The whole world is low carb. High protein. Nutrient dense. You know the drill. Atkins did and made a lot of fat disappear from the universe as a result. This high protein mindset is easy to get into but it’s not what you should be thinking when you’re looking to get into ketosis. Protein has generated its own halo effect. It fills you up. Builds muscle. Burns fat. Full of minerals and vitamins. It can do no harm. Except it could. A ketogenic diet is not about gorging yourself on lean chicken breasts or fillet steaks. It’s about eating towards a specific ratio. You want to get 75% of your calories from fat, 20% of them from protein and 5% of your calories from carbohydrates. That’s pretty specific and doesn’t mean you can get 50% of your calories from protein as you decide to turn carnivorous. Regardless of how fun as that might sound.
What Your Body Does With Too Much Protein
Your body does not work the same as anyone else’s. Everyone metabolizes protein at a different rates and that means it can take excessive amounts and even turn it into a form of sugar so it can store it. Not good. This can negatively impact your ability to take your stored body fat and turn it into fuel. This can have disastrous effects on your levels of ketosis. The solution? Stick to the ratios. It won’t matter if you’re a little over or a little under the recommendation, but you’d want to stay within a relatively tight range. It’s a tactic you adopt with your carbs, though carbs you’d want to err on the lower end of the spectrum. With protein you can edge a little closer to the upper cap. You can get yourself tested to figure out exactly where you stand, but it’s best to do it with a little trial and error. It’s wise to get a ketone monitor to regularly check your levels while you keep all other areas of your diet equal.
What About Protein Shakes?
You do need protein, even if you’re trying to gain muscle. It’s essential, it’s just that you can’t throw caution into the wind and treat your intake with impunity. This means you should try to reach for optimal sources of protein. Whey is unquestionably the boss hog in this realm. It’s got one of the highest biological values of all the protein sources, which means your body laps it up. For the best results you can even try a keto meal replacement, like the ones from American Metabolix which has the optimum macronutrient ratios to stay in ketosis. You can time to it take it before and after training to optimize the results you gain from your training sessions while maximizing the effort you can put it because you’ll be perfectly fueled. Protein isn’t the be all and end all of nutrients. Treat it with respect and don’t overdo it or your body may force you to back pedal on your goals.
Photo by Alison Marras on Unsplash.