How much protein can you eat in ketosis?

protein

Having been a low-carb enthusiast and team Diet Doctor member for years, you would have thought I’d nailed ketosis ages ago. I haven’t.

In the last post, Why You’re Not in Ketosis, I revealed why, and how I fixed it (by reducing my carb and protein intake to 20 and 60 grams per day respectively).

But, I had a problem. Though it felt awesome to be back in ketosis, it sucked to eat so little protein – 60 grams a day isn’t much for a meat lover like me.

Could I eat more protein AND remain in optimal ketosis?

I was going to find out.

The protein experiment

I designed the following experiment:

First, I would increase my protein intake from 60 grams a day to the level where I would no longer be in optimal ketosis.

Then, I would reduce my protein intake until I was back in optimal ketosis, using what I ate on the last day to define my daily-protein limit.

Finally, I’d eat to this daily-protein limit every day for a week to test its accuracy, adjusting my protein intake if necessary.

To increase the trustworthiness of the experiment, I added five rules:

1. Keep eating 10-20 grams of carbs a day
2. Keep eating during a four-hour window (5-9pm)
3. Adjust my protein intake gradually
4. Make no other major changes to my life
5. Measure my blood-ketone levels every morning before eating

“Nice plan”, I thought.

But there was one thing I hadn’t taken into account…

Preparation

To start off the experiment, I measured my blood-ketone levels: 2.0 mmol/L.

Not exactly shocking news – I had been eating 45-60 grams of protein and 10-20 grams of carbs a day for weeks, being in optimal ketosis almost every morning.

But all that could end soon – it was protein time.

Day 1: Taco-cheese shells

On the first day of the experiment, I ate similarly to how I’d eaten lately – butter, eggs, ground beef, and some vegetables, but no berries or nuts. For the extra protein, I ate the totally delicious taco-cheese shells. Awesome.

The totals for the day were 85 grams of protein (40 grams more than the day before), 10 grams of carbs (10 grams less than the day before), and lots of fat.

Would I be out of optimal ketosis by tomorrow morning?

Day 2: Low-carb pizza

I woke up at 06:10 am. Feeling a little nervous, I walked quickly to the living room, sat down by the dinner table, and prepared my blood-ketone meter. “Not again”, I thought as the needle closed in on my finger.

After ten seconds, I saw this:

Oh yeah, optimal ketosis and 0.4 mmol/L more ketones than yesterday! Good news, but it was early days.

What caused the ketone increase? Perhaps it was eating 10 grams carbs less than the day before, perhaps it was random variance (the blood-ketone meter isn’t 100% accurate), or perhaps it was something else. I couldn’t be sure.

I upped my protein and carb intake a notch by eating a few more vegetables and raspberries, and by replacing those crispy taco-cheese shells with a few slices of the legendary low-carb pizza. So delicious!

The totals for the day were 100 grams of protein (+15 grams), 20 grams of carbs (+10 grams), and lots of fat.

Could my ketone levels survive this carb and protein onslaught?

Day 3: Liver, eggs, cheese, and more pizza!

I woke up early, walked quickly to the living room, sat down by the dinner table, and prepared my blood-ketone meter. “Ouch, not again”, I thought as the needle was about to attack my finger. I touched the ketone strip and waited.

After ten seconds, I saw this:

Oh yeah, optimal ketosis! 0.4 mmol/L less ketones than yesterday, but the same ketone levels as on day 1 having eaten 40 grams more protein. And I had doubled my carb intake from the day before.

What caused the ketone reduction? Perhaps it was eating more protein and/or carbs, perhaps it was random variance, or perhaps it was something else. I didn’t know.

I decided to go for it. How much protein could I possibly eat in a day while keeping carbs to maximum 20 grams?

I stuffed myself with liver, eggs, cheese, and more low-carb pizza. Eating so much felt great, but after a while I was totally stuffed. I went to bed feeling nauseous – too much food.

The totals for the day were 135 grams of protein (+35 grams), 20 grams of carbs (+0 grams), and lots of fat.

