Many people are now revisiting the protein issue

(Bob M) #1

Protein is on the - ah - menu of blogs lately. Diet Doctor went on a higher protein, higher carb diet and lost weight. So he had his staff try it too:

Mark’s Daily Apple, for this Mark also increased his protein intake:

We constantly get these “how much protein should I be eating” posts. The chances are, you probably can’t eat too much protein. The caveat: One time, I fasted 36 hours, exercised at about 32 hours, and then ate about 1.5 pounds of lean beef. I estimated 220+ grams of protein in one meal. That was too much. I felt sick. But I’ve eaten 130-160 grams in single meals with no apparent ill effects, and these are typically low fat.

Right now, I’m testing Fire in a Bottle’s topor stuff (oil, berberine). This does seem to have some effect on lessening hunger, sometimes anyway.

But after that, I’m going to test a higher P:E diet, where the E is not carbs.

(PJ) #2

I’ve eaten up to 300g of protein in a day before and been just fine with it. Just usually can’t eat more than about 90g at a sitting, and even that had better be more with carbs than fat or I’ll feel ill from overeating.

I do think that a lot of people who come to keto have legit health problems with their organs they are unaware of if they are nearly diabetic or seriously fat. I think that can contribute to a number of things if they do mega protein to begin (especially the “meat and diet coke diet” that often leads to gout).

But protein researcher Don Layman said that they’d tested up to 300g/day and there are no real issues with it – if you simply choose to get your calories from protein instead of carbs or fat.



Do you have any links about this? I’ve not heard this referenced before, but I have a friend who suffers greatly from gout and would love to push some information their way.


Thank you for posting these links. I have found that I tend to feel more satisfied when I consume more protein and just a bit less fat, although I love the taste of fat. :smile:

(A fool and his bacon are soon parted) #5

Prof. Bikman should be happy with these articles, since he is concerned with the loss of lean mass as people age.

I couldn’t help noticing in the Diet Doctor post, however, that, in addition to increasing their protein, everyone mentions eliminating nuts and dairy from their diet. I would be interested to see a comparison between people who increased their protein and kept eating nuts and dairy versus people who increased protein and eliminated nuts and dairy, just to see what the diference was, if any.

According to Raubenheimer and Simpson, all mammals, including human beings, have an instinct for getting the proper amount of protein, which in the case of human beings tends to be about 15% of calories. Be that as it may, the U.S. dietary recommendation of 0.8 grams of protein a day is based on a study in which people’s daily nitrogen loss was studied. The average loss translated to the equivalent of 0.6 grams of protein, but the data points were all over the place, with a lot of people losing considerably more or considerably less nitrogen than the average. So there is going to be a lot of individual variation in people’s protein needs, and as I have been saying for a while now, it is worth experimenting a bit to see which proportion of fat and protein works best.

Moreover, when I joined these forums, there was a great fear of excessive gluconeogenesis from eating too much protein, and that fear seems to have been laid to rest by Prof. Bikman’s work, which shows that additional protein does not affect the insulin/glucagon ratio, provided that carb intake is sufficiently low.


was this a typo from you? they went higher carb too? cause the link says it is higher protein low-carb diet?? just wondering cause it caught my eye LOL

too much protein isn’t a thing…it IS MADE into a thing cause of all the macros and crazy dieting gurus and what ifs and useless thoughts and unbacked ‘sciences’ they pretend they know :slight_smile:

come on, us carnivores eat only meat. We ain’t dead yet, got the best results IF one holds plan and we thrive…not saying a keto menu isn’t great for many cause it is for sure…but US carnivores are easily 10-15- into 20 years plus for many and we are so darn great…too much protein is a joke truly IF YOU do not combine it with other crap food…once ya do diet soda, fake keto sweets, allowing in plants that could be compromising someone’s body and they just don’t know it and more and YES protein becomes ‘a big factor’ to focus on’ because heavens forbid anyone focuses on the extra crap food being eaten in the menu plan :slight_smile:

cool info and no one can eat too much protein as in it ‘will wreck your body and nail ya to the wall’ (unless real live medical diagnosis issues one might have) but what can happen is someone overeats til their tummy might be so overloaded cause they don’t understand hunger satiaty and fullfilment just yet, I did it…I ate so much meat in a sitting I got a tad ill but darn I learned from that and my body changed knowing ‘when to stop’ and that last forkful was enough.

