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 >>
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 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 >>
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 >>
Daily Protein Requirement
Your daily protein requirement is affected by several factors: Activity level: the more active you are, the more protein you can eat. This is especially true of resistance type exercise such as weight lifting. Essential protein intake: Nine of the 20 required amino acids (the molecular building blocks which make up proteins) are essential, meaning the body cannot make them so they must be obtained from the food we eat. Your gender and basic build: In general, men need more protein than women, and more muscular people also require more protein to maintain lean body mass. The official recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein intake is set at .36 grams per pound of body weight each day. This figure represents the minimum intake needed to maintain health. The protein requirements for those who are looking to optimize health, who are sick, injured or on a very low carb diet may be different. It’s also important to know that a daily protein requirement should never be based on percentage of calories. A person's protein requirements are constant no matter how many calories he or she eats each day because the amount of protein needed is a function of a person’s lean body mass (LBM) or on total ideal body weight if LBM is not known. Calculating protein needs should be based on maintaining positive nitrogen balance. Amino acids contain nitrogen. The protein we eat gets metabolized into amino acids for use in building new muscle and other tissues. Excess nitrogen is excreted via the urine. When the amount of nitrogen excreted is less than the amount of nitrogen in the food we ate, we can say that we are in positive nitrogen balance and it means we took in enough protein to build new tissues. If we don’t eat enough protein, then we get into a negative nitrogen balance. W Continue reading >>
How Much Protein Should I Eat On A Lchf Keto Diet?
Many people following a keto LCHF diet are unsure about how much protein they should be eating. It’s a common belief that a low carb diet should be high in protein. As we all know, eating a LCHF keto diet means eating most of your calories as fat, not protein. On a LCHF keto diet your macros (the composition of your diet) should look something like this: 70% fat/25% protein/5% carbs. You definitely don’t want to be eating more than 30% of your calories as protein. A common error we see people making is making protein the central focus and of all their meals and hence they end up eating a large percentage of their diet as protein, with too little fat and too few low carb veggies. What’s wrong with eating too much protein you ask? Read our post about protein to find out. When you are on a LCHF keto diet for weight loss, eating protein in excess results in a few things happening: Less fat is eaten and so the diet is not truly ketogenic. The benefits of being in ketosis do not happen. Peoples macros do not approach the 70% fat/25% protein/5% carbs recommendation You end up consuming too many calories, because your protein servings are huge! You get tired and bored with eating protein all the time and you end up going off your LCHF eating plan and start adding carbs back to your diet just to get some variety You end up not eating enough low carb veggies. The focus of a keto diet should be low carb vegetables which are the perfect vehicle for adding fat to the diet in the form of olive oil, avocado oil, butter and coconut oil. You can roast or saute your veggies in fat or steam them and then drizzle them with olive or other nut oils. See our useful guide to the best low carb vegetables. Your weight loss can slow down or stop People are very confused about how large thei Continue reading >>
Most people aim for a specific goal on a ketogenic diet. We aim to make sure the results of the calculator are accurate and can be used by anyone. Our keto calculator uses the Mifflin-St.Jeor Formula which was the most accurate (versus the Katch-McCardle Formula or the Harris-Benedict Formula) in a few studies. In this formula, the gender, height, weight, and age are needed to calculate the number of calories to consume. Our keto calculator uses body fat percentage to calculate your lean body mass. Using this number, we’re able to calculate how much protein you need to sufficiently lose weight without losing excess muscle. Eating too little or too much protein on a ketogenic diet (or any diet) can lead to dangerous or unwanted results. DEXA scans are proven to be the most accurate measurement of body fat. They’re commonly available at gyms and some doctor offices when requested. If you don’t have access to this, you can always go the old-fashioned route and use a good quality caliper. The last resort is using a guide to visually estimate – this can sometimes be a little bit inaccurate, so try to over estimate your body fat percentage. This will give us an idea of how much the minimum amount of calories your body will burn in a day. Our keto calculator uses this to calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). We use this number, along with your body fat percentage, to estimate how many calories you’ll need for your goals. The BMR is simply a number of calories we burn while our bodies are at rest and from eating and digesting food. Together they form what’s known as TDEE, or total daily energy expenditure. This is the keto calculator’s estimate for your total calories burned per day. If you use a heart rate monitor or third party software to monitor your calo Continue reading >>