Day 4: Bye, bye ketosis, right?

I woke up super thirsty. After chucking down a big glass of water, I walked to the living room, sat down by the dinner table, and prepared my blood-ketone meter. “Here we go again…”, I thought as the needle charged down on my finger. I touched the ketone strip, and waited.

Surely it was time to kiss ketosis bye, bye:

2.3 mmol/L, really?

After eating as much protein as I could stomach, my ketones went up by 0.3 mmol/L from the day before. Not what I expected.

Day 4 to day 10: Eating as much protein as I want

Could my daily-protein limit be higher than the amount of protein I wanted to eat? Or perhaps my body was in need of extra protein after a weeks of eating too little?

To find out I decided to change the experiment.

Instead of forcing myself to eat more and more protein, I would eat all the protein I wanted to for a week, and see whether that would kick me out of optimal ketosis. If so, I would reduce my protein intake until I was back in.

So, every day for a week, I ate in the 80-130 grams of protein, and 10-20 grams of carbs, range – plus lots of fat of course. What happened to my blood-ketone levels?

They stayed around 2,0 mmol/L every morning – optimal ketosis.

These days: Few surprises

I’m still eating as much protein as I want, but I’m super strict with my carb intake – I keep it to maximum 20 grams a day almost every day.

To make sure I don’t drop out of ketosis without knowing, I measure my blood-ketone levels once a week. So far there’s been only one surprise – 0.5 mmol/L ketones the morning after I ate at a Lebanese restaurant near the Diet Doctor main office – probably some added sugar.

Dining out can be hard.

What I’ve learned from these experiments

A while back I found out I’d been lying to myself for years – I wasn’t really in ketosis. To understand why, I did an experiment and learned that I’d been eating too many carbs and possibly too much protein.

I immediately reduced my carb and protein intake to maximum 20 and 60 grams per day respectively, and boom – straight back into optimal ketosis.

But I didn’t love eating just 60 grams of protein. To find out how much more I could eat AND remain in optimal ketosis, I did the above protein experiment.

From this latest experiment, I’ve learned that I can likely eat 80-130 grams of protein a day for weeks, and possibly for way longer, without dropping out of optimal ketosis.

So, for me, the key to optimal ketosis is to restrict the intake of carbs to less than 20 grams of carbs a day.

Now, let’s talk about you.
 

How much protein can you eat in ketosis?

First note that far from everyone has to stay in optimal ketosis (1.5 – 3 mmol/L). Lots of people do fine on low carb without it. But staying close to that ketosis range may improve mental and physical performance, it often results in more weight loss and it can have certain other potential health benefits, like controlling epilepsy or migraine.

Here’s what Diet Doctor has to say about reaching optimal ketosis:

Restrict protein to moderate levels. If possible stay at or below 1 gram of protein per day, per kg of body weight (0.45 grams per pound). So about 70 grams of protein per day if you weigh 70 kilos (154 pounds).

It might be beneficial to lower protein intake even more, especially when overweight, and then aim for 1 gram of protein per kg of desired weight.

The most common mistake that stops people from reaching optimal ketosis is too much protein.

But as this post indicates, I can eat significantly more protein and remain in optimal ketosis. Can you?

That depends.

If you, like me, are a 36-year old insulin-sensitive male, who weigh 152 pounds, exercise for 10-15 minutes five times a week, and have no history of obesity or diabetes, then possibly yes.

However, if you’re overweight and/or have high blood-sugar levels, then possibly no.

If you too want to eat more protein AND be in optimal ketosis, here are two things you can do:

 

A. Exercise more.

These calves were made for running

The more you exercise, the more protein your body needs – walking, running, and resistance training are all good options.

When you exercise more, you can increase your protein intake somewhat too. To make sure you don’t go overboard with protein, measure your blood-ketone levels frequently and adjust your protein intake accordingly.

Remember to keep your carb intake to maximum 20 grams a day.

 

B. Find your daily-protein limit for ketosis

ketonezone-f9-1-1600×789

Perhaps your daily-protein limit for staying in optimal ketosis is different from what Diet Doctor generally recommends?

