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How Much Protein Will Kick Me Out Of Ketosis

How Much Protein Can You Eat In Ketosis?

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 >>

Stevia For Ketogenic Diet?

Stevia For Ketogenic Diet?

Is stevia suitable for a ketogenic diet (30 grams of carbs per day maximum)? Does it cause the body to "burn" stevia's sugars and "kick" the body out of ketosis? For argument's sake, let's say I somehow manage to never eat more 30gr of carbs per day, and my body kicks out of ketosis at 31 gr/day of carbs. If I eat 1 teaspoon of stevia (e.g. on tea during the day), will I get out of ketosis? Can the body burn it, or it just goes through me like water? Is stevia really safe to use on a ketogenic diet? Continue reading >>

What Everybody Ought To Know About Ketosis

What Everybody Ought To Know About Ketosis

Recently I wanted to explore the world of Ketosis. I thought I knew a little bit about ketosis, but after doing some research I soon realised how wrong I was. 3 months later, after reading numerous books, listening to countless podcasts and experimenting with various diets I know have a sound understanding of ketosis. This resource is built as a reference guide for those looking to explore the fascinating world of ketosis. It is a resource that I wish I had 3 months ago. As you will soon see, a lot of the content below is not mine, instead I have linked to referenced to experts who have a greater understanding of this topic than I ever will. I hope this helps and if there is something that I have missed please leave a comment below so that I can update this. Also, as this is a rather long document, I have split it into various sections. You can click the headline below to be sent straight to the section that interests you. For those that are really time poor I have created a useful ketosis cheat sheet guide. This guide covers all the essential information you should know about ketosis. It can be downloaded HERE. Alternatively, if you're looking for a natural and sustainable way to improve health and lose weight head to this page - What is Ketosis? What Are The Benefits from being in Ketosis? Isn’t Ketosis Dangerous? Ketoacidosis vs Ketosis What Is The Difference Between a Low Carb Diet and a Ketogenic Diet? Types of Ketosis: The Difference Between Nutritional, Therapeutic & MCT Ketogenic Diets Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe? Long Term Effects Thyroid and Ketosis - What You May Want To Know What is a Typical Diet/Macro Breakdown for a Ketogenic Diet? Do I Need to Eat Carbs? What do I Eat On a Ketogenic Diet? What Do I Avoid Eating on a Ketogenic Diet? Protein Consumption a Continue reading >>

More Than You Ever Wanted To Know About Protein & Gluconeogenesis

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 >>

All You Need To Know About Protein On A Low-carb Ketogenic Diet

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 >>

Kicked Out Of Ketosis? The Dirty Little Secret About Ketone Testing Strips

Kicked Out Of Ketosis? The Dirty Little Secret About Ketone Testing Strips

[Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. I might receive a small commission if you purchase something by using one of those links.] Confused about how ketone testing strips actually work? Do you think you've been kicked out of ketosis because they suddenly turned tan? Many low-carb dieters have misconceptions about Ketostix and blood ketone levels, so in this post, we are going to clear out some of those myths and misunderstandings. You'll get the truth about testing strips and learn what really causes those high blood ketone levels. If you hang out at low-carb forums for any length of time, you're bound to hear again and again how someone recently got kicked out of the state of ketosis, and they are looking for a fast way to get back in. Out of all of the issues that you can have with a low-carb lifestyle, understanding ketone testing strips is one of the biggies. “I got kicked out of ketosis,” is one of the most common complaints I hear. And while that may or may not be true, depending on the situation, there are a lot of misconceptions about the role that ketones and ketone testing strips play in a low-carb diet. Even those who are using a blood meter often go by the rumors circulating around the web instead of listening to Dr. Phinney himself. For example: One of the misconceptions I've run into over the years is the idea that ketones are used to fuel the entire body. This is only true at the very beginning of your low-carb diet. When the body first runs out of glucose, the body runs on protein and ketones, but as carbohydrate restriction continues past those first few days, your body goes through a series of steps, or adaptions, that eventually result in muscle insulin resistance. This resistance to the presence of insulin allows the ketones buildin Continue reading >>

Whey Protein On Keto: Does Whey Protein Kick You Out Of Ketosis?

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 >>

Will A Cheat Meal Knock Me Out Of Ketosis?

Will A Cheat Meal Knock Me Out Of Ketosis?

