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Old 07-22-2012, 05:20 PM   #1
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YMMV - Higher Protein vs. Higher Fat

For so long I kept trying the higher fat but staying at the same weight (stalled after about a 50 pound loss in 2008) -- I finally realized that my hunger disappears with a ratio of about 50 grams of fat to 100 grams of protein per day. Eating higher fat ended up meaning higher calories and never feeling satiated. Now I eat chicken breast, a small NY Strip steak a couple times a week, turkey, etc... and by default my fat AND CALORIES went down...and I am losing again, and not just pounds, but fat...really getting that defined waist.

Just wondering what works for others...I like to see the different effects high fat or high protein has on people. I was worried about my kidneys at first, but have been told multiple times now that 100 grams of protein a day is not too much.

Any input? Love to hear your story.
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Old 07-22-2012, 05:23 PM   #2
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Mishka
Sent you a pm. Been trying the same approach.
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Old 07-22-2012, 05:33 PM   #3
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I hold about the same ratios too. I am by no means low fat, but I feel better with less fat and more protein and also more veggies. I also believe calories really matter especially when trying to get to a vanity weight or trying to maintaining it. I hang around 1200, but don't religiously count. It isn't too low for some of us shorties, just got to make sure those 1200 are nutrient packed.

PS- I learned my fat tooth is just as bad as my sweet carb tooth...they both are insatiable.

Last edited by steady; 07-22-2012 at 05:34 PM..
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Old 07-22-2012, 05:34 PM   #4
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Fat has never been what satiated me , but higher carb foods that have BULK and TYPES of animal proteins. A fatty chicken thigh is not as likely to satiate me as much as beef even though the calories and fat percentages are higher than a hamburger or steak.

Also, I will lose more if I eat an apple with steak than steak with cheese because the apple will satiate me and not cause me to snack.

At some point our bodies change and dietary needs change. Even if it goes against what we think SHOULD be true according to what worked at one point and time. I just go with it.

I don't worry about the protein being too high unless I had kidney problems. As a matter of fact I think I ate WAY more protein before low carb because I ate so much!
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Old 07-22-2012, 05:38 PM   #5
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I am a high fat person.
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Old 07-22-2012, 05:44 PM   #6
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Jeanie...I replied...sorry I took so long.

Steady...same here about high fat. On my food diary, the days I eat more fat are always the days my calories end up higher. High protein days I have no trouble keeping under 1200 calories.
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Old 07-22-2012, 06:35 PM   #7
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You know Mishka I think I remember reading somewhere (atkins book?), that he wasn't really recommending an extremely high fat diet and that the amounts would drop naturally as you climbed the carb ladder.
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:22 PM   #8
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Mishka, I too follow a high protein program because I believe that a diet high in saturated fat has real medical consequences.

However, I would add that folks who have a history of renal insufficiency should not take in excessive protein because they are at risk of inflicting kidney damage.

Good Luck,
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:27 PM   #9
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I've been gaining and losing the same 3 pounds no matter what I do. This weekend I decided to try the Atkin's Fat Fast. I bumped up the calories to 1200 by adding a protein shake. I've lost a real 2.5 pounds and my blood sugar is lower. I'm not sure what it means yet, but it's a start.
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:36 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by jeaniem View Post
You know Mishka I think I remember reading somewhere (atkins book?), that he wasn't really recommending an extremely high fat diet and that the amounts would drop naturally as you climbed the carb ladder.
I'm pretty sure I remember reading this as well. It's been a while (4 years) since I read Atkins book, but I remember thinking while reading it that he was giving us all these hight fat foods in order to keep us from feeling deprived. Once we got over the carb cravings we would move away from the high fats to a more moderate amount. My intepretation might not be correct, but that's how it came across to me.

When I started Atkins I had eggs and bacon for breakfast everyday for months. When I stalled I switched to turkey bacon and I started losing again. When I stalled again I traded cheese for almonds and a fruit and started losing again. I typically stick with a high protein, moderate fat, sensible carb ratio and it works well for me. Right now I'm on induction to drop 5lbs, but I'll go back to that ration once I get there. It never fails to impress me though how different everyone responds to these ratios.
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twilight View Post
I've been gaining and losing the same 3 pounds no matter what I do. This weekend I decided to try the Atkin's Fat Fast. I bumped up the calories to 1200 by adding a protein shake. I've lost a real 2.5 pounds and my blood sugar is lower. I'm not sure what it means yet, but it's a start.
Congratulations, Twilight! I know how frustrating that must have been, and I'm glad that you have found something that is working again, at least for now. I hope that you continue to lose and maintain the lower blood sugar levels.
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Old 07-23-2012, 05:24 AM   #12
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PS- I learned my fat tooth is just as bad as my sweet carb tooth...they both are insatiable.
Agree!

