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 >>
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 even more critical on a ketogenic diet, where carbs are so limited. Under eating protein can cause the body to lose muscle. Some argue for limiting protein because 1) doing so leads to higher ketone levels and 2) they believe that eating too much protein can lead the body to create new glucose from protein (gluconeogenesis) and keep a person from transitioning effectively to fat burning. My friend Mike Berta explains the fallacies of this thinking so well that I am sharing his post rather than recreating my own. Mike can be contacted directly at [email protected] His Facebook group is cal Continue reading >>
No More Dragon Breath!
Too many people who eat low carb diets believe that they have to live with the intense bad breath nicknamed "ketobreath" if they are to keep their carbs down either to control their blood sugar or lose weight. That's because they believe that the bad breath is a sign that they are eating what is called a "ketogenic diet" which some dieters and low carb enthusiasts believe makes it much easier to burn off fat. The term "ketogenic" simply means "producing ketones." Ketones are a byproduct of fat digestion. They become significant when you are eating so few grams of carbohydrate each day because at that point most of your cells switch over to burning fats, including ketones, rather than glucose. You can tell when you have entered a ketogenic state because your body will dump a great deal of water when this happens, causing a weight loss of anywhere from two to six pounds within a day or two. When you exit the ketogenic state, those same water-related pounds come right back. Why this happens is explained in greater detail on this web page. Unfortunately, most people who cut carbs low enough to remain in a ketogenic state for more than a few weeks develop a distinctive and truly awful bad breath that they assume is a necessary part of eating a ketogenic diet. This is not true but widely believed. It is also the major reason why the loved ones of low carb dieter, after a period of patience, may start undermining the low carbers' diet, tempting them with carbs in the hope that if they ruin their loved one's diet they will no longer have to live with the wretched smell of that "ketobreath." This is rational behavior on the part of those loved ones. The bad breath--which the dieter usually can't themselves smell--is often so strong it makes riding in a car with the dieter unplea Continue reading >>
What Is A Good Protein Shake For A Ketosis Diet?
A ketosis diet -- more correctly termed a ketogenic diet --- normally includes three dietary characteristics: low carbohydrate, high fat and moderate protein intake. This type of diet puts you into ketosis, a metabolic condition where your body burns fat for energy rather than carbohydrates, its normal energy source. Protein shakes designed for low-carbohydrate diets will meet your need if you want to follow a ketogenic diet. Ask your doctor before making major diet changes. Video of the Day If you're following a ketogenic diet, you need a moderate amount of protein in your diet. If you consume too much protein, your liver will convert some of the protein to glucose to use for energy, explains Dr. Michael Eades, co-founder of Medi-Stat Medical Clinics. This slows the changeover to burning fat for energy. Protein intake must remain high enough to prevent muscle loss and low enough to not interfere with ketosis, author Lyle McDonald explains in his book, "The Ketogenic Diet: A Complete Guide for the Dieter and Practitioner." On average, you need 0.8 grams of protein per 2.2 pounds of body weight if you're sedentary and 0.9 grams if you're active, according to McDonald, although you might need as much as 150 grams of protein per day in the first few weeks of a ketogenic diet. Protein supplements often contain 20 to 30 grams of protein per serving; don't drink protein shakes that exceed your daily limit if you drink several per day. If you drink protein shakes, check the label to make sure the shakes contain no more than a few grams of carbohydrate. As long as you keep your carbohydrate intake to less than 50 to 80 grams per day, your body will go into ketosis, author and trainer Mark Sissons explains on his website, Mark's Daily Apple. However, keeping carbohydrates to les Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet And Protein
The thing that bothers me when it comes to a ketogenic diet are the myths about protein. Although admittedly some of them at least sound kind of plausible. They are untrue and plain wrong. And the longer you believe in them the longer it will hurt you result wise. EATING TOO MUCH PROTEIN WILL KNOCK YOU OUT OF KETOSIS Is your goal ketosis or fat loss? Ketones are a side product of fat burning and not the goal. Repeat it with me. Ketones are a side product of fat burning and not the goal. Ketones are only a goal if you suffer from epilepsy. You need to have them as high as possible to benefit from the therapeutic effect on the brain. The only thing you should focus on not eating too much on a ketogenic diet are carbs. Especially fructose. Protein on the other hand is a goal, and fet is a lever. You set it as high or as low, depending on what your goals are. EXCESS PROTEIN TURNS INTO SUGAR Half truth? It can, but excess protein can also be oxidized for energy. But converting excess protein to glucose isn’t necessary a bad thing. Let’s say you eat 100g of excess protein. Compared to fat and carbs, the digestion of protein is very costly. Digestion alone burns 30% of protein. Converting protein to glucose through gluconeogenesis burns an additional 33%. So if you eat an excess of 100g of protein you potentially get less than 50 grams of glucose. Now the kicker is here – most of it goes towards muscle glycogen. We have a GLUT4 pathway for glucose uptake in the muscle after resistance training, during which time insulin is not required for processing of glucose. PROTEIN STOPS FAT BURNING What is your goal? Fat burning or losing weight? An example, let’s say you eat either your calories needs in protein or in fats. If you’re losing fat, you’re burning fat – that i Continue reading >>
How Much Protein Should I Eat On A Ketogenic Diet?