“Is a cheat day okay? The answer to your question is, if you are keto adapted. As I said before, that means that your cells essentially are running on ketones for fuel, as opposed to running on glucose, which is what the vast, vast, vast majority of Americans are running on, and therefore there’s all this disease here. The genesis of these metabolic diseases has to do with consumption of simple carbohydrates. So if you are keto adapted, and you’ve done your requisite carbohydrate depletion for 8-12 weeks, I always call this the clamp. If you were to go and eat a very, very heavy, carbohydrate-laden meal, because of the fact that you have this “clamp” if you will, if you were to go and test your blood sugars, they’re not going to shoot up to the point where you believe they may have shot up. If an individual that were not keto adapted were to eat, for example, a Snickers bar, their blood sugars may shoot up to 200 transiently. This is what we see: the blood sugars go up transiently in a keto-adapted individual and then they’re clamped right down within an hour or two to that normal level. The answer to your question is no – if you are a keto adapted individual and you are running your cells on fat, is a cheat meal going to knock you out of ketosis? No, it’s not going to knock you out of ketosis. Now, if you are an individual that is on the threshold of being in ketosis and you’re knocking your carbohydrates down – let’s say you started at 75, now you’re at 50 – and you go and eat a carbohydrate-laden meal? Yes, you’re going to have a problem. That is definitely going to delay your transition into ketosis, because what you’re doing is, you’re telling your body, “Hey! Up-regulate the enzymes that allow me to metabolize the carbohydrates Continue reading >>

How Much Protein On Keto

How Much Protein On Keto

When on the ketogenic diet, you have to pay some attention to how many calories in what proportions you’re consuming. In addition to carbs and fat, you need to know how much protein on keto is safe. Before I give you the magic answer, let’s look at some of the differences and potential dangers when consuming protein on a low carb diet. The first of many to pioneer the keto movement was the Atkins diet in the early 2000s. It’s not really a ketogenic diet, but more like a kind of low-carb diet. Basically, you restrict your carbohydrates to almost zero and eat more fat and protein. Sounds ketotic, and it will definitely establish nutritional ketosis at least every once in a while. However, the Atkins diet promotes eating protein until satiated, which is quite an ambiguous recommendation. There are potentially no limits to the foods you’re allowed to eat, such as fish, meat, eggs, sausages, nuts, oils, cheese etc. – all the keto goodies. What’s wrong with that, you may ask? The thing is that protein is the only macronutrient that cannot be stored within the body. Carbs get stored as liver and muscle glycogen (100-500 grams) Fat and extra carbs get stored as triglycerides in the adipose tissue (infinite) Protein needs to be converted into glucose through gluconeogenesis first before it can be stored within the body. So, it doesn’t matter how little carbohydrates you consume, if you still eat too much protein. If there’s excess glucose running through the bloodstream, you won’t shift into ketosis. Herein lies the difference between a low carb diet and a ketogenic one – one maintains a sugar burning metabolism, whereas the other switches over to ketones. But how much is too much? In order to establish nutritional ketosis, you need to keep stable blood sugar Continue reading >>

Dietary Protein, Ketosis, And Appetite Control.

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 >>

5 Most Common Low-carb Mistakes (and How To Avoid Them)

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 >>

Why Do My Blood Sugars Rise After A High Protein Meal?

Why Do My Blood Sugars Rise After A High Protein Meal?

Complex issues often require more detail than you can pack into a Facebook post. One such area of confusion and controversy is gluconeogenesis and the impact of protein on blood sugar and ketosis. Some common questions that I see floating around the interwebs include: If you are managing diabetes, should you avoid protein because it can convert to glucose and “kick you out of ketosis”? If you’ve dropped the carbs and protein to manage your blood sugars, should you eat “fat to satiety” or continue to add more fats until you achieve “optimal ketosis” (i.e. blood ketone levels between 1.5 and 3.0mmol/L)? Then, if adding fat doesn’t get you into the “optimal ketosis zone”, do you need exogenous ketones to get your ketones up so you can start to lose weight? This article explores: the reason that some people may see an increase in their blood sugars and a decrease in their ketones after a high protein meal, what it means for their health, and what they can do to optimise the metabolic health. You’re probably aware that protein can be converted to glucose via a process in the body called gluconeogenesis. Gluconeogenesis is the process of converting another substrate (e.g. protein or fat[1]) to glucose. Gluco = glucose Neo = new Genesis = creation Gluconeogenesis = new glucose creation As shown in the table below, all but two of the amino acids (i.e. the building blocks of protein) can be converted to glucose. Five others can be converted to either glucose or ketones depending on the body’s requirements at the time. Once your body has used up the protein, it needs to build and repair muscle and make neurotransmitters, etc. any “excess protein” can be used to refill the small protein stores in the blood stream and replenish glycogen stores in the liv Continue reading >>