Dr Bikman says it so well with ‘protein leverage hypothesis’ in his instagram chat…your body will want and eat til OVERFULL towards way more protein cause your body IS signaling you are protein deficient for what it requires…and darn I can not ‘get Instagram chats’ to link here but if someone knows how to do it? cool He says that if your body is overeating on protein (as you see it from a 'dieting standpoint) it is cause ya need it, but no one listens truly…ugh

time on any plan shows us so much…be yourself and work what you personally need in your meals to make the entire lifestyle work for you…focus on eating bigger protein cause life wants it that way, your body knows meat protein and fat is ALL that is required for total body survival so yea…eat the meats and seafood and fish and fowl and enjoy!

Simplest thoughts are get out of your own damn way! Stop thinking and eat the meat proteins your body craves and wants! Limit and control this part, meat protein and fat intake to ‘allow for more carbs and processed foods’ and we go whacko on what signals we do get so yea, get out of your own way is the best advice. Dieting perfection and body nutrition controlled down to the last macro is not gonna change anyone, get out of your own way and do you! Follow the truth body signals your actual body is trying to lead…forget internet ‘what if dieting crap’ and move forward.

ok bit of a chat from me on it but yea, when I got out of my own way and saw the big pic, the tiny control and micro macros and more I thought I could control were are joke…that’s the joke. Meat protein/fat is all that is required for body survival yet we ‘try to fix it all’ with ‘our processed crap food’ of today and they don’t mesh mostly when it boils down to real facts on ‘can ya eat too much protein’…whew…heehee

(Bob M) #7

They discuss it here:

Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt (the original “diet doctor” in Sweden) did eat more carbs, as fruit (berries is what he mentioned) and vegetables. He said his fasting insulin went down, as did his fat. They theorized that there’s a relationship (fat going down might mean smaller fasting insulin). I’m not so sure. If you’re more “insulin resistant” in the morning due to very low carb, maybe you have a higher insulin? If you’re eating more carbs per day, maybe that lessens/breaks this morning “insulin resistance” (or glucose intolerance, goes by other names), and therefore you get lower fasting insulin?

I bought a year’s supply of my CGM to prove that high protein = candy bar in terms of blood sugar. What I found was that no matter how much protein I ate, my blood sugar never changed. Dr. Bikman described why.

I find it a confusing area. The theory that hunger is driven by not eating enough protein to me implies that if you eat enough protein, you shouldn’t be hungry. But even Dr. Eenfeldt said he had to eat more times per day because he was hungrier. That can happen to me if I eat lower fat beef: I can get hungry. Why? I think it’s calories. While I’m not a CICO-phant by any stretch, I can set up a quite high protein, but low calorie diet with lean beef. I can eat 130+ grams of protein in a meal of lean beef, but only be getting 700 or so calories.

So, do I eat more times per day to address this? Or maybe add some suet (higher in saturated fat) to the meal to be able to skip eating another meal before dinner?

As @PaulL mentions, it also gets complex because of what people are eating. I think the same is true for carnivore, by the way. If what you’re doing is transitioning to eating mainly beef or other lean meats, you’re vastly changing everything, including things like dairy A1 proteins, PUFAs (lower fat by definition will reduce these, as will switching to beef), not eating nuts and avocados and other higher PUfA fare, etc.

So, I really want to test this, but first I need to finish my Fire In a Bottle sterculia (sp?) oil + berberine test and also – gah! – begin tracking my calories and macros.


Dr Bikman
instagram podcast
protein leverage hypothesis
go check it out and then chat back

I don’t know how to link instagram stuff here :slight_smile:

you eat more protein cause your body desires it from lack of nutrition it was denied so yes as in any carnivore phase when we start we can eat massively HUGE cause your body is asking for just that but our minds say OMGosh, I shouldn’t do this and that is getting in our own way from what the body is telling us!

different time frame for healing and balance for each of us but even keto or lc or paleo people learn their protein intake is key…then they can wrap around other food choice issues but if protein levels are low your body says give me more and more til…but the til doesn’t come cause most ‘think they can control’ the body and we can’t…just listen and eat meat protein and great meat fats and let nature take you there

(Bob M) #9

I’ve listened to probably 10+ podcasts by Dr. Bikman. Does he say anything in this one he doesn’t say in the others?

