High Protein Diets – Do They Work?

Ever seen a picture of a fat caveman? You might be hard-pressed to find one or even read about one in books. It is a no-brainer that animal meat was basically their main source of energy. I digress, but that brings us to the diet that I’m writing about. The high protein diet.

The high protein diet has steadily gained in popularity over the years. It has been touted by many fitness professionals as the diet that works when it comes to weight loss. This diet was eventually propelled into the limelight when Dr Atkins invented his famous Atkins Diet.

The million dollar question is whether such a diet actually works?

First of all for a healthy diet 25-30% of a person calories should come from protein. This percentage can be changed to suit the person’s lifestyle and exercise habits. For those involved in strenuous physical activities or exercises, they should consume a larger percentage.

Let’s see what are the benefits that a high protein diet can bring you.

1. Provides greater satiety

A protein rich meal can fill you up pretty fast and for a longer period of time. Try eating half a chicken and you’ll know why. If you’re feeling full, there’s a lesser tendency to snack.

2. Helps to prevent muscle loss

Protein is the building block for muscles. It also helps with muscle repair. When you are on a diet, you will be in a calorie deficit. To prevent your body from breaking down your muscles, a higher protein intake is recommended. Retaining muscle mass is important as the more muscle mass you have, the more fats you burn.

And now for the bad part.

1. Constipation

I can vouch for this. When I first started a high protein diet, I had serious constipation. I was eating about 6-8 chicken breasts a day to meet my protein requirements. I had trouble with my bowel movement for a couple of weeks and had to consume a lot of fibre just to re-regulate my toilet schedule.

2. Increase in cholesterol

Though high in protein, animal fat is also high in saturated fat. Constant consumption of a high protein diet can Sonus Complete lead to higher cholesterol levels.

3. Putting more stress on your kidneys

The by-product from the breaking down of protein is urea. The body then depends on the kidney to excrete the urea. Additional urea in the body will cause more stress to be placed on the kidneys. It has to work ‘overtime’ to remove the excess urea. This can lead to kidney issues and dehydration.

4. Craving for carbs

The lack of carbs in your diet can cause unnecessary cravings for it. The body knows that it needs carbs as an energy source. This can trigger off food binges that will bring you back to square one.

So as you can see, there are adverse side effects of a high protein diet. Many people have the misconception that a high protein diet means close to 100% of the calories from protein. You can substitute some protein for carbs but not to the extent where your diet is devoid of carbs. Even a caveman needs his share of carbs. Losing weight with a high protein diet is doable. Just be sure to consume some good carbs to ensure the body gets what it needs.

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