Then convert lbs to kg by dividing by 2.2 Example: This person weighs 181 lbs and has 15% bodyfat 181 lbs x 15% (0.15) = 27 lbs of fat 181 lbs – 27 lbs of fat = 154 lbs of lean b Continue reading >>
- Too much bad food, too little exercise is leading to devastating diabetes for kids | Miami Herald
- The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Pre-diabetes goes into remission on higher protein, lower carbohydrate diet (Zone diet balance)
All You Need To Know About Protein On A Low-carb Ketogenic Diet
Proteins, which consist of amino acids, are essential nutrients for the human body. They are one of the building blocks of body tissue and can be used as a fuel source. Unlike carbs, which are not essential for our body, protein and fat are a vital part of our diet. Without these two macronutrients, we would simply not survive. There is a misconception that the ketogenic diet is a high-protein diet. This is a myth; the ketogenic diet is a diet high in fat, moderate in protein and low in carbs. Why moderate in protein? Too much protein can kick you out of ketosis, while too little protein may cause muscle loss and increased appetite. What is the ideal protein intake? Does quality matter? Is too much protein dangerous? Let's have a look at these frequently asked questions in more detail. Why is protein so important for weight loss? Studies show that protein is the most sating while carbs are the least sating macronutrients. In other words, if you eat enough protein, you will feel less hungry and eat fewer calories. That's why it's critical to eat adequate amount of protein if your aim is to lose fat. Protein has also been shown to increase energy expenditure. This means that by following a diet rich in protein, you will burn more calories. This metabolic advantage is not significant (around 100 kcal a day) but every little counts! Another way to burn more calories is to build muscle mass. Protein is the most important macronutrient for preserving and building muscle tissue, especially for physically active individuals. More muscles burn more calories and slightly increase your base metabolic rate. This means that you will burn slightly more calories even at rest. Although protein slightly increases insulin, there is no need to worry about negative effects on weight loss. Continue reading >>
Dietary Protein, Ketosis, And Appetite Control.
“Dietary protein has a purpose, and that purpose is not carbs.” Nor is it to break ketosis or stall weight loss. Drastically increasing protein intake may reduce the degree of ketosis in the context of a large energy surplus, but this is likely due more specifically to the large energy surplus than the protein. This would explain why Warrior dieters (1 meal meal per day) often report reduced ketones if they eat too much protein. It’s more likely that the 2000 kcal bolus is exerting it’s anti-ketotic effect by being a large energy surplus, such that anything other than 90% fat would blunt ketosis. It’s not the proteins… Want proof? Here’s an n=1 to try: give up Warrior dieting for a few days and try 3 squares. My bet is that you’ll be able to increase protein intake and still register ketones as high or higher than before. There are data to support this and reasons why it may not matter (below). disclaimer: I don’t think “deep ketosis” is necessary to reap the benefits of carbohydrate-restriction. But if you love high ketone meter readings, then this might be a better strategy to maintain deep ketosis while getting adequate protein. win-win. if I hear: “oh no, I was kicked out of ketosis!” one more time… All of the studies below are confounded one way or another, but so are we humans. Negative energy balance promotes ketosis even with relatively high protein intake. Phinney showed this in obese patients in 1980. He fed them a very low calorie diet for 6 weeks; 50% of the calories came from protein, the rest fat. This amounted to ~76 g/d or ~1.2 g/kg of their “ideal body weight.” It was, however, a rather severe caloric restriction. They lost ~22 pounds; two-thirds of it was fat mass. Muscle glycogen plummeted from 1.53 to 1.04 mg/100 g… Continue reading >>
Bone Broth + Ketogenic Diet: A Match Made In A Low-carb Heaven
Bone broth is an established superfood and many therapeutic diets have embraced its healing properties including the ketogenic diet. Bone broth is recognized as a healing food because of its high concentration of minerals and anti-inflammatory amino acids, as well as being one of the only food sources of the gut-healing proteins collagen and gelatin. In a moment, we’ll explain how bone broth is particularly beneficial for anyone following a keto diet. But first, let’s look closer at how bone broth fits in, since very specific macronutrient ratios are required to achieve desired results. The Keto Diet: How Does Bone Broth Fit in? The idea behind the keto diet is to train your body to burn fat for energy rather than glucose, which allows you to enter the fat-burning state: ketosis. Now, the only way to enter ketosis is by drastically reducing your carb consumption to approximately 5% of your diet, and increasing fat consumption to at least 70% of your diet. This way, your body has no choice but to rely on fatty acids for energy, which are its secondary ‘backup’ energy source when glucose isn’t readily available. The standard keto diet looks like this: 75% fat, 20% protein, 5% carbs. Since everyone has a unique body and lifestyle different, you can use the ketogenic diet calculator to determine your exact macronutrient needs. The keto calculator is an easy way to see how many grams of each macronutrient you need on the keto diet plan to keep your body in a state of ketosis, based on your current weight, height and activity levels. So, what would keto bone broth need to look like, in order to fit your macronutrient requirements? When you take a look at the nutrient profile of Kettle and Fire Bone Broth, you’ll see how both chicken bone broth and beef bone broth Continue reading >>
Will This Kick Me Out Of Ketosis?
