High Protein Diets

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

high-protein-dietA high protein diet is a typical bodybuilders diet, however an increasing number of weight loss diets also recommend high levels of protein – in order to maintain/increase muscle tissue whilst burning fat.

High protein diets typically contain 1g of protein per 1 pound of body weight. Some high protein diets will recommend a percentage of total calorie intake (such as 30% or more).

While this extra protein can be obtained through whole foods, some people choose to use supplements such as protein bars and shakes as a convenient way to increase protein consumption.

Protein bars should be consumed in moderation due to the large amount of highly processed ingredients that are used.

Why More Protein?

  • Higher amounts of protein are required to build muscle mass.
  • Digestion of protein tends to require more energy (also known as the thermic effect of feeding).
  • Some believe that protein has a higher level of satiation.

Which Foods are High in Protein?

The following is a list of popular lean proteins (i.e. low in fat).

  • Chicken and Turkey
  • Fish (i.e. Tuna and Salmon) and other seafood
  • Cottage cheese and other low-fat dairy
  • Lean cuts of beef
  • Whey protein powder
  • Egg whites

Look for tasty meat recipes here.

Risks of a High Protein Diet

There is considerable difference of opinion surrounding high protein diets. Some nutritionists feel that diet too high in protein leads to renal (kidney) failure or stress. However there appears to be little evidence for this. High protein diets should be avoided if you already have kidney problems.

Other dietitians cite a dehydration risk with consuming large amounts of protein. Metabolizing protein does require a higher amount of water than carbohydrates or fats, so it’s important to consume a lot of water when on a high protein diet.

Popular High Protein Diets

There are a number of popular weight loss diets that are higher in protein – such as;

However it is important to note that a typical high protein diet implies lean proteins and remember that protein from all sources count for total protein.

This means that we don’t have to rely on animal products alone for our protein. Grains, legumes and other vegetables can contain a good supply of protein as well.

    Citations:

  • Halton, T. L., & Hu, F. B. (2004). The effects of high protein diets on thermogenesis, satiety and weight loss: a critical review. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 23(5), 373-385. link
  • Friedman, A. N. (2004). High-protein diets: potential effects on the kidney in renal health and disease. American Journal of Kidney Diseases, 44(6), 950-962. link

  • Miller, D. S., & MUMFORD, P. (1967). Gluttony 1. An experimental study of overeating low-or high-protein diets. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 20(11), 1212-1222. link
 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
Last Reviewed: March 5, 2015. Disclaimer
  • pete flores

    Im trying my best in loosing weight.i have a very slow metabalism,Im having 2 slices of bacon in the morning with two boiled eggs with a cup of grapefruit juice for breakfast.plus taking 2 pills of Lipozene before .lunch time im eating weight watchers smartones plater.with grapefruit juice with two of the diet pills of lipozene.after work at 7:00pm ill make a piece a steak or fish ,chicken with rice or beans most of the time.can you tell me or explain to me what would work for me what product might be better for me im 270 lbs 5’7 and always working 6:30amto 7:00pm as a rail road contractor.please reply

  • pete flores

    plus evryday i take a pill of b11 and 40 grams of soy protien and 20 g of fiber

  • MC

    Excellent article…I would add that some people have a tolerance or allergy to whey protein, so soy protein may be used also…while it’s not considered the same level of protein as whey, soy is still protein..

  • Sarah Kelly

    Very informative article. I had trouble losing weight even tho I maintained an active lifestyle. Only since starting a diet based on the idea of raising your protein level have I been able to lose weight. I have lost 35 lbs. in 5 1/2 months and have not had the normal hungry feelings. I believe in the Power of Protein!

  • Marlowe

    I supplement between meals with Pure Protein-Protein bars, as I can’t possibly eat 160 grams of meat a day. I leave the fruit juice alone and eat whole fruit, as the juice is high in sugar. I have yet to experience hunger or cravings, as it seems that I am always eating something. I do drink 2 litres or more of water every day though, and find it helps alot. I also take several vitamin supplements, in high doses, as I used to suffer from hypertension. No longer though, after 2 months on the program. Loving it!

  • The X Man

    Less carbs is #1. More protien is #2. A Multi-Vitamin Is #3 And #4 but most important is Water, drink atleast half of your body weight in ounces a day. W a leasure walk ever so often, you will def see results.