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Old 07-20-2013, 06:44 AM   #1
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Clarification of numbers

Please bear with me...still trying to get the hang of this. *If* I understand this correctly, based on Kwasnieski's formulas for my height, my ideal weight is 134. My protein requirement is 54gms and 70% of my calories should come from fat. I keep my carbs below 25 because I have to. That's non-negotiable (even though many NK sites say under 50).

I've just spent an hour trying to figure out what I'm eating today based on the above. I can't increase my calories by adding protein or carbs which means 70% fats puts me at about 1100 (max!) calories for the day. If I can only increase my calories by adding fats, now my fat percentage starts to climb. My mind is spinning and I'm wondering if this is only possible if you want to 'lose' weight. Bernstein allows me 63gms of protein a day which easily can take me up to 1500 (roughly) calories per day...enough to keep me from losing any more weight and keeping my fats around 65%.

So my thought is that NK is great for 'losing' weight, but maybe not for maintaining...and what are the benefits for continuing on NK besides losing? Any studies on it?
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Old 07-20-2013, 07:20 AM   #2
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Kwasnieski's formulas are generated to use 1 g protein per kg ideal body weight, right?
Phinney and Volek say the range is 1 to 1.5, or higher for some folks.

First, I get that 134 goal wt is 60.9 kg, so check to see if your math is off for Kwasnieski's numbers. Because I get 60.9 as a minimum of 1 g per kg body wt.

You're 5'3", right? Westman, Phinney and Volek estimate your protein needs by height at 71 to 149 g per day. I'm sure the higher number is for heavy exercisers and/or for persons with a lot of muscle mass for their height and thus a higher ideal weight.

I'm all for tweaking protein, but I think Kwasnieski is flirting with danger by recommending such a low number. I use 1.2 g protein per kg goal weight myself. For a goal of 134, that would be 73 g protein.

At 5'3" and a half with a goal of something like 130, I eat between 70 and 80 g protein a day and I don't exercise much.
I would suggest that you do somewhere between Kwasniewski's low 54 g (1 g pro per kg goal wt) up to the modest part of Phinney et al's range --1.2 g pro per kg... so a range of 61 to 73 g protein, going as low as that stupid (imo) 54 g number if you feel you must... but I wouldn't.
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Old 07-20-2013, 07:26 AM   #3
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One more thought, Phinney and Volek say that percentages are fine, but they can mask actual intake values. They suggest figuring out your protein needs (which you're doing), identifying your carb tolerance (which you've done) and figuring out your caloric needs and adding the appropriate amount of fat to get there. So let the percentages be what they will, because absolute, actual numbers are more informative than percentages.

And one more thought... lol.. Olive oil is my favorite way to add fat, other than choosing nice fatty protein sources. And butter is good, too. I like it better than cream or cheese, for my needs.
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Old 07-20-2013, 08:55 AM   #4
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I think using percentages rather than hard numbers is unhelpful.

I use absolute values: <20g total carbs, ~120g protein, the rest fat. Depending on my caloric intake on a particular day, that might mean that my fat is around 50%, or close to 80%. That's less important than keeping my carbs low and my protein within range.
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Old 07-20-2013, 09:01 AM   #5
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Please bear with me...still trying to get the hang of this. *If* I understand this correctly, based on Kwasnieski's formulas for my height, my ideal weight is 134. My protein requirement is 54gms and 70% of my calories should come from fat. I keep my carbs below 25 because I have to. That's non-negotiable (even though many NK sites say under 50).

I've just spent an hour trying to figure out what I'm eating today based on the above. I can't increase my calories by adding protein or carbs which means 70% fats puts me at about 1100 (max!) calories for the day. If I can only increase my calories by adding fats, now my fat percentage starts to climb. My mind is spinning and I'm wondering if this is only possible if you want to 'lose' weight. Bernstein allows me 63gms of protein a day which easily can take me up to 1500 (roughly) calories per day...enough to keep me from losing any more weight and keeping my fats around 65%.

So my thought is that NK is great for 'losing' weight, but maybe not for maintaining...and what are the benefits for continuing on NK besides losing? Any studies on it?
You can always increase your calories by adding fat. That is the best way to do it. You really should eat more than 70 percent of your calories from fat anyway. Many eat 80 to 85 percent of their calories from fat. I eat about 10 to 15 grams of carbs, not more than 60 grams of protein, and the rest in fat. I lose weight every week.
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Old 07-20-2013, 09:10 AM   #6
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So my thought is that NK is great for 'losing' weight, but maybe not for maintaining...and what are the benefits for continuing on NK besides losing? Any studies on it?
I missed this part of your post earlier.

