LowCarb/Ketogenic Diet Focus: Protein. You may not need as much as you think.

Keto//OS Facts:  Scale won’t budge?  Stay Calm and Read ON

Recipe: Turnip Home Fries - Super Low Carb & Delicious!

Good day!  Hot on the heels of last week’s talk on Carbohydrates, this week we deal with Protein….one of the big three macros that our bodies simply cannot do without.  Like carbs and fats, this category of food is often misunderstood and for good reason - from low protein diets to high protein diets, every one of them claiming to be the answer to your problems they all, every one of them, contradict each other. 

But before I get into that - a tip that it’s Mother’s day this weekend…know what that means?  Well first, don’t forget.  Second, I’m going to guess that there is a strong chance that we will see a Keto//OS promo this weekend so check my Facebook page KetoNat (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) - I will post it if and when it should be announced.  No promises - but I have a feeling.

How much protein you eat has everything to do with your goals, your age, your stage, your activity levels, your diet (!?) and yes, even your genetics (we believe).  To avoid an uber long post I am going to stick to the assumption that you are omnivores.  The discussion around animal vs vegetable protein is a whole other topic that I will deal with on another day.  I am also going to hone in the value of eating less protein than you may think you need - seriously. 

Here are a few reasons why you should consider this idea:

  • one of the many reasons you may be having trouble staying or getting into Ketosis could be that you are eating too much protein….did you know that in the absence of carbs your body can quite easily convert excess protein into….sugar!
  • In her book Primal Body Primal Mind, Nora Gedgaugas (one of my first heroes in the nutrition world) makes a compelling case for limiting protein that I have heard repeated time and time again. If what you are after is longevity and anti aging then keeping your protein to 8 grams per kg of IDEAL weight is where you want to be aiming for.
  • Unless, of course, you are a high performance athlete - then you may need in the range of 1.2 to 1.7 g/kg a day which is still incredibly modest by most standards.
  • When you are in ketosis or have ketones in your system in appreciable amounts your body becomes much more efficient at recycling amino acids and preserving lean muscle so you don’t need as much protein as you would on a conventional diet - yet another compelling argument for giving this dietary approach a try.
  • Think of all the money you will save! Plus by eating less protein overall you will be able to afford better quality protein - another win.

Before I leave you I’d like to hone in on a couple of these points.  First, the idea of ideal bodyweight as a way to calculate your protein needs.  If you are carrying an extra 50 pounds or more, it goes without saying that you don’t want to be feeding yourself based on your current  weight but rather, your target weight.  The trouble is that if you have a lot of weight to lose it may be too extreme for you to cut your protein too far back all in one shot.  So, take it in stages. 

I’m going to go back to the Cronometer App and strongly suggest that you give it a good look.  I promise you that you will be shocked at how little animal protein you will end up eating in a day compared to what you are eating now…I know I was.  My target?  41 grams of protein a day.  That’s equivalent to 55 g of tuna (14 g of protein) and a 4 oz serving of Cod (25.9 g) - add that to the little bits of protein in my vegetables and other foods and I have surpassed my 41 gram target.  Am I making myself sick about this?  Nope.  But it is making me much more aware of what I eat and I am also making an effort to consume more healthy fats which I am often low on at the end of the day.  Because I love vegetables I have no issues there and by focusing on fibrous vegetables I am well within my carbohydrate targets. 

This approach may or may not be the right one for you - please bear in mid that not only am I not a doctor but, within all this we have to take into account bio individuality, genetics, your activity levels, any illnesses you may have and in the end, the actual results that are produced when you change what you are doing.  But it is worth a try and there is a lot of science that says that we over consume protein as a society.…finding a better balance will pay off for you and your health any way you look at it.   This is how I coach my clients - we pick a starting point, they learn what it looks and feels like, we observe their results - we either stay the course or adjust….the beauty of personalized nutrition. 

Keto//OS Fast Facts:  I’m not losing weight - what gives?

As much as exogenous ketones for many people can be the one thing they need to get their bodies burning fat, for others it may take a bit more time and focus.  Why?  Because there are a series of things that you may or may not be doing that are standing in the way between you and your best results.  Here are few things to consider:

  • You are losing inches vs pounds. Really?  Who cares how much you weigh if you are getting leaner and losing inches.  Especially for people who exercise we often see a loss of inches before the needle on the scale budges.  Stay the course.
  • You are not getting enough No sleep = increased cortisol = increased blood sugar = no fat burning.  Get to bed early.  Hack your sleep.  It’s worth it.
  • You aren’t drinking enough water. Dehydration is a huge issue and can absolutely stand in the way of your progress.  Add a pinch of salt to your water to balance electrolytes especially in hot weather.  Or, use a good quality electrolyte powder like Generation UCAN, Vega Sport or BioSteel.
  • You are over eating, under eating or you have not cleaned up your diet. Eating foods you are sensitive to (like dairy, soy, etc…) will drive up inflammation and stand in your way. 
  • Get outside and get moving. Come on.  You will feel better - haven’t exercised in years?  No problem start with a 10 minute walk every day.  Build up gradually.    Now.  Grab a friend, borrow a dog, park a few blocks away from work, take the stairs.

And please do not forget that better composition is only one of many profound benefits of getting ketones into your body - better focus, better energy, better mood, better sleep….Better is the operative word!.

Thank you as always for reading, for your comments and emails.   Follow me on Social Media links (below my signature) for healthy meal ideas, health tips and to be the first to hear about Pruvit sales and promotions. 

Useful links:

  • To reach me directly, email: canfuel@lowcarbcanada.ca
  • To order Keto//OS: shopketo.com/ca
  • To order a “5 day Experience” (5 single sachets) to try the product please email me and we can get you set up.
  • When you receive your order to get you started on your Keto journey watch the videos at: drinkyoursample.com/ca  The first explains how to use Keto//OS and the second explains how ketones work in your body - both are short and informative.
  • Ask about Pruvit’s new customer referral program - if you are on Smartship, just sign up two friends as Smartship customers and get your product for free!

Note: Say yes to Today and Smartship when you are placing your order to save money and make sure you never run out of ketones!  Smartship can be cancelled at any time with the push of a button with no penalty by simply logging into your back office and looking for the Box “My Smartship” on the home page.

Cheers!!

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