About Me

Vivica Menegaz

Nutritionist, Author, & Blogger

Hi I am Vivica, welcome to my blog! I am a certified nutritionist and the creator of the Healing Foods Method. My philosophy of healing is to let the right foods delight you, nourish you and make you healthy!

LOW-CARB diet misconception number two : Low carb Means High Protein

Misconception #2 Low-carb means High Protein

Today we are going to talk about the second major misconception about keto and Low carb diets that can mean the difference between success and failure: Low carb means high protein.

Proteins are composed by chains of amino-acids . Nine of these are called “essential” amino acids, because we need to get them through the diet can not be made by the body.

All essential amino –acids are contained in animal protein, especially organ meats. High quality (grass-fed / organic / pastured) animal protein is the best you can eat for your body, when it’s consumed in the right amount!

If protein is an essential macronutrient,why is it bad on a ketogenic diet?

Protein is very important even on a ketogenic diet, as it is the most satiating nutrient and it prevents huger and cravings.

It is also an essential nutrient, so it is very important to get the proper amount so we do not get malnourished. Protein is also very important to build and maintain lean muscle mass, which is our goal when losing fat mass, as lean muscle is healthier and burns more calories.

First of all you need to determine the right protein need for your level of activity and lean muscle mass, as we will see how to d below.

But WHAT happens in the body when we are trying to keto adapt and we eat too much protein?

Promotes long-term weight gain and obesity through drastically increased leptin levels. Leptin is a satiety /metabolic regulation hormone and overexposure to it will permanently damage your metabolism. While protein is the most sating of the 3 macros, in the long run the effect will be exactly the opposite: It will make you always hungry!

Promotes faster aging, through glycation =Internal damage of the cells caused by oxidation.

Reduces lifespan. Protein is highly thermogenic (increases body temperature) which also creates damage through glycation.

Prevents you from getting into ketosis. Excess protein is broken down and turned into glucose (gluconeogenesis) thus elevating not only glucose levels but also Insulin response. The excess sugar in the blood will prevent you from getting successfully keto-adapted.
All the effects mentioned above happen regardless if you are on a low carb diet or not, but they become much more noticeable when you are trying to lose weight and get healthy through carb restriction and you are not getting the results you want.

lowcarb misconception #2

HOW do I know what is THE RIGHT amount of protein for me?

How much protein do I actually need?

It really depends on you age, the state of your metabolism and how much lean muscle mass your body is composed of. The more lean muscle you have, the more protein you can tolerate.

For a lean, fit body with moderate to high levels of  activity calculate at 1 gram of protein for pound of body weigh.

If you are overweight and have a higher body fat percentage you should calculate .6 grams of protein per pound of body weight.


Important All Protein is weighed COOKED.

Shown in the video:

60 gr (2.1 oz) skinless chicken breast meat = 17.5 gr protein

60 gr (2.1 oz)  steak meat = 16.5 gr protein

60 gr (2.1 oz)  skinless salmon filet = 14 gr protein

60 gr (2.1 oz) ) sardines in oil, drained = 15 gr protein

60 gr (2.1 oz) mozzarella cheese = 13 gr protein

60 gr (2.1 oz)  cheddar cheese = 15 gr protein

1 lg organic egg = 6 gr protein


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Comments 20

  1. Keto-Frustrated says:

    Hi Vivica,
    Thank you for the great information you share each week. I have found it to be very helpful, especially the protein intake calculation this week. The video was informative and really cute as well!

    Since I am struggling to get into ketosis I want to be sure I understand the calculations for a person that would fall into the very sedentary, etc., group – If a person has an IBW of 140 pounds (63.4 kg) and is very sedentary their protein intake would be 31.7 grams of protein a day, so basically 4.2 ounces of protein a day? This would be regardless of their current weight?

    Thank you again for the great information!

    • The Nourished Caveman says:

      Hi! Thank you I am very happy to be able to help.
      I would definitively try on the low side of protein, in your case that is exactly what you have calculated. What about your carbs? How many grams a day are you at now?

      • Ketofrustrated says:

        I have been off the program lately out of frustration.
        When trying to get keto-adapted I was at 15 grams carbs.
        My protein intake was 67 grams and fat was about 97.

        I was using the macros from RuledMe and Maria Emmerich’s book Keto Adaptive. I was also trying to keep my calories around 1300 a day. Besides never getting into ketosis I was so hungry. Can you make any recommendations? Thanks!

