Virta Health - How Much Protein on Keto

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #41

Not precisely, but the tables are based off the old Metropolitan Life Insurance tables that used to be posted on the wall of every doctor’s office. There are actually six charts, three per sex, and which chart you use depends on your body-frame size, which is figured off the length of your forearm, I forget the details.

The correlations between height and weight are based on actuarial data, so the weight ranges are descriptive, not prescriptive, in that sense, and the way Virta apparently intends them to work is that you find your height in the appropriate table, pick a weight that seems appropriate from the range, and from there, figure out where in the recommended protein range you fall. The protein recommendation is Virta’s contribution to the data; the Metropolitan Life charts were merely height and weight.

(Hyperbole- best thing in the universe!) #42

That’s interesting, because the met life charts give me 13 more pounds than the reference weight chart does.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #43

Raubenheimer and Simpson claim that all mammals, including us, have an instinct for how much protein to eat and pretty much eat to that level. If the diet is abundant in protein, then total caloric intake will be lower, since it will take less to satisfy the protein instinct; if more abundant in carbohydrate relative to protein, it will take more calories in order to get enough protein.

Ted Naiman was wild about this hypothesis for a while and has a couple of interesting videos about it, though he has since moved on.

The human average, btw, seems to hold protein to around 15% of calories, which would be just over 90 grams/day for someone whose energy need was 2000 calories.

ETA: Ninety grams of protein is about a pound of steak, BTW.


I know Phinney has used this weight-goal strategy in the past. Maybe since Virta is offering their services to health care providers as well as being part of an ongoing study, results that please insurance companies in a way they already understand is a plus for them.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #45

He has said that they don’t want to get into the question of telling people how much they should weigh. That’s why they are careful to call it “reference weight” and not “ideal weight.” It’s merely a reference for determining how much protein to eat. I guess the MetLife charts offered a convenient, familiar source of data.


I’m just envious of the implications from the chart that 4’10’’ men and 6’4’’ women can apparently eat all the protein they want.

In seriousness tho, protein for me is usually so self-regulating that I don’t put much stress in wondering if I’m eating too much. Unlike with carbs, when I hit my limit of steak or chicken wings or whatever, I’m done.

(Jim O'Conner ) #47

Here’s my problem: satiety.
I’m 61 years old, so sarcopenia is a concern. I’m 6’2", 170lbs/77kg. 3-days a week resistance training. I’m a lean mass hyper responder.
Here’s an example of how I eat:

Protein 175 grams 22.4%
Net Carbs 15.2 grams 2.6%
Fat 260 grams 75.1%

Too much protein for ketosis even if the percentages are good?


No. See Amy Berger’s blog post about nonsense and fearmongering regarding the role of protein in low carb or ketogenic diets.