I was high fat, and I was having trouble losing the weight I put on over the winter from some medical issues. A few months on aktins induction- high fat, and the scale would not budge- I switched to low fat, low carb (low calories) and I am happy to report that I am a couple little pounds from goal

However, I looked back at my notes from when my weight crept up a few years ago, and it looks like i had to cut the fat/calories then too. I think it depends on your body- Im already small however- not overweight.
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Old 07-23-2012, 05:54 AM   #13
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I think as you add in carbs, you need to lower the fat a bit. My family eat lower carb, so I serve them different meat than what I eat on zero carb. They get lower fat cuts.
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Old 07-26-2012, 07:54 AM   #14
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I'm so glad to see this thread. Today is my first day on this forum, but I'm not new to low carb. I lost 60 lbs on Atkins, but then my weight loss stopped. I've been stalled for 10 months. I kept trying the common advice to lower protein and keep a higher fat diet. But, every time I did, the hunger was unbearable. Only protein satisfies my hunger. Fat and veggies satisfy my tastebuds, too, but not my hunger. Today, I am starting on Stillman. I don't bore easily, so I'm fine with the limited choices. The much lower fat will finally get the kcals down to a manageable level, and hopefully, the emphasis on protein will keep my terrible hunger issue at bay so I can lose my last 30 pounds. With all the emphasis in low carb on moderate protein and high fat, I really was starting to feel alone with this issue. Glad to see I am not!
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Old 07-26-2012, 09:29 AM   #15
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I can't remember who said it above (and I'm too lazy to scroll and look...how bad is THAT?!? LOL!), but I think I have an insatiable fat tooth, as well. I crave it. I will eat slices of butter (don't judge), and I think I need to re-think my high fat approach. For me, with hypothyroidism, I believe I will actually have to watch calories. My approach to this is to focus on increasing my vegetables by a lot to see if this helps. I've been stalled for awhile now. Hopefully this will help!
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Old 07-26-2012, 12:38 PM   #16
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I'm so glad to see this thread. Today is my first day on this forum, but I'm not new to low carb. I lost 60 lbs on Atkins, but then my weight loss stopped. I've been stalled for 10 months. I kept trying the common advice to lower protein and keep a higher fat diet. But, every time I did, the hunger was unbearable. Only protein satisfies my hunger. Fat and veggies satisfy my tastebuds, too, but not my hunger. Today, I am starting on Stillman. I don't bore easily, so I'm fine with the limited choices. The much lower fat will finally get the kcals down to a manageable level, and hopefully, the emphasis on protein will keep my terrible hunger issue at bay so I can lose my last 30 pounds. With all the emphasis in low carb on moderate protein and high fat, I really was starting to feel alone with this issue. Glad to see I am not!
I've found that my weight loss is periodically stalling or proceeding very slowly, despite staying on plan, eating a low carb level (in the 20s), being physically active, avoiding all sweeteners, cutting down to just the foods allowed in Atkins induction, limiting calories, weighing and measuring everything and using an online food tracker, etc. My working hypothesis is that I need to reduce my protein level, since the body can convert excess protein into glucose and prompt an insulin spike--for some people, anyway. I'm finding it really, really tough to get by on something like .6 * pounds of lean body mass (70 grams, for me) a day, because I feel hungry all the time, and eating fat doesn't remove my hunger. I'm hoping to get adjusted to a higher-fat, lower protein level eventually; some of the books about becoming keto-adapted stress that it takes someone 2-6 weeks to get fully adapted, so I may have to just live with being hungry for a few weeks. If I cannot get adjusted to lower protein levels eventually, I may try Stillman too, to see how that works for me.