Finding Your Optimal Protein Intake For A Ketogenic Diet
When embarking on a ketogenic diet for health or fat loss, finding the optimum protein intake can be very confusing for many beginners. For smooth adaptation in the transition to a ketogenic metabolism I typically guide people using a caloric spread of around 70-80% fat, 15-25% protein, and 5% carbohydrate from green fibrous vegetables – but this ratio varies for every individual and using percentages is confusing and misleading in many cases. The best way to look at macronutrients is not in percentage ratios, but in grams. The slew of bloggers and gurus spouting so much conflicting information leads many into a mental stalemate about how much protein they should be eating. This article lays out the metrics I most commonly use to quantify how much protein an individual should intake – there is no magic ratio and the needs, preferences, and goals of the individual determine the amount of protein they will likely require on their ketogenic diet which usually lies within a relatively broad range of 1-2.2g/kg (and in some cases even higher *cringe say the protein-phobic) of bodyweight or .5-1g/lb of lean body mass (Lean Body Mass equals Body Weight minus Body Fat). Myth: “Too much” protein turns immediately into sugar I almost always recommend people increase their intake of fish and seafoods in order to get the vital nutrient DHA into their central nervous system and mitochondrial membranes. We see amazing results when people opt for more fish and less red meat, which I also love, but land mammals are not nearly as nutrient dense as seafoods with their incredible levels of DHA, EPA, selenium, and iodine. Sometimes this means they will be eating more protein than they believe will allow them to be “ketogenic”, this protein-phobia can be counterproductive, which Continue reading >>
13 Common Keto Mistakes
Adjusting to the Ketogenic diet and lifestyle is a process, and, like any other process, there are some learning curves and speed bumps. These curves and bumps can lead to frustration and disappointment, but they don’t have to. I’ve put together a list of what I see as the most common keto mistakes (and what you can do about them). You are obsessing over macros On the surface, this might seem a little contradictory to some of the other items on this list, but hear me out for a second. The mistake isn’t tracking your macros. The mistake is OBSESSING over your macros. The biggest psychological benefit to keto is the freedom it provides. You’re no longer shackled to the hangry, sad existence filled with constant food preoccupation. You’re free to live. So don’t shackle yourself by fretting and obsessing about macros. You aren’t eating macros, you’re eating food. Make sure your food is keto-friendly, and you’re going to be doing just fine. You are obsessing over the scale I’ve written about this before, but it’s important enough to repeat. The number on the scale is the least important metric you can use to gauge your success. This is another pet peeve of mine that is similar to the previous mistake. Enjoy the freedom of your life, don’t fret about the number on the scale. The scale is always a snap shot of what happened two weeks ago. Think about it. Aside from water, which can fluctuate many pounds in a short period of time, in order for you to gain or lose weight, it requires time. The scale doesn’t tell you important information. Don’t sweat it. You are eating too much protein Protein is, probably, the most important macro, because it is essential (we cannot manufacture all the requisite amino acids) and it is required to build and rebuild al 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 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 >>
Find Your Keto Macros
Fine tune your fat-burning with the perfect keto ratio. Learn the special concerns for protein and fat ratios, how to track your keto macros and where to find the wiggle room. Best keto ratio for rapid fat-burning Printable keto food pyramid Online keto calculator Printable list of keto macros: calories, fat, net carbs, protein Keto macro is short for ketosis macro-nutrient. The three keto macro-nutrients are fats, proteins and carbs. Sometimes, calories are also considered part of the equation. What’s the best keto ratio? “Best” depends on your goals. A typical keto ratio has 75% of calories from fat, 20% of calories from protein and 5% of calories from fiber-rich carbs. A Typical Keto Ratio Keto Tip: A perfect ketogenic ratio happens when the amount of protein grams are equal to or slightly great than the grams of fat. Keto Food Pyramid Keto foods center around healthy fats, with moderate amounts of protein and scant carbs. During ketosis, think of fat as a food group. The Atkins Keto Food Pyramid illustrates which of the 200 ketosis foods to enjoy liberally and which ones to limit. Click the image to view, print or save. Tracking Keto Macros Track keto macros helps identify diet stalls and plateau. Macro tracking pinpoints troublesome keto ratios in your diet. For example: Are you eating enough fat? Are you eating too much protein? Track your keto foods and find out. Keto Wiggle Room If your keto ratio is off a bit, it’s not a big deal. You have wiggle room. If some days are over and some days are under your ideal goals, it’s fine. Keep your calories in check and track your keto macros by averaging several days at a time. A single day won’t make or break your plan. Testing for Ketosis Special test strips called keto sticks (or ketostix, keto strips) are u Continue reading >>
How Much Protein Should You Eat On A Ketogenic Diet?
