Protein Requirements For Weight Loss On A Ketogenic Diet
While on keto, upping your protein intake can help with weight loss as protein is the most satiating macronutrient.
A 2005 study put subjects on a weight maintenance diet that was either low in protein or high in protein . Those on the high protein diet spontaneously ate around 441 calories less with no real effort to reduce calories.
Researchers believe that the calorie reduction may be related to the impact that a high protein diet has on leptin a hormone that inhibits hunger.
Although it is understood that protein helps with weight loss, the exact amount needed to optimize weight loss is still up for debate and depends on a variety of factors.
Active people may benefit from eating between 1.8 – 2.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight when trying to lose weight.
For people who are sedentary and overweight, 1.2 – 1.5 g/kg may be more appropriate to promote weight loss while keeping calories under control.
If a person weighs 250 lbs, this translates to 135-170 grams of protein per day. If your goal with keto is weight loss, a focus on protein intake will make achieving that goal much more accessible.
If your main goal is weight loss, you still need to watch your calorie intake, even if the calories are coming from protein. Excess calories will lead to weight gain, no matter what the source.
Which Foods To Focus On And Which To Avoid
As you can see, its best to avoid anything in the grain family when youre trying to avoid excess carbs. With carb counts hitting up to 30 grams per serving, grains are likely to be too carb-heavy to fit into your diet, even in modest amounts.
Some people can get away with adding a small amount of the lower-carb varieties here and there , but if youre aiming to keep your carbs between 30 and 50 grams, youre better off avoiding grains altogether.
The same goes for starchy vegetables like potatoes and squash. One-half cup of most starchy vegetables will provide at least 10 grams of net carbs, which is simply too many when youre trying to keep carbs low. Instead, focus on the non-starchy varieties like green leafy vegetables and other cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Most meat is almost 100% carb-free. However, some processed meats contain sugars and other additives that bring the carb counts up significantly. For instance, some beef jerky brands will come with 5 grams of carbs per serving, and a serving is only one ounce.
Creating a meal plan that centers are unprocessed, high-quality meats is an excellent way to ensure that your plate is high-protein while remaining low-carb. Pair your meat with some low-carb veggies and you have a well-rounded keto meal.
Dairy can be hit or miss, so always check the label on your dairy products. In general, milk and yogurt are higher in natural sugars, while cheese and butter are much more keto-friendly.
How Much Protein Per Day Does Our Body Need
On a ketogenic diet, you need 1.2 to 1.75 grams of protein per kg on a daily basis.
This range will keep your protein consumption moderate, and it takes into account situations where youll need more protein such as illness and stress. In these situations, your protein needs increase to allow for tissue repair.
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How Do I Use Your Calculator To Get My Macros
While inputting your information, you may find that some of the sections and terms are confusing. If this is the case for you, simply click the lower case i logo located near the title of each section of our keto calculator. After you click the lower case i logo, you will be directed to a brief explanation that should answer your questions.
If you are still unsure of how to use the keto calculator or if you think you arent getting the right keto macro numbers, read through the other Q& As and comments below, you will probably find the answer there.
If you still dont find the answer, please submit a comment with the question and we will address it as soon as possible.
Can You Take Whey Protein On The Keto Diet
The answer is yes. Lets first explore the critical aspects of the Keto diet. The ketogenic diet is a high fat, moderate protein, low carbohydrate diet. As you drastically reduce your carbohydrate intake and replace it with fat, the goal is to enter a state of ketosis.
Typically, the bodys primary source of energy is from carbohydrates, which convert to glucose and fuel the body and brain. In a ketogenic state, the body uses fat for energy in which the liver produces ketones as an alternate energy source. By switching the bodys fuel supply to almost entirely fat, many keto dieters will see a dramatic increase in their ability to burn fat .
To achieve the recommended protein intake on the keto diet, many people turn to protein powder supplements. Whey Protein Isolate is considered low carb, keto-friendly protein powder, and an excellent supplementation choice for your daily protein intake.
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Nutritional Ketosis And Protein Balance
We have known for many decades that lean body mass and physical well-being can be maintained with a ketogenic diet containing a moderate amount of protein. The 1928 Stefansson Bellevue Experiment demonstrated that 2 adult men could eat about 15% of their dietary energy as protein and maintain their weight and function for a year . In the modern era, we have done multiple shorter studies with more rigorous body composition analysis yielding similar results . However when making the transition from a high carbohydrate diet to a high fat ketogenic diet, there is a 1â2 week modest lag in protein synthesis as the body switches its primary fuel sources .