I have my doubts about the protein leverage hypothesis for us low carbers (or carnivores). For instance, here’s 2 pounds of eye round, 2MAD, 1 pound each meal:

267 grams of protein, 1440 calories. According to the protein leverage hypothesis, someone like me should not be hungry after this, because I ate the amount of protein that exceeds what my body wants.

Yet, I guarantee I would be hungry after that. That’s too few calories for me.

What the protein leverage theory does not account for is that you might still want to eat even though you ate enough protein.


and you are thinking that you ate enough protein as per ‘some stupid rule or label or what?’ cause you body says you want more but don’t ever give that any weight in its course?

Come on, no one eats eye of the round, too lean LOL and if you want 2-3-4 ribeyes then eat them and your body will shut you down before ya had too much OR YOUR body might take you to that point of being so overfull cause your body WANTS it but your tummy can’t hold it.

All the useless wanna be guessing calcs of what a person should have in meat protein and fat intake from meat fats are a joke…as any carnivore knows from our plan and if one is not carnivore then one can never truly see where I am coming from but gets that hint that meat protein IS key to their lc ways :slight_smile: :slight_smile: but I get the ‘science and macros and wanna be wonder gurus who tell you how to eat for perfect life health’ but only the body can direct one truly and IF THE ONE liner of only good meat protein and fat are required for physical body survival are key factors thru evolution and science fact, which is never given real thought in any perfect calc thoughts for nutrition cause everyone wants to eat crap…not talking long ago, talking now. Protein vs. fake mashed taters and fake mac n cheese or keto bars that are chocolate and ??, and ‘lets net the carbs’ which is BS major advertising mastery of profit in my thoughts and more.

protein life and good meat fat vs "ALL OTHER current day crap food out there’ that everyone wants to eat?

we have to be current or none of this ‘food intake’ from any source matters kinda but fact is not one carb from plants is required for survival on a physical body level…so yea we were meant to eat the meats! In big form for survival.

and again ya seen Bikman as many have but have ya seen this post? darn I wish I could link it but I don’t got a clue, I tried but ugh LOL

(Vic) #11

Just for fun I plugged in the numbers today.

236gr protein
193gr fat
4gr carbs (eggs)


A very normal day.
I do have my lean days with lots of fish etc. Then protein wil be much higher, 300gr+

Can’t say I feel it.
I doesn’t seem to affect me at all?

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #12

Sorta like Chinese food syndrome. No matter how much you eat still hungry again in a couple of hours.


I get it LOL but nope. Chinese isn’t real food and loaded with chem crap as ‘we know of its current nutritional values’ of today and meat protein being wanted by your body and it asking for it to heal and thrive just doesn’t fall into that same realm at all.

just as I see it though, YMMV! personal thoughts on it

(A fool and his bacon are soon parted) #14

It is known that some people need quite a bit more protein than other people. I suppose if you are not getting enough to meet your needs you are going to be hungry.

But protein is not normally used to supply energy to the body; carbohydrate and fat are much more efficient sources of energy. So if you are not getting enough of either of those, then you are still going to be hungry.

So the way I see it, if you eat plenty of fat, but not enough protein, you are going to be hungry. And if you eat plenty of protein, but not enough fat, you are going to be hungry. I don’t know what y’all think of this idea, but it makes sense to me.

(PJ) #15

On the fire in a bottle thread, part of the theory that is based on, is that saturated fat in the bloodstream makes on ‘satiated.’ If the body is desaturating it, or has already stuffed it into cells, then one is hungry.

Whether protein is filling has a lot to do with its fats, which of course affects calories also. I could eat chicken breasts all day and my stomach wouldn’t be hungry but I’d be standing staring at my fridge until my nose hairs frosted up looking to nosh on something. (Credit to Erma Bombeck for that visual :smile: ) Even red meat alone wouldn’t fill me. But add cocoa butter to a cup of coffee, and blue cheese dressing to my steak, and I’d probably be full.

But I’d probably feel better if I had some carbs as well. Whether this is because I’m a woman in menopause or some other reason I have no idea. I’ve done a lot of hard keto over time since I love meat/dairy and was never a produce fan, I just don’t feel very good on that anymore.

When I first lost a lot of weight and was having reactive hypo crashes after egg & sausage breakfasts – which had not happened prior – Ray Peat said try eggs were unusually insulinogenic, and the fat loss might relate also, and to try drinking a little orange juice with it. This was heresy to my lowcarb obsession but I tried it and it worked.

