How Much Protein Can You Have On Keto Diet

Why Eating Too Much Protein On Keto Is A Myth

How Much Protein Should You Eat on Keto? (Protein and the Ketogenic Diet)

Many keto dieters beginners and experts alike believe that eating too much protein can increase the amount of blood sugar present in the blood through a metabolic pathway called gluconeogenesis.

Gluconeogenesis is the creation of new glucose in the body from non-carbohydrate sources such as lactate, pyruvate, and protein.

Its name has the following three components:

Gluco: Meaning glucose.

  • Genesis: Meaning origin or creation.

GNG is literally the creation of glucose from anything but carbohydrates.

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Your body uses compounds like lactate, amino acids , and glycerol to create glucose when no carbohydrates are present.

By this very definition, its safe to assume that gluconeogenesis should be avoided at all costs. After all, when glucose is present, it means your body cant produce ketones and use it as the main fuel source.

But some glucose is required for us to live.

In fact, your cells use gluconeogenesis to ensure you dont die when there are no carbohydrates present in your system.

The three main responsibilities of GNG include:

  • Preventing hypoglycemia
  • Fueling the tissues that cant use ketones
  • Replenishing glycogen stores

Do not consume lower amounts of protein to avoid gluconeogenesis. Too little protein is worse for your health than too much.

The Lazy Keto Diet Could Be The Easiest Version

How It Works The purpose of the so-called lazy keto diet is to make keto easier to follow. Counting calories, fat, and protein intake for some people, thats all too complicated. All you track is carbs in lazy keto, Kizer says.

You should still see results that are similar to regular keto, so long as you keep your carb intake low enough and dont go overboard in the protein department, Kizer says. As long as carbs stay low enough, which will vary by person but is usually below 50 g a day, one will stay in ketosis, Kizer says. As a result, youll be able to see the effects associated with being in the metabolic state.

Who It’s Best For This is meant for those who are interested in ketosis but dont want to be bothered with tracking calories, protein, and fat.

Risks to Note The same people who experts say should stay away from keto in general should also avoid this approach, such as pregnant women, people with diabetes who are using insulin or taking hypoglycemic medication, and people with type 1 diabetes who are at risk for ketoacidosis, Kizer says.

Make A Protein Chart:

For convenience, make a chart which shows that how much protein you have consumed with each meal and as snacks, this will tell you the protein quantity you are consuming, if you are eating too high, then you have to bring it down but if it is low, then you will add more. The protein chart will keep you up to date and also organize your nutrient intake.

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Get The Rest Of Your Calories From Fat

Once you calculate your protein and carbohydrate intake, subtract that amount from your total daily calories.

Those remaining calories should come from healthy fats.

To find the number of calories per macronutrient:

  • Protein = 4 calories per gram
  • Carbohydrates = 4 calories per gram
  • Fats = 9 calories per gram

Heres an example:

Assume your goal is to eat 150 grams of protein per day and 30 grams of carbohydrates with a 2,100 daily calorie allowance.

  • 150g protein x 4 = 600 calories
  • 30g carbs x 4 = 120 calories
  • 2,100 = 1,280 calories
  • To find your fat intake = 1,280 / 9 = 142g of fat

The macronutrient breakdown for this example comes out to:

  • 150 grams of protein
  • 142 grams of fat
  • 30 grams carbohydrates

If you dont see the results you want with the keto diet, using this approach may help you overcome any obstacles youre experiencing.

Heres an example:

Lets assume your goal is to eat 150 grams of protein per day and 30 grams of carbohydrates with a 2,100 daily calorie allowance.

  • 150g protein x 4 = 600 calories
  • 30g carbohydrates x 4 = 120 calories
  • 2,100 = 1,280 calories
  • To find your fat intake = 1,280 / 9 = 142g of fat

The macronutrient breakdown for this example comes out to:

  • 150 grams protein
  • 30 grams carbohydrates

Being Afraid Of Eating Fat

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Most people get the majority of their calories from dietary carbs especially sugars and grains.

When you remove this energy source from your diet, you must replace it with something else.

However, some people believe that cutting out fats on a low-carb diet will make your diet even healthier. This is a big mistake.

If you dont eat carbs, you must add fat to compensate. Failing to do so could lead to hunger and inadequate nutrition.

Theres no scientific reason to fear fat as long as you avoid trans fats and choose healthy ones like monounsaturated and omega-3 fats instead.

A fat intake around 70% of total calories may be a good choice for some people on low-carb or ketogenic diets.

To get fat into this range, you must choose fatty cuts of meat and liberally add healthy fats to your meals.

SUMMARY

A very-low-carb diet must be high in fat. Otherwise, you wont get enough energy or nutrition to sustain yourself.

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Measure Results Not Ketones

If your goal is to maintain optimal energy levels and achieve a lean physique, you should not worry about continually tracking your ketone levels.

Instead, focus on long-term lean tissue growth.

Ketone production is not the only metric to track when gauging your success on the ketogenic diet.

Looking at the mirror, measuring your lean body mass, and assessing your energy levels are excellent ways to determine the effectiveness of your diet because producing ketones doesnt always mean youre burning them for energy.