While a precise analysis of dose-response to varying protein intakes during nutritional ketosis has not been done in humans, we have performed a number of studies indicating that most healthy humans maintain lean body mass and function during a ketogenic diet providing between 1.5 and 1.75 grams of protein per kg of âreference body weightâ* . Furthermore, there are no convincing human studies showing any benefit from dietary protein above 2.0 g/kg reference weight for adults following a ketogenic diet and any potential benefit from a higher protein intake must be weighed against the reduction in blood ketone levels caused by excess dietary protein .
In our experience, people on a ketogenic diet who think they are eating protein in moderation are often well above 2 g/kg due to fear of eating fat to satiety.
How Much Protein Do You Need To Lose Fat
The only way to lose weight is to create a caloric deficit, meaning you eat fewer calories than you consume, Sauza says. Eating protein as part of a well-rounded diet can help satiate you so you eat fewer calories overall, but simply increasing your protein intake without creating a caloric deficit will not make you lose weight.
If you are trying to lose weight and are concerned about maintaining muscle mass, make sure protein comprises 10% to 20% of total daily calories, Sauza says. But, this varies depending on age, weight, and current strength training regimen.
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What Science Says About Gluconeogenesis
Studies show that digesting protein stimulates the production of glucagon, a hormone that helps break down glycogen in the liver into glucose.
However, your body also sends out insulin to handle all the glucose. So it actually releases glucose from the blood and for the average person it makes little difference.
And there is also some evidence that gluconeogenesis releases glucose so slowly that it would be difficult to achieve high blood sugar levels after only one high-protein meal.
So protein should not affect your blood sugar levels unless you are a diabetic or have insulin resistance or insulin sensitivity.
To test the theory that half of the dietary protein turns into glucose, scientists in one study gave participants 160g of protein and expected 80g of glucose to be produced in return.
They measured blood sugar levels after the participants had eaten lean beef, eggs and even casein protein, but the effect on blood sugar levels was still the same: zero.
In this study, the researchers wanted to know how protein intake contributes to the bodys own glucose production.
So they let the participants fast overnight, and the next day the volunteers ate a protein-rich meal without carbohydrates. The scientists added a tracking substance to the protein source, in this case eggs, so that they could observe it during the digestive process.
In addition, the scientists discovered the following within eight hours of protein intake:
So, what does all this teach us?
Do You Eat Enough Protein In Your Ketogenic Diet
So as you now know, you might experience some gluconeogenesis if you are just starting a keto diet.
But it will happen on a much smaller scale once you are fat adjusted.
It is much more likely that you will not eat enough protein when on a keto diet. And this common mistake could sabotage your energy and weight loss goals.
The thing is, you may not even notice that youre not eating enough protein. Thats because when you switch to Keto, you eat more satisfying fat and your hunger will automatically decrease a little with Keto.
Thats why its important to calculate your ideal protein intake and make sure you get enough every day to support your goals and activity level.
A Strict Keto Diet Is Used For Epilepsy Treatment
How It Works When people say theyre on the strict version of keto, theyre likely referring to the one thats been shown to help treat epilepsy. Sometimes called the therapeutic keto diet, this is the original version of keto, which was created in the 1920s to help treat seizures, according to a study published in Current Treatment Options in Neurology. Strict ketosis was traditionally for those using ketosis as part of treatment for who were nonresponsive to medication, Kizer says.
The original study found that sticking to the keto diet for one year led to improvements for 44 percent of study participants, with another 12 percent becoming seizure-free, per a study published in June 2016 in Practical Neurology.
This version of the diet allows for the lowest amount of carbs . According to the Practical Neurology study, 90 percent of daily calories come from fat, 6 percent from protein, and just 4 percent from carbs.
Who Its Best For People who are trying the keto diet to treat epilepsy
Risks to Note The most common side effects among children who followed the diet were constipation, weight loss, and growth problems or anorexia, found the Practical Neurology study. The growth problems among children may be the result of limited protein intake, Spritzler says.
Unsurprisingly, this strict version of keto also seems to be the toughest one to stick to: Research shows that the modified versions of the diet have lower drop-out rates.
How Much Protein Should I Eat Every Day
Obtaining the correct amount of protein should not be hard or complicated. Most times, all you have to do to reach your daily target range is consume a satisfying amount and be mindful of when you start to feel full.