A common question for people either starting or following a low-carb eating plan is how much protein should I eat on a ketogenic diet? An important distinction to make with the Ketogenic Diet is that it’s a high-fat, low-carb and moderate protein diet. There is a common misconception that low-carb, high-fat diets (LCHF) mean eating astonishing amounts of protein. This idea comes from the original Atkins Diet1 which allowed unlimited protein in the initial stages. (Current Atkins diets include a more modified protein approach). The Ketogenic Diet, however, aims for 20% protein or less (by calorie) which is in the range of 90-150g per day. The suggested amount of protein by keto researcher and expert Dom D’Agostino (Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of South Florida) is 1-1.5 g of protein per kg of body weight per day to stay in ketosis. If you are highly active (particularly if you do resistance training) then your protein intake should be at the high-end of the range. Why Does Eating Too Much Protein Lead To The Keto Diet Not Working? When you eat too much protein, it gets converted by the body into glucose. This process has a fancy name called gluconeogenesis. So just while you are trying to keep carbs/sugars to a minimum, eating excess protein creates more! The liver transforms excess protein into glucose and as a result, you feel hungry. This can prevent you from getting into ketosis and burning fat. One option is to eat higher fat cuts of meat and less lean meat like chicken breast and turkey. If you keep your portion size small, this will increase your fat intake while keeping protein low. Alternatively, eat less protein overall and ensure you are getting plenty of fat from non-meat sources like avo 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 >>
Eating The Right Protein On The Ketogenic Diet
When selecting a diet, the first question you should ask yourself is, “Is this healthy?” With diets that range from borderline healthy to downright bizarre, finding a healthy diet backed by science can be a challenge. Ketogenic diets, which were originally used to help control and prevent seizures in epilepsy patients, have grown in popularity in recent years as an effective fat-burning diet. These high-fat, low-carb diets are also heavy in protein, but the type of protein you eat can determine whether or not a keto diet is a healthy choice. Ketogenic Diet Basics A ketogenic diet (also called a keto diet, low-carb diet, or low-carb high-fat diet) is a diet that consists of low-carb, low to moderate-protein, high-fat foods. This diet reduces almost all carbohydrates and replaces them with fat. When you eat foods high in carbohydrates, your body produces glucose, which is typically the first place the body goes for energy. When glucose is being used as the primary source of energy, the fat you consume is mostly stored. With the keto diet, the absence of carbohydrates forces the body into a metabolic state called ketosis, which causes the body to burn fat for energy instead of glucose from carbohydrates. Keep in mind that ketosis is different from ketoacidosis, a serious condition that occurs when the body creates an abnormal amount of ketones. The body does release ketones during ketosis, but not in great enough amounts to cause ketoacidosis. Low-carb diets like paleo diets or the Atkins diet are also very low-carb diets, but they have some important differences from the keto diet. With the keto diet, the focus is on keeping the body in a state of ketosis. With Atkins, paleo, and other low-carb diets, ketosis is typically only reached in the earliest stages of the die Continue reading >>
How Much Protein Can You Eat In Ketosis?
