How Many Grams Of Protein Should I Eat On Keto

How Much Protein On Keto Should You Be Eating

How Much Protein Should You Eat On Keto? A Nutritionist Weighs In

Research continues to suggest that protein is one of the most beneficial macros to eat when looking to lose weight .

Higher intakes of protein are linked to better appetite control decreased cravings, and improved body composition . Protein also protects lean mass in a calorie deficit, keeping your metabolism running strong and assisting in better physical results overall.

But unlike many other low carb diets, keto doesnt typically suggest high protein intake. In fact, the exact amount you need seems to be up for constant debate.

When keto was first used in the early 1920s as a way to treat seizures in children with epilepsy, the macro ratio skewed very high on the fat and provided little protein.

As this popular eating style has evolved as a potential tool used for fat burning, this macronutrient balance has also shifted – today a common keto diet for fat loss provides roughly 60 to 80% of calories from fat, 5 to 10% of calories from carbs, and as much higher protein.

In fact, based on this generally accepted macronutrient range your keto protein intake would equal 20 to 30% of your total energy. With the understanding that protein supplies four calories for every gram, you can easily calculate this amount for yourself.

  • For example, if you need 2,000 calories per day, your protein intake would be 100 to 150 grams of .

To support your lean mass and other essential needs, it is recommended to get roughly one gram of protein per pound of lean mass.

Will I Lose Weight Eating No Carbs

Low carbohydrate diets can be very effective for weight loss, according to research. Reducing carbs tends to reduce your appetite and cause automatic weight loss, or weight loss without the need to count calories. For some people, a low carb diet allows them to eat until fullness, feel satisfied, and still lose weight.

What Foods Should I Be Eating

You might be worried that reaching 70% or even 75% of fats in your macro intake is short of impossible. Indeed, if you want to enter ketosis, you’ll have to change your diet drastically!

The best meals for a keto weight loss consist of foods rich in “good fats”:

  • Fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, or trout
  • Dairy products – eggs, butter, yogurt, cream, and virtually any kind of cheese
  • Nuts and seeds of all sorts – walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, poppy seeds or chia seeds
  • Oils such as olive oil, avocado oil or coconut oil
  • Avocados
  • Dark chocolate
  • Meat, especially red meat, sausages, and ham
  • Green and white vegetables – cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, green peppers, salads
  • Fat bombs.

Fat bombs are no-bake snacks with an extremely high fat percentage. You can make them out of chocolate, cream cheese, nut butter, cocoa powder, or coconut oil. Adding nuts and seeds will make them even more delicious!

If you’re craving a keto-friendly snack, you can also try nuts, handfuls of berries , or cheese bites. You should avoid typical fast food snacks such as chips or burgers, though – not only do they contain a lot of carbs, but they’re a source of unhealthy trans fats.

Eating all that fat will increase your water intake. It’s a natural process, so make sure you’re drinking a lot of water!

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Keto Protein Sources To Avoid

There are a few foods to avoid / moderate when youre selecting protein sources on keto, including:

  • Processed deli meats that are high in sugar. When in doubt, opt for fresh meat, poultry, and seafood and always check the food label to be sure there arent tons of added sugars that can take you out of ketosis.
  • Breaded meats that are coated in a high-carb batter. You will usually find breaded meats and seafood in the frozen food aisle at the supermarket, so be careful to avoid these as they can pack quite a bit of hidden carbs into your keto diet.
  • Glazed meats and poultry that contain sugary coatings. Conventional glazes and sauces are almost always loaded with sugar, cornstarch, and other carb-laden additives.

Factors Affecting The Balance Between Protein Synthesis And Breakdown

How Much Protein Should I Eat On Keto To Build Muscle

As shown in the diagram above, some of the amino acids we eat and some that come from protein breakdown are taken up by the liver, kidneys, and muscle where they are metabolized for energy and for purposes other than protein synthesis. In the process, they release the nitrogen molecules that characterize amino acids, and these are mostly excreted as waste nitrogen in the urine. In addition, some protein and protein breakdown products are lost each day from the skin and in feces, but this typically represents about 10% of daily protein losses.

In our dreams, most of us would like to be able to rapidly gain lots of muscle and lose lots of body fat. But in reality, if each morning we wake up with about the same amount of muscle as we had yesterday, we have been able keep protein synthesis and breakdown about in balance, and thatâs a good result. When it comes to changes in our protein metabolism, good things happen slowly.