The theory being, I guess?, that protein does have an insulin response, that for some people who might be a bit hyperinsulinemic still it’s a bigger response, and the carbs kind of ‘soak up’ the insulin – totally wrong analogy probably – preventing the over-response that then drops blood glucose TOO low.

Because if there is an over-response of insulin, and glucose drops too low as a result, aside from the other symptoms, after that you’re hungry again. So maybe the carbs are kind of mitigating the insulin that is already there anyway.


Interesting topic, I got carried again…

I’ve skimmed the first article. How adorable, women with their 120g protein and 4 oz chicken per meal as the result of their efforts to eat high protein…

120-200g works for me (I would need extreme efforts to go out of this range, I mean, regularly, I have odd days. for some reason, no matter what, I always eat a nice amount of protein, never had a problem with that. I get enough if I eat 1000 kcal, I don’t get too much at 4000… both are rare extreme cases but my protein is still fine. and it’s quite good on average) but I have no idea if 200+ g every day would be bad. Too much protein exists but I never met it myself. Many on this forum did, others ate way more without problems… It’s probably quite individual.
Obviously everyone has an amount for protein that is way too much (we have this for water too, at some point it becomes even deadly) but that may be borderline or clearly impossible to reach in many cases. As I wrote, I never could overdo protein but I am not into lean protein and that helps.
And we know cases where people ate quite impressive amounts of meat every day without problems. So the limit some people experience can’t be true for everyone (I mean it in g/kg, not in grams alone, of course, our bodies, muscle mass and needs are different).

I never found a protein per meal limit either. I found a fat one, 150g fat in one sitting felt a bit much way before keto (and I couldn’t test it since) but protein? About 1 kg chicken or 160g seitan (but I ate something else too then, probably eggs) was fine, I merely stayed hungry in the first case and ate much more… It’s surely individual.

It easy for me as I can’t really control my protein intake, it always go wherever it wants and it’s always good. But people with the idea that one should eat below (maybe very well below) 2g/kg protein wouldn’t like me. I can live with that. I know I don’t NEED this amount, I just am unable to eat less, I actually tried. My body gives me urges until I eat enough fat and protein and it’s pretty strong and who am I to go against my own body who knows its own things best? Even with my top satiating fatty items, I need much protein.

It is VERY individual, hunger and satiation.
My overeating is more complicated but if I want to avoid that, I need high protein, it seems (and enough calories as well). My SO only needs calories for long term satiation, it seems…
I eat more often when I get satiated too easily, a tiny meal hardly can give long term satiation… But that’s probably individual too. My body usually stops getting hungry and annoying me when I finally give it all the energy and protein it wants. As long as I avoid carbs. Carbs mess up things and I need to eat way more fat to feel okay and my satiation still won’t be as good. Unless I massively overeat, that has an effect on my satiation…
So, protein is key for me and maybe for most of us? It’s important, a smart body wants the necessary amount… And mine wants more for some reason. It’s the most satiating macronutrient in general but not all protein sources (with the same fatcontent) are the same…

I would think it will help but I experienced that certain fats act like protein if it’s about satiation and others not. Not rendered fat usually works well for me… But due to this, I can’t just add it to my meal if the food already gives me a stop sign in the end… But maybe it’s easier to eat more if the meal isn’t so lean? I don’t know, I tend to have a very similar fat content for most of my meals and when I have an exceptional one, some other factors surely changes from the many… But a few things may be noticeable through repeated experiments. A leaner (still fatty just not so much) meal seems to satiate me well for its energy content but it’s shorter-living so I need to eat more often. In the end, I end up with similar energy intake if I choose my items right so things get balanced out. Be it adequate, high or very high protein, my body needs its calories to be satiated at bedtime. (And I need more energy in the case of adequate protein, it seems. Above 120g protein it doesn’t matter what I use for satiation, protein or fat as long as it’s the right type and I am able to eat it. So up to 200g, no idea what happens beyond that as I can’t resist the pull of fat. I had some quite protein rich meals, they worked - in their typically smaller and shorter-living ways - but I automatically ate higher-fat meals afterwards so my day always was fatty. Except once but my protein still was in its normal range as always.)