You're kind of mixing your approaches, which is part of the reason you're not getting a straightforward answer.

When you use NK for maintenance, Phinney and Volek advise keeping carbs and protein the same, but increasing fat to bring total calories to maintenance levels. Therefore, Kwasnieski's recommendation of 70% fat will probably be too low for maintenance.

As for the long-term benefits of ketosis, there are are some studies, and more in the works. I am thoroughly convinced of its long-term cardiovascular and metabolic benefits, and plan to stay here for life.
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Old 07-20-2013, 09:14 AM   #7
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I missed this part of your post earlier.

You're kind of mixing your approaches, which is part of the reason you're not getting a straightforward answer.

When you use NK for maintenance, Phinney and Volek advise keeping carbs and protein the same, but increasing fat to bring total calories to maintenance levels. Therefore, Kwasnieski's recommendation of 70% fat will probably be too low for maintenance.

As for the long-term benefits of ketosis, there are are some studies, and more in the works. I am thoroughly convinced of its long-term cardiovascular and metabolic benefits, and plan to stay here for life.
I think it is for maintaining also. The benefits are in your health. Too much carbohydrate is bad for our health. My mom died from Alzheimer's disease, and I plan to prevent those health problems in my own body. My mom ate a lot of carbs. She did not like healthy food.
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Old 07-20-2013, 09:22 AM   #8
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I missed this part of your post earlier.

You're kind of mixing your approaches, which is part of the reason you're not getting a straightforward answer.

When you use NK for maintenance, Phinney and Volek advise keeping carbs and protein the same, but increasing fat to bring total calories to maintenance levels. Therefore, Kwasnieski's recommendation of 70% fat will probably be too low for maintenance.

As for the long-term benefits of ketosis, there are are some studies, and more in the works. I am thoroughly convinced of its long-term cardiovascular and metabolic benefits, and plan to stay here for life.
I am a 'lifer' as well!!!
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Old 07-20-2013, 09:30 AM   #9
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Kwasnieski's formulas are generated to use 1 g protein per kg ideal body weight, right?
Phinney and Volek say the range is 1 to 1.5, or higher for some folks.

First, I get that 134 goal wt is 60.9 kg, so check to see if your math is off for Kwasnieski's numbers. Because I get 60.9 as a minimum of 1 g per kg body wt.

You're 5'3", right? Westman, Phinney and Volek estimate your protein needs by height at 71 to 149 g per day. I'm sure the higher number is for heavy exercisers and/or for persons with a lot of muscle mass for their height and thus a higher ideal weight.

I'm all for tweaking protein, but I think Kwasnieski is flirting with danger by recommending such a low number. I use 1.2 g protein per kg goal weight myself. For a goal of 134, that would be 73 g protein.

At 5'3" and a half with a goal of something like 130, I eat between 70 and 80 g protein a day and I don't exercise much.
I would suggest that you do somewhere between Kwasniewski's low 54 g (1 g pro per kg goal wt) up to the modest part of Phinney et al's range --1.2 g pro per kg... so a range of 61 to 73 g protein, going as low as that stupid (imo) 54 g number if you feel you must... but I wouldn't.
In reality, unless we do a lot of exercise every day, we only need about 6 oz of meat a day if even that. Some people can eat more and get away with it, but I am finding that when I limit my protein, I actually feel even better.
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Old 07-20-2013, 10:27 AM   #10
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In reality, unless we do a lot of exercise every day, we only need about 6 oz of meat a day if even that. Some people can eat more and get away with it, but I am finding that when I limit my protein, I actually feel even better.
Carolyn
I respect that those levels work for some folks.
They don't work for me. I feel great on 70-80 g protein, and I feel deprived and weak-muscled when I'm under 60.
But it's great that we're all different.
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Old 07-20-2013, 10:39 AM   #11
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It truly is individual!

Not only would such a low (for me) level of protein make me feel ill, I would also be rapidly losing muscle.

I keep protein at my current level (~120g/day) because I am trying hard to maintain my current 154 lbs of LBM as I lose excess fat.
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Old 07-20-2013, 03:47 PM   #12
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Thank you all for your responses. It's a lot to think about! Since my ultimate goal is in controlling my diabetes without meds, I don't think I want to go above Bernstein's recommendations which are 1-1.5gm of protein per kilo of ideal weight. Since I don't have a lot of muscle, I'm thinking that 1gm is more appropriate for me, but based on Bernstein, my daily protein would be around 63...and that would bring my calories up to 1400-1600 (where I won't lose) and keep my fat at 65%. If it's better to up that to 70, that's easy enough to do by putting butter on my vegies, roasting them with olive oil, etc.