Last edited by svenskamae; 07-26-2012 at 12:40 PM..
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Old 07-26-2012, 03:10 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Labhrain View Post
I'm so glad to see this thread. Today is my first day on this forum, but I'm not new to low carb. I lost 60 lbs on Atkins, but then my weight loss stopped. I've been stalled for 10 months. I kept trying the common advice to lower protein and keep a higher fat diet. But, every time I did, the hunger was unbearable. Only protein satisfies my hunger. Fat and veggies satisfy my tastebuds, too, but not my hunger. Today, I am starting on Stillman. I don't bore easily, so I'm fine with the limited choices. The much lower fat will finally get the kcals down to a manageable level, and hopefully, the emphasis on protein will keep my terrible hunger issue at bay so I can lose my last 30 pounds. With all the emphasis in low carb on moderate protein and high fat, I really was starting to feel alone with this issue. Glad to see I am not!
You're definitely not alone!!!!!!!!!!!! I too do best on a LC, low-fat, high-protein program. I feel that it's much healthier than a high saturated fat regimen. I tend to eat mostly monounsaturated fats as well as high Omega-3 polyunsaturated fats in fish.

Good Luck,

Last edited by Abby; 07-26-2012 at 03:12 PM..
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Old 07-26-2012, 03:18 PM   #18
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You're definitely not alone!!!!!!!!!!!! I too do best on a LC, low-fat, high-protein program. I feel that it's much healthier than a high saturated fat regimen. I tend to eat mostly monounsaturated fats as well as high Omega-3 polyunsaturated fats in fish.

Good Luck,
Thank you so much, Abby! While I don't feel it's more healthful (saturated fat is quite healthful for several reasons, despite the years of bad information to the contrary,) it sure is more satisfying for me to have more protein! The only viable way to get those kcals down, for me, is to lower fat. The thing that rings important here is that we all do best on different approaches, and it's important that we each find what works best for ourselves. I felt there was something wrong with me for craving more protein than I thought I "should" have, as a "good" low-carber. I'm thrilled to find out there are others who do better this way, and I feel much freer now to talk about it. Before, I did not.
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Old 07-26-2012, 03:25 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by svenskamae View Post
I've found that my weight loss is periodically stalling or proceeding very slowly, despite staying on plan, eating a low carb level (in the 20s), being physically active, avoiding all sweeteners, cutting down to just the foods allowed in Atkins induction, limiting calories, weighing and measuring everything and using an online food tracker, etc. My working hypothesis is that I need to reduce my protein level, since the body can convert excess protein into glucose and prompt an insulin spike--for some people, anyway. I'm finding it really, really tough to get by on something like .6 * pounds of lean body mass (70 grams, for me) a day, because I feel hungry all the time, and eating fat doesn't remove my hunger. I'm hoping to get adjusted to a higher-fat, lower protein level eventually; some of the books about becoming keto-adapted stress that it takes someone 2-6 weeks to get fully adapted, so I may have to just live with being hungry for a few weeks. If I cannot get adjusted to lower protein levels eventually, I may try Stillman too, to see how that works for me.
I hope it works for you. I tried and tried. It simply never worked. My hunger never abated. In fact, the longer I tried, the more it ramped up. It was futile. The more I tried to satisfy my hunger with fat, the more I simply worked against my efforts by eating far too many kcals. Trying to satisfy my hunger with more of the veggies that I so love resulted in the same. (Eating too many kcals, in and of itself, despite the source of the kcals, can be insulinogenic.) And this is after quite some time on a very low carb diet, and a loss of 60 pounds. (Point being, I don't doubt that I was keto-adapted that this point.) I won't go into it , but I think there is a lot more to the whole "protein is insulinogenic" issue and to the gluconeogenesis issue, and that there's no reason that a person eating a rather low carb diet cannot eat higher protein if needed and achieve good results. And, let's face it. A person can only deny hunger for so long, and sustainability is an absolute must on what needs to be a lifetime way of eating.

Last edited by Labhrain; 07-26-2012 at 03:26 PM..
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Old 07-26-2012, 03:30 PM   #20
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I felt there was something wrong with me for craving more protein than I thought I "should" have, as a "good" low-carber. I'm thrilled to find out there are others who do better this way, and I feel much freer now to talk about it.
Speak up and be counted!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Vive la difference............

For me, a "good" low carber is someone who can stick with a LC program regardless of their protein or fat ratios.