When you first start the ketogenic diet, your body may be excreting excess ketones through your breath and urine. Often, these ketones arent being used for energy because your mitochondria havent adapted to processing ketones effectively.

The longer you follow the keto diet, the more efficient your body becomes at using ketones as its primary fuel source.

This is why many keto-adapted people will have slightly lower ketone levels . Their body isnt flushing out excess ketones its using them.

Building lean mass over time is a better indicator of keto success because it proves that youre burning off your bodys fat storages for energy.

The bottom line is that unless youre following the keto diet to help with severe health conditions like cancer or Alzheimers disease, maintaining high ketone levels should not be a priority for you. Instead, track your overall body composition, lean tissue growth, and energy levels.

Sugar Cravings On Keto

For your keto diet to be successful, you need to keep your carb intake to 50 grams or less per day. This will put you into ketosis which turns your fat-burning thermostat up to the max. As sugar is a carb, that means you need to limit your sugar intake too. While following the keto diet, sugar should be avoided.

Unfortunately, eating less sugar can produce some unpleasant cravings, especially if you are used to eating a lot of sugar. Craving sugar on keto is very common, especially during the first few days as your body makes the shift to full ketosis. In some instances, these cravings can be bad enough to make you quit your diet. Of course, if you do that, you will never get the results you want.

Some people have enough willpower to shrug off sugar cravings, but a lot of people end up dreaming about sugar and thinking about it all the time. This is hardly surprising when you consider just how many foods contain sugar. From breakfast cereal to soda to desserts, when you go keto and quit sugar, you are going to have to give up all these foods.

Like giving up an addictive substance, your body wants what it cannot have. This is human nature. Try this: Dont think about elephants. What are you thinking about? Its a safe bet that its big, gray, and has a trunk!

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What Will My Diet Look Like On Keto

Most of us eat a diet that is composed of around 50% carbohydrates, including vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, dairy, and refined sugars.

To follow the keto diet, youâll need to cut down your carbohydrate intake to less than 20g per day . This only allows room for eating green leafy vegetables, which are low in carbohydrates, and perhaps a few berries.

You might be picturing a daily diet of bacon and steak, but in reality, to stay âon ketoâ and in a state of ketosis you can only eat a limited amount of protein. This is because your body can convert protein to glucose, which your cells use as fuel.

A keto diet works out at around 5% carbohydrate, 35% protein, and 60% fat. If it all sounds a bit complicated, thatâs because it is.

Restricting your carbs to this extent isnât easy. Focusing on following the rules and staying âin ketoâ can make your diet and your day incredibly stressful.

âAll the food groups are major sources of carbs. So if youâre going to eat low-carb, what the heck are you going to eat?â Christopher says.

Older Adults Looking To Remain Active And Healthy

How Much Protein Is OK On A Keto Diet

As we enter our golden years, maintaining muscle mass becomes increasingly important. After all, we know that sarcopenia is associated with a significantly higher risk of falls and fractures .

The good news? Research suggests that higher protein intakes for the elderly can help maintain muscle mass and physical function .

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Foods Beginners Should Avoid On The Keto Diet

The cornerstone to master the ketogenic diet for beginners is to know which foods you should avoid.

Sugar

The white crystal is pure poison for your health and makes losing weight almost impossible.

Sugar can appear in countless forms, such as sweets, pastries, cakes, ice cream, chocolate, lemonade, juice, honey, agave, or maple syrup.

Contrary to popular belief, you should also avoid zero-calorie sweeteners and zero drinks, as they can negatively affect metabolism and fuel cravings .

Processed foods

After decades of optimizing food production, most processed products contain cheap synthetic ingredients instead of expensive natural ones.

If you turn over some brand-name products, youll be surprised whats inside. In particular, look for hidden sugars, starches, emulsifiers, stabilizers, sweeteners, and other chemical additives.

Also, labeling them as low-carb or keto foods rarely makes fake food aid weight loss, even if there are few net carbohydrates.

Sauces and Dressings

Ready-to-eat foods are a mecca for added sugars. I often cant believe how much sugar can be in hot mustard.

Moreover, balsamic vinegar is often 50% sugar. Likewise, ready-made dressings are pumped with sugar and sweeteners.

With barbecue sauces, the result can often be even worse. For this reason, it makes sense to make sauces yourself or to invest the amount in pasture-raised meat instead, which tastes better without any need for condiments.

Low-Fat Products

Protein Bars and Drinks

Grains

Legumes

Fruits

How To Know If You’re Eating Too Much Protein For Ketosis

While you can consume at least 1.2 grams of protein each day, its also important to note that each person tolerates protein differently. So, how can you tell that youve been eating too much protein on keto?