Having been a low-carb enthusiast and team Diet Doctor member for years, you would have thought I’d nailed ketosis ages ago. I haven’t. In the last post, Why You’re Not in Ketosis, I revealed why, and how I fixed it (by reducing my carb and protein intake to 20 and 60 grams per day respectively). But, I had a problem. Though it felt awesome to be back in ketosis, it sucked to eat so little protein – 60 grams a day isn’t much for a meat lover like me. Could I eat more protein AND remain in optimal ketosis? I was going to find out. The protein experiment I designed the following experiment: First, I would increase my protein intake from 60 grams a day to the level where I would no longer be in optimal ketosis. Then, I would reduce my protein intake until I was back in optimal ketosis, using what I ate on the last day to define my daily-protein limit. Finally, I’d eat to this daily-protein limit every day for a week to test its accuracy, adjusting my protein intake if necessary. To increase the trustworthiness of the experiment, I added five rules: 1. Keep eating 10-20 grams of carbs a day 2. Keep eating during a four-hour window (5-9pm) 3. Adjust my protein intake gradually 4. Make no other major changes to my life 5. Measure my blood-ketone levels every morning before eating “Nice plan”, I thought. But there was one thing I hadn’t taken into account… Preparation To start off the experiment, I measured my blood-ketone levels: 2.0 mmol/L. Not exactly shocking news – I had been eating 45-60 grams of protein and 10-20 grams of carbs a day for weeks, being in optimal ketosis almost every morning. But all that could end soon – it was protein time. Day 1: Taco-cheese shells On the first day of the experiment, I ate similarly to how I’d eaten lately – Continue reading >>
How Much Protein To Eat While In Ketosis?
Hello everyone! I understand that eating too much protein can create an insulin response. I was just wondering if there was a general limit to the amount of protein that can be consumed per day while still remaining in ketosis. Is it a certain amount per pound of kg of body weight? Or is it a certain percentage of daily macros? Or is it just different for everyone and will need experimentation with ketostix to find out? Thanks! Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes! 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 >>
6 Signs You're Eating Way Too Much Protein
High-protein diets are all the rage right now. Protein does tons for your body, including helping to repair your muscles when they tear during exercise and supporting bone health and hormone production. What’s more, high-protein diets have been known to help women shed stubborn weight. “It’s a hot macronutrient because it really does help you feel more full, which is what makes high-protein diets pretty effective for weight loss. The way protein is metabolized even increases your metabolism a little bit when you eat it,” says nutritionist Christy Brisette, the founder and president of 80 Twenty Nutrition. But don’t get carried away: There may be health risks associated with having TOO much protein over a long period of time. Some research has shown that people on high-protein diets that are rich in red meats have higher levels of uric acid in their blood, which increases the risk of gout—a condition causing painful joint inflammation. A high-protein diet that’s also high in red meat has been linked to increased risk of colon cancer, according to the World Health Organization, as well as kidney disease, according to one large 2016 study. And Brisette says people on high-protein diets may be more likely to be deficient in calcium and vitamin D, which increases the risk of osteoporosis later in life. You need at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, with very active people needing in the range of 1.2 to 1.8 grams per kilogram. At the very most, Brisette says, you should get two grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (that’s about 118 grams of protein for a 130-pound person). “If you get more, you don’t see benefits and there could be risks,” she says. Think your protein intake could be making you feel bad? Here are a fe Continue reading >>
Whey Protein On Keto: Does Whey Protein Kick You Out Of Ketosis?
