How Much Protein Do You Eat On Keto

Best Protein Powders For The Keto Zone

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Can you use protein powders to supplement your protein needs on the Keto Zone Diet? Absolutely! Theyre great in keto milkshakes, smoothies, and more. But just like with whole food protein sources, quality matters.

The number one protein supplement we recommend is Keto Zone Hydrolyzed Chicken Collagen. Not only is it a high-quality source of keto protein for nail, skin, nails, and joints, collagen helps keep skin toned and reduce sag as you lose weight. Its great before bed to help with sleep and repair through the night or in keto coffee in the morning.

If youre doing vegetarian or vegan keto, Fermented Green Supremefood is one of the best options.

Otherwise, choose a protein powder that:

  • Has around 15-25 grams per serving depending on your body weight
  • Is as low in carbs as possible
  • Doesnt have added artificial sweeteners, preservatives, processed milk powders, or soy
  • And if the protein powder if whey, make sure its from grass-fed cows and low-temperature processed

Overall, making sure you get enough protein on keto shouldnt be hard once youre used to the diet. The most important factors are keeping your carbs at 20 grams and making sure you eat enough healthy fats with each meal. And when you do have protein, choose the highest quality option you can!

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How To Check Youre Eating A Good Amount Of Protein

As many of the experts above stated, protein is essential for our bodies to function correctly. So, dont under-eat protein in your quest to achieve high ketone levels!

If youre just looking to maintain your muscle mass, then a rough guide for protein is to consume 0.8 g of protein per lb of lean body mass.

Therefore, it may be best to spread out your protein intake evenly among two or three feedings rather than consuming most of it at one meal at least if you want to increase your muscle mass.

Therefore, it may be best to spread out your protein intake evenly among two or three feedings rather than consuming most of it at one meal at least if you want to increase your muscle mass.

If youre looking to build more muscle, then youll need to consume a bit more protein .

According to Registered Dietitian Franziska Spritzler, RD and Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, M.D., Research has suggested that your body needs about 20-30 grams of protein at each meal to ensure that amino acids get incorporated into your muscles. Therefore, it may be best to spread out your protein intake evenly among two or three feedings rather than consuming most of it at one meal at least if you want to increase your muscle mass.

If youre not sure how to calculate lean body mass, scroll up to the explanation above or check out this article.

Then use a tracking app like My fitness pal to make sure youre not under-eating protein or overeating by too much!

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One of the biggest mistakes people run into when going keto is eating too little protein.

Most beginners will fall into the belief that high protein consumption may turn to glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis which supposedly hinders your bodys ability to burn ketones for fuel.

Because of this assumption, many keto dieters never get to experience the full benefits of a properly formulated ketogenic diet. So how much protein should you actually eat on a low-carb, high fat diet?

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How Much Protein Should You Eat On A Low

Protein is one of the most important macronutrients obtained from food, and it has many crucial roles in the human body and research continues to suggest that protein can be greatly beneficial when trying to lose weight. This also backs up the strategy taken by many modified high protein, low-carb keto diets and why they are more successful compared to a low-carb, high fat ketogenic diet.

When keto was first introduced in the early 1920s for treating epilepsy seizures in children, it was very high on fat content and incorporated little protein. However, when its potential as a fat-burning tool got popular, the macronutrient balance also shifted. Today, a true keto diet for fat loss provides close to 60 80% of calories from fat, 5 10% of calories from carbs, and much higher protein.

But like any other diet, keto diet also imposes many restrictions, and to get the desired result, one must adhere to the guidelines. One such concern is how much protein you require daily on a keto diet and what foods deliver the adequate portion.

In this article, we are going to discuss all you should know about protein on a low-carb keto diet.

What Does Protein Do In Your Body

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There are over 10,000 different proteins in your body from bones, muscles and connective tissues to hair, skin, nails and the lining of your gastrointestinal tract and blood vessels.

When your body digests protein, it is broken down into molecules called amino acids, some of which are essential amino acids that your body needs but cannot make itself.

  • Metabolism of food and transport of nutrients
  • Production of antibodies to strengthen the immune system
  • Oxygen transport in the blood via hemoglobin

Your body cant store protein in the same way that it stores carbohydrates and fat, so you need to make sure that you consume the right amount of protein every day .

But protein has a few more benefits and tasks:

  • Protein helps you feel full. Protein is very nutritious, filling and takes a while to be digested. This is especially useful if you are trying to lose weight without constantly being hungry.
  • Protein builds extra muscle that burns more calories even if you dont exercise. It will be easier for you to reach a calorie deficit and lose stubborn fat if you have more muscle mass.

