How Much Protein Should I Eat On Keto Heres What The Keto Experts Said:
Because theres a lot of varying views on protein intake on Keto diets, weve included some quotes from Keto experts below.
In general, the consensus seems to be that we need protein, but the exact amount we need really depends
Ever heard of a protein sparing modified fast? Listen to our podcast here for yet another aspect of this whole protein on keto thing.
How Much Protein Can I Eat On A Keto Diet
Wondering how much protein you can 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, whats the optimal amount of protein to achieve the results you want from Keto?
Thats what Ill cover in this article.
Youre Not Drinking Enough Water
Due to the restriction of carbs, you lose a lot of water in the body. So, make sure that you drink more water to prevent dehydration.
A common side effect of the ketogenic diet is constipation, but it is preventable. Dr. Sudano says that for every gram of carbohydrates you consume, your body holds four grams of water. Overall, this effect can be a good thing because your body is going to shed excess water weight. The problem occurs when you lose water that your body needs for vital functions like digestion.
Make sure to up your water intake if youre feeling stopped up. Start by drinking 64 ounces of water a day, and then increase it if youre still not regular after a few days.
Keep your water bottle on you at all times, as its easy to get sidetracked and forget to drink. Dont let your thirst be the only indicator to have some water. If youre thirsty, it means that youre already getting dehydrated, and we want to avoid going down this path.
If your urine is on the yellow side, then drink up! It means that you are not drinking enough water. You want it to be light or pale yellow.
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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.
Why We Dont Use Macros Or Percentages To Guide Your Protein Intake
It should be clear from the above explanation that an individualâs protein intake during a well-formulated ketogenic diet is pretty much independent of daily energy intake. For example, an otherwise healthy person beginning a ketogenic diet eaten to satiety usually starts out under-eating calories relative to daily energy needs, and thus loses weight. For example, letâs say that a 5â6â woman with a reference weight of 60 kg starts out at 82 kg and eats 1300 kcal per day . Her recommended daily protein intake would be 1.5 X 60 = 90 g/day, totaling 360 kcal. Expressed as a âmacroâ of whatâs on her plate, thatâs 24% protein. But 6 months later when she weighs 63 kg and is eating 2000 kcal per day at weight maintenance, that same protein dose represents a protein âmacroâ of 16%. The point is that in this situation where her weight is changing, her daily protein intake should be constant whereas her âmacrosâ change as she transitions from weight loss to weight maintenance. This changing proportion of dietary protein to dietary energy as one proceeds through weight loss to weight maintenance is shown in diagram below.
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What If Youre Still Hungry On Keto How To Keep Cravings Under Control
Hunger is a complex phenomenon that can be influenced by a wide variety of lifestyle factors. In fact, several of the common culprits behind weight gain on keto can drive hunger as well.
Here are some of the most effective solutions for hunger on keto:
This list represents the keto lifestyle factors that will have the biggest impact on your hunger and cravings. By addressing them throughout your diet plan, you will significantly increase your chances of long-term, sustainable weight loss results.
A Certain Medication Or Health Condition Might Be The Underlying Cause
If youre having a hard time losing weight even after doing everything right, its a good idea to rule out any medical issues that may be preventing weight loss success.
Hypothyroidism, polycystic ovarian syndrome , Cushings syndrome, and depression, for example, are some conditions associated with weight gain and difficulty losing weight. Your doctor can rule out these conditions with a series of tests.
Certain medications can cause weight gain or make it difficult to lose weight as well. If you recently started a new medication, make sure to check for side effects that may impact your weight .
That said, regardless of what condition you have or medication you take, it is still possible to improve your health and body composition. By consulting with your health care practitioner and fine-tuning your approach, youll be able to figure out what works best for you.
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What Level Of Igf
If you are above 175 ng/mL range for IGF-1, you could afford to eat less protein in your diet. Optimally, experts consider an IGF-1 level of around 140 ng/mL to be more protective for your health.
You dont have to take the internets word for it either. Instead, you can get a quick, relatively inexpensive blood test to determine your IGF-1 levels.
Pro-Tip: You can even get a kit mailed to your home. Check out the HealthLabs.coms IGF-1 Test here
Can You Gain Weight On Keto
In a literal sense, we can use the keto cake metaphor mentioned above to understand weight gain on keto as well: Even a zero-carb cake can stimulate fat storage if it overloads your body with calories.