To find out, do this:

1. Buy a blood-ketone meter with test strips (Diet Doctor does not make any money from you buying this).

2. Eat less than 20 grams of carbs a day for a week. Then, test your ketones first thing in the morning before eating anything.

3a. If your blood-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.

Keep measuring your ketones for a few days, and if you’re always in optimal ketosis, measure just once a week.

If you drop out of optimal ketosis, make sure you’re eating maximum 20 grams of carbs a day. If you already are, but your ketone levels are not in the optimal range, reduce your protein intake a little.

3b. If your blood-ketone levels are below 1.5 mmol/L, reduce your protein intake gradually over the next week. Measure your blood-ketone levels every morning and see what happens.

How much do you have to reduce your protein intake before your ketone levels rise above 1.5 mmol/L? Eat a little less protein than that *.

Keep measuring your ketones for a few days, and if you’re always in optimal ketosis, measure just once a week.

If you drop out of optimal ketosis, make sure you’re eating maximum 20 grams of carbs a day. If you already are, but your ketone levels are not in the optimal range, reduce your protein intake a little.

* We don’t recommend that you eat less than 0.4 grams of protein per pound of desired weight for long periods of time. You need protein.

 

Three follow-up questions

1. What would happen if I ate more than 135 grams of protein a day?

I don’t know.

I assume my blood-ketone levels would start dropping at the point when my body no longer needs all the protein it’s getting. At that point, it would likely convert the extra protein to glucose which would raise blood sugar and reduce blood-ketone levels.

I won’t test this anytime soon though as I don’t want to eat more protein than I’m doing now.

2. What would happen if I ate 80-135 grams of protein a day for months or years?

I don’t know.

I think doing so would keep me in optimal ketosis – that’s what the findings from this experiment indicate – but I won’t know the answer to this question for a while yet. I’ll keep measuring my ketones weekly and will give you an update later this year.

3. What would happen if I exercised less?

I don’t know.

I assume doing so could reduce my blood-ketone levels a little as my body would need less protein, but at what point that would happen I’m not sure.

Next

The above is the second of a 3-part blog series. Here’s the next one: What to eat in ketosis

More

A Ketogenic Diet for Beginners

Top ketosis videos

52 comments

Top comments

  1. Lennard
    Haha, I love how much misinformation is provided in this post.
    Do your research people. Not on blogs like DietDoctor, but actually look up studies. You'll find out that the only thing that triggers ketosis is the restriction of carbohydrates. The amounts of fat or protein you eat do not matter.

    Obviously you don't want to eat three times your body weight in grams of protein, but really: who does that? Just make sure you provide your body no more than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day (it varies, some can go 30, some have to stay below 20, etc.) and you'll be in ketosis after a couple days.

    Stop overcomplicating the ketogenic diet. It's not that hard.

    Replies: #18, #23
    Read more →
  2. Mike
    I'm average I consume 200+ grams of protein a day and been in keto for ages. Also I ran a little experiment to get to the bottom of this nonsense and fear of protein. Higher than normal protein consumption. 100-150 grams of whey PER MEAL and up to 500gms of protein per DAY.... Did blood ketone tests over 50 times. Zero issues on my blood ketone levels and even blood glucose. I wish more people would do this because GNG is like the Loch Ness monster of the keto world. So unless someone experiments like this they need to stop spreading decades old myths.
    Reply: #24
    Read more →

All comments

  1. Mike
    I'm average I consume 200+ grams of protein a day and been in keto for ages. Also I ran a little experiment to get to the bottom of this nonsense and fear of protein. Higher than normal protein consumption. 100-150 grams of whey PER MEAL and up to 500gms of protein per DAY.... Did blood ketone tests over 50 times. Zero issues on my blood ketone levels and even blood glucose. I wish more people would do this because GNG is like the Loch Ness monster of the keto world. So unless someone experiments like this they need to stop spreading decades old myths.
    Reply: #24
  2. Roger
    I test my blood ketones every morning and it is up an down quite a bit - 3.2 yesterday but only 1.6 today - am having less than 20g carbs /day but last night eat 125g fresh steak => 36g protein.
    Ive notice just how sensitive my body is to food intake and definitely notice reduced ketones after eating to much protein. Ive been in ketosis for 4 months approx and lost 20kg weight
  3. Peter
    I enjoy these real world type experiments, they give quite a lot of understandable information and help to put that into context. My keytones have been running in the 0.3 to 1.0 range for months. I have been paying most attention to the protein but maybe the problem is elsewhere.

