How To Keep Protein Low On Keto

Catching Hidden Carbs: Using Thin Slim Foods Zero Carb Bread As An Example

The key to successful Keto – How to keep the carbs low.

When looking for keto-friendly foods to add to your diet, youll find some products labeled as having zero net carbs or zero carbs. However, this doesnt mean that there are absolutely no carbs in the product. What this really indicates is that it has less than one gram of net carbs per serving.

Although this is a small difference that wont have a significant impact on your weight loss, these hidden net carbs can add up and reduce ketone production if you are eating multiple servings.

To help illustrate my point, lets take a look at a popular zero-carb bread product made by ThinSlim Foods:

This product is marketed as having zero net carbs, and by using the net carb equation we learned earlier , their claims seem to hold up.

However, if we take a closer look at the label we find five ingredients that have trace amounts of net carbs in them. Also worth noting is that the serving size is relatively small, being one slice of a one-ounce piece of bread.

Altogether, this means that one slice of this bread is going to have between 0 and 1 grams of net carbs in it. If you are being cautious with your net carb intake, you may want to count each slice as having one gram of net carbs to play it safe.

Focus On Hard To Digest Carbs

When looking to incorporate carbs back into your diet after severe restriction, Kirkpatrick recommends focusing on eating carbs that are high in protein and fiber. Bean based pasta, crackers with seeds or sprouted breads are all great options when looking to bring carbs back into your diet, she says. Even starting to add in cashews or more avocados are great additions. Theres a reason carbs stand for CarboHYDRATES. Youre naturally going to gain a few pounds when you reintroduce them back into your diet because they contain water. The key is to pick healthy, whole carbs that wont cause gigantic spikes in your blood sugar. The worst thing you can do is go hog wild and start eating donuts and cookies. Instead, focus on the quality of the carbs and pick kinds that take more time to digest.Transitioning off the keto diet should take a few weeks. About 14 days is pretty reasonable for your body to adjust to the change. Some people find it helpful to increase their carb intake each day by about 10 percent, while others use an app to help keep track. Kirkpatrick suggests that the easiest way is to look at serving size and aim for two extra servings of carbs per day.

Make Your Keto Macros Flexible

You should make your macros flexible and adjust them according to what you want to accomplish in a particular day or a week.

You dont need to be in ketosis all the time to gain the health benefits or to even maintain keto-adaptation.

Like I said, eating 30 grams more carbohydrates or even having that enormous steak dinner with too much protein will elevate your blood sugar and insulin but its not going to make you sick. Youre going to get kicked out of ketosis for the time being but you wont lose your keto-adaptation. After youve metabolized that extra glucose, youll re-establish your fat burning state.

The key is to eat the ketogenic diet most of the time and then use it as a tool in whatever situation you may come across.

If you want to know how to start a well-formulated ketogenic diet and go through the initial keto-adaptation period, then check out my Ultimate Keto Meal Plan. It covers the first 21 days of eating with the right ketogenic macros and has 40+ recipes.

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How To Know If You Are Eating Too Much Protein On Keto: Finding Your Ketosis Protein Limit

To find out your personal keto protein limit, follow these steps:

  • Buy a blood ketone meter with test strips.
  • Eat less than 35 grams of carbs a day for a week, following the protein intake recommendations that you get from the previous section or our keto calculator. Then, test your ketones first thing in the morning before eating anything.
  • If your ketone levels are at 1.5 mmol/L or above , increase your protein intake gradually over the next week. Measure your blood ketone levels every morning and see what happens.
  • How many grams of protein can you eat per day before your ketone levels drop below 1.5 mmol/L? Eat a little less protein than that.

    On the other hand, if your blood ketone levels are below 1.5 mmol/L, make sure you are eating fewer than 35 grams of carbs. Once your carbs are under control, start reducing your protein intake little by little until your ketone levels are in the optimal range.

    Keep measuring your ketones for a few days, and if youre always in optimal ketosis, you have found your ketosis protein limit. Measure your ketones just once a week after that to make sure you are still on the right track.

    As you can see, this process is pretty intricate and requires a great deal of awareness and experimentation. If you find this to be too much of an inconvenience, there is another method you can use to determine when your diet is too high in protein for maintaining ketosis.

