How Much Protein Can You Eat on a Ketogenic Diet?


Keto diet involves cutting carbohydrates in your diet and taking more high-fats and moderate protein in your meals. While the intention is to replace carbs, some people take more proteins than the recommended quantity. A common mistake that many people do is taking too much protein. The question is, what amount of proteins can you take?

Eating protein on the ketogenic diet

salmon dish

On the ketogenic diet, proteins play a vital role in providing energy to the body. Understanding how proteins work is crucial for the best results.

The role of protein in ketosis

Proteins contain amino acids, which are essential building blocks in our bodies. They are used in the regulation and functions of various organs and tissues in the body. When on a keto diet, there is a high likelihood of eating more protein-rich food as you try to replace carbs. A common misconception is that keto diet is high on proteins. The truth is it is high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb. Too much proteins can keep you out of ketosis.

Why overeating protein is bad

Ketosis depletes the glycogen in the body so that the break down of fats is started to provide energy. When fats are absent, proteins are alternative sources of energy. Proteins are converted into amino acids into glucose for energy. The process is called gluconeogenesis; it spikes insulin and reduces ketones in your blood.

Even when you are in deep ketosis, the presence of glucose keeps the body-switching back and forth. You will most likely experience side effects like keto flu when switching between the two energy systems. During gluconeogenesis, the body is also breaking down lean proteins, which are not good.

Eating too much protein is a common ketosis mistake.

 Monitoring your protein intake

calculator and blank paper

Avoid eating too much protein in your meal. Getting the right amount of protein involves calculation and monitoring your meals.

Calculate your protein needs

You can use the calculating macros app to find out the right amount of protein to eat. The calculator uses your weight, height, physical activity, and calories needed. Input the percentages of components in your keto diet for auto calculation. You need to keep your fat intake level high.

Some people can take up to 15% protein in their diet without any effects on ketosis or gluconeogenesis.

The recommended quantity is 0.7-0.9 grams of protein per pound of lean bodyweight.

Monitor your ketone levels

When on a ketogenic diet, tracking ketone levels and protein macros is recommended. Tracking often ensures your body is staying in ketosis. You can try these methods for proper ketone testing.

Best sources of Keto protein

mmeat dishes

Protein is good for ketosis, but too much is not good either. Ensure you eat a healthy amount that is well utilized by the body for fuel. High-quality proteins include;

  • Fatty wild fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines
  • Fatty cuts of meat such as beef, lamb, and bison. Meat with higher fat content is the best
  • Organic meats such as liver, heart meats

For the best nutrient value, make sure your protein source is natural and organic. Avoid processed meats which have added sugars and carbs.

Keeping your fat intake higher than protein is advisable. Moderate protein will yield a consistent level of ketones, and this will give your body more energy for a more extended period.