One of the biggest mistakes people make when first adopting a ketogenic diet for weight loss is eating too much protein. A successful ketogenic diet requires strictly limiting carbohydrate consumption and upping the intake of healthy fats. This allows the metabolism to switch from primarily using glucose (sugar) for fuel to primarily using ketones (fat) for fuel. This is referred to as ketosis. When the cells begin to burn fat for fuel this includes body fat such as the fat around the belly, thighs, and hips. So to get into ketosis and shed pounds of body fat, you must eat a ketogenic diet which is a low-carb high-fat (LCHF) diet. But what about protein? Does it matter how much you eat? And what kind of protein is best for maximum weight loss? Protein and Weight Loss A common misconception is that a ketogenic diet is high in protein. The reality, however, is that a ketogenic diet is a moderate protein diet, or maybe even more accurately, an adequate protein diet. In fact, too much protein can actually inhibit your body from entering ketosis thus preventing you from experiencing the myriad of benefits of the diet. There are many reasons why adequate protein consumption is required for success on a ketogenic diet.Studies have shown that protein is the most satiating macronutrient while carbohydrate is the least satiating. Therefore, if you eat an adequate amount of protein you will feel more satisfied and be more likely to eat less calories. Protein is also the most important macronutrient for building and maintaining muscle mass. Muscles burn calories 24/7 even when you are not exercising. Protein and Ketosis Proteins are the building blocks of life, they provide the body with all of the essential amino acids. But more is not always better. When first adopting a ketogeni 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 >>
Keto Tip: Eating Too Much Protein Can Be The Same As Eating Too Many Carbs
Today’s keto tip is one that took me a little while to understand in my own weight loss journey. In the beginning I pretty much thought of food as either one of two things, either I could eat it or I couldn’t. I didn’t really understand that I could eat too much of a “good” thing and it would cause problems for my weight loss. At first I had to realize that eating a bunch of nuts, nut butters, and dairy was slowing my down but then I learned that eating too much protein would do the same thing. What is Gluconeogenesis? Gluconeogenesis is a metabolic process where the body makes glucose from something other than a carbohydrate, typically excess protein, which will knock you out of dietary ketosis. There is no hard and fast amount of protein that I can tell you to stay under to avoid gluconeogenesis because each person has a different tolerance level. I know that for me personally, I got in to trouble if I had more than about 10 oz of meat in the evening and really had to be careful to increase the total amount of fat I ate during the day to be sure I didn’t hit my limit. How to Avoid Gluconeogenesis We tend to think of a ketogenic diet as a High Fat, Low Carb diet but you really need to add “Moderate Protein” in the middle of that list. There are a few little tricks I had to learn to keep my protein levels at the right level. #1 Track Your Food and Weight – It was so helpful for me to track what I ate and how my weight responded the next day. This was the the most important thing I did to discover both my protein tolerance and what foods affected my bodies in different ways. #2 Test Your Ketones – I wish I could afford this Ketonix breath ketone analyzer because it seems like a much easier way to do it but these ketone strips work as well. It’s nice Continue reading >>