Think I'll go read up some more on this. Thanks everyone!
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Old 07-20-2013, 04:20 PM   #13
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Thank you all for your responses. It's a lot to think about! Since my ultimate goal is in controlling my diabetes without meds, I don't think I want to go above Bernstein's recommendations which are 1-1.5gm of protein per kilo of ideal weight. Since I don't have a lot of muscle, I'm thinking that 1gm is more appropriate for me, but based on Bernstein, my daily protein would be around 63...and that would bring my calories up to 1400-1600 (where I won't lose) and keep my fat at 65%. If it's better to up that to 70, that's easy enough to do by putting butter on my vegies, roasting them with olive oil, etc.

Think I'll go read up some more on this. Thanks everyone!
I think maybe you're still not understanding, when you are losing weight the percentage of fat intake doesn't matter. Because when you are losing weight the calorie deficit is made up by body fat that you are burning. So in reality your body is seeing/using more fat than you are eating. So stick with your grams of carb goal, stick with your grams of protein goal, and whatever is left eat in grams of fat to bring your total calories to whatever level you feel is appropriate for you to lose (though I know most recommendations say not to go below 1200 calories a day on average). Whatever your fat percentage comes out to be at that level, so be it. Becuase you will be losing weight and your body will be using fat to fuel itself from your body fat in addition to what you eat. If you want to maintain your weight, then keep carbs and protein the same, and add fat so that your body is no longer at a calorie deficit. Everything your body burns at that point will be coming from food. And likely the fat percentage will be higher than someone who is losing weight. Are you trying to lose more weight or not? Because your profile says you are at goal.

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Old 07-20-2013, 04:37 PM   #14
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She's at goal, not losing anymore.
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Old 07-20-2013, 04:49 PM   #15
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She's at goal, not losing anymore.
Ok, well then the last couple of sentences of my post apply. I really don't think percentages matter. Just eat the appropriate grams of carbs (to stay in ketosis), appropriate grams of protein (to maintain lean body mass but not too much as it will be converted to gluose) and make up the rest of the calories needed to maintain body weight with fat.
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Old 07-21-2013, 09:07 AM   #16
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In reality, unless we do a lot of exercise every day, we only need about 6 oz of meat a day if even that. Some people can eat more and get away with it, but I am finding that when I limit my protein, I actually feel even better.
This may be a YMMV item - I've eaten at approximately that protein level for a long time and I've just had an horrendous body fat assessment of 42% body fat (LBM: <77lbs and body fat approx. 50lbs at a height of 64ins): My body fat assessment (SlowSure)

(I'm fairly active by most people's standards.)
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Old 07-22-2013, 07:29 AM   #17
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Did you switch from keto to judd? Can't quite tell from your profile.
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Old 07-22-2013, 07:51 AM   #18
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This may be a YMMV item - I've eaten at approximately that protein level for a long time and I've just had an horrendous body fat assessment of 42% body fat (LBM: <77lbs and body fat approx. 50lbs at a height of 64ins): My body fat assessment (SlowSure)

(I'm fairly active by most people's standards.)
You said that you are fairly active, so maybe you need more. That is just the minimum amount of protein people need to survive. I eat about 7 to 8 oz a day. My point was, most people eat too much protein. Your body cannot absorb more than 4 oz in 4 hours. Anything above that changes to glucose. Read the book, "Trick and Treat" by Barry Groves.
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Old 07-22-2013, 02:07 PM   #19
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You said that you are fairly active, so maybe you need more. That is just the minimum amount of protein people need to survive. I eat about 7 to 8 oz a day. My point was, most people eat too much protein. Your body cannot absorb more than 4 oz in 4 hours. Anything above that changes to glucose. Read the book, "Trick and Treat" by Barry Groves.
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I think you're making big sweeping statements that do not apply to everyone. Saying that the body CANNOT absorb more than four ounces worth of protein is simply not accurate.

I eat much more than that within that time frame, and my body is clearly not converting it to glucose. I have a loose protein goal of 120g per day (yes, higher than some people), and I often eat only two meals per day, so I'm obviously not parsing it out a little at a time. I have been in constant ketosis since the beginning of the year, losing fat, not muscle.

I took a week and weighed and tracked every morsels of food I ate, so I could see what, if any, effect it had on my blood ketone levels. Finally ordered my first ketone strips! Even on the days when I ate far above my protein range, I was still within the optimal range for nutritional ketosis set forth by Drs. Phinney and Volek.