The Ketogenic Diet Part Two: Troubleshooting

The Ketogenic Diet Part Two: Troubleshooting

Since writing about the ketogenic diet, I received a slew of inquiries on the “how-to’s,” and the process of keto-adaptation. I have also received emails from some who are having a hard time breaking into ketosis. There are numerous factors involved in the adaptation process and properly following the diet for success; however, I believe more research is needed to learn why some people become efficient fat burning machines and others struggle to keto-adapt and lose fat. I have learned a lot working with so many weight loss resistant individuals, and will attempt to bring more clarity to some of these difficult questions. Since each of our bodies is different, the diet needs to be fine-tuned to gain the greatest benefits, but there are conditions like perimenopause, hypothyroidism, and neurotoxicity that I have found will keep someone from adapting to an efficient fat burner. The complex topic remains an ongoing subject of interest for me and many of my clients, and following are some common questions I’ve been asked, as well as strategies I developed to help those who struggle to break through into fat burning machines. Some people confuse being in nutritional ketosis (NK) with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which is very different. DKA is a serious condition affecting people with diabetes (mostly type 1), and occurs due to a massive shortage of insulin in the body that forces the body to burn fatty acids for energy and gives off a massive amount of the byproduct from the fat burning (ketones > than 10). The lack of insulin also leads to an increased release of glucose by the liver and dangerously high blood sugar levels, and can result in death. Conversely, NK is safe, produces normal levels of blood ketones from fat burning (.5 to 5), and can provide outstanding Continue reading >>

Common Ketosis Killers

Common Ketosis Killers

“I’ve tried your low-carb diet, Dr. Nally, and it didn’t work.” “Hmm . . . really?” If your mumbling this to yourself, or you’ve said it to me in my office, then lets have a little talk. I’ve heard this statement before. It’s not a new statement, but it’s a statement that tells me we need to address a number of items. If you’ve failed a low carbohydrate diet, I’d suspect you are pretty severely insulin resistant or hyperinsulinemic. You probably never really reached true ketosis. I’d want to have you checked out by your doctor to rule out underlying disease like hypothyroidism, diabetes, other hormone imbalance, etc. Next, switching to a low-carbohydrate lifestyle is literally a “lifestyle change.” It requires that you understand a few basic ketosis principles. And, it takes the average person 3-6 months to really wrap their head around what this lifestyle means . . . and, some people, up to a year before they are really comfortable with how to eat and function in any situation. I assume, if you are reading this article, that you’ve already read about ketosis and understand the science behind it. If not, please start your reading with my article The Principle Based Ketogenic Lifestyle – Part I and Ketogenic Principles – Part II. If this is the case, then please proceed forward, “full steam ahead!” There are usually a few areas that are inadvertently inhibiting your body transformation, so let’s get a little personal. First, this is a low carbohydrate diet. For weight loss, I usually ask people to lower their carbohydrate intake to less than 2o grams per day. How do you do that? (A copy of my diet is accessible through my membership site HERE.) You’ve got to begin by restricting all carbohydrates to less than 20 grams per day. Continue reading >>

The Beginners Guide To Ketosis: Investigating Low-carb, High-fat Eating

The Beginners Guide To Ketosis: Investigating Low-carb, High-fat Eating

The only hard and fast rule of health is that health is personal and what works well for one person may not work for someone else. Aside from that rule, there are “frameworks” that seem to benefit large groups of people. One more level down from that are alternative strategies that benefit smaller groups. Ketosis is likely one of those alternative strategies that works well for certain, smaller groups of people. So, right off the bat I want you to understand that Ketosis might not be for everyone. I’m going to lay out the case for potential benefits of Ketosis. If it sounds interesting and beneficial to you, then consider trying it. (see our free cheat sheet to help you). What is Ketosis Ketosis occurs when liver glycogen gets depleted and the body burns fatty acids for fuel. The primary driver of this state is a very low carbohydrate intake. Often, it also requires a low protein, higher fat intake. You can also achieve a state of ketosis by not eating altogether. The creation of ketones is a byproduct of this metabolic state. Ketones are a source of fuel, just as glucose is a source of fuel. Ketones tend to have some added benefits, though. What role does Ketosis play in human health? Ketosis allows our bodies to function in the absence of carbohydrates, both physically and mentally. Instead of burning carbohydrates, or converting protein to glucose, the body burns ketones. This is pretty much a survival mechanism. It allows your body to function in a state of caloric deprivation. This is why ketosis often gets bad press (as it’s linked to “starvation”). Being a survival mechanism doesn’t make it invalid as a strategy, though. There can still be potential benefits to be had. Let’s cover a few of them… Ketosis and Accelerated Fat Loss Being in ketosis Continue reading >>

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