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Old 11-22-2012, 10:10 AM   #1
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WOE: Nutritional Ketosis--Maintenance!
Start Date: August 6, 2001
Figuring out Your Protein Requirement

For all of you following Nutritional Ketosis how have you figured out your protein requirement for NK?

At first I used the Dr. Jan Kwasniewski (Optimal Diet) formula which game me 68g +/- 10% for a 150lb goal weight. (The formula is goal weight/2.2)

In The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance, Phinney and Volek recommend a protein range of .6 - 1 X lean body mass. To figure this out you need your goal weight and goal fat percentage.

Goal weight * (1-goal BF%) = Goal LBM
Goal LBM * .6 = bottom of the range

My calculations are (150 pound woman with 20% BF Goal):

150 * (1-.2) = 120
120 * .6 = 72
Protein range = 72 - 120

So the bottom of the range is not that far off from the Kwasniewski number. After testing ketones for months I do find that staying at the bottom of the range gets me higher ketones and going over 90 grams for more than a day will knock me out of ketosis.

I also found that I lost faster with a lower amount of protein (in the 60-70 gram range).

I'd be interested to hear how others have calculated their protein requirements and (if you're tracking) how different levels of protein affect a.m. blood ketone readings and weight-loss.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:40 AM   #2
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Thanks for posting this.

I had figured out my protein requirement as 85 using something from another thread. According to the Optimal Diet formula, it would be 55. For some reason I can't quite figure out how to use the other formula you posted (brain fog, I guess--I'm on day 3 of NK!) but if the low range of that is similar to the OD formula, I guess I could just go with 55, or 60. Does that sound right to you? I am about 140 pounds and 5 foot 1.
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:04 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anjikun View Post
Thanks for posting this.

I had figured out my protein requirement as 85 using something from another thread. According to the Optimal Diet formula, it would be 55. For some reason I can't quite figure out how to use the other formula you posted (brain fog, I guess--I'm on day 3 of NK!) but if the low range of that is similar to the OD formula, I guess I could just go with 55, or 60. Does that sound right to you? I am about 140 pounds and 5 foot 1.
Do you have a goal body fat %? For most women that's somewhere between 20% and 30%. It depends on how athletic you are, body type, and age. If you have goal weight and body fat% I can tell you how to use it with the Performance range calculation.
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Old 11-22-2012, 12:04 PM   #4
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I don't really have a goal weight, although I think an ideal weight for my size would be 120-130. I don't really know about body fat percentage. If I were to get down to 120 I wouldn't have much fat on me. I don't really care that much about losing weight right now though. I honestly just want to see if getting into true ketosis will up my energy levels at all.
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Old 11-22-2012, 12:12 PM   #5
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I did the lower protein and found that I was losing lean body mass and gaining fat percentage. I'm in the process of re-evaluating my protein requirements as I initially lost 2# in the first 6 weeks or so and then gained over 3# and it's all fat (and losing lean body mass). I go to the gym 3 days a week to lift weights. I need my muscle, so am going to up my protein considerably now. We are all so very different!
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anjikun View Post
I don't really have a goal weight, although I think an ideal weight for my size would be 120-130. I don't really know about body fat percentage. If I were to get down to 120 I wouldn't have much fat on me. I don't really care that much about losing weight right now though. I honestly just want to see if getting into true ketosis will up my energy levels at all.
So let's use 125 pounds and 25% BF as a goal.

125*(1-.25)=93.75
93.75 X .6 = 56.25

Using the formula in the Performance book your range would be 56.25-93.75.

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Originally Posted by shelley View Post
I did the lower protein and found that I was losing lean body mass and gaining fat percentage. I'm in the process of re-evaluating my protein requirements as I initially lost 2# in the first 6 weeks or so and then gained over 3# and it's all fat (and losing lean body mass). I go to the gym 3 days a week to lift weights. I need my muscle, so am going to up my protein considerably now. We are all so very different!
Shelley--What is your goal weight and goal body fat %? What protein level did you start at, and what level is working for you now?

It's very true that we're all individual, that's why experimenting and finding what works is so valuable!

It's also really helpful to hear what's working and not working for other people.
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Old 11-22-2012, 01:51 PM   #7
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Thanks for your help Kristn--this helps enormously. I guess as long as I keep my protein within 60-90 that should be good for starters.
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:15 AM   #8
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I am keeping my protein lower than what is suggested by Phinney and Volek. I am post menopausal and very weight loss 'challenged'. My daily goal is 55g and that is based on my goal of 130lbs and btw, I am 5'3.5".