You probably wont weigh less when you start building muscle and losing fat as your body composition changes for the better.

You will, however, look more defined the more you exercise if you eat enough protein.

  • Protein is essential for post-workout recovery because every time you exercise your muscles, muscle fibers break down and need protein to repair them and make your muscles bigger and stronger.

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Ideal Protein Intake In The Keto Zone

The best formula for figuring your ideal protein on keto is this:

1 gram of protein per 2.2 pounds of body weight.

For most people, thats around 20-39 grams of protein daily and no more than 60-140 grams per day. Once you figure out your ideal protein intake per day, you can divide it by three to calculate protein intake per meal.

For men, that comes out to about 3-6 ounces of protein 2-3 times daily and for women, 3-4 ounces of protein 2-3 times daily.

Dont worry too much about going over on protein unless youve been following the diet for a while and weight loss is stalled. The key is to simply eat enough for keep you satisfied, full, and energized.

Best Keto Protein Sources

The best keto protein sources are foods that generally fulfill three requirements:

  • Low/no carb content
  • A complete profile of amino acids
  • High digestibility and bioavailability
  • There are quite a few keto protein sources that meet these needs, whether youre someone who eats animal products or on a plant-based diet. The main thing to remember is that the rate of muscle protein synthesis after eating is proportional to the essential amino acid profile of protein ingested .

    Hence, it doesnt matter if you consume a single complete protein source or if you mix and match several incomplete protein sources in a meal to get all the essential amino acids necessary for optimizing protein synthesis.

    Meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, soy, and dairy are sources of complete protein. Most plant foods, such as lentils, legumes, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds, are incomplete protein sources.

    As such, some of the best keto protein sources for meat-eaters include:

    • Beef
    • Bison
    • Canned fish
    • Catfish
    • Chicken
    • Clams
  • Pork
  • Salmon
  • Venison steak
  • Walleye
  • The great thing about the keto diet is you no longer have to be scrupulous about which meats and seafood you eat or how lean they are . This means fatty steak cuts and even 80/20 or 75/25 ground beef are suitable for keto.

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    Tips For Eating Less Protein On A Keto Diet

    Since increasing carbs too much might kick you out of ketosis, your main option is to increase fat.

    Consider eating more low-carb nuts, like pecans or macadamia nuts. Coconut products can also be added to bump up your calories from fat, without adding too much protein.

    Alternatively, you can opt for a vegetarian-based keto diet, which will decrease your protein consumption but may increase your carbs.

    Unless you have a serious reason for limiting your protein intake while on keto, you would probably actually benefit from eating more protein, not less.

    Different Experts Views On Protein Consumption

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    If you are unsure or overwhelmed about the right amount of protein to take on a low-carb or keto diet, know that many people feel the same way too.

    Protein consumption is a controversial subject in the world of low-carb and keto diets. And it is not uncommon to see contrasting information about this in books or on the internet, especially with the increasing popularity of this lifestyle.

    This is the reason why we provided some simple tips earlier in this article as a guide. But if you want to know the different opinions of low-carb and keto experts regarding protein intake, continue reading for a summary.

    The point is nutrition experts dont agree on the amount of protein that is optimal when on low-carb or keto diets.

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    Plain Greek Yogurt And Cottage Cheese

    Plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are healthy, high protein foods.

    While they contain some carbs, they can still be included in a ketogenic lifestyle in moderation.

    A half cup of plain Greek yogurt provides 4 grams of carbs and 9 grams of protein. That amount of cottage cheese provides 5 grams of carbs and 11 grams of protein (

    48 ).

    As a pure fat source, olive oil contains no carbs. Its an ideal base for salad dressings and healthy mayonnaise.

    Because it isnt as stable as saturated fats at high temperatures, its best to use olive oil for low-heat cooking or add it to foods after theyve been cooked.


    Extra-virgin olive oil is high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants. Its ideal for salad dressings, mayonnaise, and adding to cooked foods.

    Should You Include Protein Supplements In Your Diet

    Most folks should need to include protein supplements as part of their keto diet you should easily be able to meet your daily protein needs by eating nutrient-dense whole foods, like those mentioned above.

    Some recipes, especially those for shakes and smoothies, list protein powder in their ingredients: if youd like to try those out just be careful to pick a protein powder that doesnt contain artificial sweeteners, preservatives, soy or processed milk powder.