    What About Resistance Training And The Keto Diet

    Fit On Keto: How To Keep Lifting With A Low

    A more recent paper looked at the efficacy of ketogenic diet on body composition during resistance training in trained men.

    Researchers found that over an eight-week period, participants were able to lose body fat with no loss of muscle mass. This was achieved while consuming a Keto diet at a calorie surplus and ingesting 2 g protein per kg of body weight .

    Based on this and previous studies, anywhere between 1.6-3 g/kg would likely be sufficient for the most active individuals amongst you.

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    How To Set Your Keto Macros

    Therefore, you want to first get into ketosis as soon as possible and then become keto-adapted for the long term.

    Keto-adaptation is the process by which your body becomes more efficient at burning fat and ketones for fuel. You need to get into ketosis to become keto-adapted but you dont need to stay in therapeutic ketosis all the time to maintain keto-adaptation. Its the 3 stages of the ketogenic diet.

    What To Know About The Keto Diet

    If youve heard about the keto diet, you may have wondered what it is and if it works.

    The keto or ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate diet that is used to treat children with epilepsy and some disorders involving brain energy. In recent years, the diet has become popular as a weight-loss method.

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    Talk To Your Orlando Health Physician Associates Primary Care Doctor To Schedule An Appointment With Our Registered Dietitians

    From routine well-care visits to the unavoidable sick visits, youll enjoy easy access and personalized care. We take the time to listen, answer questions and clearly explain conditions and treatment options. Moreover, our physicians practice collaborative medicine, working with you to help keep your family happy and healthy.

    Resistance Training Increases Your Protein Requirements

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    People who engage in weight lifting, other forms of resistance training, and endurance-type exercise likely need more protein than people of the same height and weight who are sedentary.20

    If you perform strength training, aim for a protein intake at or near the top of your range, especially if your goal is gaining muscle. A total protein intake of up to about 1.6 g/kg/day may help increase muscle mass.21

    However, keep in mind that even with rigorous training, there is a limit to how quickly you can increase muscle mass, regardless of how much protein you consume.

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    What You Need To Know About Keto

    Though it may seem new to your newsfeed, the ketogenic diet has been around since the 1920s. The low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet gained a foothold when proven to reduce seizures in pediatric patients with epilepsy. While still prescribed for that purpose today, the diet is now touted as a weight loss tool.

    So Heres What You Should Do With Your Ketogenic Macros

    • Eat the standard ketogenic diet macros during your first 2 weeks. They are 5-10% carbs, 15-25% protein, and the remainder of them from fat. You need to be quite strict with it at first.
    • After the initial adaptation period, look at how you feel. If youre not feeling hypoglycemic or tired during 24 hour fasts, then thats a sign of keto-adaptation.
    • Adjust your macros according to your goals. Your actual macronutrient ratios on keto should be based on your unique conditions and preferences.
    • Carbs are still low at 20-30 grams NET. This is the key thing thats going to keep you in ketosis.
    • Protein is also quite limited. Your body needs only a certain amount of protein a day. Eating more wont necessarily convert it into sugar but its still calories that can be burnt off as energy or stored as fat. So, keep your protein moderate around 0.6 grams of body weight at the least and at 1.0 grams the most. At the same time, hitting your protein intake for the day is critical for weight loss and muscle tissue so you dont want to reduce your caloric intake at the expense of protein that much.
    • Instead, you should use fat as leverage for your goals. lower your daily fat consumption if you want to lose body fat, then you should because excess fat can still make you fat.

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    Can I Eat Too Much Protein On A Keto Diet

    A widespread fear surrounding Keto is that consuming too much protein may lead to the upregulation of a process called gluconeogenesis and throw you out of Ketosis, undoing all your hard work.

    The truth is, GNC is essential for our overall health, and actually allows us to remain in Ketosis.

    GNG may sound complicated, but its simply the metabolic process whereby your liver and kidneys make glucose from non-carb sources such as amino acids . Its completely natural and happens in Ketosis regardless of your protein intake. In fact, studies suggest that extra protein availability does not lead to an increase in GNG production .

    Although we restrict dietary carbohydrate and glucose intake on a Keto diet, the truth is that the body still requires small amounts of glucose to support important bodily processes, including:

    • Fueling tissues that cant run on ketones
    • Preventing hypoglycemia
    • Converting lactate to replenish glycogen stores in active individuals

    GNG allows the above to continue on while the rest of your body is fueled up on clean-burning Ketones.

