Keto and Arthritis; Keto and amount of protein

(Kira) #1

Hi guys,

I am a beginner at keto dieting. I am supported by a professional who worked out meal plans for me. I have been at it for 17 days and am only i light ketosis. I lost around 8 pounds which doesn’t appear much to me considering I need to lose around 25 more pounds to be on normal weight again.
I am 60+ and have been having arthritis of the bigger joints for 30 years but which is quite good under control with mtx injections. I don’t really suffer, only on occasions even though my rheumatoid factor is rather high currently. I was a sugar junkie!

Is anyone here with arthritis and good results? I have read rheumatoid people should not keto diet because of the fat. I started anyway, and so far, I feel really good.

Since I am living on a meal plan with 2 meals/day, and which is ever so easy to keep to. I am never hungry and don’t feel like wanting to snack in the evenings like I used to. I drink 3 times more water than I used to, this helps, I guess.

So, I was not worrying about my daily intake until I just realised that I am consuming an additional 10g protein in the mornings (which I have been doing for years) and did not inform my nutritionist. The stuff is collagenic something made from bovine bones, and which is good for the joints (my knee problems stopped completely since). I was not aware that this is actually pure protein (98%) and wonder if this is what stops me from dropping more weight?
Also, I am a little afraid of telling my nutritionist who spends a lot of time working out my meal plans considering I am eating more or less vegetarian. Lastly, I read that too much protein in the body is transformed into sugar!!! Is that why I am in low ketosis and not dropping more weight?

Sorry for the lengthy posting but I hope some of you experts can give me some advice?


So, you have been doing this for just 17 days, and you say that it is “ever so easy to keep to. I am never hungry”. In that time you have lost a quarter of your excess weight (8 of 33lbs of what you say is a “normal weight”) and “I feel really good”.

But, you also say that “doesn’t appear much to me”.

I think maybe your expectations are set way too high. That is a great weight loss in a very short time. What on earth are you comparing this to?

(Edith) #3

I have joint issues that I avoid by eating a lot of meat, eating very few vegetables, and not eating any dairy or nuts. That is what I have found works for me.

I will agree with what @gaz3 said, “You don’t think 8 pounds in 17 days is good?” How long did it take you to put on those 33 pounds you want to lose? It’s not all going to come off over night.
Whatever you may have heard, once you get past the initial water loss from the glycogen leaving your muscles, you can probably expect to loose about 1-2 pounds a week. People who have 100 or more pounds to lose are usually the ones with the crazy amounts of fat loss at the beginning. Eventually, even they slow down to the 1-2 pound a week rate.

Also, how long have you had arthritic/rheumatoid arthritis? Healing of inflammation can also take time. That will not happen over night either. If you are already noticing improvement, that is a good sign things are working for you.

Finally, 10 grams of protein is really nothing. The measurements of what you are eating during the day are really not that precise. 10 grams of protein is 40 calories. 40 calories is definitely in the noise of daily consumption.

(May the blessing of bacon be always with you) #4

If the arthritis is the result of systemic inflammation, a well-formulated ketogenic diet should help greatly, because it reduces insulin, which is inflammatory at high levels. It is particularly important to avoid sugar, which causes damage quite apart from raising glucose levels.

Another source of systemic inflammation is an excessive intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids, particularly the ω-6, so avoiding the ω-6 fatty acids, so avoiding the industrial seed oils (soybean, corn, cornflower, safflower, cottonseed, grapeseed, etc.) can help. Switch to animal fats (butter/ghee, bacon grease, lard, tallow), which are mostly saturated and mono-unsaturated fats, or a fruit oil (avocado, coconut, olive, palm) which are also much lower in polyunsaturated fats.

The idea of arterycloggingsaturatedfat (always said as one word) is not backed up by actual science, and the fact that it is the foundation of our current dietary dogma is a blot on the good name of nutrition science.

What is your total protein intake? We recommend that it should be somewhere in the range of 1.0-2.0 g per kg of lean body mass per day. This is a reasonable amount. Bear in mind that most meats are about 1/4 protein by weight, so if you want 100 g of protein a day, you need to be eating 400 g of meat (nearly a pound). Fish has slightly less protein per ounce/gram, so you would need to eat correspondingly more.

In any case, I can’t imagine that 10 extra grams of protein would be a problem, though at some point, extra protein is supposed to slow down ketosis. But that is an uncertain point, and many people assert that it is not possible to eat too much protein.