        • The Nourished Caveman says:

          Hi.I am sorry but it’s not possible for me to help you without more information, like your gender, weight, age, medical history.
          That is why a customized program is very important, generic diets do not work for everybody.
          I would be happy to give you a 15 min complementary call to talk about what is standing in the way of your success.
          Just fill out the form on the inquiry page.

          • Keto-frustrated says:

            That would be wonderful! I’ll fill out the form and get it back to you!
            Thank you for your kind reply.

          • Ketofrustrated says:

            Thank you again for your reply. I would be so appreciative to receive a complimentary call from you to discuss these roadblocks. I have filled out the Call form as you suggested but do not see a link or a submit button to send it to you.

            Not sure what to do now :/ Is there a way I can email it to you or can you email me?


  2. Terrell says:

    Vivica, This is great information! I have suspected that I was eating too much protein, but now I know and can figure out a more appropriate amount. Hopefully, this will help to get the belly fat moving. 🙂 Thanks!

    • The Nourished Caveman says:

      Hey Terrell!
      So nice to hear form you. Yes that is for sure one piece of the puzzle! One of many 😉
      Take care

  3. Raya says:

    Vivica- Thanks very much for clarifying this protein issue. Perhaps this is what has held my weight loss back – as I was eating waaay more protein than you showed us.

    Showing the portions of each protein food is VERY helpful! Perhaps you can show us examples of a meal, with the fats, veggies, protein, and carb – so we can also see visually how a meal looks!

    To good health!

    • The Nourished Caveman says:

      Hi Raya!
      Thank you, I am happy to be able to help resolving your problem. That’s what I specialize in ;).
      The next video will be about sample meals and calorie count.

  4. Laura says:

    Hi! I have been eating a low carb for about one year and have lost about 30 pounds! yay! I have been doing this on my own, trying to understand what carbs, protein, fats all me to my body. I just saw this website and find it VERY HELPFUL! Thank you!.
    I have about 10 more pounds to go, but I think I have been eating way too much protein. can you tell me what your “typical” high fat, mod protein, low carb day would like? Im having trouble envisioning what the dinner plate will look like for my family. again, thank you for the website. Well done!

    • The Nourished Caveman says:

      Hi Laura. I am happy to be of help! 🙂
      I am working on a video diary of my Keto meals right now. I should have it ready hopefully by next tuesday!
      PS if you want a more practical tool, have a look at my meal plan, it has 32 recipes with full macros already calculated, so that you will already know it’s perfect for your keto ratios.
      That is what keto meal look like.

      • Laura says:

        Thank you for your QUICK reply!! Amazing! I will checkout the meal plans and I look forward to your video!!

        Thanks so much!!

  5. Elodie Arsicaud says:

    Again, thank you so much for this video. So nice to see PORTIONS and not only numbers… Very helpful 🙂

  6. kari says:

    So if I’m 5’2 and weigh 160 I should have 65grams of protein a day? Which us how many ounces? Is this correct?

  7. Mommyof3 says:

    When I used to do HCG years ago I would lose with chicken and fish but beef made me gain or not lose unless it was steak. I don’t eat a lot of meat and need to get back into low carb with kids and the cost, time involved, not always home, etc. trying to get back into it to get my pre-kids body back or better. But my other issue is low carb I am usually still hungry and when I did HCG I often got dizzy or would cheat from getting out of it. I sadly take Adderall for ADD which helps me get through the day (surely not for focus or anything like that) and hoped I would lose on that but it doesn’t help at all with that. I started back at skating with friends once a wk and need to walk more to get in shape for summer but definitely need help. I’m about 209 now (5’4″) so I calculated 47.5 grams a day so probably nowhere near there but need quick meals to make till life is more settled. I have morbid obesity in my family so need to get it taken care of while I’m slightly young (34) before it becomes worse. I was 150 before kids so that is my goal-lost a bit in the summer when I was walking more but need something as I gain very easily. Thanks so much!!

  8. Lisa says:

    Thanks Vivica,
    I realize I am also eating too much protein! Thanks for providing the formula.

  9. Tami says:

    The instructions are a bit confusing…
    Do you subtract the 10% if you are diabetic, overweight or pre diabetic?
    And do you use your ideal body weight always? For example, I am 140 now but per my height of 5’0 I should weigh 115. So would I do the calculation based on my ideal weight of 115 or do I do the calculation based on my current weight of 140? I have been doing this calculation for awhile but just reread it and it confused me. What I did do was :
    115 =52kg – 10% = 47 grams of protein per day. Does this seem right?

    Thank you!

    • The Nourished Caveman says:

      Tami, I actually use a new much easier formula now, so I have updated the post to reflect that. I hope it is more clear! 🙂

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