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.
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.
How Much Protein Do You Need For Keto
The Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is 0.8 grams/kg , according to the 2015-2020 US Dietary Guidelines. The RDA recommends 46 grams per day for women and 56 grams per day for men.
The RDA recommendations are problematic because it uses a reference man and woman for its macronutrient calculations, and these metrics dont reflect the average American. This reference man weighs 154 lbs, and the reference woman weighs 125 lbs.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the average woman weighs 168 lbs and the average man 195 lbs. This means the RDA guidelines are simply too low for most people.
Additionally, RDA is calculated based on the amount of protein required to prevent muscle loss in a sedentary person It doesnt account for physical activity, age, metabolism, illness, or any other factors that may increase protein needs.
The RDA is not a practical guide for maintaining optimal muscle mass or support an active lifestyle. The bottom line is that the RDA is simply too low for most people.
How much protein you need to eat should be individualized and based on your personal goals, whether you are on keto or not.
On the keto diet, protein can be extremely beneficial for weight loss and increasing muscle mass. Therefore, it is best to eat more, not less protein on keto.
There is no specific protein requirement for keto. The amount recommended is based on a percentage of your total calorie intake Aim for 15-25% of your calories to come from protein.
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Can You Overeat Protein On Keto
The answer is probably not.
Many people believe that gluconeogenesis can kick you out of ketosis, but this is unlikely to happen for several reasons.
Even if you never ate another carbohydrate again, the body needs small amounts of glucose to function.
Specific organs, like the liver, do not use anything other than glucose to fuel various metabolic functions.
The main goal of the body is to maintain homeostasis. Too little sugar is just as harmful as too much sugar . The body needs some sugar to stabilize blood sugar.
That being said, the body doesnt like to rely on gluconeogenesis unless it has to. It takes a lot of energy to make glucose from protein or other compounds, so the body readily switches over to ketones for energy when it can.
A 2013 study found that during a low-carb fast, it took approximately 8 hours for the body to produce 50 grams of carbs through gluconeogenesis. Of those 50 grams of carbs, only 3 grams came from the protein that had been consumed during that 8-hour window.
If youre afraid that gluconeogenesis from protein will produce too many carbs and kick you out of ketosis, you can see that it is pretty unlikely to happen.
Unless youre insulin-sensitive or are an insulin-dependent diabetic, you shouldnt run into any issues with protein affecting your blood sugar.
However, there is some evidence that a high protein diet may be harmful to health.
Protein Always Comes First
The first step for successfully tracking your keto diet macros is to calculate your protein intake.
The amount will differ depending on the activity level per person.
If youre sedentary, consume 0.8 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass at a minimum.
Lean body mass is the amount of weight you carry that isnt fat. Use a bioelectrical impedance scale, calipers, or get a DEXA scan to find your lean body mass. Then take that weight and multiply it by 0.8. This is the amount of protein you should eat every day.
If youre an athlete or looking to build muscle, consume 1-1.2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight.
This is the absolute minimum you should be eating. You can eat more if needed, and you shouldnt worry about creating excess glucose. Its more problematic to get less protein than it is to eat more.
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What Is A Deficit/surplus
A deficit or surplus just relates to the number of calories you want to intake. A surplus means you are eating more than your body needs. A deficit means you are eating less than your body needs.
Typically if you are losing weight, you want to have a deficit in calories. 10-20% is standard for people. 20-30% ranges are considered high deficits and are typically difficult to do . You can go up to a 30% deficit, but going past that can lead to metabolic damage in the long run .
Typically if you want to gain muscle, you want to have a surplus in calories. You need extra calories if you want to put on lean mass. Typically, 5-10% is suggested, but going over 10% can lead to excess weight gain.
Sweetened Yogurt Or Dairy
Natural yogurt and dairy products can vary in their carb content.
When adding dairy to your diet, steer clear of flavored or sweetened varieties, which will add to your carb count. This is especially common in flavored yogurt and cottage cheese.
Whole milk has 11 grams of carbs per cup . While you can enjoy it occasionally, know that unsweetened almond milk has just 3 grams of carbs in the same serving size, making it a more keto-friendly substitute .
Aim for plain full fat yogurt or cottage cheese. Strained varieties like Greek yogurt or Icelandic skyr are a good fit. For example, 1 tub of Greek yogurt has about 6 grams of carbs and 16 grams of protein .
Unsweetened coconut milk-based yogurts can also be a good option. Because theyre made from coconut milk, they generally have more fat and fewer carbs, around 16.5 grams of fat and 7.5 grams of carb per 3-ounce serving .
Be mindful of what you pair with these foods. Nuts, MCT or coconut oil, or unsweetened peanut butter can make this a filling keto-friendly snack, while granola or fruits can increase their carb count.
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How Much Protein Is Optimal On Keto
Eating too little protein can mean you lose too much muscle when you lose weight. But eating too much could cause your body to turn that excess protein into glucose and thereby knock you out of ketosis.
Theres not a general consensus on this issue
But below are some good guidelines to follow when determining how much total daily protein you need on Keto.
Nutritious Foods Tailored To Your Goals
To help you out all this theory into practice, we have assembled a range of nutrient dense food lists tailored to different goals. The right-hand column shows the nutrient profile of each food list. Click on the food list links below to get a free printable pdf food list delivered to your inbox.
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How Much Protein To Eat On Keto
The Standard American Diet is dense in carbs, with some protein and very little fat. On keto, you take a seemingly opposite approach, with the bulk of your calories coming from fat, some calories coming from protein, and very few from carbohydrates.