Although it can be harder to gain weight when we restrict carbs, it is still possible. This is because our bodies are designed to store any excess calories we eat, so we have sufficient energy to fuel us through a future famine.
This applies to most of the excess fat we eat from keto-friendly foods as well. Rather than letting it go to waste, our body will store it as fat.
In fact, the most common culprit of unexpected weight gain on keto is adding excessive amounts of butter, coconut oil, and other pure fats/oils to meals. Though these are staples in the keto kitchen, they are also surprisingly easy to overconsume.
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Obsessing Over The Scales
Yes, scales do give us a picture of how much have we lost.
But scales actually show what we did a week ago.
So if you are trying hard to lose and scales making you demotivated, just remember it shows what you did a week before.
Your dedication this week will get displayed the following week.
Where do you wanna see yourself the next week? It actually depends on what you are doing right now.
So do not panic about the numbers. And scales do not show the amount of muscle gain or how healthy your body is. So dont freak.
Monitor Overall Body Composition Instead Of Obsessing Over Ketone Production
Ketone levels have become the most prioritized metric when assessing a successful ketogenic diet.
A large percentage of the keto community believe that as long as your urine strips show a high indicator of ketones, that you are successfully burning body fat and losing weight.
But this is not the most accurate measurement to monitor on the low-carb, high-fat lifestyle.
Focusing on long-term, lean tissue growth will provide you with a much more accurate evaluation of your ketogenic diet.
This is because your body produces large amounts of excess ketones when you first start the ketogenic diet. And since your body isnt used to prioritizing fats for fuel yet, these ketones are excreted through your breath and urine.
But the longer you stick to keto, the more efficient your mitochondria become with ketone utilization.
In fact, most long-term ketogenic dieters who are fat-adaptedhave lower ketone levels because their body has become more efficient in using ketones for energy, rather than excreting it through urine and breath.
Eating large amounts of fats will also produce high ketones.
Many people will experience weight loss plateaus on keto because they are eating well above their calorie needs without realizing it. When this happens, your body will utilize the dietary fats that are being consumed first to produce ketones instead of burning off stored body fat. This means even if you restrict carbs, youll still gain weight.
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High In Whey And Casein Proteins
On top of being a good source of healthy fat, calcium, and vitamin D, most forms of dairy are great ways to get a lot of important proteins, namely whey and casein.
Whey you may know as its one of the most popular ingredients in a lot of common protein powders, and casein has started to become more widely used because of its slow-digestion properties .
Research has shown that whey proteins main benefit is contributing to building healthy muscle mass better than any other proteins, while casein proteins primary benefit is making digestion rates more efficient.
Example Of Three Levels Of Protein Intake Per Day Using The Same Foods
1. About 70g of Protein
- 30 g of cheese
- 85g of salmon
- 2 cups of mixed salad
- 1 half avocado
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 100 g of chicken
2. About 100g of protein
- 30 g of cheese
- 130 g of salmon
- 2 cups of mixed salad
- 1 half avocado
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 140 g of chicken
3. About 130g of protein
- 60 g of cheese
- 150 g of salmon
- 2 cups of mixed salad
- 1 half avocado
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 180 g of chicken
- 2 tablespoons of butter
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Aim For A Minimum Of 20g Of Protein At Every Meal
Studies have shown that the body requires around 20 to 30 grams of protein at every meal to make sure amino acids are absorbed into the muscles. So, you should spread the protein you take over two or three meals instead of taking most of it in a single meal if you intend to build your muscle mass.
But can you consume too much protein in a single meal?
This is a controversial topic, with only a few studies to answer this important question. Two 2019 studies suggested that taking 20 or 30 g of protein per meal promotes muscle growth.
But incorporating more protein in a meal did not immediately improve muscle growth. Hence, some people believed this means that anything more than 30 g in one meal was wasted. However, this is not actually what the studies suggested.
Since muscle synthesis is not the only possible benefit of consuming protein, these studies dont indicate that the additional protein is wasted.
Furthermore, questions arise how does eating once or twice per day impact the way the body uses protein? Do low-carbohydrate diets help change this?
Presently, we have no answers to these questions, so its recommended that you take no more than 30 g of protein per meal.
