Could too much meat throw you out of ketosis?


I eat a fair bit of meat, as well as fish and shell fish, and when I eat nuts, seeds, berries, fruit and vegetables these are very small amounts and I switch it up and choose different carb foods for each day. But I eat myself to satiety on meats, and I can’t help but wonder if too much protein could kick me out of ketosis and prevent me from ever reaching fat-adaptation. What are your thoughts? Of course, I understand it’s different when you are on a carnivore diet as then you eat predominantly meat. But what about those of you who do keto with a small amount of carbs allowed. Have you ever found eating too much meat has thrown you out of ketosis?


Real life answer that matters, No. Gluconeogenesis happens when your body takes aminos from protein, turns them into glucose and will temporarily take you out. It’s demand driven, not supply. Accept that you’ll come in and out of ketosis all the time, you just typically don’t notice. Eating too much protein isn’t a fear anybody should have. Do you know how much protein you eat on average daily? Most people severely under consume it to begin with. The rest wouldn’t hit the point of it being a problem if they tried.


Hi thanks for your reply. I’ve read so much conflicting advice regarding this, however I don’t believe in doing the strictest keto there is, mine is probably more what they call dirty keto lol, as I like to experiment with what I can get away with eating, but then, I don’t measure ketones and I don’t weigh the food, I just look up their carb content on google so I have a rough estimate. Some do say if you eat too much protein it might keep you out of ketosis and some say that is not possible. However, I do realise that as you get older you require, regardsless of any WOE, more protein to, among other things, preserve muscle mass. Ideally we could go in and out of ketosis and not sweat it so much, and perhaps that will be possible after a while. I get the sense the first few weeks are the hardest, the adaptation period. And then, there is no actual way of telling whether one has reached fat-adaptation, so it’s a bit of guess work and just hoping one is doing something right.


My thought is that I couldn’t care less if it throws me out of ketosis if it does. Meat is the best I can eat. My body actually pesters me if I keep it low (like below 500g) nowadays… I trust my body and can’t argue much with it anyway…

But no, I didn’t notice meat would throw me out of ketosis… Not like I have any idea when I am in ketosis… But I actually feel if I eat more carbs than what my body prefers, it’s not a sudden clear sign but maybe it has something to do with ketosis? I don’t care, I want to eat low enough carbs, whatever that means and whatever it has to do with ketosis. I probably feel off even when still in ketosis but ate way too much carbs to my body’s liking… I need more experiments (I probably will say this until my dying day).

I did keto with 40g net carbs and way higher total every day, I did it with very few plant carbs and I had some in-between days. I never noticed much meat would be a problem but see above, I can’t tell if I am in or just out of ketosis under normal circumstances, maybe there are hints but I can’t be sure…

I eat protein according to my hunger/satiation signs and probably there are minor other things as well. It doesn’t even matter if I go out of ketosis (but I don’t believe high protein is a problem there anyway) because I CAN’T eat less protein even if I try. As I tried it in the beginning and failed every day :smiley: And I feel right with high so that must be the right way (and it’s my only way anyway so…). I can’t see why I would worry if there are no actual problems jumping on me. And there aren’t (not due to much protein, at least. I feel pretty great when I eat much protein and I get hungry at midnight when I don’t so I eat a bunch more and feel better.)

Definitely don’t lower your protein due to mere fear. If you think you need more, you are probably right. There is a thing as too much protein as our body has its limits but it’s not a real concern for most of us. While eating too little protein is common. probably less so among ketoers but I saw plenty of examples even there, WAY too low protein, no matter how I looked at it (I don’t believe in tiny protein needs but I can imagine one can pull it off with a little amount like 1g/kg for LBM. some people allegedly can do that. I am significantly over 2 on average when I do my absolute best to eat as little protein as possible, my body seems to need it for some reason. and who am I to argue with it when it should know its own needs best)…
I believe high protein is much better than too low. Or losing our sanity as we can’t eat below high… :wink:

Yeah, it’s a guesswork and hoping it’s right when we don’t know ours well enough yet. It’s just too complex, we do our best (or our comfortable best or whatever we can) and hopefully it will be enough. If not, we can tweak or train and evolve… But I don’t like to worry when nothing is clearly wrong yet and I probably do what I should. That’s not healthy mentally and stress can mess with you more than some extra protein… Even much extra protein sometimes. (So not 50g over your probable need but 150g? :smiley: I don’t think only I am that “wild” with protein.)

By the way you get your fat adaptation even if you mess it up with carbs sometimes. It is slower but you don’t ruin everything.
I kept my carbs low enough until fat adaptation but my protein was high as always and I got it after 7 weeks. Maybe some people are super sensitive but I imagine it requires some really messed up body to go out of ketosis and even harming fat adaptation (so it’s not a super short time? I still am not nearly knowledgeable enough but I still have a good idea how to eat, it’s borderline enough) when you simply eat as much meat as you feel like…

Yeah but many of us have such a sudden big change at the right time that we can take an educated guess :wink: I am quite sure about my own. My hunger suddenly changed quite drastically after 7 weeks. It was amazing.

(Bill) #5


(Bill) #6

So it’s far more likely that the carbs you consume on your “dirty keto” diet will kick you out of ketosis long before protein would (if protein would at all which I doubt).