Good Luck,
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Old 07-26-2012, 03:32 PM   #21
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For me, a "good" low carber is someone who can stick with a LC program regardless of their protein or fat ratios.
Makes perfect sense!
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Old 07-27-2012, 10:01 AM   #22
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The other side of the coin

I've found recently that reducing protein and upping fat works for me quite well. I'd been treating protein sort of as a free food- and I don't think I can do that any more. Basically I'm doing a modified fat fast 3-4 days a week and my normal low carb the rest of the time. On fast days cals are 1200-1500 and 85% fat ~12% protein. I'm losing again for the first time in a year. (10-12 lbs in a month vs 10-12 in the past year)

Just shows that we all have to find what works- and if it stops working then give things a tweak.
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Old 07-27-2012, 10:10 AM   #23
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I'm a lower fat person. It averages between 40-60%. I'm trying higher fat now and adequate protein and so far, no loss.

This is what's happens to me historically. I can lose slowly with adequate protein 60-80g/day, lots of soluble fiber from veg and some oat or corn fiber and coconut flour and reasonable amounts of fat (about 1tsp added per meal of ghee, olive oil or butter). I'm out of ghee right now and need to order some more grass fed ghee soon.

I maintain VERY well with higher fat, though!!!
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Old 07-27-2012, 10:12 AM   #24
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I've found recently that reducing protein and upping fat works for me quite well. I'd been treating protein sort of as a free food- and I don't think I can do that any more. Basically I'm doing a modified fat fast 3-4 days a week and my normal low carb the rest of the time. On fast days cals are 1200-1500 and 85% fat ~12% protein. I'm losing again for the first time in a year. (10-12 lbs in a month vs 10-12 in the past year)

Just shows that we all have to find what works- and if it stops working then give things a tweak.
Interesting, thanks for sharing, JoJo. Congratulations on losing again after a year-long stall!

You might consider joining us on the Nutritional Ketosis challenge thread; a number of people there have been trying to reduce protein and upping fat to break stalls or facilitate loss, and some of them have been successful, like you.

Since I find cutting back on protein to be so difficult--at least for now--I'm especially intrigued by the concept of doing higher fat some days of the week and your regular low carb other days--sort of a JUDD mentality for protein/fat ratios. That might make things easier for me ...

BTW, I've just finished reading the Volek and Phinney book on Low Carbohydrate Performance, which advocates having 65-85 percent of calories from fat, and being careful to limit both protein and carbs (with upper limits varying across individuals). They seem to consider as low as 65% of calories from fat as being potentially consistent with full nutritional ketosis (testable using a monitor that checks ketones in blood) for weight loss, so long as protein and carbs are kept within limits, but the figure that works is going to vary from person to person.

Of course, it's quite possible to lose weight with other approaches, such as high protein/Stillman or just limiting carbs, but that doesn't necessarily work for all of us, all of the time.
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Old 07-27-2012, 10:15 AM   #25
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I maintain VERY well with higher fat, though!!!
Yep. Higher fat is fine for maintenance for me. Not so good for loss anymore, even though it worked fine for a long while.
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Old 07-27-2012, 12:39 PM   #26
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Interesting, thanks for sharing, JoJo. Congratulations on losing again after a year-long stall!

You might consider joining us on the Nutritional Ketosis challenge thread; a number of people there have been trying to reduce protein and upping fat to break stalls or facilitate loss, and some of them have been successful, like you.
Thanks for the heads-up about the nutritional ketosis thread. I'll check it out. FYI unlike JUDD I do my fast days consecutively- Mon-Thurs because I find it easier to be structured on work days. I'm familiar with the Performance book, and got to hear Dr. Volek on the Low Carb Cruise. Also inspired by Jimmy Moore's experiments in response to those discussions.
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Old 07-30-2012, 06:02 PM   #27
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Anyone finding that you are feeling a bit overheated eating the higher protein?
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:35 PM   #28
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Fat has never been what satiated me , but higher carb foods that have BULK and TYPES of animal proteins. A fatty chicken thigh is not as likely to satiate me as much as beef even though the calories and fat percentages are higher than a hamburger or steak.

Also, I will lose more if I eat an apple with steak than steak with cheese because the apple will satiate me and not cause me to snack.

At some point our bodies change and dietary needs change. Even if it goes against what we think SHOULD be true according to what worked at one point and time. I just go with it.