While every person has individual needs, most people follow these macronutrient guidelines to enter ketosis:
- 75-80% of calories should come from fat
- 20% of calories should come from protein
- 5% of calories should come from carbohydrates
This is a common way to break down your macros on the ketogenic diet. And while it may help you to start producing ketones, it may not be the most effective approach for overall body composition and weight loss.
Instead of setting up macronutrient percentages, theres a better alternative.
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Can You Eat Too Little Protein On Keto
As weve discussed, protein is necessary for satiety, helping with weight loss, and maintaining lean muscle on a keto diet. You can end up eating too little protein if you are overly focused on eating fat.
If youve been on the keto diet for several weeks and are still hungry all the time, youre probably not getting enough protein. If youre not overeating your calories and are not losing weight, you are also probably not eating enough protein.
The keto diet works for weight loss because of the increase in protein.
Protein is the most satiating macronutrient and is one of the reasons for the appetite suppression people experience. It can be argued that protein is almost as important as fat while eating keto.
How Much Protein On Keto Will Kick Me Out Of Ketosis
If youve read previous posts on Optimising Nutrition youve probably seen my analysis of the food insulin index data that shows that our carbohydrate intake alone doesnt explain our insulin response to food.
The food insulin index data shows that our insulin response to food is more accurately predicted when we consider the fibre and protein content of our food, not just the carbohydrate.
However, I fear that many people have used the insulin load concept as a reason to avoid protein. I now understand that this is far from optimal within the broader context of good nutrition for health, weight loss and vitality.
If you are interested in learning more the implications of the insulin index data I recommend you check out the following articles:
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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:
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.
Choosing Keto Friendly Protein Sources
While there are many plant-based keto friendly protein sources, were going to focus on animal products in the guide. Know that foods like nuts and seeds do contain protein, but also tend to have higher carbs than animal sources of protein.
Not all protein is created equal for keto. By that, we mean some cuts of meat will tend to be more keto friendly than others . Below well outline the best cuts of meat to include on a keto diet. Whenever possible, we recommend choosing meat from local, and sustainable sources. All Ketolibriyum poultry and beef is sourced from local farms that do not use antibiotics or hormones in producing their meat. We also try to source local pork as much as possible.
A note on eggs: Eggs are an amazing source of keto friendly protein! Eating four eggs per day would get you between 20-25 grams of protein.
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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!
High Fat Low Carb Or Ketogenic Diet
- whole grains
It typically provides 3540% of calories from fat, including plenty of monounsaturated fat from olive oil.
Here are a few examples of suggested daily fat ranges for a Mediterranean diet, based on different calorie goals:
- 1,500 calories: about 5867 grams of fat per day
- 2,000 calories: about 7889 grams of fat per day
- 2,500 calories: about 97111 grams of fat per day
Summary: How much fat you eat per day should be based on the type of diet you follow and your calorie needs for weight loss or maintenance.
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How Much Protein Should I Eat Every Day
Getting the right amount of protein neednt be complicated or stressful. Most of the time, youll end up within your target range by simply eating an amount that is satisfying and paying attention to when you begin to feel full.
Here are the amounts of food you need to eat to get 20-25 grams of protein:
- 100 grams of meat, poultry or fish
- 4 large eggs
- 240 grams of plain Greek yogurt
- 210 grams of cottage cheese
- 100 grams of hard cheese
- 100 grams of almonds, peanuts, or pumpkin seeds
Other nuts, seeds, and vegetables provide a small amount of protein, roughly 2-6 grams per average serving. You can see a more detailed list in our guide on the top 10 high-protein foods.
The image above shows 20 grams of protein in four different ways. Almonds, salmon, eggs and chicken thighs.
Below youll find examples of three different levels of daily protein intake using the same foods:
Resistance Training Raises Your Protein Needs
People who do weight-lifting, other kinds of resistance training and endurance exercise probably require a higher protein intake than inactive people with the same weight and height. So, if you engage in strength training, try to aim for a protein intake close to or at the top of your range, particularly if you want to add muscle. Consuming up to 1.6 grams per kilogram every day may help raise muscle mass.
However, note that even if you train rigorously, theres a limit to how fast you can improve your muscle mass no matter the amount of protein you take.
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Plant Proteins Support An Alkaline Diet
The modern Western/American diet is without a doubt more acidic than it has ever been before. While the acidity of the diet doesnt necessarily determine its healthfulness, excessive acidity has been shown to impair kidney function over time .
Most animal meats and fish are highly acidic due to their greater proportion of sulfur-containing amino acids, particularly methionine and cysteine. To compensate for the acidity of these protein sources, the body needs to buffer the blood to restore a more alkaline state.
One way the body does this is by leaching calcium out of the bone matrix and into the bloodstream. However, this can be problematic since nearly all of the calcium in the body is stored in bones .
In turn, if you consume mostly acidic proteins, your bone mineral density may suffer and youll be at a greater risk of fractures and conditions such as osteoporosis.
Whats interesting though is that protein-rich carnivorous diets actually seem to be more effective for reducing the risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis, while plant-based diets have been shown to reduce bone mineral density .
Nevertheless, diets that contain large amounts of animal meat and fish are associated with a greater risk of developing kidney stones .
For those on keto, you can certainly go ahead and enjoy your t-bone steak dinner, but be sure to include a side of veggies to help keep the acidity down and protect your kidneys.