Hi, thanks for your reply. I am not concerned as such, just merely curious as to what may or may not throw me out of ketosis, and I like to read other peoples’ experiences of ketoing, and so I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. I believe with protein we are all different, and most of us probably eat too little, before keto I know my protein consumption was meagre at best, so obviously that’s very different now. This morning I had a plate of prawns, a boiled egg and several rashers of bacon for breakfast. The fatty bacon was by far the best. I am noticing though I like to add a few carbs that I’m not as keen on them as I used to, but, and forgive me if this sounds foolish, I want to keep my ability to digest them. It is a concern that if I went carnivore, then after a while, my body would do less well with nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables, and for the life of me I can’t see a sustainable diet for me without variety. It’s a word that my body whispers continuously, but perhaps this will change in time. As to consistency, well, we’re only human. I like the idea of staying in fat-adaptation regardless of a few minor slip ups. Time will tell I suppose.


Well I do still keep it under 20 grams everyday and I count the total carbohydrate, not the net carbs. I don’t actually know if what I do is what is referred to as dirty keto, but compared to the strictest keto perhaps it is. I’m at the moment 52kg (159cm) and have lost over the last month 4 kilos. So I certainly am finding it easy to lose weight on this WOE, though that wasn’t my actual goal, as I am attempting to treat my lipoedema. What does motivate me is the clear reduction I’ve experienced in lipoedema pain, inflammation and swelling. And keto seems to have done entirely away with my water retention. Also, I am enjoying the food a lot more, so that’s a plus :slight_smile:

(May the blessing of bacon be always with you) #9

You will never lose your ability to digest carbohydrates. Glucose metabolism is a skill that every living cell possesses, and it can occur anywhere inside a cell.

By contrast, it is possible, from eating a great deal of carbohydrate and little fat over a long period, to deactivate much of our cells’ ability to metabolise fatty acids and damage the rest, which is why it is necessary to endure a period of fat-adaptation at the beginning of a ketogenic diet.

The only change that could possibly be considered a negative on a ketogenic diet is that after some time in ketosis, the liver recycles its store of insulin, which means that the first-phase response to a sudden high load of glucose will be a bit delayed. This is perfectly normal, and the liver returns to storing a supply of insulin for the first-phase response almost immediately after that. (Certainly within 24 hours, according to Prof. Bikman.) But the ability to metabolise glucose never becomes compromised, the way the ability to metabolise fatty acids can be.

(Michael) #10

You will continue to get conflicting information since those who espouse that GNG is demand driven have not read or understood the originator of that comment. Try reading this thread GNG, protein and blood glucose re-visited whereby the expert who invented that phrase notes that it does not imply gng is driven by glucose as the control.

Separately to answer your question, I am a carnivore and have (by blood test measurements) been out of ketosis when eating too much protein. Having said all this, I actually think it is important to occasionally spike insulin , and as such do not think you should worry about eating too much protein. But is it possible? 100% yes it is.

(Bill) #11

Interested… what do you consider too much protein?

Did you register zero ketones?

(May the blessing of bacon be always with you) #12

I’d say it would be the point where we start to smell of ammonia, since that means the uric acid cycle is being overloaded and ammonia toxicity is starting to become a problem.

It’s hard to eat that much protein, however. In one famous overfeeding study, a participant broke down in tears at having to eat yet another pork chop.


Gluconeogenesis may be demand driven. But I understood that ‘over eating’ meat protein, I think in a combined low-fat way, can mimic fasting. The Protein Sparing Fasting Mimicking WoE, or Protein Sparing Modified Fast (PSMF). And that situation can lead to a hormonal stress response. The subsequent blood glucose rise follows adrenaline and cortisol release. Which then brings up insulin and down regulates ketogenesis. So, there potentially is a way to not be ketogenic on a very low carb diet. If you are stressed and/or nutritionally stress your body.

(Robin) #14

I break down in tears when I run out of pork chops.

(Michael) #15

I measured Lo when my device can measure 0.1, meaning that the measurement rounded down to zero. So for all purposes, yes it measured zero. I took the measurement within a few minutes after my last meal. My total for the day was 333g protein, 296 g fat and 11 g carbs. I weigh under 60 kg, so that is well over 5 g/kg bodyweight, and is a standard eating day if I fast the previous day.

I consider too much to be enough to bring out of ketosis for this thread. In general, too much is when I feel ill from protein, which depends on protein over the week instead of just one day.


Agreed, but while PSMF’s are kinda crash diet-y, you’re definitely not over eating either. You typically cap your cals at around 800 or so, eat near no carbs or fat at all and allowed green veggies, at least if you’re doing the PSMF the way that they were made popular by Lyle McDonald. Definitely a stress to a point, but I don’t think any more than any other time you’re not eating a ton. PSMFs are the only types of fasts I’ll do now when I do decide that I need one as they’re muscle sparing. Lost WAY too much muscle (and metabolism) with “normal” fasting. Really not supposed to do them for more than a few days though. I can say PSMFs will pull fat off me faster than traditional fasting ever did, and I still get to eat! Only downside for me and many is they make you incredibly hungry.

(Bill) #17

Wow that’s a lot… what did you eat?

(Michael) #18

on that day in particular I ate
1 oz beef liver, 6 oz buffalo heart, 28 oz beef ribeye, 4 oz salmon, 3 oz sardines, 2 eggs and 10 oz Jarlsberg lactose free cheese.

(Bill) #19

Wow hungry day eh?

(Michael) #20

I have been doing ADF, so I did not eat the day before or the day after, so yes, I am hungry on my eating days :slight_smile: