Why Too Much Protein Can Prevent Weight Loss on the Keto Diet

The function of protein within the keto weight-reduction plan might be controversial as it’s usually blamed for every thing from weight reduction stalls, to hair loss and lack of muscle mass. It is usually the core component of the Keto weight-reduction plan’s massive brother, the Carnivore Food regimen. Learn how a lot protein you actually need to burn fats on this put up.

Bacon and eggs in frypan on wooden board

The keto weight-reduction plan is a reasonable protein weight-reduction plan, which suggests not an excessive amount of protein and never too little. An excessive amount of and you may get kicked out of the magical fat-burning state of ketosis and too little and also you’ll lose lean muscle mass. New analysis reveals that the function of protein is extra complicated than this.


While you eat an excessive amount of protein, it CAN BE transformed by the physique into glucose. This course of has a flowery identify known as gluconeogenesis. So simply when you are making an attempt to maintain carbs/sugars to a minimal, consuming extra protein creates extra!

Even consuming an excessive amount of protein in a single meal (greater than 9 ounces in a sitting) can be mentioned to kick your physique out of ketosis.

The liver can rework extra protein into glucose and consequently, you’re feeling hungry. This will stop you from stepping into ketosis and burning fats.

However Too A lot Protein Doesn’t ALWAYS Kick You Out of Ketosis…

Now, this course of doesn’t all the time appear to happen when protein is excessive. It appears to be dependant on components similar to your insulin sensitivity and underlying glycemic state.

Which means that in case your insulin sensitivity is impaired (from pre-diabetes to Kind 2 Diabetes), and you’re beginning a keto weight-reduction plan, you must hold your protein within the reasonable vary as defined under.

When you’ve got regular insulin senstivity then you’re much less more likely to be kicked out of ketosis by “extra” protein whereas on a keto weight-reduction plan.

To be taught extra concerning the analysis on this matter, check out this discuss by Dr. Benjamin Bikman – Insulin vs. Glucagon: The relevance of Dietary Protein

Cooked steal on grey slate with knife, fork & napkin

Easy methods to Scale back Protein on Keto

One possibility is to eat increased fats cuts of meat and fewer lean meat like hen breast and turkey. In case you hold your portion dimension small, this can enhance your fats consumption whereas preserving protein low.

Alternatively, eat much less protein general and guarantee you’re getting loads of fats from non-meat sources like avocado, olives, butter, dairy and oils.

See our 11 Wholesome Excessive Fats Meals For The Ketogenic Food regimen for extra non-meat concepts.


Methods to Enhance Protein in your Food regimen With out Meat

In case you’re searching for recipes that may assist enhance your protein take a look at these recipes:

Use protein powders which can be keto-friendly ie. low in carbohydrate similar to Isopure or Jay Robb.

Word that whereas collagen powders are nice for pores and skin, hair and connective tissue, they don’t seem to be a whole protein so that they shouldn’t be counted in direction of your every day protein aim. 



We’ve realized that consuming an excessive amount of protein can kick you out of ketosis, so what provides with the Carnivore Food regimen, an offshoot of the Keto Food regimen?

Carnivore Keto, often known as the “zero carb weight-reduction plan”, is a excessive protein weight-reduction plan that eliminates all plant-based meals.

Solely 60-65% of energy will come from fats, so it’s not considered utterly keto. All of the fats comes from animal proteins. 

The remaining energy are strictly animal-based proteins. This implies no veggies, fruits, seeds/nuts.

The Keto Carnivore Food regimen consists of high-quality, fatty cuts of meat 24/7. 

There are no calorie or macronutrient targets; merely eat animal-based proteins when you’re hungry and cease consuming when you’re satiated. Selecting the fattiest cuts of meats will make it easier to to devour sufficient energy to stay full.

Examples of fatty cuts of meat: purple meats, darkish meat poultry (particularly duck), pork shoulder, bacon, salmon. 

The Keto Carnivore Food regimen Doesn’t Appear to Halt Ketosis

You’ll anticipate that every one that protein could be transformed to glucose and cease ketosis in its tracks however paradoxically it doesn’t appear to.