“What’s the best whey protein on keto diets? Will it knock me out of ketosis?” If you’re currently on a ketogenic diet or looking to start it because of its fast fat-burning qualities, you might be wondering whether you can pour yourself a delicious protein shake to drink. Keto diets are very strict. And since only some foods are allowed, and some are thrown right out the window, this is a common question. Most people joining keto diets come from the bodybuilding community. And a big part of their diet is whey protein shakes. But there’s one problem… Is it okay to drink whey protein on a keto diet? Do they stop you from reaching ketosis? By the time you finish reading this post, you’ll find out the exact answer to whether you should or shouldn’t use whey protein on keto diets. (Hint: you can only use some) Plus, the best protein powders you should use if you’re on a keto diet. But to answer this question, you need to know how ketogenic diets work. How Ketogenic Diets Work (I assume most of you already know how it works, so I’m going to keep it short. And get straight to your question after) A keto diet is a low-carb, moderate protein, and high fat diet. Its main goal is to simply get your body into an optimal state of ketosis. Ketosis is when your body is so low on blood sugar (glucose), your liver is forced to burn stored body fat to produce ketones. These ketones are then used as energy, instead of stored glucose from eating carbohydrates. Once at this stage, your body is constantly burning fat to fuel itself. Insulin Another big part of keto is simply avoiding foods that spike your insulin levels. Insulin is released by the pancreas when blood sugar levels rise from eating lots of carbohydrates. Insulin allows your cells to use and store the gluco Continue reading >>
The Top 10 Ketosis Mistakes And How To Prevent Them
What mistakes are you making when it comes to your health? I know I’ve been making plenty. That’s why I’m tracking my data in this recent ketosis experiment that I’m doing. What about you? Most people think that the ketogenic diet is just “low-carb” which leads them to make many mistakes that prevent them from not reaping all of the benefits of ketosis that they could. What benefits? How about an improved immune system, increased longevity, lower inflammation, effortless weight loss, decreased hunger, reduced risk for disease and more. Read on to know the top 10 ways that people make mistakes with ketosis and how you can prevent them. 1: Not tracking protein intake By far the biggest problem with a ketogenic diet is not tracking how much protein you are eating. The far majority of people are simply eating too much lean protein, which ends up kicking them out of ketosis. Protein can turn into carbs by a metabolic process called gluconeogenesis, meaning “making new carbs.” This then spikes insulin, and reduces ketone levels. Even though you are eating super low carb, this could make your body switch back and forth between energy systems, which will lead to high levels of fatigue or “low carb flu.” The easiest way to avoid this mistake is by tracking your ketone levels to see how you respond to different amounts and different types of meat. Everyone is different, so the only way you can tell is by tracking. I “listened to my body” before and it didn’t work. I wasn’t in ketosis when I thought I was. I also thought ketosis kind of sucked. It didn’t, I was just wrong. The only way you know is by tracking. If you consume more fat with protein, it will slow this effect. So think fattier cuts of meat, and less muscle meat. But wait, are you going to Continue reading >>
How Much Protein Is Too Much?
Now that fat is out of the spotlight, the focus for many in low carb and vegan circles has turned to protein as the macronutrient that needs to be avoided for health, good blood sugar control and longevity. At the same time there are still are plenty of ‘meat heads’ who say that their ‘brotein’ can do no wrong and you can’t get enough of it. In the sea of conflicting opinions and advice, how do we determine the optimal amount of protein that will suit our situation, goals and needs? How much protein do we need? How much is too little protein? How much protein is too much? This is an intriguing, controversial and multifaceted discussion. So hold on as I try to unpack the various perspectives! First, let’s look at the general recommendations for protein intake. Lean body mass Protein recommendations are often given in terms of grams per kilogram of lean body (LBM) where “LBM” is your current weight minus your fat mass. Protein is required to support your muscles, not your fat. You can use a DEXA scan, bioimpedance scale or pictures (like the ones below) to estimate your level of body fat (% BF) and then calculate your LBM using the following formula: lean body mass (LBM) = body weight weight x (100% – %BF) / 100%. None of these methods are particularly accurate. However, calculating your body fat levels or protein intake to a high degree of accuracy is not necessary for most people. Absolute minimum protein requirement According to Cahill’s starvation studies we burn around 0.4g/kg LBM per day of protein via gluconeogenesis during long term starvation. After we burn through the food in our stomach and then the glycogen stored in our liver and muscle, the body will turn to its own internal protein stores (i.e. muscles, organs etc) and, to a lesser ex Continue reading >>