    BJARTE,
    One Question, I notice that you eat all your meals in a 5 hr window, what exactly do you consume outside of that window ? - Coffee, alcohol perhaps, cream ..... ?

    Reply: #6
  4. Jonas
    Why show this stupid graph - starvation ketosis? Ketoacidosis?

    You should read what Jason Fung says about fasting versus starvation.

    Also read up how ketoacidosis and nutritional ketosis are two completely separate things, the former a critical diagnosis where too little insulin combined with high fasting glucose triggers very high ketone levels, over 20. Needs medical care!

    Nutritional ketosis is something quite different and someone who fights to stay in ketosis should know how easy it is to get out of ketosis.

    During a 9 day water fast I reached maximum of my ketone meter, I believe it is 8, so my actual level could have been higher.

    Pls remove the graph.

    Reply: #21
  5. Nettie
    Great post! I think the amount of protein people can eat and still be in ketosis varies a lot between individuals, with insulin sensitivity playing a huge role in determining that limit. It would be interesting to see the results for an insulin resistant person.
  6. Bjarte Bakke Team Diet Doctor
    Peter,

    Outside the four-hour window I consume water, coffee with some cream, fish oil, and magnesium. Recently I've added salt too.

  7. canteringchef
    I can eat up to 50g of carbs a day if I only eat meat once or twice a week, and that's maintaining 5-8mm, not 2-3mm. But ketosis is suppressed by insulin. So anything that raises your insulin reduces your ketones, whether it's carbs or protein or whatever. I think you would find it easier to achieve higher ketone levels if you examine the insulin indexes for the foods you eat. People are often surprised that foods with carbs can promote ketosis much more than protein laden foods, so for example peanuts vs steak.
    Reply: #9
  8. Dan
    Cool trail shoes. What are they?
    Reply: #43
  9. Hans
    the body produces ketones when liver glycogen is depleted, what does that have to do with insulin? I think not much.
  10. Patrick Monette
    I never calculated my protein, my ketosis is always fine. I eat dino steaks!! But in between 5-10g of carbs, i'm still losing weight, but do i ever enjoy meat!!!!
  11. Lennard
    Haha, I love how much misinformation is provided in this post.
    Do your research people. Not on blogs like DietDoctor, but actually look up studies. You'll find out that the only thing that triggers ketosis is the restriction of carbohydrates. The amounts of fat or protein you eat do not matter.

    Obviously you don't want to eat three times your body weight in grams of protein, but really: who does that? Just make sure you provide your body no more than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day (it varies, some can go 30, some have to stay below 20, etc.) and you'll be in ketosis after a couple days.

    Stop overcomplicating the ketogenic diet. It's not that hard.