A common question people have when starting keto is “will this kick me out of ketosis?” I’m going to address as many items as I can think of and explain why it will or will not kick you out of keto. This is going to be as comprehensive as possible so either use ctrl + f to find what you’re looking for or buckle up and read on. How do humans enter ketosis in the first place? Things will become much more clear if we explain how humans enter ketosis. Mainly, liver glycogen is what determines if ketones will be produced. Specifically, glycogen in the liver signals malonyl-coa to be formed by carboxylating acetyl-coa. Acetyl-coa is used in many processes and it’s the main substrate used to be turned into ketones. The wiki on regulation of ketogenesis which applies to this scenario says “When the body has no free carbohydrates available, fat must be broken down into acetyl-CoA in order to get energy. Acetyl-CoA is not being recycled through the citric acid cycle because the citric acid cycle intermediates (mainly oxaloacetate) have been depleted to feed the gluconeogenesis pathway, and the resulting accumulation of acetyl-CoA activates ketogenesis.” Basically, when there is more acetyl-CoA than oxaloacetate, the acetyl-CoA becomes acetoacetate, a ketone body. In plain English, carbs provide oxaloacetate, so if it doesn’t have carbs, it likely isn’t going to kick you out of ketosis. I’ll state the exceptions later. Why do humans enter ketosis so readily? Humans enter ketosis faster than any animal on the planet. It usually takes 24-36 hours before we enter ketosis.This is because we have huge brains and tiny bodies. Our brains need ~400 calories/day, which for most people that equates to 20% of our total energy demands. To put this in perspective, most anim Continue reading >>
More Than You Ever Wanted To Know About Protein & Gluconeogenesis
My dear readers, the website/blog update has run into some snags. Rather than continuing to keep you waiting, though, I’m going to publish new posts and I’ll worry about transitioning them over later on. And since it’s been a few months since I last posted anything of substance, I’ve decided to drop this enormous, enormous post on you to make up for that lost time—and it might take you equally long to read it. Sorry about that, but hey, I haven’t written anything meaningful since May, so, depending on your point of view, this post is either a gift or a punishment. As I’ve said in the past, if you’re an insomniac or a cubicle dweller with lots of time to kill, you’re welcome. (The rest of you, go get yourself a cup of coffee or tea, come back, and get comfy.) I’ve been meaning to write this post for over a year, but it’s such a big topic and so much can go wrong that the thought of tackling it all was enough to make me not write it. But it’s gotten to the point that I’m tired enough of seeing the same questions asked and the same myths propagated over and over on various keto and low carb forums that I’ve decided this needs to be done, no matter how painful I might find it. Because seeing nonsense and fearmongering regarding the role of protein in low carb or ketogenic diets is even more painful. So if finally managing to organize my thoughts into some kind of coherent prose means I never have to read the phrase, “too much protein turns into sugar” ever again, it will be worth it. So that’s what’s on tap today, kids: Gluconeogenesis. That’s right, friends, it’s time to do some myth-busting surrounding the whacked-out notion that protein—lean protein, in particular (like a skinless chicken breast, or tuna canned in water)—is the Continue reading >>
Protein On Keto – How Much Is Too Much?