It seems that if you’re keto-adapted, your insulin ranges are persistently low and subsequently the excessive ranges of protein do NOT spike your insulin or blood sugars.

Most individuals that attempt the Carnivore Food regimen are already on a keto weight-reduction plan so are sometimes fat-adapted (persistently burning fats as their major gas supply as a substitute of glucose) and therefore why they sometimes stay in ketosis whereas consuming a Carnivore Food regimen.


An vital distinction to make with the Ketogenic Food regimen is that it’s a high-fat, low-carb and reasonable protein weight-reduction plan. There’s a frequent false impression that low-carb, high-fat diets (LCHF) imply consuming astonishing quantities of protein.

This concept comes from the unique Atkins Food regimen1 which allowed limitless protein within the preliminary levels. (Present Atkins diets embody a extra modified protein method). The Ketogenic Food regimen, nevertheless, goals for 20-25% protein or much less (by calorie) which is within the vary of 60-150g per day.

2 salmon fillets with lemon and pepper on slate board


The best protein goal for somebody who’s trying to lose physique fats and heal the physique is:

  • from 0.6-0.8 grams of protein per pound of LEAN physique weight.

To calculate how a lot protein is right for you, you have to to know your physique fats proportion. This may be measured on the physician’s workplace, DEXA scan, physique fats calipers, or by taking measurements at dwelling. If taking measurements at dwelling, examine to these photograph descriptions for added accuracy.

Upon getting an thought of your physique fats proportion, you may calculate your lean physique mass and set protein targets accordingly.


Present physique fats % = 45%

Present weight = 210 kilos

Present weight = lean mass + physique fats 

Physique fats = 45% * 210 lb = 94 kilos

Lean physique mass = present weight much less physique fats

Lean physique mass = 210 – 94 = 116 lb

Every day Protein Gram Aim = Lean physique mass x 0.6-1.0 (vary*)

Every day Protein Gram Aim = 116 lb * 0.7 = 81g


*In case you are very lively, you’ll select a quantity increased within the protein vary of 0.6-1.0, nearer to 1.0. Going under 0.6g per pound of lean physique weight can result in muscle loss.

Maintaining in thoughts additionally that if you’re insulin resistant, it is very important keep near your protein aim and never go overboard, as defined above.

If insulin sensitivity is within the regular vary, you’ll most definitely be much less topic to extra protein impacting blood sugar ranges. 

What Does 80g of Protein Look Like?

Meals Protein (g)
Ribeye steak 150g (5.3 oz) 28g
Hen thighs 150g (5.3 oz) 29g
2 massive eggs 12g
Macadamia nuts 30g (1 oz) 2.2g
Mozzarella cheese 30g (1 oz) 7.0g
Complete Protein 78g



For the ketogenic weight-reduction plan, protein is a aim. Which means that you must purpose to hit your protein aim every day and doing so will make it easier to to take care of muscle mass.

Protein shall be about 20-25% of every day calorie consumption, carbs 5% and fats 70-75%.

Pie chart showing Ketogenic Diet Macros: 5% carbs, 20% protein, 75% fats


Carbs are a restrict, which signifies that you shouldn’t go over your restrict (sometimes 20g web carbs). And its completely okay to come back in below your restrict, for instance at 10g web carbs on some days.

Fats is a LEVER, which suggests that you could eat extra in case you’re hungry and fewer if you’re satiated. This then lets you dip into saved physique fats as you change into fats tailored. In case you’re consuming an excessive amount of fats, your physique will fortunately burn that fats as gas however is not going to must dip into fats shops. 

Typically, purpose to steer with fats and protein all through the day and save your carbs for the night. This makes it simpler to remain below your carb restrict.



  1. Atkins, Robert C. Dr. Atkins’ New Food regimen Revolution. New York: Harper, 1999. Print.
  2. Dr. Benjamin Bikman Youtube video- ‘Insulin vs. Glucagon: The relevance of dietary protein’



This put up was initially printed in April of 2017, however was republished with up to date data, analysis and examples in September of 2019.


This put up accommodates affiliate hyperlinks which suggests I could obtain a small fee if you are going to buy some objects. Ordering by means of my website is not going to change the value you pay. Small commissions like this assist to assist this weblog and my bulletproof espresso behavior…

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