While I do agree that eating too much protein isn't helpful, and can be detrimental to goals, "too much" isn't universal. I don't think it's helpful to tell people that there are hard and fast protein maximums, when it is clearly an individual thing.
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Old 07-22-2013, 02:11 PM   #20
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I personally feel better with the higher amount of protein, nothing way overboard, but the low end of the range (~60g for me) just is too low. I feel better at 80. My range is 60-100, and I just try to keep it in there. A protein at each meal, nothing too giant and my other foods puts me right around the 80grams.
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Old 07-22-2013, 02:50 PM   #21
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I am shooting for something similar, Annette.
Carolyn, I also expressed some concern about Your body cannot absorb more than 4 oz in 4 hours, but my post went astray. I believe there is just to much variability among people to accept this as a blanket statement. I think the general point might be right, but the amounts and times are surely more variable.
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Old 07-22-2013, 07:36 PM   #22
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I am shooting for something similar, Annette.
Carolyn, I also expressed some concern about Your body cannot absorb more than 4 oz in 4 hours, but my post went astray. I believe there is just to much variability among people to accept this as a blanket statement. I think the general point might be right, but the amounts and times are surely more variable.
That is what Barry Groves said in the book "Trick and Treat".
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Old 07-22-2013, 07:44 PM   #23
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If that's actually what he said, I don't agree, and neither do other credentialed proponents of HF/MP/LC.
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Old 07-23-2013, 02:52 AM   #24
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Did you switch from keto to judd? Can't quite tell from your profile.
It's a ketogenic migraine protocol within a JUDDD schedule (any similar IF schedule is supposed to enhance protein scavenging and re-cycling from the body's own amino pool, Dr Rosedale says the same about his adequate protein recommendations).
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:22 AM   #25
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If that's actually what he said, I don't agree, and neither do other credentialed proponents of HF/MP/LC.

If you do some reading on the web, there are differing opinions on it. So I am sure we may be both right for what works for us. I know that for me, when I eat too much protein a day and even in one meal, I start to gain weight. For me, I have to restrict portions of protein foods. My husband has also noticed that for him. If you don't need to, that is fine. I am only giving out info that I have read and that has helped me. People can take it or leave it. I kind of felt like several people jumped all over me about this. Yet some of these same people say they are having a hard time losing weight.
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:43 AM   #26
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I'm sorry you feel jumped on, that's not my intention.

I don't have a problem with you sharing what works for you, it's the absolute numbers you're stating for everyone that doesn't sit welll with me (I can't speak for the others).

I absolutely agree that too much protein can be counterproductive, but I simply can't accept, and won't let stand the statement, that one can state with absolute certainty that every single person, regardless of build or muscle mass, needs the same absolute amount of protein, and any more than that will knock them out of ketosis or not be metabolized as muscle-supporting by the body. That simply doesn't make sense from a physiological standpoint.
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Old 07-23-2013, 09:54 AM   #27
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I'm sorry you feel jumped on, that's not my intention.

I don't have a problem with you sharing what works for you, it's the absolute numbers you're stating for everyone that doesn't sit welll with me (I can't speak for the others).

I absolutely agree that too much protein can be counterproductive, but I simply can't accept, and won't let stand the statement, that one can state with absolute certainty that every single person, regardless of build or muscle mass, needs the same absolute amount of protein, and any more than that will knock them out of ketosis or not be metabolized as muscle-supporting by the body. That simply doesn't make sense from a physiological standpoint.
I am sorry that what I say "does not sit well with you." I really don't care that you do not agree. That is your prerogative. I don't agree with some of the stuff that you say either. You think what I say does not make sense, but yet there are a few on this board that agree with me. But that does not really matter either. There will always be people who disagree with each other.
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Old 07-23-2013, 10:31 AM   #28
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True. We don't have to agree, and I'm fine with that.

Here's my point: how can it make sense that someone like Arnold Schwarzenegger has exactly the same protein needs as someone like Mary Lou Retton?
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Old 07-23-2013, 11:03 AM   #29
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True. We don't have to agree, and I'm fine with that.

Here's my point: how can it make sense that someone like Arnold Schwarzenegger has exactly the same protein needs as someone like Mary Lou Retton?

I understand your thinking, and I think you have a good point. I did not say that people had to eat the same amount of protein as someone else in a day.
I just repeated what I had read that people cannot absorb more than 4 oz of protein in 4 hours. Whether it is right or not, I don't know. There are differing opinions even among the experts. It works for me and for some others who have a hard time losing weight. My husband can eat more protein and carbs than I can. He eats berries, and more vegetables than I do. But he does have a hard time losing if he eats too much protein at once, or too much in a day. So I guess we can agree to disagree.
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:37 PM   #30
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Boston, then OH, then NYC, now SoCal. Whew!
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Start Date: Restarted: 1-3-13 Original: 8-23-02
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