Protein is an oddly controversial macronutrient. It is an essential building block for muscle development, helping to promote health and good body composition. Protein also makes us feel full, which helps you lose weight. Yet, many people feel that too much protein is dangerous (it isn’t!). For anyone on a keto diet, protein is more complicated still. Too much protein will kick you out of ketosis. Yet, too little protein on keto isn’t good either. So, what’s the balance? I’m going to show you why protein matters and how much you should be having. After all, you want the best possible outcomes. Right? For one thing – protein helps in muscle building. That’s important for maintaining a healthy body composition, which then promotes health. Regardless of your weight, you need lean muscle and protein is a key aspect of that process (1,2,3). Protein is also important for health, offering various benefits. Many protein-rich foods are nutrient dense as well. So, if you have too little protein, you might miss out on other key nutrients too. If you’re losing weight, getting enough protein is critical. If your intake is too low, you’ll start to lose lean body mass rather than fat (4). That’s not what you want to do. Protein makes sure that you lose fat, not muscle. How Protein Helps Weight Loss Research shows that protein tends to be satiating, helping people to feel full for longer (5,6). This aspect alone is critical for losing weight (7). After all, feeling hungry is frustrating – and it’s a key reason why people fail diets. Protein also helps in other ways. For example, high-protein meals can lower cravings and help people to snack less (8). Likewise, protein increases energy used. This effect isn’t dramatic but any benefit helps. The muscle-building as Continue reading >>
How Much Protein Can I Eat On A Keto Diet?
I was definitely confused about that when I first started Keto. Some people warned about not eating enough protein. While others told me I was eating too much protein and it was ruining my Keto diet. So, what’s the optimal amount of protein to achieve the results you want from Keto? That’s what I’ll cover in this article. How much protein is optimal on Keto? Eating too little protein can mean you lose too much muscle when you lose weight. But eating too much could cause your body to turn that excess protein into glucose and thereby knock you out of ketosis. There’s not a general consensus on this issue… But below are some good guidelines to follow when determining how much total daily protein you need on Keto. Calculate Your Protein Needs On Keto Using This: Figure out your body fat percentage. Multiply your body fat percentage by your weight. This gives the amount of your fat. Your lean body mass = Your weight – Your fat amount (from above). The amount of protein you should eat = 0.8 * Your lean body mass (in lbs) If you use metric units and prefer Kg calculations, then multiply your lean body mass in Kg by 1.8. And if you’re having a hard time doing these calculations or estimating your body fat percentage, then we’ve created a Keto macros calculator to help you out. Enter the information it asks for and it’ll provide your total daily protein, calories, fat, and net carbs intake. But remember, these are just guidelines – things will vary for your specific needs, health conditions, and activity level. What does that much protein look like in terms of steaks and chicken breast? For most of us, when you do these calculations, we should eat around 90-120 g of protein per day. So this is 1.5 chicken breasts or two 6-8-oz steaks per day. Here are the pro Continue reading >>
How Too Much Protein Is Bad For Ketosis
One of the well-known mantras of the ketogenic diet is very low carb intake and high fat intake. But there’s another nutrient that’s important to monitor when going keto—and a lot of people make the mistake of not considering its importance. That would be protein. Although protein is a critical element in the diet we need for optimal health, it’s important to not eat TOO much protein on the ketogenic diet. Why? Well, there are a couple reasons that we’ll be discussing below. How Too Much Protein is Bad for Ketosis The biggest energy source on the ketogenic diet is fat. In fact, around 75% of your diet should come from healthy fat sources. The key here is that, unlike the traditional idea of low-carb diets where protein is higher, protein intake should bemoderate, not high, on keto. Not following this advice will never allow your body to enter ketosis, which is the main point of going keto and reaping all of the amazing benefits. The reason too much protein is bad for ketosis is because our bodies have a fundamental energy process called gluconeogenesis. For a deeper dive into the topic, see our post on fixing the biggest ketosis mistakes. For now we shoud know the basics. Let’s break it down this mouthful of a term. The word gluconeogenesis has three parts to it, Gluco – coming from the greek root glukos – literally meaning “sweet wine.” Neo – “new” Genesis – “creation” So a great way to think about it is this is how your body creates new sweet wine for your body. Some people tout that “you don’t need carbohydrates to survive,” which is only partially true. To clarify, you don’t need to eat any carbs to survive, but make no mistake, your body needs carbs in the form of glucose and glycogen, and it will get this via survival mechan Continue reading >>