    Replies: #18, #23
  12. John
    Thank you Mr. Bakke for sharing your experiment. Your post and reader comments raise a question in my mind about the effect of protein ingestion timing upon ketosis. For example, assume an individual knows he/she needs exactly 100 grams of protein daily. Would eating all 100 grams at one time in one meal versus spreading the 100 grams in 3 (or more) meals have differential effects? Related questions: 1) Is there a limit on how much protein the body can digest and utilize at one time? 2) Can the body store "excess" protein (which is not needed at that time) for later use when there is a need for it? I vaguely remember reading that there were some studies indicating that the body more readily utilizes protein when consumed shortly (2-3 hours?) after vigorous exercise/work. Thank you again.
  13. Dorothy
    I realize you indicated you were insulin sensitive, but I'd be curious to know what your blood glucose levels were doing during your experiment. As a type 2 diabetic, I've had substantial levels of blood ketones (2 to 3 mm) while occasionally reaching blood glucose levels of 140 (dawn effect). I am strictly 20 total carbs/day maximum. I'm curious if any insulin resistant people have successfully increased their suggested intake of protein without substantially impacting blood glucose.
  14. drachula
    I like this post. Informative and thought provoking. I agree with the post above that is arguing with the graph which puts ketosis into a spectrum with ketoacidosis. I don't think there is a metabolic way that those 2 things can be on the same graph as KA requires high sugars with no insulin response, a thing you just won't get with non-diabetics in nutritional ketosis.
    Excess proteins are handled by the body to break down into some sugars, so I think it is entirely reasonable to do this experiment, whatever the critics above say. It is fascinating, however, that one can eat a great deal more protein than 1g per Kg and stay in ketosis, something I am rather relieved about as I eat enormous quantities of cheese and I struggle to find enough fat to eat!
  15. Lew
    Interesting experiment, I recently had a conversation with a workmate that told me he has been doing low carb' for over 30 years so I was keen to listen to his experience when he told me he eats only once a day.
    He typically will make up a casserole type meal out of a fatty meat, he portions this 450g of meat in his lunchbox to this he adds 150g of lard microwaves it at meal time and stirs in the now melted lard and that is it!
    Rarely eats vegetables, rarely has a multivitamin and is the picture of health.
    I don't have any ketone data from him, not sure if he has ever monitored it.
    I have recently been adding some lard to some of my meals maybe a couple of heaped tablespoons and certainly found that it helps tremendously in making me feel full and able to go much longer 'till I feel hungry... I do plan to try this in the future now I'm back from holidays and will get some more test strips to monitor ketones.
    Reply: #38
  16. Sean
    Thank you so much for this informative post.

    I am a Family Doctor who practices low carb. I have been trying to get around the optimal amount of protein for a while. This post helps to answer that question. Thank you.

  17. Maria
    Please don't remove that graph! The range is important to know.

    I ended up in the ER a year ago the day after fasting with 3+ ketones and was diagnosed with "metobolic ketoacidosis". I had been eating low carb for about six-weeks, was at the low end of my weight range (115 for 5'5'') and had fasted for only 1 day. I had a glucose reading of 57 that morning and 60 later that evening even after eating. (I am not diabetic, but have a strong family history, so I check my glucose levels so I don't lie to myself about carbs. If I eat high carb, my glucose levels are running into the pre-diabetic range) I was eating about 75 grams of carbs prior to that fasting day so not extremely low carb, either. My blood PH was off. Abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea and the feeling like I was "coming apart" were what sent me to the ER. Was in the ER all night-lots of tests, etc.

    They were baffled by my results - either a person who is starving or an alcoholic have these kinds of results.

    I think I am a rare case, but it is important for people to understand their own bodies and to know that ketoacidosis is a real and serious issue. No one has been able to explain to me why I ended up with these issues after a 1 day fast.

    Remember YOU are the variable.

    Reply: #49
  18. Deborah
    Hey Lennard,
    ketosis IS impacted by Protein intake - check the Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living which is not a blog but written by two of the most respected researchers in the field of keto - Dr Jeff Volek and Dr Stephen Phinney.
    Specifically they state:
    Too little or too much protein can be problematic in the keto-adapted state. Aim for protein intake between 0.6 to 1.0 grams per pound of lean body mass.

    Too much protein and your body converts amino acids into glucose which raises insulin levels. Raised insulin levels actually switches off fat burning - which means lower ketones.

    So, I think it is fair to say that protein does have a role in ketosis......Just because it is not effecting you does not mean it does not have an effect.

