How Much Protein Will Kick Me Out of Ketosis?
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Obviously, one of the biggest focuses when you are on a keto diet is to consume lots of fat and protein, and restrict carbohydrates. But, even though you are supposed to eat a lot of protein, rumor has it that eating too much protein-rich foods can cause problems with ketone production.
So, the trick is to find just the right amount of protein that will help you to stay in ketosis and be able to lose weight. Do you know how much protein you should be eating while on a keto diet? This is something we are going to take a look at in this article. Let’s get started.
Why Too Much Protein Can Be a Problem
Generally, when you are eating a lot of high protein foods, you will increase insulin and glucagon levels. But, too much can raise your insulin levels to the point where you are kicked out of ketosis and you aren’t going to achieve much weight loss. But, this is pretty unlikely to happen, unless you are really going over the top with your protein consumption.
Also, it can depend on various health aspects as well. For instance, studies show that those who have type 2 diabetes will likely experience higher insulin levels after eating high protein foods, and those who do not have diabetes may not see an increase in insulin levels at all.
Those who have trouble with their blood sugar levels can end up doing more harm than good, and their bodies may not even go into ketosis even if they go overboard on protein. Someone who is healthy and active can have more protein and still stay in ketosis.
In a nutshell, how protein will affect ketosis will largely depend on which cells in the body are resistant or sensitive to insulin. Some theories suggest that the more sensitive one is, the less likely they will be to see an increase in insulin levels and reduction in ketone levels.
On the other hand, if your cells are insulin resistant or if you have type 2 diabetes, there will be a higher response to insulin and a decrease in ketone production.
The Protein/Keto Myth
There is a myth that protein will increase blood sugar and kick you out of ketosis. This is because the body will turn protein into sugar, which causes an increase in insulin levels and fat that the body stores.
The truth of the matter is that only very small amounts of protein will turn to sugar and enter the system. In fact, recent studies show that blood glucose levels don’t increase after eating protein rich foods, whether you have diabetes or not.
So, you don’t really have to worry about eating a lot of foods that are rich in protein, as it is not likely to affect your blood glucose levels. The only way a lot of protein is going to hurt you is if it does increase insulin levels so ketone production lowers, but this isn’t likely to happen in most cases.
Factors Influencing Ketosis
There are several factors involved in finding just the right level of protein intake when following a keto diet. Some of these factors include:
Sometimes you have no control over what happens in your body, thanks to genetics. For instance, your genetics can have a huge impact on insulin levels, resistance, and sensitivity, and how your body burns ketones. These things can play a role in the hormonal response to the amount of protein you are consuming.
Women have different responses to keto and protein depending on the phase of their monthly cycles. If you notice you are not in ketosis, it could have something to do with your menstrual cycle.
If you have type 2 diabetes, you may have difficulties with ketone production because of the higher levels of insulin in your body. Eating a lot of protein-rich foods can cause insulin levels to increase even more.
If you do not have diabetes, you can likely enjoy eating more high protein foods without worrying about ketone production.
If you are eating fewer carbs and calories, chances are that you are going to be able to eat more protein without causing ketone levels to decrease.
How Much Protein Should You Be Eating?
Level of Activity
No diet is going to work unless you are getting out there and being active. The more active you are, the more protein your body is going to need in order to build muscle and increase glycogen levels.
You won’t need as much insulin to use the protein, so ketone production will continue, even after you eat protein-rich foods.
Body Size and Shape
The more you weigh, the more protein you need to eat in order to get into and stay in ketosis. The higher the body fat percentage, the higher your protein intake should be in order to increase insulin levels and lose weight.
Weight Loss Goals
If you are trying to lose weight and keep it off, the best way to do it is to eat enough protein so you can gain muscle and maintain it without lowering your ketone levels. This is a fine balance that may take some time to figure out.
Length of Time on Keto
How long you have been on a keto diet will also play a role in how much protein you need. When you restrict carbs and fats you decrease insulin levels, and your body may burn ketones.
It may take a bit of time for your body to adjust to this type of diet, but when it does, you will notice that the longer you are dieting, the less likely it will be for protein intake to affect ketosis.
All of this may seem confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. You don’t need to calculate every little thing to make sure you are getting the right amount of protein.
The best rule to go by is to eat 0.6-0.8 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass if you don’t exercise much. If you are active, you should be eating 0.8-1 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass. If you work out with weights, try to aim for 1-1.2 grams of protein per pound.