High Protein?

Here is the difference between weight loss and maintenance broken down

Some very important things to understand here..
Total Energy Expenditure

lets say for ease that 2000 calories is maintenance level that is how many calories I would have to eat to maintain not lose and not gain

But I want to lose some body fat so I am in weight loss

170g protein – 680 kcal – 49%
70g fat – 630 kcal – 45%
20g carbs – 80 kcal – 6%
total 1390 kcal

this looks high protien low fat, except now lets add in the amount of fat that would come from fat stores

170g protein – 680 kcal – 34%
70(dietary)+68(body fat)g = 138g – 1242 kcal – 62%
20g carbs – 80 kcal – 4%

now we see that when total energy expenditure is accounted for and the fat coming from the body is accounted for that the diet is in fact high fat!


all the fat would come from the plate to keep from losing weight..

A diet that looks low fat and high protein may not be once body fat is figured into the big picture!!

And this is also a really big reason why grams always grams NOT % when figuring a diet!  Even at 3g/kg lbm this diet is ketogenic and is within the ketogenic “ratio” you just have to look at the big picture!


Chart below from
Dr. Stephen Phinney – ‘Achieving and Maintaining Nutritional Ketosis’


KetoCaNa Review

I am following a ketogenic diet and carbs are very low. I get my energy from fat & ketones. Here is a basic primer on ketogenic diets if you are not familiar Ketogenic Basics .

For the last couple months I’ve been doing a Protein Sparing Modified Fast (PSMF) on rest days from the gym to help fat loss. It has worked great except after 2 days around 1000 kcal Monday in gym can be rough to say the least. And to make matters worse, Monday is leg day, one of the most taxing training days. The past 3 leg days I have used a product from KetoSports, Keto CaNa.

KetoCaNa contains 11.7 grams of the ketone body Beta-Hydroxybutyrate (BHB) per serving in a delicious orange flavored base. It contains no artificial sweeteners, flavorings or colors. Consumption of KetoCaNa before exercise can result in significant decreases in oxygen demand and increases in performance.

What I have discovered is Keto CaNa delivers a very nice steady state of energy that really boosts stamina and helps offset the lack of strength from low calorie intake. Coupled with Keto8, an MCT oil, I feel unstoppable in the gym.

I am doing a recompisition, losing fat while building muscle, and therefore calories need to tightly controlled. At only 68 kcal a serving for KetoCaNa, it is a big endurance boost with only a few calories, which I do account for.

I also took KetoCaNa before my last heavy back day. Thursday (4th training day) is back day. And even here with a bit higher calorie intake (still deficit though) I noticed a marked increase in endurance. I was able to lift more reps at each different weight.

Unfortunately KetoCaNa is on the expensive side, though a lower price with more Beta-Hydroxybutyrate (BHB) per serving then other similar products out there. I will be reserving it’s use to the two most taxing days, legs & back, but feel the benefits on these days out weigh the cost.

Bottom Line
If you are looking for an increase in endurance/staying power I would suggest you try KetoCaNa.

MPS ~ Muscle Protein Sythesis

MPS Muscle Protein Synthesis What is MPS?

—>The synthesis of muscle protein is essential to the body’s ongoing growth, repair, and maintenance of its skeletal muscle groups. MPS (Muscle Protein Synthesis) can Benefit you whether you are trying to lose extra body fat or you are trying to gain muscle. Optimizing the quantity and timing of protein intake to trigger MPS and dictate what part of LMB (Lean Body Mass) the AAs (Amino Acids) are directed to can optimize body fat loss and muscle gains. Why is MPS good for fat loss?

—>The reason that whey is thermogenic is because when you trigger MPS it calls on a significant amount of energy, it is very expensive, and this increases fat burning… why higher protein diets are good for fat loss and why specifically triggering MPS is good for fat loss as well. When we are trying to lose fat we want our bodies to be as inefficient with calories as possible. The more energy or calories we burn the more fat we burn, and so long as we are not eating too much fat, this means an increase in how much fat we are losing from our body stores. How does MPS help increase muscle mass?

—> Changing protein intake does not change over all LBM increases, but does change where the AAs are put for storage. For instance Dr. Norton found that when the leucine content of a meal did not reach the threshold to trigger MPS, that those AAs then go to the liver, and the liver gets bigger. He hypothesizes that the Leucine threshold might be different in different tissues. And since the liver is like a sink for AAs that maybe the threshold in the liver is lower then the threshold in muscle so when less leucine is taken in at a meal more AAs go to the liver. So optimizing protein intake & timing to trigger MPS can direct more AAs to be stored as skeletal muscle. Optimize protein intake to trigger MPS

—-> First its important to eat enough protein (specifically getting enough leucine) at each meal to reach the threshold to trigger MPS. This will vary depending on protein source anywhere from 27g for Whey to 43g for chicken, see the chart in the pic below for minimum protein amounts per source. –

—> Secondly the timing of meals is equally important to avoid a refractory response, meaning MPS isn’t triggered after the first meal. Eating meals too close together does not let the plasma leucine levels fall between meals. MPS is not triggered again if leucine levels stay elevated. This time between meals also allows for ATP to be replenished. The optimal spacing of meals is 4-5 hrs apart. This timing not only allows plasma leucine levels to fall but also for ATP to be replenished; both of which are required to trigger MPS at later meals.

—-> Thirdly more meals are better. With optimized intake and timing MPS is triggered with each meal. More meals = more times MPS is triggered. Say for example if your protein goal is 120g: 1 meal – 120g – MPS once 2 meals – 60g each – MPS twice 3meals – 40g each – MPS three times So with three meals you are going to burn 3 times the energy (body fat) and store 3 times the amount of AAs as muscle compared to only one meal.

