Having Trouble With Ketones? Check Your Protein Intake

By Dr Ernst
April 27, 2020

There’s nothing quite like a juicy grass-fed hamburger (no bun, collard wrapped obviously) topped with raw cheese, turkey bacon, avocado, and fermented pickles or sauerkraut. While it is an ideal “ketotic” meal, full of healthy fats and clean proteins, it’s important to make sure you are just eliminating carbohydrates. The number of proteins you eat daily could be preventing you from getting the full effects of your new diet.

Most people will say protein is important for a healthy diet – but fail to understand just how much to eat on a daily basis to get the full benefits proteins can offer (weight loss, blood sugar stabilization, muscle, and bone maintenance, etc.) As such we often overeat our proteins – which can overload your metabolism production with negative effects that you can’t immediately feel.

This is especially true when following the cellular healing / keto-metabolic diet. When you intentionally decrease yourself of sugar/carbs (glucose) and force your body to rely on fat for energy, you must also restrict your protein intake to the exact amount to meet your body’s nutritional needs or you may experience a weight-loss stall or have difficulty achieving an optimal state of ketosis (measured by the presence of beta-hydroxybutyrate in your blood, ideal range 1.5-3.0 mol/l)


When you decrease sugar consumption your body will begin to look for alternative energy sources. Ideally, these are ketones produced from the fats you are eating (oils, butters, etc.) or from the fats you are burning (ketones are a byproduct of converting fat into energy).

If in, this process, switching energy sources, there is excess protein available, your metabolism can convert protein into sugar through a process known as gluconeogenesis. This means that if you are consuming protein in quantities beyond what your unique body can handle on a daily basis you might be unknowingly sabotaging your ability to burn fat for energy (creating a plateau or stall in your results).

Determining Your Body’s Ideal Protein Intake

The first step to calculating your exact daily protein needs begins with some simple calculations, and the use of a scale that can provide you with the following: Total body weight and Body Fat Percentage. Once you have your numbers, simply use the following equation to determine your specific maximum daily protein intake

[Total Body Weight lbs] – [ (Total Body Weight lbs) x (Body Fat Percentage) ] / 2 = max grams of protein per day Example: (163) – [ (163 lbs) x (.25) ] / 2 = 61.25

In the example above (163lbs with 25% body fat) we can see this person’s metabolism can process 61.25g of protein per day. If they exceed that, any additional proteins will be converted directly into sugar. Knowing your exact protein maximums can uncover if you are overloading your system with protein thwarting your results.

Most of Us Eat Too Much Protein
Some meats are more protein-dense than others, but on average 1 ounce of meat (chicken/beef) is approximately 7 grams of protein. Given that most chicken breasts/hamburgers are 6-7 ounces (49g) and your average protein shake is 20g once you can see how easy it is for the individual in the example above to exceed their daily protein intake simply by fasting their breakfast, having a smoothie for lunch and a 1 chicken breast for dinner!

Protein is an essential part of a healthy diet, but as you can now see too much protein can also be a problem. Using the simple equation above can help you to drastically improve the results of your dietary efforts and could be the very thing you (or someone close to you) need to bring lasting results.

Need A “Smart Scale”: The scale we recommend for at-home use is the Renpho ES-CS20M Smart Body Fat Scale (available on amazon.com for less than $30) as this not only measures weight and body fat percentage but also your bodies % of water, % protein (muscle mass) and estimated biological age (internal age vs chronological age). Results are visible on your phone/tablet.

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