It’s true that protein plays an essential role in weight loss, muscle recovery, hair growth and a slew of other functions within the body. It is a vital macronutrient that we must invest in fairly significant amounts in order to achieve optimal health. For the purpose of weight loss and muscle-building, it’s not uncommon for the health-conscious to consider a diet that is particularly high in protein. Protein promotes weight loss in several ways:
- Increases satiation and reduces the urge to snack
- Helps to keep blood sugar levels steady
- Repairs muscles as they grow, as a result of the exercise
- Assists the body in burning fat
Knowing all of this, it’s not hard to see why high-protein diets have such an appeal. But there are so many established diets of this nature that it can be hard to choose the right one for your goals and your lifestyle. Below, we will explain 3 of the most popular high-protein diets so that you can make an informed decision as you move forward in an attempt to improve your health.
The Atkins Diet
The Atkins Diet is probably one of the most well-known weight loss diets in existence, which is due in no small part to the sheer numbers of people citing it for their success. This low-carb, high-fat diet breaks down like this:
- 5% carbohydrates
- 27% protein
- 68% fat
Even though the Atkins Diet has been critically acclaimed since its invention by Robert Atkins, there are some notable health risks including ketoacidosis, kidney damage and colon cancer associated with this diet. This is because of the incredibly high percentage of fat that’s necessary to succeed on this diet. It is certainly not for everyone, and anyone considering it should consult with their physician before proceeding.
The South Beach Diet
The glycemic index ranks foods based on how quickly the sugars from their consumption enters the body’s bloodstream. This diet, which was founded in 2003 by Arthur Agatston. This diet is less restrictive in some ways than the Atkins diet, as it allows for the consumption of low-fat dairy and other healthful foods that fall low on the glycemic index.
The downside of this diet is that it restricts the dieter from eating certain healthy foods, like many fruits, because they rank very highly on the glycemic index. The South Beach Diet doesn’t restrict the individual’s caloric intake, but the other restrictions placed by the diet can turn some people away.
This diet is broken down into stages, the first of which being characterized by rapid weight loss. The weight may come off too rapidly, causing dizziness and other health problems.
The Stillman Diet
The Stillman diet has the greatest emphasis on the protein of any diet on this list – or possibly any diet in existence. To follow this diet, one must consume 64% protein, 33% fat and 3% carbohydrates. The Stillman Diet preceded the Atkins Diet, though many times people think that the opposite is true because the Atkins Diet has achieved more notoriety. The two diets share similarities, but there are some distinct differences that you should know.
It is recommended that participants of the Stillman Diet consume zero-calorie beverages only, like tea and coffee, only after consuming their daily 8 glasses of water. Cooking fats and oils are strictly forbidden, as are all condiments (though spices are permitted).
With these restrictions in mind, followers of the Stillman Diet are encouraged to consume six small meals per day. This is quite a bit different from the “three meals a day plus two snacks” formula that many diets abide by.
High-protein diets have their followers who sing their praises and cite them as the cause behind their healthier bodies. However, as it is with any diet that’s referred to as a “fad” diet, these diets may not be suitable for everybody. Sometimes, a doctor’s supervision may be required. Some medications and medical conditions can prevent you from being able to healthfully partake in a high-protein diet, especially if it is also high-fat and low-carb.
Some of the side-effects of these diets can be pretty serious, even if you follow their methods to the letter. Whenever you begin a new diet, pay close attention to how you feel and consult your physician to see if any of these symptoms are dangerous to your health.
The ingredients for these diets can be bought online in one of the top reviewed online grocery stores. Or you can buy them the old fashioned way by going to a supermarket.