As for dropping weight, there are two points: First, it is not weight you want to drop, but only a certain type of weight, called fat. You do not want to be losing muscle or bone mass, no sirree! So don’t get too fixated on the number on your scale; also pay attention to the fit of your clothing.

Second, seventeen days is far too early to start worrying that your ketogenic diet is not working. Your name suggests that you are a woman, and women respond differently from men in this regard. It can take a month or so for a woman’s hormones to re-regulate themselves, before fat loss begins in earnest. Not only that, but women seem to be more susceptible to the advice to cut calories, so they tend to start this way of eating with damaged metabolisms. I can’t tell you how many forum members have posted that their fat loss did not really begin until they started eating more, not less. The amount of calories we eat is not nearly as important as eating the right types of foods, so that our bodies can be in fat-burning mode instead of fat-storing mode.

And lastly, another reason that relying on the scale alone can be misleading, is that a number of people who eat a well-formulated ketogenic diet to satiety, after years of calorie restriction, find that their bodies put on lean mass (muscle and improved bone density), at the same time as they shed excess fat. This means that the number on the scale might not drop, despite the fact that good things are happening to our body.

(ANNE ) #5

It has been a while since I posted, and back on the keto train, which was so successful for me a few years ago.
My question. What is meant by lean body mass when working out rough protein requirements. Are we talking ideal weight? Or something less than that. Such as the weight of my body, without the bones? If so, how do I caluculate my lean body mass.

(May the blessing of bacon be always with you) #6

This is actually more difficult to answer than you might think, because measuring body composition is very tricky, no matter what method is used. The most accurate measurement is supposed to be the one done with calipers, but it requires a highly trained technician to get it right. A DEXA scan is pretty good, but it is subject to variations resulting from how hydrated we are (or aren’t, lol!). And so forth.

This is why Virta Health uses what it calls “reference weight” to calculate protein intake. (These reference weights appear to be calculated off the old Metropolitan Health Insurance charts.) Myself, I assume that I am about 30% fat, and calculate from there.

But honestly, it is more useful to be eating a bit extra protein than to not be getting enough, so the measure doesn’t have to be that precise. And in any case, some people need more protein than others, so if you find you are not satisfied by how much you are getting, then eat more. (And don’t stint on the fat, either, because we need that, too!) We supposedly have an instinct for how much protein to eat. I find that when I get enough protein, then I can eat fat to satiety and be fine. Otherwise, it is hard to satisfy my hunger.

(ANNE ) #7

Thank you Paul, I had a feeling that the answer would not be straightforward!

I guess when the guide is to eat 1-2 g protein per kg of lean mass weight, something along the lines of 1g per ideal/goal weight would not be a terrible idea.

Onwards with getting back on this low carb for life plan.


I don’t care how much protein you eat, there’s never a time where 10g makes a difference. That, and collagen isn’t protein, regardless what the packaging says. Collagen lacks Tryptophan, and is therefor an incomplete protein, so it can’t be counted against your totals. There’s also the fact most people severely under eat protein, especially as we get older when it’s more important than ever to have a high protein intake unless muscle and bone mass loss, osteopenia and osteoporosis sound good to you.

From a protein perspective, I’m already afraid given plant proteins are inferior to animal ones, and you’re worried about adding 10g. How much protein are you consuming daily? If I was advising somebody to eat 150g daily, and they told me they were a vegetarian, I’d immediately up that to 200g just to break even.

If your nutritionist thinking protein will “turn into sugar” say your goodbyes and walk away, because at that point they’ve proven they’re a clueless moron and not fit to advise others how to eat.


I doubt it matters as the difference is so little and individual protein needs are so very different. I met natural hobby bodybuilders who said they gain muscle eating 1g/kg protein while others needed way more… And there is something odd to me as I am physically unable to eat only 2g/kg, I feel starving with that amount (and I tend to overeat fat so it’s definitely not lack of calories/fat). So I guess my individual need is higher despite me not being very active (somewhat active but even if I am very inactive for a while, I need my usual amount of protein). It’s possible that my satiation is oddly tied to protein and I actually only need like 100g a day (I am a short woman) but I definitely can’t stop there.