    Bottom line: Your body needs some glucose to survive, but it doesnt need to come from a high carbohydrate diet. Instead, maintaining adequate protein intake on Keto will give your body just enough glucose to fuel your body while still benefiting from running off ketones for everything else.

    Zero Carb Seafood List

    How to Stay Low

    Seafood is also a great source of protein for keto dieters. It will also help us meet our omega-3 fatty acid needs for the day so that we can experience their benefits to the fullest. This is why many dieticians and doctors recommend eating two or more servings of fatty fish, like sardines and salmon, every week.

    Here is a list of fish that are zero carb when bought fresh and without added ingredients:

    • Cod
    • Catfish
    • Bass

    You can also buy canned, smoked, and other processed varieties of these fish. As with processed meats, make sure there are no added ingredients that contain carbs.

    The healthiest option is to buy wild caught salmon and sardines, canned or fresh without any other ingredients. These two fish tend to have the lowest mercury content along with a substantial amount of omega 3s per serving.

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    Being Afraid Of Eating Fat

    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.

    Almost Zero Carb Eggs And Dairy

    Youll find a high-fat dairy product and eggs in most keto recipes. Heres a quick breakdown of the almost zero carb varieties of these keto foods:

    • Eggs
    • Heavy Cream
    • Half-and-Half

    Where possible, try to opt for heavy cream to keep the carb content down and the fat content up. For replacing other dairy, like milk, try to go after nut or coconut based alternatives. These are becoming more common and usually contain only 1g carbs per cup.

    • Eggs. Eggs will be the most versatile keto food in your low-carb arsenal. You can have them fried, scrambled, poached, in omelets, in quiche, boiled, deviled, in keto baked goods, and in egg salad. Each type of egg will vary in its net carb content from .2 to 1 g. Be sure to check each carton. If it says it has 0 grams of carbs per egg, then count that as 0.5 grams of net carbs to play it safe.
    • Heavy Cream. Most heavy whipping cream brands have a bit less than 1 gram of carbs per tablespoon, even if the packaging declares it has zero carbs. Make sure you check labels carefully each brand of cream is very different. If the label claims it has zero carbs, then count that as 0.5 grams of net carbs to play it safe.
    • Half-and-Half. Because it is typically made from equal parts whole milk and cream, half-and-half will always have more net carbs per tablespoon than heavy cream. Each half-and-half product will vary, but in general, they will contain 1-2 grams of net carbs per tablespoon.

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    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 It’s 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.

    Clean Keto Calls For Eating Organic Versions Of Foods

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    How It Works Swinging in the opposite direction of the dirty keto approach is, naturally, clean keto. But its not a full 180, because you can still focus on convenience, says Raymore, Missouri-based Randy Evans, RD, consultant for Fresh n Lean, a meal delivery service specializing in keto foods. You also will still stick to the same macronutrient distribution as standard keto. The difference is that clean keto is based on sourcing the healthiest versions of foods. That means youll look for terms like organic, grass-fed, pasture raised, and cold-pressed. Youll also lean heavily towards whole plant foods, Evans says.

    Who It’s Best For This approach is for those who focus on food quality just as much as they do on macro tracking. Also, clean keto may involve more financial investment, since grass-fed meats and cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil tend to be pricier than lower-quality options, especially those packaged for convenience.

    Risks to Note Focusing on the healthiest possible foods and bringing in a fridge-load worth of plants in the process doesnt include many cautionary notes, according to Evans. That said, because plant foods still contain carbs, youll need to keep your macros in mind. If you can, this can be a relatively healthier way to do the fad diet.

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    The Keto Carnivore Diet Doesnt Seem To Halt Ketosis

    You would expect that all that protein would be converted to glucose and stop ketosis in its tracks but paradoxically it doesnt seem to.

    It appears that if you are keto-adapted, your insulin levels are consistently low and therefore the high levels of protein do NOT spike your insulin or blood sugars.

    Most people that try the Carnivore Diet are already on a keto diet so are typically fat-adapted and hence why they typically remain in ketosis while eating a Carnivore Diet.

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