Can You Get Fat on Too Much Protein?

When you consume protein, you trigger two hormones: insulin and glucagon. These are opposing hormones.

While insulin stops fat burning, glucagon increases fat burning. This is why consuming too much protein does not cause you to put on fat on keto.

So if you are replacing carbs with protein, you are most likely not going to put on more weight.

However, too much protein can…

• Slow down ketosis

• Cause sleepiness

• Cause bloating/constipation

• Lower sleep quality

• Cause indigestion

• Increase kidney or liver damage

Adding in intermittent fasting can help lower these side effects.

The body can only use so much protein and any additional amounts past that certain point is either wasted through your kidneys or is used as fuel because it is converted to glucose.

The problem is if we consume too much protein and it turns to glucose that is going to trigger insulin and that is going to make you fat. But there is something very unique about protein. You do not only trigger insulin you trigger the opposing hormone, which is made by your pancreas called glucagon.

Glucagon is a hormone and it basically does the opposite of insulin, whereas insulin stores fat glucagon burns fat. When you eat too much protein you actually stimulate both of these hormones and you can kind of get a neutralizing effect when glucagon is triggered at the same time as insulin. It is very different than just consuming carbohydrates, which will stimulate only insulin and not glucagon.

Dr. Berg could not find any reports that say that consuming too much protein makes you fat or puts on weight. It is difficult to isolate people that are just consuming too much protein. They are usually consuming a lot of protein with carbs but if you were to lower your carbs and just have more protein, which does not put on weight, it can slow down ketosis because you are stimulating insulin. What makes people get into ketosis is the reduction of insulin. They might not gain weight but they just slow down in their ability to lose weight.

They also can be very tired if they have too much protein. It could be because the spike in insulin. It could also be because they do not have enough hydrochloric acid. The protein does not get digested and they can get tired just from that. People can get very bloated and even constipated if they consume too much protein because they do not have enough digestive help. You are overloading the digestive system where it can not process that much protein in one sitting.

Protein can act like a stimulant and it can keep you from getting into a nice restful sleep at night. It can affect sleeping, indigestion, make you tired, bloated and a slow down ketosis.

Some people wonder if that excess protein going to damage my kidneys. Dr. Berg could not find any data to support that but too much protein is only a problem if your kidneys are unhealthy or you have kidney damage or liver damage because those two organs have to deal with the excess. If they are not healthy enough they will not be able to do that.

Adding more protein to a keto plan would be good if you are younger, if you have a fast metabolism and especially if you are doing fasting and you are not consuming as many meals like one meal a day for example then you could definitely add more protein. Simply because it is going to allow your body to process that protein over many hours versus three meals two snacks and a lot of protein that would not be good. 

This Post has been condensed from Dr. Berg’s video Can You Get Fat on Too Much Protein?

To learn more please read my blog, How Much Protein Is Too Much Protein In The Ketogenic Diet? https://2healthyhabits.wordpress.com/2021/03/12/how-much-protein-is-too-much-protein-in-the-ketogenic-diet/

Dr. Berg is a chiropractor who specializes in Healthy Ketosis & Intermittent Fasting. He is the author of the best-selling book The Healthy Keto Plan, and is the Director of Dr. Berg Nutritionals. He no longer practices, but focuses on health education through social media. He has taught students nutrition as an adjunct professor at Howard University.

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