I don't worry about the protein being too high unless I had kidney problems. As a matter of fact I think I ate WAY more protein before low carb because I ate so much!
Me also. My fat is about 35% of my diet. But carbs are 40% as I'm reduced carb but by no means, LC.
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:22 AM   #29
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Interesting, thanks for sharing, JoJo. Congratulations on losing again after a year-long stall!

You might consider joining us on the Nutritional Ketosis challenge thread; a number of people there have been trying to reduce protein and upping fat to break stalls or facilitate loss, and some of them have been successful, like you.

Since I find cutting back on protein to be so difficult--at least for now--I'm especially intrigued by the concept of doing higher fat some days of the week and your regular low carb other days--sort of a JUDD mentality for protein/fat ratios. That might make things easier for me ...

BTW, I've just finished reading the Volek and Phinney book on Low Carbohydrate Performance, which advocates having 65-85 percent of calories from fat, and being careful to limit both protein and carbs (with upper limits varying across individuals). They seem to consider as low as 65% of calories from fat as being potentially consistent with full nutritional ketosis (testable using a monitor that checks ketones in blood) for weight loss, so long as protein and carbs are kept within limits, but the figure that works is going to vary from person to person.

Of course, it's quite possible to lose weight with other approaches, such as high protein/Stillman or just limiting carbs, but that doesn't necessarily work for all of us, all of the time.
I'm intrigued by the idea of possibly doing a fat fast for part of the week and a super high protein diet for another part. Have never yet heard of this being done (and I've looked some)...but from what I've read (including here) it would seem that both the super low protein version of lc (the fat fast) and the super high protein version (like the Stillman diet) result in higher weight loss in most people [emphasize most people] than an in-between, or normal, protein intake. One obvious advantage of a very high protein intake is that it takes more calories to digest protein than it does to digest fat or carbs--however, Dr. Stillman claimed a typical advatage of 250 some calories a day on his diet for that extra thermogenesis, and that hardly explains the high ongoing rate of weight loss that he claimed (5 pounds a week)...In any case, if my screwy idea worked, the two parts of the rotation would obviously be complimentary with regard to regard to one's protein needs (whereas alternating the fat fast with a period of "normal" intake might leave you deficient).

With regard to the Phinney and Volek books, one thing you have to remember is that in the low carb performance book (I assume--have not read it, but have read most of their "lc living" book) they are talking about maintenance on a ketogenic diet, and that's dramatically different as far as total fat intake is concerned (and as far as percentage of protein intake is concerned) from the situation on an lc reducing diet. In the "living" book they specifically say that the percentage of protein intake on a reducing diet can be much higher than it can on a maintenance diet, yet still be healthy, because a lot of your total calorie needs while reducing are coming from your own fat. They maintain that the absolute amount of protein should always be the same on a ketogenic diet (according to your likely needs), but that fat intake must go way up when we are no longer going to be drawing on our own fat.

Last edited by CreekWatcher; 08-03-2012 at 02:27 AM..
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Old 08-03-2012, 06:03 AM   #30
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WOE: Nutritional Ketosis--Maintenance!
Start Date: August 6, 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by CreekWatcher View Post

With regard to the Phinney and Volek books, one thing you have to remember is that in the low carb performance book (I assume--have not read it, but have read most of their "lc living" book) they are talking about maintenance on a ketogenic diet, and that's dramatically different as far as total fat intake is concerned (and as far as percentage of protein intake is concerned) from the situation on an lc reducing diet. In the "living" book they specifically say that the percentage of protein intake on a reducing diet can be much higher than it can on a maintenance diet, yet still be healthy, because a lot of your total calorie needs while reducing are coming from your own fat. They maintain that the absolute amount of protein should always be the same on a ketogenic diet (according to your likely needs), but that fat intake must go way up when we are no longer going to be drawing on our own fat.
I think that a lot of people got confused by Jimmy Moore's posts on nutritional ketosis and thought that Phinney/Volek said that you should be eating 85% of your calories from fat which is absolutely not true. I've broken a monumental stall using a meter to monitor nutritional ketosis with fat at about the 65-70% level while keeping protein and carbs stable (counting grams not %). For me it's about staying satisfied while getting into a negative energy balance and nutritional ketosis seems to be working.
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