Below are the amounts of food you have to consume to gain 20 to 25 grams of protein:
- 100 g of fish, meat, and poultry birds
- 4 big eggs
- 240 g of plain Greek yogurt
- 210 g of of cottage cheese
- 100 g of hard cheese
- 100 g of peanuts, almonds, or pumpkin seeds
- Other veggies, nuts, and seeds contain a little amount of protein, about 2 to 6 grams per serving.
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Is 100 Grams Of Protein Enough To Build Muscle
As stated above, people in general areadvised to consume a minimum of 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight or 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, but people who prioritize building muscle should aim for more than that minimum. Although theres not one magic number and recommendations vary by person, theAmerican College of Sports Medicine recommends 1.2 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight for athletes. Following that general guideline, consuming closer to 1.6 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight may be beneficial for bodybuilders and those looking to build muscle or maintain lean body mass. In the average 150-pound adult whos actively strength training or resistance training, that might look like 75-120 grams of protein daily 100 grams being most peoples sweet spot. It has been proposed that muscle protein synthesis is maximized in young adults at a dose of around 2025 grams of a high-quality protein.
You may have concerns that eating too much protein is bad for the kidneys, but 100 grams of protein per day is generally safe for healthy adults. High amounts of protein can be harmful to the kidneys if a person already has kidney issues however, for healthy individuals, consuming around 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram is fine, as noted in a 2010 study published in the peer-reviewed journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
Protein For Vegetarians And Vegans
If youre vegetarian and you dont eat animal foods, its a little more challenging to get all the protein and essential amino acids your body needs. Most plant-based proteins are incomplete protein sources, meaning they dont contain all 9 essential amino acids .
Some people might also need to consume more protein, such as pregnant women, older adults, and people with diminished muscle mass and weakness. If your job is physically demanding or if you swim, run, walk, or exercise a lot, you should also eat more protein.
For older adults, getting enough protein might help prevent osteoporosis and sarcopenia.
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How Do I Reach The Protein Intake Level That Was Recommended
The easiest way to meet your protein needs is by making sure you are consuming a good protein source at each meal. Here is a list of some of the most common protein sources you can add to your keto meals:
- Wild Caught Fatty Fish
- Higher Protein Cheeses
- Low Carb Protein Powders
Most keto dieters will be able to meet their protein needs with 2-3 keto meals that contain one or more of these protein sources. If keto recipes arent enough to help you meet your protein needs, all you need to do is add one of the high protein foods from the list above.
Here are a couple of examples:
To add as much protein as possible with minimal calories and fat:
- Add an unflavored protein powder to your keto sauce or dressing.
- Add white meat chicken, turkey, or other lean meats or fish to your meal.
- Have egg whites with your meal.
- Make a quick protein shake with a low carb protein powder.
To add extra protein and fat to your meal:
- Add higher fat meats like bacon, sausage, and fattier cuts of meat to your meals.
- Have whole eggs with your meal.
- Add extra high protein cheese to your meal.
- Have some high protein nuts and nut butters .
For more high protein and/or high fat keto meal ideas, check out our keto recipes. Dishes that feature seafood or meat will typically have the highest protein content.
Choosing Keto Friendly Protein Sources
While there are many plant-based keto friendly protein sources, were going to focus on animal products in the guide. Know that foods like nuts and seeds do contain protein, but also tend to have higher carbs than animal sources of protein.
Not all protein is created equal for keto. By that, we mean some cuts of meat will tend to be more keto friendly than others . Below well outline the best cuts of meat to include on a keto diet. Whenever possible, we recommend choosing meat from local, and sustainable sources. All Ketolibriyum poultry and beef is sourced from local farms that do not use antibiotics or hormones in producing their meat. We also try to source local pork as much as possible.
A note on eggs: Eggs are an amazing source of keto friendly protein! Eating four eggs per day would get you between 20-25 grams of protein.
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Health Benefits Of The Keto Diet
If there are so many side effects, does it make any sense to start a keto diet? The answer is simple: yes! The ketogenic diet has multiple health benefits that are not necessarily associated with weight loss.
First of all, eating a lot of fats means that it’s easier for you to feel full. You don’t need to starve yourself to lose weight!
Another benefit of the keto diet is that you’ll probably watch closer your fat intake. As a consequence, you’re likely to improve your cholesterol levels, as you’ll be picking unsaturated fats over trans or saturated fats.
What is more, this diet is recommended if you have type 2 diabetes, as it lowers blood sugar and insulin levels. In this case, though, make sure to consult your dietitian before you start a keto diet!