9 Best high protein diets

Foods that are high in protein are very important for maintaining and building muscles, which in turn makes you look toned and lead to weight reduction. Eating a diet rich in proteins will also help you stay full for a longer time, thereby reducing your need to snack in between meals. Proteins are the building blocks of your nails, hair and hormones; therefore, an intake that is high on protein will obviously benefit your looks. In order to lose weight, it is important to go on a diet that is rich in proteins with a lesser portion of good carbohydrates. A high protein diet puts your body in a state of ‘ketosis’ in which your fat will be converted into energy without affecting your muscle mass. Nowadays, diets that are high on protein and low on carbohydrates have become popular ways of losing weight. A high protein diet can make you lose weight quite quickly, and the protein helps you to feel fuller and feel less hungry. Since proteins are difficult to digest, you end up burning more calories too. Here are nine amazing high-protein diets that help you shed pounds in no time!

The Zone Diet

The Zone Diet has been advocated by Barry Sears who proposes that you should consume calories from fat, protein and carbohydrates in a balanced ratio of 30:30:40 respectively. This is the ideal formula, which is still under debate. However, various studies have proved that this high protein diet has produced significant weight loss as people claim to lose weight and gain muscle mass simultaneously. This diet also suppresses hunger pangs to a large extent and keeps you energetic throughout the day. The Zone stands for a proper hormone balance according to Sears as the insulin levels in the blood are normal and do not show any sudden changes and the glucagon levels are also normal. These conditions lead to the excretion of eicosanoids that are anti-inflammatory chemicals which are health and heart friendly. Since the calories in this diet are consumed in a balance, therefore the body does not receive excess calories that leads to fat accumulation. Sears also recommends an intake of a certain ration of Omega-3 to Omega-7 fatty acids.

Sears’ theory basically refutes the food pyramid and states that the high proportion of carbohydrate consumption and a lower protein consumption leads to production of insulin and storage of fat. He also advocates that it is important to consume fat in order to burn fat. Fat leads to a feeling of fullness and also decreases the rate at which carbs are absorbed into the blood, which leads to lower insulin levels and burning of fat. Hence, the Zone diet can be defined as a low-carb or a high protein diet which helps in building your body metabolism.

In this diet, you must have a small quantity of protein in every meal and snack. Only favorable carbohydrates must be consumed such as lentils, whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Dairy products such as eggs, milk and cheese can be taken, but they should be low fat or no-fat types. The Zone diet is low on saturated fats, however canola and olive oil are permitted.

Protein Power Diet

The Protein Power Diet was created by a couple, Drs. Michael and Mary Eades, in the year 1996. This diet is a high protein diet that allows for 26% proteins, 54% fat, 16% carbohydrates and 4% alcohol. This diet permits all types of fish, eggs, meat, poultry, cheese, butter, nonstarchy vegetables, salad dressing and oil. This diet also permits alcohol in moderation. The only foods that are not allowed on this diet include milk, grains, starchy vegetables and fruits. The theory that is behind the Protein Power diet is basically that it reduces the insulin levels of the body that regulates the breakdown of carbohydrates. Hence, if your intake of carbs is low and protein and fat consumption is high, then your insulin level would be low and this would lead to weight loss. Foods that are advised in the Protein Power diet are eggs, wild game, pork and beef. However, there is a negative side to this diet, as restricting carbohydrates can lead to a deficiency of fiber, minerals and vitamins. Also, the high consumption of protein can affect the kidneys adversely.

Stillman Diet

The Stillman Diet is amongst the few diets that focuses primarily on protein which stands at 64% of total food consumption, followed by fat at 33% and then with carbohydrates amounting to a mere 3%. This diet is based on the theory that a high consumption of protein helps to burn carbohydrates and fats and prevents it from getting stored as fat. The Stillman Diet comprises of a lot of lean proteins in the form of eggs, seafood, fish, skinless poultry and lean meat. However, it limits oil, fat and simple carbohydrates like pasta and breads as well as dairy products, vegetables and fruits.