I sure hope NuSI gets an opportunity to find some evidence that is in reference to the metabolically damaged, peri-meno or post meno. I do think it is different than an 'average' male. I do watch for signs of muscle wasting and have none so far. It may be that in my stage of life that protein needs are reduced. If anyone has any info on the subject, I would love to see it.
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:18 AM   #9
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My protein requirements might also be pretty low. I am pretty close to post-menopausal (only have a period once in a while) and I am not weight training right now. So I should probably stick closer to 60, I guess.
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clackley View Post
I am keeping my protein lower than what is suggested by Phinney and Volek. I am post menopausal and very weight loss 'challenged'. My daily goal is 55g and that is based on my goal of 130lbs and btw, I am 5'3.5".

I sure hope NuSI gets an opportunity to find some evidence that is in reference to the metabolically damaged, peri-meno or post meno. I do think it is different than an 'average' male. I do watch for signs of muscle wasting and have none so far. It may be that in my stage of life that protein needs are reduced. If anyone has any info on the subject, I would love to see it.


I have to believe that there is some truth to this. I am going to lower my protein slightly again (60-70 range, rather than 70-90) this upcoming week because I am not getting the ketone readings that I would like even staying in the lower half of the Performance range. And my weight seems to be inching up.
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:16 PM   #11
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Okay, Hope all who celebrate had a wonderful holiday. I sure did. I have been mucky muckin' about here and hope to get to know all y'all soon, but right now I have been trying to figure this woe out and redaren helped alot on one of the threads. I listened to one of Phinney's interviews this afternoon (ain't U-tube a wonderful thing?) and he stated that when you go out of ketosis, it takes 4-6 WEEKS to get back to true nutritional ketosis. How depressing is that after a holiday when you tried but wasn't perfect and know now that you're 4-6 weeks away from NK with two birthdays and two major holidays between now and then?

One lightbulb moment was when (if I understand correctly) I get the fact that the 80/15/5 can include our own body fat being used. OMG! So I only have to divide up the protein and carb numbers between my planned meals and eat up to satisfaction w/the fat. The rest comes from those pesky fat cells which have been hoarding since 1962. Please, please, please let this be true. Or...correct me if I'm wrong. Either way, I am enjoying the evening and will deal with family pressure at the next event.

I think I have never actually been in NK.

Last edited by cici52; 11-23-2012 at 04:45 PM.. Reason: Observation
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Old 11-23-2012, 05:37 PM   #12
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WOE: Nutritional Ketosis--Maintenance!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cici52 View Post
Okay, Hope all who celebrate had a wonderful holiday. I sure did. I have been mucky muckin' about here and hope to get to know all y'all soon, but right now I have been trying to figure this woe out and redaren helped alot on one of the threads. I listened to one of Phinney's interviews this afternoon (ain't U-tube a wonderful thing?) and he stated that when you go out of ketosis, it takes 4-6 WEEKS to get back to true nutritional ketosis. How depressing is that after a holiday when you tried but wasn't perfect and know now that you're 4-6 weeks away from NK with two birthdays and two major holidays between now and then?
I think that it's very individual. I have been doing this since June and have been knocked out of ketosis and has taken up to 5 days to get consistently over .5 for my morning blood ketone readings, but nowhere near 4-6 weeks. Other people have had different experiences. But I wouldn't use it as a reason not to try during this time of year.

Quote:
One lightbulb moment was when (if I understand correctly) I get the fact that the 80/15/5 can include our own body fat being used. OMG! So I only have to divide up the protein and carb numbers between my planned meals and eat up to satisfaction w/the fat. The rest comes from those pesky fat cells which have been hoarding since 1962. Please, please, please let this be true. Or...correct me if I'm wrong. Either way, I am enjoying the evening and will deal with family pressure at the next event.

I think I have never actually been in NK.
This is also what I got from the Phinney interviews and reading the Performance book. When I was trying to lose my dietary fat stayed in the 65-70%ish range and my ketones were much higher than they are now in maintenance and closer to 80-85% dietary fat.
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:03 AM   #13
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OK, I'm ready to try NK to get back down to goal and maintain (3 months in Sweden has made it challenging to stay at goal, and right now I'm a few lbs up). I'm calculating my protein range at about 60 grams/day and 20 grams of net carbs per day , which leaves about 65-75 g of fat, if I'm averaging about 1200 calories a day. So the ratios are about 65% fat, 20% protein, 6% carbs.