How Much Protein Should You Eat On A Keto Diet
A. Not too much, between 20 and 25% of your macros should be protein . Too much protein is bad for ketosis and will put your keto diet out.
The most common description of the ketogenic diet is that its a very low-carb, high fat diet. But the amount of protein you consume is every bit as important as carbohydrates and fat.
Protein is an essential part of nutrition for maintaining lean mass and healthy cells, but the right amount is significant on a ketogenic diet.
When beginning and maintaining an LCHF keto diet, you should calculate and track your protein consumption.
Treat protein just like other macros , if you want to get into ketosis and stay there.
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But Im Not A Bodybuilder Should I Still Have A High Protein Diet
Not a bodybuilder? Wrong! As brilliantly explained by Dr. Ted Naiman in this video, everyone is a bodybuilder. You might not have realized it yet, but every choice you make, for everything you put into your mouth to how you move has a directly relation to the composition of your body.
You can build yourself into a flabby mass of fat and lose skin and weak bones, or you can build your body into an amazing muscular, strong and powerful machine. You are the builder. Your body is just a reflection of how much thought and care you put into it. And the best thing about this actionable philosophy is: Everyone can do it. Everyone is doing it, without even knowing it. And it does not matter your age, so its never too late to start !
Mistake #: Not Enough Salt
After decades of the media propagating low sodium diets, do you find yourself actively avoiding salt? If so, you may be susceptible to the common pitfall of not consuming enough of this critical mineral, putting you at risk for some pesky side effects.
Current US dietary guidelines recommend 2300 mg of sodium per day. However, recent research published in mainstream journals like the New England Journal of Medicine highlights that consuming 2300 mg or less of sodium daily actually increases mortality in the general healthy adult population in fact, for optimal health, most of us need anywhere between 4000-5000 mg of sodium per day — and thatâs for people consuming standard diets containing appreciable amounts of carbohydrate .
Fortunately, you can keep these symptoms at bay and improve your overall well-being and function by simply salting your food moderately and consuming 2 servings of broth or bouillon daily. For most people, this results in about 3 grams of sodium from regular food plus 2 grams from broth, totaling 5 grams per day. Keep in mind that salt and sodium are not the same â1 teaspoon of salt is the equivalent of 5 grams of salt but contains only 2.3 grams of sodium .
Note: please consult a medical professional if you have high blood pressure or fluid retention due to congestive heart failure or kidney problems to determine the right dietary sodium intake for you.
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Different Experts Views On Protein Intake 23
If youre feeling overwhelmed or confused about how much protein you need on a keto or low-carb diet, youre not alone.
Protein intake can be a controversial topic in the low-carb world, and its very common to find conflicting information about this online and in books, especially with the growing popularity of this lifestyle.
This is why we included our simple recommendations earlier in this guide, as a good guideline for most people. However, if youre interested in the different views among experts working in the field of low carb, read on for a summary.
One of the reasons is the lack of universal agreement among keto and low-carb experts about whats optimal when it comes to protein intake:
Adding to the confusion, other doctors and scientists believe protein restriction is a key to longevity, and therefore we should aim for less protein than even the RDA suggests. The general concern is that protein promotes growth, and as we age we need to prevent abnormal growth, such as cancer cells or amyloid plaques in the brain.
While there is preliminary evidence in worms, rodents and other animals that protein restriction can promote longevity, data in humans and specifically humans eating a low-carb diet is lacking.24
Therefore, we feel it is too premature to draw any conclusions about the potential risks of consuming too much protein on a low-carb diet, especially given the risks of eating too little protein.
How To Get Your Protein Intake On Track
If youre unsure whether your keto diet is actually too high in protein, youll first need to get a clearer picture of your intake. To do so, Long recommends tracking your food in an app for at least a few days. If youre eating more than about 20 percent of your daily calories from protein, youll need to adjust your meals and snacks to tone it down.
Another surefire way to test whether your keto diet is actually achieving its purpose: Test your ketone levels. Using at-home strips, you can tune into the amount of ketones present in your urine, and make sure levels are in the true ketosis range. Many test stripslike Finaflexs Ketone Test Stripsstart off beige in color, and take on a pink or purple hue, depending on the amount of ketones detected. If you dont fall into the optimal range, take a look at your protein intake and adjust as needed.
Pin this handy infographic for quick reference:
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