    Deb

  19. 1 comment removed
  20. Amanda
    https://optimisingnutrition.com/2017/06/03/why-do-my-blood-sugars-ris...
    I find it amazing that you are doing these kind of "experiments" on the diet "doctor". Are you really that ignorant about protein and gluconeogenesis? It's a fallacy that excess protein is metabolised into glucose.
  21. Chupoid
    Nothing is wrong with the graph. It's accurate and puts NK in perspective. This same graph is in Volek & Phinney's books.
  22. canteringchef
    Guys, insulin is intimately related to ketosis. You could eat a serving dish of mashed potatoes that would feed 5 people and still go into ketoacidosis. It's insulin that tells the liver to stop producing ketones. No insulin equals high ketones.
  23. BobM
    Lennard, I think you're making things too simple. I have a very difficult time getting into ketosis. The depth of ketosis for me appears related to both protein and carbs. TINY amounts of carbs (we're talking some cauliflower rice) kicks me out of ketosis, as does protein. The only time I EVER get ketones above 1 is when fasting for multiple days or eating a high fat diet. For instance, after fasting 60 hours (2.5 days), my ketones are only 0.4 in the morning. Another example, started day with ketones at 1.4, ate no breakfast, lunch was 2 eggs, fatty ham steak, cheese (one slice), hot sauce (no sugar added, just peppers and vinegar), sardines. Ketones at 4pm: 0.7. That's right, ate very few carbs, and my ketones where halved. This happens all the time to me. In fact, I can have ketones over 1 at night and be out of ketosis the next morning, while FASTING the entire time. While I've lost about 50 pounds eating low carb, I'm still insulin resistant and taking drugs that may (or may not) affect this. I still need to lose weight.

    Another example: lunch was ground meat, cheese (1 slice), 3 eggs, hot sauce (no sugar, just vinegar and peppers), anchovies, and sardines. My blood sugar rise? +15, taken about an hour after eating.

    It typically takes me 80+ hours of fasting to get my ketones above 1.

    And I have hundreds of blood tests to prove all of this.

    For those of us who are insulin resistant, his results can't be applied to ours.

  24. Stacy
    A lot of people do experiment with the protein. The best researchers to ask? - Diabetics. We, diabetics are constantly struggling with protein vs fat vs carbs and it is not easy to find the right solution. Did you know that although you are just eating 20 g of carbs a day - your glucose levels will still be influenced by both fats and proteins that you consume. You have to keep a constant glucose level - and this is what a ketogenic diet does. It doesn't let your glucose levels in the bloodstream to spike up and go down very quickly. Which also means that there is no need for a huge amount of insulin to cover up for the spike, hence store everything that is no longer needed for a quick burst of energy.
    What surprises me is actually the fact that no matter what diet you are following you will still have certain amounts of ketones in your body/ flushed out of your body... so why is it called a ketogenic diet? I mean usage of in body "storages" - fat, muscles and liver (where there are glycogen stores) will produce ketone bodies anyway...
    Very interesting experiment though :) Thank you for taking time to try it out and share the results :)
    Reply: #33
  25. Sandra
    Can you share your 10-15 minutes daily exercise program you do? How much fat grams are you eating daily, too? Thanks. Great posts, btw.
  26. Eve Rabi
    Very informative article. Thanks for sharing it. Much appreciated, so please ignore all the rude, juvenile comments. :)
  27. Hans Larsson
    I consider Ron Rosdale an expert regarding protein, fat carb intake, and their effect on mTor, which is the tool which will have effect on longlivety. Specially for people in let's say 50 + years... Google him on youtube. He recommend 0,7 gram per kilo lean body mass.
  28. Ketony
    Rosedale is insane and belongs in categories with Mercola and Oz
    Reply: #32
  29. pamela jorstad
    We have been encouraged to follow a Low carb keto diet. We do not need to lose weight. In fact one of us needs to gain. Please help with ideas. We do need to keep blood sugars under control as that is a problem with carb intake.
    Reply: #30
  30. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Pamela!

    Maybe this article can be a help...
    https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/gain-weight

    We have been encouraged to follow a Low carb keto diet. We do not need to lose weight. In fact one of us needs to gain. Please help with ideas. We do need to keep blood sugars under control as that is a problem with carb intake.

