Protein Priority Keto
October 5, 2021

Protein Priority Keto is a straight forward switch between eating standard high fat keto and eating high protein keto. Protein Priority Keto is no different from standard keto in terms of the carbs you eat, they are still strictly controlled. What makes Protein Priority Keto different is that the biggest macro is not fat, but protein. This makes it different from the type of keto that most experts recommend. I myself, never recommended eating high fat. It didn’t make sense to me but having learned so much throughout my 5 years coaching for weight loss, I knew that my instincts were right.

Standard keto protocol

When you look at the top keto advocates like Diet Doctor you can see that they recommend that 60% to 75% of your daily calories should come from fat. Then the advice is 35% of calories from protein. Standard recommendations across all platforms are to keep carbs at 20g or less per day to stay in ketosis. Some advocate for counting net carbs (subtracting fibre) and others advocate for counting total carbs (including fibre). I personally need to count total carbs because I stop losing weight if I count net carbs. Some people can eat more than 20g and stay in ketosis but the majority of people drop out of ketosis around 30g net carbs so really aren’t doing keto but very low carb instead. Both are fine if they work for you.

Why standard keto stops working

In this video I explain why keto stops working for a huge majority of people once they lose a significant amount of weight. You can also read the blog post here. Or when they get close to their goals or have been on keto for a prolonged period of time. The lack of protein long term pushes their body into a kind of protein starvation and compels them to eat. I have experienced it myself. I was losing a lot of hair, my metabolism was slowing as I used my lean muscle mass to fill in the gap from the lack of protein in my diet.

Simply put, if you don’t give your body enough protein in your diet, it will start to use the protein you already have, like muscle mass, for the systems that are more essential for health. The process of gluconeogenesis (the creation of new glucose) never switches off. It’s ramped up when you eat a low carb diet because you aren’t eating enough carbs to give your body all of the glucose it needs. Protein is a key component in the process of gluconeogenesis. If your dietary protein is too low, it has to come from somewhere else. Feeding glucose to your brain is more important than muscles so your body will take it from there. It’s why you see people getting a DEXA scan and losing muscle as well as fat on keto. That is why.

Protein Priority Keto

This is where the game changes. When you want to eat very low carb, keto level, then you must feed your body enough protein to compensate for all of the ways your body needs protein. You are forcing it to create more glucose through gluconeogenesis by eating very low carb, so give it all of the ingredients it needs for it in abundance. You do this by upping your dietary protein to at least 1g of protein per POUND of ideal body weight. Almost double the recommended amount daily.

Making the switch

In my program Protein Priority Diet, you are given all of the tools to guide you through the transition to a high protein diet. This is because shifting away from a high fat keto mentality can be challenging. Learning to embrace lower fat foods and learner meats to prioritise protein can be a difficult change to make.  But it really is as simple as choosing 0% fat Greek yoghurt instead of full fat. Choosing leaner meats like turkey and chicken or even fillet over ribeye.

Protein Priority is key to weight loss

The simple fact is that many of us don’t need to stay on keto level carbs long term for weight loss. As you heal from insulin resistance and other metabolic issues you should be able to reintroduce higher carb fruits and vegetables into your diet. This should be done carefully though especially if you have had trouble controlling your carb intake in the past. Ketosis is a great state to be in for healing but it’s not strictly necessary for weight loss. As long as you make protein the priority, the most abundant macro in your diet, you will get all of the benefits.

That is why in the Protein Priority Diet you get the choice of eating high protein with either moderate fat and low carb or moderate carb and low fat. If you choose to keep your carbs a keto level (20g) you will not necessarily be gaining anything in terms of extra weight loss. It might be easier, mentally, to slightly increase your carbs so you have more choice, freedom and variety in your diet. 

In the Diet program, you can choose a more liberal plan that has higher carbs (max 100g roughly) but I always recommend very low carb to anyone with carb issues or chronic disease. Don’t be scared of coming out of ketosis. It doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t lose weight.

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