The Stillman Diet is names after a physician called Dr Irwin Stillman who discovered that a rapid weight loss is experienced by people who follow a low fat and low carb diet. His diet was published through his book in the 1960s. The diet advocates eating smaller meals six times a day and drinking at least 8 glasses of water. You can eat the prescribed foods as much as you want, however, it should be baked, boiled or broiled and should not be cooked or fried in any kind of oil. You can drink beverages like coffee, tea and diet cold drinks. The Stillman diet strictly forbids the intake of vegetables, fats, fruits, carbohydrates, vegetable oils, butter, sugar and alcohol.

This diet results in quick weight loss as the restricted intake of carbohydrates allows the body to break down the fat reserves for energy. Furthermore, protein requires more energy to be digested, leading to more calorie loss. This conversion of body fat to energy is known as ‘ketosis’. However, on the flip side, ketosis leads to the production of ketone bodies that builds up in the blood leading to a serious condition called ketoacidosis.

The South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet has a lot in common with the Atkins diet and is a heart-friendly variation of it. Formulated by a cardiologist by the name of Arthur Agatston, MD, the South Beach Diet restricts the intake of carbohydrates and only so-called ‘good carbs’ are permitted. For this the people on the South Beach Diet have to give up beets, potatoes, pasta, breads, fruits, cereals, carrots, rice and corn for the initial fortnight and these foods are strongly advised against thereafter too. Unhealthy fats are banned in this diet, however the healthier options are strongly promoted. Carbohydrates are treated in a different manner in the South Beach Diet as compared to the Atkins diet as low sugar carbs with a low glycemic index are prescribed. The South Beach diet ensure that you never starve yourself and that is why it promotes strategic snacking so that you do it right. You are allowed to have normal portions and the diet is not strict in terms of size of portions. Alcohol in not permitted in the first two weeks or the induction phase and later on you can only consume it in limited quantities. However, the best part about this diet is that you can slowly add back a few of the banned carbs in your diet in limited quantities such as carrots and fruits.

This diet works particularly for the Americans as their diets are high on proteins. The induction phase helps people to get over their cravin
gs for carbs. Eating a lot of carbs eventually makes you crave even more for them and that is where the South Beach Diet helps you to break the cycle.

By breaking this cycle, The South Beach Diet promises to make you want to eat less food, but better food. This diet works well as it is a healthy diet that contains components of all the food groups.

Paleolithic Diet or The Caveman Diet

A lot of experts keep finding new diets to stay healthy and some of these experts suggest that we need to go back to the Stone Age and start eating like our ancestors in order to remain healthy. The Caveman Diet or the Paleolithic/Warrior Diet is based on eating wild animals and plants on the theory that our bodies are genetically made up to function like our Stone Age ancestors and it is biologically appropriate that we eat this diet. A lot of clinical trials have also ascertained the fact that the Caveman Diet is extremely effective in lowering down blood pressure, heart disease, weight loss, reduce acne and increase overall metabolism. The propagators of this diet argue that modern western food is the reason behind so many diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and the biggest killer – obesity. However, this diet has its share of controversy as well. Some nutritionists state that the human body has adapted itself over the years to a broader diet that comprises of grains, legumes and dairy.

The Caveman Diet is based on food that can be gathered, fished or hunted such as shellfish, eggs, fish, meat, roots, berries, fruits and vegetables. It is impossible to sustain an essentially original paleo diet as wild game is not easily available. In this diet, you are not allowed any intake of salt and simple sugars.

The Scarsdale Diet

The Scarsdale diet provides a quick weight loss program as it is a very low calorie diet or VLCD. This is one of the earliest low carbohydrate diets that is still being followed. This diet was published in 1978 and it was quite popularly followed in France during the early 2000s. The Scarsdale diet was put together by a cardiologist called Dr. Herman Tarnower in the 1950s. He wrote up this diet plan with the motive of helping his patients to reduce weight for treating heart problems. This diet plan became popular from word of mouth and it was finally printed in 1978 when the Atkins diet started having a lot of impact on people’s diets.