  31. James
    Using keto urine strips. If they show I am always in ketosis, usually dark purple, is everything going ok? I've been doing keto for 2.5 months now, weight loss is very slow (but has been 25lbs), but always peeing "purple". I don't have the blood meter. I don't want the blood meter. Expense, and those lancets hurt like hell.
  32. sANDI
    Hi. I am new to all this and have been reading mercola. I was wondering ketone, why you belive mercola is insane. I am not judging, just asking to be more informed. I don't put him in with Oz, but I know Oz has to make a living so he sells a lot of stuff on tv. I don't follow him at all. Any info to help me who to believe and follow is appreciated. thanks
  33. Penny
    Glycogenolysis doesn't produce ketones in the blood. Glycogen breakdown restores blood glucose levels ( glycogen to glucose 1 phosphate to glucose 6 phosphate to glucose). Ketone bodies are synthsised from excess acetyl co A molecules available after beta oxidation of fatty acids. Beta oxidation of FA only happens when glycogen stores are depleted.
  34. Haley
    20 NET carbs, correct??
    Reply: #35
  35. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Haley!

    Yes!

    20 NET carbs, correct??

  36. Bev
    Unless you are in the UK in which case the carbs are already net i.e. fibre is already subtracted from the carbs on UK nutritional info
  37. SILVIU M
    Eating protein does really affect ketosis. I'm a type 2 diabetic, following a ketogenic diet for the last 18 months, with great results ( Hb1Ac from 8.7 to 5.2). However, too much protein kicks me out of ketosis. I've been trying to determine my safe levels of intake, in the last weeks, and for me it's about 150-160 grams of protein daily. Last Saturday I ate 230 grams of protein and as a result I've experienced elevated blood sugar levels for the next two days ( about 135 ) and my ketones were 0.4 mmol/l the next morning. Usually my ketone level moves around 1.6 mmol/l.
  38. Cynthia
    @Lew - I love how simply your workmate eats! How old is he? And does he eat anything else - cheese, fish? Does he have a lot of energy? I've been on paleo, then keto, then ZC. Feel best on keto, but even then I am not really super energized as I want to be.
  39. Shanyn
    Thanks for the great article but I’m afraid I’m really confused.

    I’m new to the diet and after 4 days, I read 0.7 so not in optimal ketosis. My question is, how can you possibly live on 60g of protein? Aren’t eggs protein? Cheese? Obviously meats? What on earth would you eat without these??? How are you defining protein as this means you would be eating less than a small tin of tuna per day the way I understand it. Thanks.

    Reply: #41
  40. Lee-Anne
    HI all,
    Im also new to the diet and can not get into ketosis. Im watching my carbs, Zero sugars BUT find it impossible to get enough fats without the aded protein. Where are people getting these no protein fats from if you are restriction the carbs?
    I also found that with the experiment, it was a tiny amount of food.
    Any advise would be greaty appreciated.
    Lee-Anne
    Reply: #42
  41. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Shanyan!

    One egg contains approx. 8 gram of protein.

    Thanks for the great article but I’m afraid I’m really confused.
    I’m new to the diet and after 4 days, I read 0.7 so not in optimal ketosis. My question is, how can you possibly live on 60g of protein? Aren’t eggs protein? Cheese? Obviously meats? What on earth would you eat without these??? How are you defining protein as this means you would be eating less than a small tin of tuna per day the way I understand it. Thanks.

  42. Robert
    Lee-Anne, how about butter, olive oil, lard, ghee, nuts? Great sources of fat without protein!
  43. Alisyn Wonderland
    My thought exactly! Looks like they have good treads!

    Cool trail shoes. What are they?