@monte1: 10g protein is nothing. I can’t even track my intake as accurately even if I measure everything on my kitchen scale.
And our protein need (not like we can calculate it, it’s somewhat mystical) is a range, not even a tiny one. 10g protein more can’t do much. Maybe in extreme circumstances, I don’t think it’s possible to say much about human bodies that works for absolutely everyone… But normally it’s negligible. I overeat protein by 100+ g sometimes, never noticed it being a problem but I don’t actually lose fat normally and even much extra sugar can’t keep me from fat-loss if I manage not to overeat fat (but carbs usually make me hungrier and a different person so I do just that. protein never has this effect). Many people on this forum eat way, way more protein than me, without any problems. Of course, there is a thing as too much protein for everyone but most of us can’t eat that much even if they try.
It’s an old disproven myth that extra protein always gets converted to sugar but if you don’t eat much protein to begin with, you actually can’t possibly know if your extra 10g is really extra…

(Kira) #10

Hi gaz3, since you are asking so directly: my much younger colleague started on Keto 7 weeks ago and lost 30 pounds so far. I feel pressured, I guess.

(Kira) #11

Thank you. I was diagnosed in 2007. Unfortunately, RA is a chronic autoimmune disease and will not heal but slow down at best (I gradually get/got stiff wrists, for instance) and this and pains are eased with the help of methotrexat.
I did have my blood checked last month and will have another check next month so I can actually see which values have changed, if any. I will share with you if you are interested.

(Kira) #12

Thank you, Paul for delving into my topics. So much information, thanks for your time!
I am learning a lot here. I have, for instance, no idea what systemic inflammation is. I’ve never heard of it. I googled it but I don’t quite understand. It does sound like it’s symptoms of RA but not RA per se. Is this so? Then no, I don’t have that. The results of my RA is visible in x-rays (my wrist bones look like mash, for instance) and it doesn’t run in the family - at all.

Thanks also for mentioning the sugar problem, which I actually know of. Still, I was hooked on fruit, eating a kg per day or even more if it was in the house. Any and every fruit. I could pretend I was eating healthily as I wasn’t much into sweets. I can’t repeat enough how delighted I am I came across this keto diet. I am not craving sugars at all, or anything else for that matter! I hope it stays this way but am determined as well.

According to my meal plans I eat daily between 20-30g carbs, 100-130g fat, 50-70g protein.

(Kira) #13

Boy, how do you guys get so knowledgeable about this stuff?! I am thoroughly impressed and a little overwhelmed by all the information, tbh.
Ifod14, I just checked the bag (the stuff is called collagen hydrolysate) and you are right, there is quite a list of amino acids but not tryptophane. Nevertheless my joints feel great since I have been taking it.

(Edith) #14

Yes, I would be interested in knowing. Both my mother and brother have psoriatic arthritis, also autoimmune. I believe I would be diagnosed with it, as well; if I did not eat the way I do. My brother has a particularly bad time with the psoriasis, so I am always looking for anecdotal stories that may be of use to him.

(Kira) #15

I will tell her tomorrow. Actually, I have read this piece of information on the internet, and it was scientifically supported! That’s actually how I arrived here in panic.

(Kira) #16

You are all helping me greatly, and thanks for your experience, too, Shinita.
I will keep all of your information and experiences in mind.
I wonder how my nutritionist will react to my revelation tomorrow. It’s probably just in my mind.

Other than that I will just keep doing what I am doing and feel good about it again, thanks to you all here. :slight_smile:


I lost absolutely nothing in my first 7 weeks though. Except 4lbs of water but that doesn’t matter at all.

We are all different and if we are in a race, that’s with ourselves, never with others when it comes to very personal things like fat-loss. Keto can offer so much more anyway.


I find it extremely unlikely your body has any problem with that extra +10g protein… Mine would scream bloody murder to give it 80-100g more… :smiley: Okay, it’s me but 50-70g protein isn’t much at all. Unless you have some condition where much protein does some harm (it is a thing but I hope not a very common one, it sounds awful), some more protein sounds a very good idea.


You find nearly everything and its opposite online, “scientifically supported”…


Easy, Doctors screwed us for too long and we had to self teach or go down the crapper. Luckily, many mainstream doc’s defected and clued us in over the years and pointed many of us in the right direction, then it’s down the rabbit hole you go!

Oh it is, but only when real life context is ignored. Gluconeogenesis (that process) is real, and it used to be believed that it was a supply driven process, ie: eat more protein, make more glucose, but that has been debunked. It’s actually a demand driven process, so your body will only make glucose from amino acids when it’s forced to, so there are no worries within any real context of your Steak turning into Twinkies once they’re broken down.