With the ketogenic diet catching on like wildfire, there’s a good chance you’re already familiar with the basic principles of “keto.” But just in case you need a little reminder— the ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate- protein, low-carb diet.
Okay. So high-fat means the bulk of your caloric intake should be derived from fat. And low-carb means— well— avoid carbs like the damn plague. But moderate protein— what does that mean exactly?
In order to understand what moderate means for you, first you should be aware that this might take some experimenting. The thing is, there are a lot of variables involved. Depending upon your genetic makeup, activity level and metabolic tolerance, you’ll need to adjust your protein needs accordingly. Next, you’re going to have to do some math. As a general rule of thumb Dr. Berg suggests using this simple formula: .8g x body weight.
So what does that look like?
As a 150lb female (.8g x 1501bs = 120g), I’d be looking at roughly 120g of protein per day. If you’re not up for the math, you can rely on a macros calculator to do the work for you. Just be aware that every macros calculator is built differently, so regardless if you’re using a calculator or doing the math yourself, you’ll still need to make adjustments based on individual needs.
Now (and this is important), keep in mind that keto is a moderate-protein diet with good reason. Excess protein in the diet will convert to insulin and stop ketosis. What’s more, high levels of protein also has an ill effect on the liver and kidneys.
So, how can you tell if you’re consuming more protein than necessary?
5 Signs You’re Consuming Too Much Protein on Keto
1. You’re tracking macros and still gaining weight
You’ve calculated your macros, downloaded the tracking app and followed your diet to a T, yet the scale hasn’t moved in the direction you hoped. What’s going on? Excess calories from protein overload is stored as— you guessed it— body fat! Therefore, if you’re struggling to lose weight on the ketogenic diet, protein is a likely suspect.
*If you’ve tried everything in the book and are still struggling to lose weight, I’d be happy to jump on a call and help you troubleshoot.
2. You’re feeling lethargic (and way beyond keto flu)
Fatigue is often directly related to imbalanced blood sugar. When you think about blood sugar, cakes, cookies, and pastries likely come to mind.
But what if you’ve removed the junk food from your diet and you’re still suffering from fatigue?
An uncommon cause of fatigue could be excessive protein intake! Just like sugary or starchy carbohydrates, too much protein can cause insulin and blood sugar disturbances. In turn, these blood sugar irregularities result in fatigue.
3. You’re constipated
Feces offer direct insight into our gastrointestinal (GI) tract. For the most part, healthy poop is relatively light and well composed. Dense or stubborn stool is generally a sign of GI issues. Many individuals suffer from constipation while on keto. There are two main reasons for this. First, protein requires a considerable amount of water in order to break down. Insufficient water intake leads to dehydration and invariably, constipation. Second, many get so caught up in avoiding carbohydrates that they fail to consume adequate amounts of fiber.
According to the American Heart Association, the daily value for fiber is 25 grams per day (on a 2,000-calorie diet). This number may also depend on age or sex:
- women under 50: 21 to 25 grams per day
- men under 50: 30 to 38 grams per day
How can you possibly consume 25 grams of fiber per day while keeping your carb count under 30 grams?
The answer: more green vegetables. Green leafys are the best bang for your buck. They provide optimal amounts of fiber with limited carbohydrates. I suggest filling half your plate with green vegetables such as: spinach, asparagus, arugula, broccoli, artichoke, romanesco, etc.
4. You’re consuming a protein portion larger than the palm of your hand (at every meal)
If you’re not into all that food journaling and macros counting, you can simply use the palm of your hand. As a rough rule of thumb, the palm of your hand serves as a measurement tool in determining how much protein to consume per sitting. Any more is likely unnecessary and invariably converting to fat.
5. You’re experiencing frothy or bubbly urine
Frothy or bubbly urine is common if your bladder is super full and the force of the urine stirs up some bubbles. However, frothy or bubbly urine on the regular may be a sign of too much protein in the diet.
Excessively frothy or bubbly urine paired with other symptoms such as swelling in your hands, feet or face, loss of appetite, nausea, trouble sleeping, cloudy or dark colored urine may may be an indication that your kidneys need some love and affection. Kidneys serve as a filtration system and occasionally that filter needs cleaning. Excessive protein can clog the filter and in sever cases, lead to infection. Yikes buddy!
Most of the time, foamy urine is nothing to worry about. Often, you can relieve foamy urine by drinking more water and/or reducing your protein intake.
But see your doctor if:
- the foamy urine doesn’t go away within a few days
- you also have symptoms like swelling, nausea, vomiting, appetite loss, and fatigue
- your urine is also cloudy or bloody
- if you’re a male, your orgasms produce little to no fluid or you’ve been trying to get your female partner pregnant for a year or longer without success
Whether you’re well-versed or brand spankin’ new to keto life and looking for some help, you should check out Katie’s coaching program. Coach Katie lives keto all day, errryday. She keeps up to date on the latest science, so you don’t have to. But more importantly, she addresses your specific goals to help you achieve ultimate success on your keto journey. And it’s always better to have someone in your corner, guiding you along. So if you’re ready for total life transformation and ultimate keto success, schedule your FREE initial keto consultation today!
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Katie Rodriguez nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.