The most rapid changes in protein balance occur with infection, injury, stress, and starvation/fasting. Severe infection and trauma can result in 2â3 pounds of lean tissue loss per day, while up to a pound per day can be lost in the first week of the bodyâs adaptation to fasting.

Factors known to stimulate or facilitate lean tissue gain:

  • Exercise
  • Adequate intra-cellular minerals
  • Creatine supplements
  • Illegal use of anabolic steroids and growth hormone

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What Food Has The Most Protein

Here is a list of 20 delicious foods that are high in protein. Eggs. Whole eggs are among the healthiest and most nutritious foods available. Almonds. Almonds are a popular type of tree nut. Chicken breast. Chicken breast is one of the most popular protein-rich foods. Oats. Cottage cheese. Greek yogurt. Milk. Broccoli.

Why Do You Need My Gender/age/height/weight

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 in a few studies. In this formula, the gender, height, weight, and age are needed to calculate the number of calories to consume.

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How Could Eating Too Much Protein Prevent Ketosis

According to Sports Nutritionist Rudy Mawer, CISSN, Protein should be moderate, as a very high intake can spike insulin levels and lower ketones.

Theoretically, when you eat excess protein, it can trigger gluconeogenesis: the process which turns proteins into glycogen .

And the idea is that your body will use this glucose for fuel instead of using ketones, so you wont get the fat-burning benefits of ketosis.

To Begin With What Is Protein

How much protein should you eat on keto

Protein is composed of several tiny units known as amino acids. While the human body can make nearly all the twenty necessary amino acids, there are nine that it cannot produce. These are referred to as essential amino acids, and they need to be consumed through food every day.

Since animal foods contain all the essential amino acids in approximately equal amounts, they are referred to as complete proteins. On the other hand, most plants do not have one or more of these essential amino acids and are therefore called incomplete proteins.

Keto-friendly sources of animal protein are meat, cheese, eggs, and seafood, and keto-friendly plant protein sources are tofu, nuts, seeds, soy-based products, etc.

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Want To Geek Out And Get More Accurate Results

To dig deeper and find your personal protein sweet spot on Keto, you can test your limits using a ketone meter.

To do this, start by reducing your carb count to below 20 g/d for 7-10 days, aiming to enter fairly deep ketosis. Then measure your ketone levels:

  • If you’re already in ketosis , gradually up your protein intake until it knocks you out of ketosis. That number is your upper limit for Keto, so look to eat slightly less than that moving forward.
  • If you’re not in a Ketogenic state after the 7-10 days then gradually reduce your protein intake to find your sweet spot.

Why Eating Too Much Protein On Keto Is A Myth

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.

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How Can I Get My Body Into Ketosis In 24 Hours

To reach a state of ketosis, you need to deplete your glucose. Most people reach ketosis gradually by eating a standard ketogenic diet: high fat, moderate protein, and very low carbohydrate. Carbs must be limited to keep your glucose stores low and prevent your body from preferentially using glucose for energy.

Being Afraid Of Eating Fat

How Much Protein Should I Eat A Day Keto

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.


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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How Much Weight Can You Lose On The Keto Diet

Theres no doubt that a ketogenic diet may help spur weight loss and anecdotal reports of drastic transformations are easy to find. I have clients who have lost a significant amount of weight on a keto diet, but they were obese when starting and had quite a bit of fat to lose. These individuals have fairly drastic body transformations, says Keatley.

In Journal of Clinical Endocrinology, 20 people with obesity who followed a very low calorie keto diet for four months lost an average of 44 pounds , mainly from body and visceral fat. In Nutrition Metabolism, normal-weight adults who followed a non-energy restricted keto diet for six weeks lost about 4 lb in both fat and lean body mass.

But long-term studies show that theres not much of a difference in weight loss between keto and other diets. One meta-analysis published in October 2013 in the BMJ compared adults on a ketogenic diet with those on a conventional low-fat diet. After at least a year, those on the keto diet lost an additional two pounds compared with the group who slashed fat. The bottom line is that diets, including keto, may help you lose the same amount of weight in the long run. With that news, know that there may be a better option out there for you, says Keatley.