—->Lastly, if meals are not optimized to trigger MPS then calories are used as just energy or stored. However if MPS is triggered, calories are used and demanded. MPS is similar to vigorous exercise in this respect. As protein is metabolized and MPS is triggered (while on a low carb diet) fat is mobilized to be used as energy and liver fat gets used first! Important points

*MPS is beneficial to everyone whether your goal is to lose body fat or gain muscle.

*Optimize intake to hit leucine threshold & avoid refractory response.

–>27-43g protein per meal depending on source –>meals 4-5 hours apart

–>more meals are better Further study and sources:

Jeff Volek

Dr. Layne Norton presents on Refractory Phenomenon

The need for Protein throughout the day The Truth About Protein: How Much And How Often? Written By Dr. Layne Norton

Photo Credit

Ketogenic Basics


Macronutrients – Fat, Carbohydrates, Protein – these are best measured in absolute amounts in grams NOT percent.

Protein- Most important macro(1.5g-2.5g/kg lbm ~or~ .8-1.2g/lb lbm). Aim for mid to high end of range for weight loss up to 3g/kg ~or~ 1.4g/lb LBM is still ketogenic. Not only is this total amount of protein a day very important but also the pattern of intake can have dramatic results as well!  For increased fat burn pattern your meals with at least 45g of protein each with meals 4-5 hrs apart and no snacking. This pattern of intake maximizes MPS (Muscle Protein Synthesis). MPS is very energy demanding and is equivalent to about 1/2 hr of exercise.

Carbohydrates – Keep carbs low generally under 20-50g a day

Fat – Fat can come from either the plate or the body.  And the amount from each is going to depend on if you are in weight loss or maintenance. In weight loss, you want to keep fat equal or lower than protein, but not lower in grams then kg lbm a day. Once in maintenance, you raise the amount of fats you are eating until you stop losing weight, keeping carbs low and protein the same.


GRAMS vs %

Always create your diet using grams of the macros, not percent.  Percent can be very misleading and confusing.  Protein needs stay constant throughout the phases of weight loss to maintenance, carbs stay low, and it is only fat that fluctuates with weight loss.  When you track or base your diet off of percent, it does not take this into account as all macros will change with any change in calories or the adjustment of one of the macros. Also in weight loss, Total Energy Expenditure (TEE), has to be taken into account – NOT just total food intake as your body is also getting calories from the stored body fat you are losing.

Weight loss VS Maintenance VS Medical Intervention

Why Are you doing Keto?

The Ketogenic Diet is not a weight loss program unless you tweak it to be one. High dietary fat is for medical/maintenance/athletic performance where you want weight to be stable. This is what the diet was designed for, (back in the early 1900’s to treat epileptic children) and is intended for; hence the high fat macros you see published. For weight loss … it’s lower dietary fat … until you reach maintenance … then you increase fats to the higher amount to stop losing weight.

Minerals – Electrolytes

During the induction phase of a Ketogenic Diet, most people experience a horrid “flu” that often makes people believe from the start that it isn’t right for our bodies.  The flu is a manifestation of your mental and physical dependence on carbohydrates and the body is essentially going through a phase where it has to learn to use fat as fuel. Keto flu can be treated by replenishing your electrolytes.

The flu-like symptoms should dissipate in a few days or weeks. But be warned: For as long as you eat low carb, if you don’t take care to get enough sodium, potassium and magnesium (a.k.a. electrolytes) in your diet, you may experience fatigue, muscle twitching, headaches, muscle cramping, and in severe cases, arrhythmia. Leg cramps may be the most common sign that your electrolytes are out of balance.

Even if you go out of your way to eat lots of table salt, and foods containing potassium and magnesium, you may find you need to take supplements.

The minimum mineral requirements are:

Salt (sodium) – 2-6g
Magnesium – 450mg, preferably in the form of magnesium malate
Potassium – Eat potassium-rich foods, and as long as you are getting enough salt and magnesium you should not have to supplement potassium. If you feel you need to supplement potassium, please only do so under the care of a doctor.
Most of us will not reach these suggested totals with food alone, but there are several ways to ingest extra electrolytes:

Drink 1 or 2 cups of bouillon or broth daily
Add salt to your food
Add a teaspoon of salt to a large glass of water and drink it
Take a magnesium suplement

Adequate Protein Intake – And Why It Matters

Gluconeogenesis is the formation of glucose by the liver, from non-carbohydrate sources, such as amino acids. Gluconeogenesis is demand driven NOT supply driven! IN everyone! In those that have “sugar”sensitivities, the liver among other organs are dysfunctional. When you base protein intake on dysfunction, then all you will ever do is support that dysfunction. Instead, you need to feed your body the protein it needs so that the liver and other organs can heal and optimize! Gluconeogenesis will happen if your body needs glucose NO matter what amount of protein you are eating. It’s just that if you are not eating enough protein to support gluconeogenesis, then your body will break down lean body mass (LBM) in order to get the amino acids it needs.  Catabolizing muscle and other LBM like organs and bone is what is happening. Gluconeogenesis is good and needed when a person eats low carb. It is very energy demanding and the body does not perform it  unless absolutely necessary. There is a threshold around 3g/kg (1.4g/lb) LBM where protein will start to be burned for energy before fat. Not burning fat, not making ketones. So in this way protein consumption in excess can interfere with ketosis, but NOT because it turns to sugar!

For more information:
Dr. Stephen Phinney – ‘Achieving and Maintaining Nutritional Ketosis’

Dr. Stephen Phinney – ‘The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living’

Nutrition Forum – Dr. Donald Layman, PhD

Dr. Layne Norton presents on Refractory Phenomenon

The need for Protein throughout the day