Can I just eat a hunk of triple cream brie and call it a day? (Joking, but not entirely).

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Old 11-24-2012, 07:37 AM   #14
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OK, I'm ready to try NK to get back down to goal and maintain (3 months in Sweden has made it challenging to stay at goal, and right now I'm a few lbs up). I'm calculating my protein range at about 60 grams/day and 20 grams of net carbs per day , which leaves about 65-75 g of fat, if I'm averaging about 1200 calories a day. So the ratios are about 65% fat, 20% protein, 6% carbs.

Can I just eat a hunk of triple cream brie and call it a day? (Joking, but not entirely).
Sounds like a plan to me!! &
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Old 11-24-2012, 10:55 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by cici52 View Post
One lightbulb moment was when (if I understand correctly) I get the fact that the 80/15/5 can include our own body fat being used. OMG! So I only have to divide up the protein and carb numbers between my planned meals and eat up to satisfaction w/the fat. The rest comes from those pesky fat cells which have been hoarding since 1962. Please, please, please let this be true. Or...correct me if I'm wrong. Either way, I am enjoying the evening and will deal with family pressure at the next event.

I think I have never actually been in NK.
so how do you know how much of the 80%...of the 80-15-5 is fat stores and how much should be dietary fat?
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:06 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cici52 View Post
Okay, Hope all who celebrate had a wonderful holiday. I sure did. I have been mucky muckin' about here and hope to get to know all y'all soon, but right now I have been trying to figure this woe out and redaren helped alot on one of the threads. I listened to one of Phinney's interviews this afternoon (ain't U-tube a wonderful thing?) and he stated that when you go out of ketosis, it takes 4-6 WEEKS to get back to true nutritional ketosis. How depressing is that after a holiday when you tried but wasn't perfect and know now that you're 4-6 weeks away from NK with two birthdays and two major holidays between now and then?

One lightbulb moment was when (if I understand correctly) I get the fact that the 80/15/5 can include our own body fat being used. OMG! So I only have to divide up the protein and carb numbers between my planned meals and eat up to satisfaction w/the fat. The rest comes from those pesky fat cells which have been hoarding since 1962. Please, please, please let this be true. Or...correct me if I'm wrong. Either way, I am enjoying the evening and will deal with family pressure at the next event.

I think I have never actually been in NK.
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so how do you know how much of the 80%...of the 80-15-5 is fat stores and how much should be dietary fat?
My experience so far is that using percentages is confusing and not always helpful. If you're going by the Phinney/Volek Performance book their "formula" for nutritional ketosis is to get the correct level of protein for you (this may take experimentation to get right), eat carbs at a low enough level for ketosis (they say under 50, but it's also very individual--I stay around 20-25), and then eat fat for the rest of your energy needs. According to them, this usually results in a fat percentage equal to 65-80% of your daily caloric intake. They claim that if you eat fat to satiety most people will lose weight, but if you're not losing then you should hold the carbs and protein steady and reduce your fat intake until you are losing weight.
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:26 PM   #17
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I don't usually post on the NK threads, but that is what I am striving to achieve. I follow Dr. Bernstein since I am a T2 for 30yrs. and on 2types of insulin for 20yrs. I lost 42 pounds in about 9 months following 30 carbs a day and probably 80g of protein and whatever fat I wanted. I stalled in June/July 2011 and everything I tried to get the weight loss going again failed. I am still at least 50 pounds from any goal that my doctor would like to see

In July 2012 I read Jimmy's blog and started cutting protein. Dr. Bernstein also recommends cutting protein if weight loss stalls. I have used many methods to figure out how much protein to consume and have worked down to about 45-50g a day. Finally a few weeks ago I started losing a little weight! I am still eating 25-30g of carbs a day. Fat is whatever it is but always over 100g and most days probably 135g. When I tried to stay between 1000 and 1200 calories I was miserable and didn't lose any weight so now my calories are usually around 1350.
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:42 PM   #18
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:15 PM   #19
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Finally sat down and worked out my Daily Protein Goal

Hi everyone -- I finally decided to sit down and figure out my real protein requirements:

Here is the result of my water immersion test March 2012
Hydrostatic Evaluation:
Body Fat %: 34.54 % Body Mass: 60.72 lbs

Lean Body Mass Percentage: 65.46 % Lean Body Mass: 115.08 lbs
Ideal Body Fat Percentage : 22.0 % Weight for Ideal: 147.54 lbs

Goal Body Fat %: 24.0 % Weight for Goal: 151.4 lbs


From that I can calculate using the Voleck Phinney formula:

151 X (1-24%) =114.76

114.76 X .6 = 68.8 So I guess my goal protein level should be 69 g / day which is quite a bit more than the 41 g that I'm currently aiming for. So I will try upping my protein intake and see what happens.