Probably the same. I have the odd low-carb day on carnivore but I typically can’t function with only 1440 kcal, I mean, I get hungry at midnight if not earlier so I eat. But I never tried this amount of protein. 200g with 1440 kcal surely isn’t enough. 1600 is better, 1500 is dubious even using the best items I can… Even for a single day after higher-calorie ones, 1440 kcal is rarely enough. And it’s the situation where I can go the lowest (carnivore when easy satiation kicked in).
But I probably would get super bored with such a lean meat first and ate eggs and sausages instead to get rid of my hunger…
Once I did a low-fat keto day though so it’s possible, actually (for one day, at least. I surely wasn’t hungry as I always eat then) but with a bit more calories - and 200g protein can’t guarantee I won’t eat 200g fat as well as I learned at some point (not with my top satiating fats, I suppose. once I intentionally focused on protein and ended up with too much fat).

Makes sense. I wonder what is “enough fat”, though… Surely our extra fat, energy need and other things matter a lot. And it’s possible to miss fat even without needing energy and fabricating some odd type of hunger is nothing to a stubborn resourceful body that wants its fat.

(Bob M) #17

Man, is there a Twitter war about this. I did not know Rafael Sirtoli of Break Nutrition apparently thinks Ted Naiman’s high P:E diet is “garbage” (or at least some of it is?).

And others, like Amber O’Hearn argue some/a lot of fat actually helps with weight loss. I know Amber also does not agree with some/all of the protein leverage hypothesis.

Should add: it’s not only hard to argue in 240 characters (or whatever the character limit is on Twitter), but the context is tough. I saw Ralpael post something negative about Ted Naiman’s theories, but then I could not find it again. Ugh. My Twitter app is strange. I can’t see a whole thread, only pieces of it.

(Cheryl Meyers) #18

I found this thread with Siobhan Huggins in the loop:

and here is the Diet Doctor article on Protein from May 4:

(Bob M) #19

I also found this article, advocating for higher fat, from Amber O’Hearn:

And this one about low ketone levels:

Ugh, so complex. Have not had time to review these, but will do so and report back.

(PJ) #20

I know they say hunger is protein dependent, in part due to studies where when people are protein deprived they can eat 10,000 Kcal and still be up at 2am looking to nosh. But Bob I don’t know that this means that protein is the ONLY thing that hunger or desire to eat depends on. I suspect that micronutrients matter also. And by micro I include in that certain very specific fats, perhaps. I don’t know how it could be scientifically studied to exclude protein and pointedly exclude only other nutrients to try and narrow down whether for example being slightly-low on magnesium matters – you just could not do that. Too many moving parts, too many overlaps in half lives, too many storage depots including fat cells, I don’t think it could feasibly be teased out. When people stop eating after X amount of protein, even then – it’s not just protein they intook it was tons of micronutrients including fats, and even if given a supplement of just-protein, they still ingested other things. I don’t recall ever seeing a study where people were total water-fasted except a protein-isolate for this purpose.

Also there’s the gut biome thing. So in prep for my coming FIOB style eating plan test I have been upping my carbs. Which is hard for me. I still suck at a starch solution (besides potatoes) but need to do more experimenting. I can’t eat most grain for gut reasons. But I’m on a big kick to heal my gut. So I’ve been having various berries, some shred carrot, mct oil powder with acacia (prebiotic fiber), and homemade kefir (and a few other things) in a smoothie every other day. And holy cats, my bowel output quintupled I think, just from that, and it’s not even every day. So clearly my gut biome down there is in overtime production. It’s possible that what is being endogenously created is just as important as what is being exogenously ingested when it comes to the overall assortment of nutrients our body wants on hand before it tells us to keep eating. This is an area where I feel like research can probably see the rather gigantic things (like macronutrients in general) effects, but probably not much more granularly than that yet. And due to the gut biome, I think there’s some difference between humans and even the lab animals that are fairly close to us in certain regards.

I LOVE Ted Naiman’s P:E ratio concept. I think it’s a clean, concise way of presenting people with the understanding that both fats and carbs are energy. This topic is oddly nebulous for many folks as we just are not taught it at all or properly in schooling. I do not recall him stating that one needed a certain ratio, only that an ‘overall’ lower energy intake was obviously key if you wanted to lose body fat. He might be over-simplistic on that, for example if the type of fats matter to the subject then he’s operating at too high a level with it, for his model to be accurate “in all cases.” Still I always appreciate people who are able to greatly simplify certain concepts for the public. Enough of this detail and it all starts to seem like voodoo.