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How Much Protein Should I Eat On A Ketogenic Diet

As we touched on earlier, the side effects of consuming too little protein can be serious, so its important to ensure you’re getting enough.

The macros of a typical Keto diet can be broken down as follows:

  • Protein: 20-25%
  • Fat: 65-80%
  • Carbs: 3-10%

To get your personalized numbers, we recommend calculating your protein as a first priority. From there, keep carbs at a minimum and fill the rest with healthy fat sources.

If you don’t feel like doing a bunch of math, theres good news:

In the Carb Manager app, we have a handy calculator that determines your personal macro breakdown and how many grams of each to consume per day for your goals.

Just plug in your metrics and activity levels, and we do the rest!

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How Keto Vs Ideal Protein Diets Work

First, the basics. Keto is short for ketogenic, which stems from ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state that your body enters into when it is burning fatty acids, which release ketones. The idea behind a keto diet is that your body does not have any carbohydrates available to use for energy, which causes it to burn the fat stored in your body. When carbohydrates are available to burn, your body uses them before resorting to fat to burn. Burning carbohydrates is called glycolysis while burning fat is called ketosis.

The Ideal Protein Diet was developed 25 years ago in France by Dr. Tran Tien, a doctor who spent his career studying the treatment of obesity and obesity-related issues. It is a medically designed protocol that spares muscle mass while still promoting fat loss. He noticed that the cause of most weight issues in a modern society is insulin dysfunction.

A diet grossly disproportionate in its share of saturated fats and sugars, such as in breads, cereals, muffins, cakes, pastries, pasta, pizza, rice, corn very much like the North American diet causes the pancreas to produce an overabundance of insulin, which stays in the system and puts the blood sugar level in a negative balance.

How Much Protein Should You Eat On Keto

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

How Much Protein Should You Eat on Keto?

Posted 2 years ago

Tony ONeill, PT, DPT, MSc, RDN

Scientific Reviewer

How much protein you should eat on Keto for optimum results is widely contested…

Some believe that too much protein may be detrimental and could throw you out of Ketosis.

Others argue that too little can hamper recovery, decrease lean muscle mass, and make it harder to lose weight.

In this article, well take a deep dive into all things protein and Keto to help clear up any confusion.

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What Are Good Sources Of Protein On The Keto Diet

Try to stick with real foods where possible. While protein powders can be useful if youre vegetarian or vegan,we suggest going for whole foods. Enjoy meat, organ meat, fish, and seafood these are great sources of protein.

As with any food, quality matters in addition to quantity! So, buy grass-fed meat if you have access to it and can afford it. They contain more nutrients, so you can get your protein needs as well as your vitamin and mineral requirements.

The Importance Of Fat On The Keto Diet

Dietary fat is the cornerstone of the ketogenic diet. The goal of the keto diet is to restrict your carb intake while loading up on healthy fats, thereby allowing your body to enter a fat-burning state called ketosis.

Heres how the keto diet works: When given the choice, your body will always choose to burn glucose for energy. However, when you follow a low-carb diet like keto, you deplete your body of stored glucose .

Once your glycogen stores are used up, your body starts burning body fat instead. Your fat stores are transformed into ketone bodies in the liver, thereby raising your blood ketone levels and putting you in a ketogenic state.

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Protein Requirements For Weight Gain Or Muscle Gain On A Ketogenic Diet

If your goal is to gain a lean body mass, protein is the most critical macronutrient.

Muscles are made from protein. Without adequate protein, there are no raw materials available to build new muscle. Additionally, research has found that a low-carb diet can help preserve muscle mass.

To optimize muscle gain, aim to eat 1.2 – 1.7 g/kg of protein per day.

With the help of a good meal plan, you can spread your protein out evenly throughout the day to give your muscles a steady dose of amino acids.

After your workouts, be sure to get some protein in you to give your body the fuel it needs to recover and build new muscle.

A Final Word On How To Pick The Right Type Of Keto Diet For You

How Much Protein Should I Eat On Keto To Build Muscle

Its a good idea to meet with your doctor or a registered dietitian any time you switch up your diet whether youre on keto or another eating plan. And above all, Torchia says to listen to your body and assess your energy level and how youre feeling on the diet. You will be your best teacher, she says.

Additional reporting by Elizabeth Millard.

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