  44. 2 comments removed
  45. Om Ni
    The Very Real Risks of Consuming Too Much Protein
    https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/09/03/too-mu...
  46. Om Ni
    The Real Danger of Too Much Protein
    https://www.mensjournal.com/food-drink/real-danger-too-much-protein/

    //The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults get a minimum of .4g of protein for every pound of bodyweight per day (that’s about 65g for a 175-lb guy). But a study in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism found that that number should be more like .6g to build lean muscle mass. A high-protein diet takes it a notch further and loads you with 1-1.5g per pound of bodyweight.//

  47. Angella
    Thanks for great article
    I’m eating 20carbs 50 protein. Calories 1300
    Weight 90kg and need to lose 25kg
    Age 68 and winning the fight during my first week - feel great on this diet
  48. Rebekah
    Maria,
    What did you end up adjusting? How much protein and fat were you eating before this?
  49. Alma Murphy
    I've just began KETO. Three weeks in. I am a Type 2 diabetic weighing 175 and 70 years old. Didn't have a scale until rwo weeks into this new way of eating, so I don't know my initial weight. I am still unsure of the protein intake amounts though. I would like a target weight of 130 lbs. I' 5' 3". Can anyone help with the protein number? I would certainly appreciate it.
    Reply: #51
  50. russell
    Hi Alma,
    Congrats for starting Keto! You're on the way to feeling great and reversing your diabetes!

    When you first start out, the most important thing is to be kind to yourself. Try (as hard as you can) to make things as uncomplicated as possible. Resist the urge to count anything except net carbs (i.e., grams of carbs minus grams of fiber equals net carbs). Just focus on all the delicious things that you like to eat that are low-carb and avoid all the sugar and processed food and starches.

    That said, there's a wide, WIDE variety of opinion on the "how much protein should I eat" topic. Depending on who you ask, it's anywhere from 0.8 to 1.8 grams per kilo of body weight (for women....there's different recommendations for men). Some folks further specify "per kilo of 'ideal' body weight." I think part of why there's such a wide variety of opinions on the "right" amount is because every single one of us is unique, and each and every single one of us should be able (through a little trial and error) to find the amount that makes us feel our best. So, you will probably have to experiment a little to find the magic number for you. You should be feeling completely satisfied after a meal, and not hungry for at least 4 or more hours.

    Your calculations would be: for 175lbs (79 kilos), somewhere between 63g and 142g. If you calculate with the ideal weight of 130lbs (60kilos), then it's somewhere between 47g and 106g. How to figure out what's right for you? DO NOT STARVE YOURSELF. Eat until you are satisfied, stop when you're full. If you really want to track the macros, use an app, but instead of aiming for a specific number, just use it as a log of what you ate. As long as you are feeling good and not hungry, you'll be able to see the trend week by week for the amount of protein that "felt right" for you. Some days I'm more active, so I eat a little more because I feel the need to really nourish my body. Other days, I'm just not that hungry so I don't feel the need to eat as much. But over the course of a week, there's a fairly narrow "range" that feels good, and I just naturally fall into it. If, after reading this, you still NEED an exact number, I'd say start with 100g and adjust from there. If that feels like too much, then lower it. If you're hungry, bump it up a bit.

    There's a lot of great articles and videos on this site that specifically talk about "how much protein"...so learn all you can and do what feels right for you! Be patient with yourself, follow the plan, and the pounds will melt away.....

  51. Gayle
    Will someone please answer this question very simply. I live in Tahoe city have a fairly active life. I am 60 years old and want to start the keto diet plan. I would like to know how many grams of protein should I eat, and how many grams of carbohydrates should I eat. I weigh 114 1/2 pounds. Simple answer please
    Reply: #53
  52. Cedric C Chin
    Gayle, there is no simple answer, just a simple partial answer. I'm still looking for an answer to protein, but the answer to the carbs is simple -- no simple carbohydrates. That means no sugar, and no starches, such as rice, flour, or potato.
  53. Darren
    I wish “lots of fat” was more specific. How many grams of fat? All 3 macronutrients matter. It’s not just “low carbs”. Most of my patients find that too much protein reduces ketosis. I use the equation discovered in the 1920’s and used by the Charlie Foundation. Fat vs. protein plus carbs in grams. Achieve a 2:1 ratio for heavy nutritional ketosis.
  54. Darren
    use the equation discovered in the 1920’s and used by the Charlie Foundation. Fat vs. protein plus carbs in grams. Achieve a 2:1 ratio for heavy nutritional ketosis.

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