Check out for these signs and symptoms:

  • Foamy or bubbly urine Too much protein in your diet will spill off into your urine and make it foamy. Albumin in your urine reacts with air. This is what creates bubbles 7.
  • Diarrhea Another side effect of eating more protein than needed is diarrhea, according to Livestrong and a 2006 study. Diarrhea happens for a few reasons. One is that a person may consume more dairy to meet his or her protein target. The second reason is that eating more protein can sacrifice other nutrients that lead to deficiencies 8, 9.
  • Pay attention to your blood ketone levels. If it drops below 0.5 mM, slowly reduce your protein intake. Ketones are sensitive to your diet. If you get a reading of 0.0-0.2 mM, it means that you are out of nutritional ketosis 3.

Protein intake on a ketogenic diet ought to be moderate and not excessive.

Heres another useful piece of advice:

Even if you know how much protein you should eat on keto to maintain protein balance, test your personal protein limit. Doing that will help you understand your bodys reaction to protein better.

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Your Breath Smells Like Ammonia

While stanky breath that reminisces of nail polish remover is a normal side-effect on keto, breath that smells like ammonia is not.

Interestingly enough, ammonia is produced by the body when it digests and breaks down protein, Long explains. When you ingest large amounts of protein, ammonia production can make your breath smell.

So, if your breath smells like Windex, your protein intake may be high enough that its pulling you out of ketosis.

Eating Too Many Carbs

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While there is no strict definition of a low-carb diet, anything under 100150 grams per day is generally considered low-carb. This amount is definitely a lot less than the standard Western diet.

You may achieve great results within this carb range, as long as you eat unprocessed, real foods.

But if you want to get into ketosis which is essential for a ketogenic diet then this level of intake may be excessive.

Most people will need to go under 50 grams per day to reach ketosis.

Keep in mind that this doesnt leave you with many carb options except vegetables and small amounts of berries.

SUMMARY

If you want to get into ketosis and reap the full metabolic benefits of low-carb diets, going under 50 grams of carbs per day may be necessary.

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Tips For Further Personalization 22

  • Adjust the protein portions up or down as needed, but dont be concerned about hitting an exact target. Remember, your ideal protein range is pretty broad, and you should feel completely free to vary the amount you eat by 30 grams or even more from day to day. If you are lower in protein one day, try to add extra the following day.
  • If youre an intermittent faster, you may want to increase the protein portions at the two meals you eat somewhat. For instance, in the 70-gram example above, either eat larger portions of fish at lunch and chicken at dinner, or add hard-boiled eggs at lunch and have a piece of cheese after dinner.
  • If you eat one meal per day it may be a challenge to get adequate protein intake. Consider eating OMAD a few times per week, with higher protein intake on the other days. Or, if you prefer the consistency of OMAD every day, consider eating within a 2-hour time window. That allows you to eat your meal and still have time to snack on nuts, cheese, or meats to increase your protein.
  • Eat nuts and seeds at meals or as snacks. Keep in mind that they provide about 2-6 grams of protein per quarter cup or 30 grams . But beware, they contain some carbs and lots of fat calories, which can add up quickly. Therefore, being cautious with nut intake is a good idea for most people, especially if youre trying to lose weight.

How Much Protein Should I Eat Every Day

Getting the right amount of protein neednt be complicated or stressful. Most of the time, youll end up within your target range by simply eating an amount that is satisfying and paying attention to when you begin to feel full.

Here are the amounts of food you need to eat to get 20-25 grams of protein:

  • 100 grams of meat, poultry or fish
  • 4 large eggs
  • 240 grams of plain Greek yogurt
  • 210 grams of cottage cheese
  • 100 grams of hard cheese
  • 100 grams of almonds, peanuts, or pumpkin seeds

Other nuts, seeds, and vegetables provide a small amount of protein, roughly 2-6 grams per average serving. You can see a more detailed list in our guide on the top 10 high-protein foods.

The image above shows 20 grams of protein in four different ways. Almonds, salmon, eggs and chicken thighs.

Below youll find examples of three different levels of daily protein intake using the same foods:

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Dont Stress About Protein Just Focus On Carbs At First

I know one of the main problems with a ketogenic diet is trying to figure out if youre doing it correctly.

Are you getting enough fat? Are you eating too many carbs or too much protein?

Thats why were trying to make things simple.

To get started on Keto, dont stress out about your protein or fat intake initially. Just focus on getting your net carb intake under 25 g daily.

If you need to eat more protein at first because youre unsure how to add healthy fats into your diet , then thats ok.

Theres time to tweak your Keto diet after you start.

And if you dont want to think about all the macro calculations, then check out our Keto Meal Plans for effortless keto.

Keto Diet Recipes For Beginners

Gluconeogenesis (Can You Eat Too Much Protein On Keto?)

The first few days of the keto diet can be challenging for beginners. While its difficult to include enough fat in your diet, cravings can also be a nuisance at times.

For this reason, here are the best recipes to fight cravings with the help of healthy fats without compromising ketosis.

  • Warm coconut or almond milk in a small pot at medium heat.
  • Add the remaining ingredients in a large cup and mix.
  • Dribble a teaspoon of the warmed milk into the cup and mix until the liquid is smooth and lump-free.
  • Add the remaining milk and mix well. The remaining ginger pieces can stay in the cup or be strained.
  • Last but not least, you can season the golden milk to taste and add optional spices.

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