How much protein Should I Eat on a LCHF Keto Diet?

Many people following a keto LCHF diet are unsure about how much protein they should be eating.  It’s a common belief that a low carb diet should be high in protein. As we all know, eating a LCHF keto diet means eating most of your calories as fat, not protein.

On a LCHF keto diet your macros (the composition of your diet) should look something like this: 70% fat/25% protein/5% carbs. You definitely don’t want to be eating more than 30% of your calories as protein.

A common error we see people making is making protein the central focus and of all their meals and hence they end up eating a large percentage of their diet as protein, with too little fat and too few low carb veggies.

What’s wrong with eating too much protein you ask? Read our post about protein to find out.

When you are on a LCHF keto diet for weight loss, eating protein in excess results in a few things happening:

  1. Less fat is eaten and so the diet is not truly ketogenic. The benefits of being in ketosis do not happen. Peoples macros do not approach the 70% fat/25% protein/5% carbs recommendation
  2. You end up consuming too many calories, because your protein servings are huge!
  3. You get tired and bored with eating protein all the time and you end up going off your LCHF eating plan and start adding carbs back to your diet just to get some variety
  4. You end up not eating enough low carb veggies. The focus of a keto diet should be low carb vegetables which are the perfect vehicle for adding fat to the diet in the form of olive oil, avocado oil, butter and coconut oil. You can roast or saute your veggies in fat or steam them and then drizzle them with olive or other nut oils. See our useful guide to the best low carb vegetables.
  5. Your weight loss can slow down or stop

People are very confused about how large their protein serving should be. By following our LCHF calorie controlled meal plans and recipes we’ve made sure that you are always eating the correct macros and never too much protein.

In response to our reader’s questions, we’ve put together a list  of comon protein sources and their nutritional value below. Note that we use raw weights, unless specified, so please make sure to weigh your protein before cooking it. Amounts listed below are typical raw serving sizes. Simply double or halve the amounts to meet your meal plan needs.

As you consult this list be aware of the amount of protein you are eating each day and know that, unless you’re a body builder, you’re recovering from injury, illness or major surgery or are anemic, then you need to eat much less protein than you realize.

Here are the current US guidelines for daily protein:

Babies need about 10 grams a day.
School-age kids need 19-34 grams a day.
Teenage boys need up to 52 grams a day.
Teenage girls need 46 grams a day.
Adult men need about 56 grams a day.
Adult women need about 46 grams a day (71 grams, if pregnant or breastfeeding)

Please note: The above values are minimum amounts for survival/healthy body functioning. Your protein requirements may differ depending on who you are and your current life circumstances.

Keep this list handy so you always know how much protein you are consuming. 

Chicken pieces

6 oz (170g) skinless, boneless chicken breast, raw – 39.1g protein, 2g fat, 0g net carbs, 186 calories

6 oz (170g) skinless, boneless chicken breast, weighed after cooking – 54g protein, 6g fat, 0g net carbs, 240 calories

6 oz (170g) skinless, boneless chicken thigh, raw – 33.4g protein, 6.7g fat, 0g net carbs, 202 calories

6 oz (170g) chicken thigh, bone in, skin on, raw – 32.5g protein, 26.1g fat, 0g net carbs, 323 calories

1 medium chicken thigh, skin on, bone in, weighed after cooking – 15.4g protein, 9.5g fat, 0g net carbs, 152 calories

1 large chicken thigh, skin on, bone in, weighed after cooking – 20.9g protein, 12.9g fat, 0g net carbs, 206 calories

1 medium chicken drumstick, skin on, bone in, weighed after cooking – 13.9g protein, 5.7g fat, 0g net carbs, 111 calories

1 large chicken drumstick, skin on, bone in, weighed after cooking – 18.2 protein, 7.5g fat, 0g net carbs, 146 calories

Ground meats:

4 oz (115g) ground/minced beef, 93% lean/7% fat, raw- 23.6g protein, 8g fat, 0g net carbs, 172 calories

