Trying to lose weight on the keto diet but find yourself constantly hungry? A high protein keto diet may be the solution.
What is the High Protein Keto Diet?
The high protein keto diet is a variation of the standard ketogenic diet that emphasizes higher protein intake while still limiting carbs to reach ketosis.
The typical breakdown of macros on a high protein keto diet looks like this:
- 60-75% of calories from fat
- 15-30% of calories from protein
- 5-10% of calories from carbs
So while protein intake is increased compared to the standard keto diet, carbs are still restricted to 20-50 grams per day to maintain ketosis.
Adding more protein provides greater feelings of fullness and helps preserve muscle mass while losing weight on keto. The extra protein may also help boost metabolism slightly.
Benefits of a High Protein Keto Diet
Here are some of the top benefits of following a high protein ketogenic diet:
- Increased satiety and reduced appetite
- Helps preserve lean body mass when losing weight
- May help boost metabolism
- Provides greater energy for workouts
- Helps maintain strength while dieting
- Improves body composition by limiting muscle loss
- Can help stabilize blood sugar levels
The extra protein really shines when it comes to improving satiety. More protein equals more fullness after meals and better control over cravings and hunger.
Studies show higher protein keto diets lead to better weight and fat loss compared to standard keto. Preserving metabolic rate and lean mass helps maintain an enhanced calorie burn.
Foods to Eat on High Protein Keto
Emphasizing protein doesn’t mean just loading up on steak and eggs. A properly balanced high protein keto diet includes a variety of healthy protein sources.
Good proteins to include daily are:
- Grass-fed beef
- Organic Chicken
- Wild-caught fish like salmon
- Full-fat Greek yogurt
- Nut butter
- Tofu and tempeh
- Whey protein powder
When planning meals and snacks, be sure to include a quality protein source with each. For example eggs at breakfast, yogurt at snack time, salmon at dinner, and nuts for dessert.
Low-carb veggies like spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus are also important. They provide nutrients plus fiber to support gut health and fullness.
Healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, coconut, nuts, and nut butter should be included in meals to help meet your daily needs.
As always, be sure to avoid processed junk foods. Stick to real, whole food sources as much as possible.
Sample High Protein Keto Menu
Here’s what a day of eating might look like on a high protein low carb keto diet:
Breakfast: Veggie omelet with cheese, avocado, and bacon + coffee with heavy cream
Snack: Full-fat Greek yogurt mixed with almonds and blackberries
Lunch: Burger lettuce wrap with cheese, tomato, onion, and mustard + side salad
Snack: Celery sticks with natural peanut butter
Dinner: Baked salmon cooked in olive oil + riced cauliflower + asparagus
Dessert: Full-fat cottage cheese with cinnamon and sliced almonds
This provides a good balance of protein, healthy fats, and low-carb vegetables throughout the day. Be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water as well.
Tips for Starting a High Protein Keto Diet
Switching to a high protein keto diet can take some planning and adjustment from a standard keto diet. Here are some helpful tips:
- Track your macros – Use an app to help calculate your personalized protein, carb, and fat goals each day. Tracking helps ensure you get enough protein.
- Meal prep – Take time on the weekends to meal prep a few high protein keto meals and snacks for the week ahead. This makes sticking to the diet much easier.
- Weigh and measure foods – Get in the habit of weighing meats, fish, and other proteins instead of eyeballing servings. This helps ensure accurate portion sizes.
- Focus on nutrition – Be sure to include a variety of low-carb vegetables for key vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Don’t just eat protein alone.
- Drink enough water – Hydration is crucial on keto. Carry a water bottle and aim for at least 2-3 liters per day. Adding electrolytes helps too.
- Plan ahead when eating out – Browse restaurant menus online first to find keto-friendly options. Ask for sauces and dressings on the side.
- Snack smart – Have high protein snacks prepared for when hunger hits. Good options include turkey roll-ups, deviled eggs, cottage cheese, and nuts.
- Get quality sleep – Sleep is essential for muscle repair and recovery after workouts. Help optimize results by aiming for 7-9 hours per night.
- Manage stress – Find healthy ways to manage stress like meditation, yoga, massage, and spending time outdoors. High cortisol can sabotage keto diets.
With some simple preparation, adjusting to a higher protein keto diet can be seamless. These tips will set you up for success.
Potential Drawbacks to Consider
While the high protein keto diet has many benefits, there are a few potential drawbacks to keep in mind as well:
- Higher cost – Grass-fed meats, fish, and high-quality proteins are generally more expensive than other standard diet foods.
- Digestive issues – Too much protein can irritate the digestive tract and cause diarrhea in some people. Stay hydrated.
- Kidney strain – Those with chronic kidney disease need medical guidance, as excess protein taxes the kidneys. Most people are fine.
- Cardiovascular risk – Eating excessive saturated fats from meat and low-carb has been associated with increased heart disease risk for some.
- Nutrient deficiencies – Not eating enough veggies can lead to vitamin, mineral and antioxidant deficiencies long-term.
- Lean mass loss – Too little protein paired with very low carb intake may still lead to some muscle loss during aggressive weight loss phases.
While these risks are low for most healthy adults on the high protein ketogenic diet, it’s important to be mindful of them. Consulting with a doctor or dietitian can help create a balanced eating plan tailored to your needs.
Integrating Exercise and Workouts
Combining the high protein keto diet with regular exercise provides even more metabolic benefits. Here’s how to integrate workouts:
Aerobic training – Do low and moderate intensity cardio 3-5 days per week. Walking, hiking, swimming, and stationary cycling are great options.
