Gluconeogenesis. Every serious keto-er eventually learns this word and most likely had to deal with it’s effects long before we even knew what it was. So what is gluconeogenesis and what doesn it mean for a keto-er? To summarize, it’s when we eat too much protein and it’s converted into glucose. Hence, slowing or even stopping nutritional ketosis.
Well, then how much protein should we be eating? Everyone is different so stating a number of grams would be futile for everyone. It really depends on the person and like I’ve said before, you really need to experiment and test yourself to see what you’re able to handle while still producing those lovely ketones and maintaining healthy lower blood sugar. Personally, I have 2 slices of bacon and perhaps one serving of chicken legs for lunch or maybe egg salad for dinner just to keep myself low enough for it to not effect my fasting glucose the next morning. But again, that’s me! Experiment for yourself!
Back in my first 6 months of going keto in 2014, my body fought what I was doing at almost every avenue. My blood sugar raised to the high 90’s and stayed there regardless of what I tried. Even though I slept good, relaxed more and got away from sugar substitutes, STILL nothing worked. And that’s when my keto coach (Stephanie Person) asked about my protein intake. I’d never even heard of gluconeogenesis, but apparently my body might be doing it. I reduced my proteins and almost immediately my morning glucose numbers went down. How about that!
The whole reason I’m even posting about this subject is because I have noticed that since I’ve been doing keto (both strict & progressive) for almost 3 years, I believe now that I’m keto adapted. The reason I believe this after all this time is that what my body use to be super sensitive about, just no longer is. My cortisol (stress hormone) levels are much lower, my sleep is much deeper with dreams and when going from progressive to strict keto, the carb flu was a simple “blah” feeling for a few hours and then I got my keto energy! Gluconeogenesis might still happen, but I choose to not eat tons of protein during the day anyways, so I’m not going to test it and see if my still wants to use glucose for fuel any longer.
I guess the question for the reader is, am I eating too much protein for keto and will it even effect me? Maybe and maybe not. Everyone is different! If your diet prior to doing keto was filled primarily with carbs, you may want to buy a cheap glucometer and just test your morning glucose right after you wake up and before you eat anything. High glucose in a morning fast can mean a number of things, so removing the easiest possible things like lowering protein and perhaps removing sugar substitutes will be your answer.
After reading this blog, I highly recommend the reader to watch Dr. Phinney on Youtube if you’re able to! He’s a fountain of knowledge when it comes to nutrtional ketosis and I’m very glad to have learned so much from his videos. As a keto-er learning more information all the time, keeping up with him and other doctors are making it possible for us to become healthier every day.