4 oz (115g) ground/minced beef, 90% lean/10% fat, raw- 22.7g protein, 11.3g fat, 0g net carbs, 200 calories

4 oz (115g) ground/minced beef, 85% lean/15% fat, raw- 21g protein, 17g fat, 0g net carbs, 244 calories

4 oz (115g) ground/minced beef, 80% lean/20% fat, raw- 19.7g protein, 21g fat, 0g net carbs, 270 calories

4 oz (115g) ground/minced pork, raw – 19.1g protein, 24g fat, 0g net carbs, 298 calories

4 oz (115g) ground/minced lamb, raw – 18.8g protein, 26.5g fat, 0g net carbs, 320 calories

4 oz (115g) ground/minced turkey (90/10), raw – 16.3g protein, 7.8g fat, 0g net carbs, 146 calories

4 oz (115g) ground/minced chicken, raw – 19g protein, 1g fat, 0g net carbs, 180 calories

Beef

8 oz (225g) sirloin steak, raw – 46g protein, 14.5g fat, 0g net carbs, 320 calories

8 oz (225g) NY strip steak, raw – 46.6g protein, 35g fat, 0g net carbs, 516  calories

6 oz (170g) filet mignon, raw – 33g protein, 30g fat, 0g net carbs, 420 calories

Pork

1 slice thick cut bacon, cooked – 5g protein, 8g fat, 0g net carbs, 100 calories

8 oz (225g) pork loin, raw – 48.6g protein, 12.8g fat, 0g net carbs, 324 calories

4 oz (115g) pork belly, raw – 10.6g protein, 60g fat, 0g net carbs, 585 calories

8 oz (225g) pork shoulder, raw – 44.3g protein, 20.8g fat, 0g net carbs, 376 calories

Lamb

6 oz (170g) lamb loin, raw – 35.5g protein, 10.1g fat, 0g net carbs, 243 calories

1 small lamb loin chop, with bone, cooked – 17.4g protein, 16.4g fat, 0g net carbs, 222 calories

Cold Cuts/Sandwich Meats

2 oz (60g) turkey breast, cooked – 14g protein, 1g fat, 0g net carbs, 60 calories

2 oz (60g) ham, cooked – 15.1g protein, 9.9g fat, 0g net carbs, 154 calories

2 oz (60g) salami – 12g protein, 18g fat, 0g net carbs, 220 calories

2 oz (60g) smoked salmon – 10.4g protein, 2.4g fat, 0g net carbs, 66 calories

Seafood

8 oz (225g) cod, raw – 40.4 g protein, 1.5g fat, 0g net carbs, 186 calories

8 oz (225g) salmon, Atlantic, raw – 45g protein, 14.4g fat, 0g net carbs, 322 calories

8 oz (225g) tuna, raw – 53g protein, 1g fat, 2.2g net carbs, 245 calories

8 oz (225g) swordfish, raw – 44.9g protein, 9.1g fat, 0g net carbs, 275 calories

1 lb (450g) mussels, in shell, raw – 27g protein, 5g fat, 2g net carbs, 193 calories

8 oz (225g) shrimp/prawns, peeled, raw – 46g protein, 4g fat, 8.2g net carbs, 240 calories

12 oysters, medium, raw – 8.8g protein, 2.6g fat, 9.3g net carbs, 99 calories

5 oz (140g) tuna, albacore, water packed, canned – 35g protein, 6.5g fat, 0g net carbs, 200 calories

5 oz (140g) tuna, skipjack, water packed, canned – 35g protein, 1.5g fat, 0g net carbs, 150 calories

Tofu

Extra firm tofu (half a block) – 20g protein, 10g fat, 2.5g net carbs, 200 calories

Eggs

1 large egg – 6.3g protein, 4.8g fat, 0.4g net carbs, 72 calories

Cheese

1 oz (30g) cheddar – 7.1g protein, 9.4g fat, 0.4g net carbs, 114 calories

 

Would you like to know exactly how many carbs and calories you should be eating to lose weight?

Check out our cool macro and calorie report service!

 

 

 

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