Last edited by wrigglycate; 12-05-2012 at 07:21 PM.. Reason: clarification
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:48 AM   #20
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Hi everyone -- I finally decided to sit down and figure out my real protein requirements:

Here is the result of my water immersion test March 2012
Hydrostatic Evaluation:
Body Fat %: 34.54 % Body Mass: 60.72 lbs

Lean Body Mass Percentage: 65.46 % Lean Body Mass: 115.08 lbs
Ideal Body Fat Percentage : 22.0 % Weight for Ideal: 147.54 lbs

Goal Body Fat %: 24.0 % Weight for Goal: 151.4 lbs


From that I can calculate using the Voleck Phinney formula:

151 X (1-24%) =114.76

114.76 X .6 = 68.8 So I guess my goal protein level should be 69 g / day which is quite a bit more than the 41 g that I'm currently aiming for. So I will try upping my protein intake and see what happens.
Let us know how it goes!
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:31 PM   #21
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Kristn you may have already heard/seen this, but I'm listening/watching to the Jimmy Moore youtube. He has finally revealed he is eating between 80 and 100 g of protein/day.
That is very little for someone his size, it seems. But I think he's also had access to seeing whether he's gained LBM (he has) while losing about 60 pounds.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:39 PM   #22
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Kristn you may have already heard/seen this, but I'm listening/watching to the Jimmy Moore youtube. He has finally revealed he is eating between 80 and 100 g of protein/day.
That is very little for someone his size, it seems. But I think he's also had access to seeing whether he's gained LBM (he has) while losing about 60 pounds.
I just read Jimmy's latest n=1 update. I'm going to try and watch the youtube soon! That's interesting about 80-100 grams--do you know how tall he is?
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:02 PM   #23
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80 to 100 for a man???my protein is sopose to be 91 but I do 55-65 most days! I just don't do good on 91
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:26 PM   #24
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And don't forget that he is gaining muscle mass.
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:26 AM   #25
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using the keto calculator mine says 124 minimum and 243 maximum...i've been getting 90ish... and gettnig full on fat, but i definitely could eat more protein...but im scared too...mind you i havent had good ketone readings yet so not sure what to do!
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:11 AM   #26
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Myles--do you have a really high LBM? What is your goal weight and goal body fat%? I wouldn't raise your current protein level if you're not getting into ketosis at 90ish.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:48 AM   #27
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I just read Jimmy's latest n=1 update. I'm going to try and watch the youtube soon! That's interesting about 80-100 grams--do you know how tall he is?
I don't know how tall he is.

When I've seen him in pictures he always seems tall to me.
I'll see if I can find out.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:50 AM   #28
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Just a note from the ketogenic diet. It says that the first three weeks, protein needs are higher to avoid muscle loss. Minimum 150 for all. Higher for some. Then it drops back 40-60% (I would have to look back to see the exact %) after keto adaptation.
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:51 PM   #29
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Jimmy responded to my email: I'm 6'3" tall.

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Old 12-12-2012, 09:48 PM   #30
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Myles--do you have a really high LBM? What is your goal weight and goal body fat%? I wouldn't raise your current protein level if you're not getting into ketosis at 90ish.
I have no idea. The stuff i input on that calculator was just pure guessing. I put 40% body fat cuz i have no clue and dont know how to figure it out. We're a small city and dont have any kind of DEXA testing As far as i know. I'm 323 Lbs 6 feet tall and the fat is 95% in my jiggly gut

The thing i realized, at 90ish grams of protein, in order to have macros of 80/15/5 (around there anyhow) - i have to eat a lot of fat, and im getting quite full. If i upped the protein to 124 grams - in order to maintain these macros or higher fat...i'd have to eat A LOT more fat than i already am now...and as it is now i get quite satisfied sometimes really full from the meals im eating

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