Resistance training – Lift weights 2-4 days per week to stimulate muscle growth and strength. Target all the major muscle groups.
HIIT workouts – Add in short high-intensity interval training bursts 1-2 days per week to really ignite fat burning.
Active recovery – On non-training days, get in some active recovery with walking, yoga, or stretching.
Proper form – Always use proper form and technique to prevent injury. Consider hiring a trainer when lifting weights.
Listen to your body – Take rest days when needed. Signs of overtraining include excessive soreness, fatigue, and decreased performance.
Pre-workout fuel – Drink bone broth or a keto protein shake before workouts for energy.
Pairing the high protein keto diet with regular exercise helps optimize body composition for maximum fat loss and muscle building. Just be sure to allow for proper recovery time between intense training days.
Making the switch to a high protein keto diet can bring about some temporary challenges and symptoms, especially during the adaptation phase as the body gets used to ketosis. Here are some troubleshooting tips:
Constipation – Up fluids, add magnesium supplements, eat more low-carb veggies and increase healthy fats. Consider a probiotic.
Diarrhea – Lower fat intake, increase fluids, and opt for leaner proteins until it resolves. Slow protein intake.
Fatigue – Be patient. It typically resolves within 1-3 weeks once keto adapted. Get enough salt, calories, and rest.
Muscle cramps – Likely due to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Drink bone broth and take magnesium and potassium supplements.
Food boredom – Mix up your menu weekly, seek keto recipes online, and try new seasonings, herbs, and spices to keep meals exciting.
Sweet cravings – Try stevia, monk fruit, or erythritol. Or try unsweetened chocolate, nut butter, berries, or cinnamon.
Plateaus – Stalls happen. Be patient and stick with the plan. Double check you’re tracking macros accurately. Consider intermittent fasting or carb cycling.
With some troubleshooting, potential challenges with transitioning to high protein keto can be easily managed. Reach out to a professional if symptoms persist.
The High Protein Keto Diet and Diabetes
Research shows the high protein ketogenic diet can be beneficial for those with type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance. Let’s explore why:
- It lowers blood sugar and can reduce HbA1c.
- Ketones provide an alternative fuel source inside cells.
- Protein improves satiety and reduces glucose spikes after meals.
- Loss of excess body fat can help improve insulin sensitivity long-term.
- Appetite regulation promotes consistent healthy eating patterns.
- The diet is highly nutrient-dense.
However, those with diabetes should work closely with their healthcare provider to adjust medications as needed when transitioning to keto.
It’s also important to properly manage electrolytes, fluids, and mineral levels to prevent adverse effects. Frequent blood sugar monitoring is key.
Overall, combining a high protein ketogenic diet with medication management provides powerful tools for controlling type 2 diabetes. Lower carbs, high protein, and healthy fats plus regular activity are beneficial.
Potential Long Term Effects
What does the research show about the potential long term effects of sticking to a high protein keto diet beyond just a few months? Here’s what we know:
- Sustained weight and fat loss when protein intake remains higher. Carb creep can lead to regaining weight.
- Improved body composition and preferential loss of body fat compared to muscle mass.
- Reduced cardiovascular disease risk factors like lower blood pressure and triglycerides in most people.
- Potential increased risk of kidney stones, gout, or osteoporosis if certain micronutrient needs are not met long-term.
- Increased muscle mass retention when combined with lifting weights. Preserves metabolism.
- Appetite regulation may improve helping ingrain long term healthy eating habits.
- Potential nutrient deficiencies if vegetable intake is inadequate for prolonged periods.
- Unknown impacts on gut health and microbiome diversity over many years.
The key takeaway is when implemented in a balanced, sustainable way and integrated with regular exercise, the high protein ketogenic diet appears to be safe and beneficial for most healthy adults over the long haul.
High Protein Keto FAQ
Still, have some questions about the high protein keto diet? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:
How much protein should I eat each day on keto?
Aim for around 1.2-2.2 grams of protein per kg of body weight or target protein to be 15-30% of total daily calories. The higher end is best for active individuals or those who really want to optimize body composition.
Will too much protein kick me out of ketosis?
Eating too much protein alone won’t disrupt ketosis. It’s still important to restrict carbs and total calories. However, some protein does convert to glucose so extremely high amounts may slow progress.
What are the best protein powders for keto?
Whey and collagen protein powders are good keto-friendly options. Look for ones that also contain MCT oil or electrolytes. Avoid protein powders that include artificial sweeteners or fillers.
Is a high protein keto diet healthy long term?
Yes, higher protein keto appears to be safe for most people long term. But be sure to include plenty of low-carb veggies for micronutrients. Stay hydrated and get enough electrolytes too.
Can I build muscle on a high protein keto diet?
Absolutely. A higher protein keto diet supports building muscle when combined with strength training. Just be sure to adjust protein intake to account for increased activity levels.
What are the best fats for protein sparing modified fast keto?
Focus on healthy unsaturated fats like olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish. Limit saturated fats from meats and butter when doing protein sparing modified fasts.
The high protein keto diet provides a powerful tool for weight loss while helping maintain muscle, control hunger, and reach ketosis. Focus on protein with each meal, limit carbs, and eat plenty of low-carb veggies and healthy fats. This balances protein intake to optimize body composition.
Overall the high protein keto diet is a healthy, sustainable approach to fast weight loss that can be followed long term. Just be sure to choose quality whole food sources of protein and healthy fats to get the best results.