The Scarsdale diet is a low carb and low calorie diet that has a different ratio of fats(22.5%), proteins(43%) and carbohydrates(34.5%). The calorific intake for a fat woman would be between 600-1000 calories. The basic Scarsdale diet is to be followed up till one or two weeks by alternating it with a fortnight of no dieting. A person on this diet must drink a minimum of 4 glasses of tea, water or diet soda in order to flush out toxins. This diet is quite rigid as you are only allowed three square meals without snacking. This diet results in rapid weight loss, but it cannot be sustained for a lifetime as it is not flexible. The Scarsdale diet has also been under the scanner by many nutritionists particularly the fact that a very low calorie intake is inadequate. This diet also does not permit the intake of milk and therefore it can lead to calcium deficiency, which is risky for women who are postmenopausal. The dieter automatically puts on the lost weight within the two weeks in which the dieter is off the Scarsdale diet. The low carb intake can also lead to potential liver or kidney damage due to ketosis.

The Schwarzbein Principle

The Schwarzbein Principle is a high protein and high fat diet that restricts the intake of refined carbs or other foods that have a high glycemic index. This diet claims to normalize the hormone levels in the body. The Schwarzbein Principle is a diet that was put together by Diana Schwarzbein, an Endodrinologist, who followed this diet to help control her insulin levels. High insulin levels are a result of a low fat and high carbohydrate diet and the Schwarzbein diet would help to counteract aging, depression, food cravings, mood swings and obesity. She developed a food box that represented four food groups namely carbs, non starchy vegetables, proteins and fats which should be eaten together. She also recommends a variety of supplements such as calcium, magnesium, essential fatty acids and multivitamins. The underlying theory behind this diet plan is to consume food that is high in protein and healthy fats and low in carbs so as to control glucagon and insulin levels. Dieters can avail the four week sample menu ‘healing program’ which repairs the metabolic system and reverses insulin resistance. Only two snack are permissible – namely, string cheese and almonds. However, the downside to this diet plan is that the low intake of carbs can drain the energy out and the diet is low on various vital nutrients like Vitamin D, fiber, folic acid and calcium.

Atkins Diet

The Atkins Diet was created by Dr. Robert Atkins which is a diet that is high in proteins and fats. The Atkins Diet has a different ratio of food groups consumption which is 27% protein, 68% fat and 5% carbohydrates. Dieters following this diet are allowed to consume all kinds of fats and protein such as butter, cheese, oil, eggs, fish, meat and poultry. This controversial diet promises you weight loss with the promise that you will never be hungry. The theory behind the Atkins Diet is that obese people eat too many carbs. Our bodies tend to burn both carbs and fats for energy out of which carbs are burnt first. Hence, by reducing carbs and eating more of proteins and fat, our bodies are able to lose body fat more effectively. However, this diet has its share of problems as the drastic restriction of eating carbs can make the body reach a state of ketosis and the high fat diet can also be unhealthy for the heart. However, the Atkins Diet claims to stabilize the spikes in blood insulin levels. The initial two weeks of the diet is strict in terms of what you eat, however, later the allowance of fiber rich carbs makes it more flexible. However, refined sugars and carbs are always forbidden.

Dukan Diet

The Dukan diet is another high protein and low carb diet plan which helps to quickly and permanently shed off the pounds. This diet is the work of Pierre Dukan who spent many years in trying to formulate the ideal diet plan which would help people in getting rid of excess weight. The Dukan diet initially kicks off with a high protein diet which eventually enters a low carbohydrate phase. Later on, the dieter enters other phases that ensure that the weight loss is permanent and that is why the Dukan Diet is perhaps a very doable high protein diet. This diet has helped five million French people with their weight issues and celebrities like Giselle Bundchen and Jennifer Lopez have also lost their postpartum flab with this diet.

The Dukan Diet has four phases and in this diet you need not measure the portion of food or count the calorific intake. You can eat any portion size and at any time as long as you are consuming lean protein. All the four phases of this diet plan comprise of high protein along with a portion of oat bran, a lot of water and 20 minutes of walking on a daily basis. The second stage introduces vegetables into the diet along with small portions of food grains and fruits. Phase 3 all
ows the dieter to consume unlimited portions of protein along with vegetables and one small portion of low sugar fruit, one portion of hard cheese and two slices of wholemeal bread. The fourth phase is the stabilization phase in which the dieter can eat whatever they want along with the Phase one prescribed dietary intake which has to be followed lifelong. However, this diet has its share of risks as the dieter will face a lot of nutrient deficiencies, risk of gall stone formation, kidney issues and muscle loss.

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