    Im personally a fan of the Equip Beef Protein . The chocolate flavor has just stevia and unsweetened cacao powder.

    Bottom Line:

    Bottom Line: You really dont need protein supplements. But if you choose to use them, make sure they dont have artificial sweeteners, preservatives, or soy/processed milk powder like Equip Beef Protein.

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    However Not Everyone Agrees That Too Much Protein Can Prevent Ketosis

    It looks like a lot more research needs to be done before we know for sure

    • We havent found any solid evidence to support the idea that excess protein is turned into glucose. More experiments are needed to confirm that this still holds true in keto dieters.
    • The key = less than 20 grams of carbs per day. The lesson = high protein intake doesnt erode glucose control or kill ketones in the context of carbohydrate-restriction.

    Bottom Line:

    Bottom Line: There isnt conclusive evidence that protein can prevent ketosis. So, our recommendation for Keto is to decrease your net carb intake first and then if youre not getting the results youre expecting, then look into your protein intake.

    Is It Possible To Get Too Much Protein On Keto

    Protein on Keto: Should You Eat More?

    Some argue that because protein can be metabolized into glucose , eating too much protein can interfere with your bodys ability to enter ketosis. However, this theory is not well supported by research .

    In fact, analyzing multiple studies on the keto diet, you wont find an association between protein intake and the ability to produce ketones or increase fat oxidation .

    The many health benefits of eating protein for weight loss likely outweigh any impacts it may have on ketosis.

    Aim to get about 30 grams of protein per meal to grab the benefits of this fat loss macro without overdoing it.

    Your ability to get into ketosis and use more fatty acids for fuel is most strongly influenced by how many grams of carbs per day you consume, as well as how many grams of fat.

    In other words, as long as you keep your net carbs below the right amount and eat high amounts of healthy fats, you should be able to have success on a ketogenic meal plan.

    It is also important to consider that while ketosis may potentially provide unique benefits, many of which are still being discovered, it does not outweigh the need for calorie control to lose weight.

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    How Is Protein Metabolized

    When your body metabolizes fat, one of two things happens. Either the fat is broken down and used for short-term energy, or your body stores the fat to use as energy later. When youre in ketosis, your body doesnt rely on glucose for energy, so the fat youre eating is used as energy.

    On the other hand, protein is metabolized differently. Your body breaks protein down into amino acids. The 11 non-essential and 9 essential amino acids are used during many different bodily functions like cellular repair.

    If your body needs energy, its possible to use protein as energy. To do this, your body concerts protein into ATP, but this conversion process uses a lot of energy more energy than using fat for energy.

    How Much Protein Should You Get Per Meal

    For most people, aiming for the higher end of the recommended protein intake range means eating something between 100 140 g of protein every day. Thats quite a lot! That means you should be getting at least 20g of protein per meal provided you split your intake into about 5 meals every day. Main meals, breakfast, lunch, and dinner should probably be closer to 30g of protein considering snacks are typically smaller.

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    Summarizing Protein Intake On Keto: Things To Remember

    As mentioned earlier, health and nutrition arent black and white. Many factors play into how much protein you should eat on keto, such as body weight, sex, age, genetics, and lifestyle. At the end of the day, you will need to do some experimenting to find the optimal protein intake on keto for your body!

    Tips to Remember for Eating Protein on Keto:

    • Aim for approximately 1.1 to 1.3 g protein/lb body weight/day. Adjust if necessary.
    • Ideally, consume at least 20 grams or more of leucine-rich protein with each meal.
    • Consume 3-5 protein-rich meals per day, spaced roughly 3-5 hours apart.
    • Using a Keto Protein Powder like the TeamKeto Keto Meal Replacement can help you meet your protein needs while on-the-go or whenever life gets busy!

    If youre craving tasty low-carb meat/poultry entrees to help you eat more protein on keto, be sure to ! Its completely FREE and comes with a delicious keto meal plan to keep you on track.

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    How Much Protein To Eat On A Keto Diet

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    How much protein you need on a keto diet depends on your unique body and goals. Using the example of a 140-lb person, you would multiply that number by 0.6 to get your minimum protein amount .

    You can then do the same for your maximum protein intake by multiplying by 1 , which gives you an ideal intake range. In this case, would be between 84-140 grams of protein per day.

    You can also use an automated keto macro calculator. Its quick, easy, accurate, and takes your unique measurements into account.

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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.

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