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 affect 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.

By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • sandy

    Hi Pls i will like to gain wait small but not much. Si if u can help me with what i will do to gain

  • SuzyS

    I am NOT trying to lose weight, I am trying to regenerate skin faster, after surgerery that left me with an open wound and I just need to know what foods have the most proteines regardless of cal/fat?!

  • Joanna

    Thermic effect of food is an estimation of the energy required to process food.

  • Joanna

    Correction!
    Thermic effect of food

  • precious

    i’ve just started a high protein diet. and it is going well so far.
    we are only allowed 50grams of carbs per day.

  • Jason

    I have been upd the protein intake in my diet along with a multivitamin and believe it or not Fish OIL, i have lost about 30 lbs in the last 2 months and muscle mass has gone up with the protein.
    So i take my multivitamin, about 6000 mg of fish oil a day and take a whey protein shake in the morning and night

  • dr Sidra

    i dont need a diet simply but i thought that a protein diet would help me build up a nice figure. however, this is really knowledgeable for people.

  • Aimee

    I struggled with those last 10 pounds. You know? The last 10 pounds that you cant seem to get rid of no matter what you do? Well, I finally lost them. I limit my carbohydrate intake to 20 grams or less a day. The weight just melted off. And, it was fat that melted off. NOt muscle. I was able to cut back on the miles I was running and the time I was spending on cardio routines at the gym. I also increased the amount of sleep I was getting each night. I would recommend reading, “Why We Get Fat”, “The New Evolution Diet”, “and “The Primal Blueprint”
    Oh, and one other thing I’ve noticed… strangers compliment me on my complexion. Reducing the sugar I consume to zero has given my skin such a beautiful glow that it makes the initial pain worthwhile. I dropped enough body mass to reward myself with some new clothes too!
    So, here’s the score: Reduce intake of carbs and increase protein, sleep more, exercise less, lose fat weight!

  • elizabeth

    dear pete flores i am also 5ft 7. i weigh 273lbs. more than ive ever weighed in my life. ive tried different diets, and in the past ive even done diet pills. unfortunetly they seem to be bad for your heart, among other things. and i found that whenever i went on a diet, sometimes i would lose weight sometimes not. but EVERYTIME i got off a diet i would gain it all back plus more. me personally i lost 14 lbs doing the atkins diet, and a couple of inches. i was thrilled that i could eat a diet i enjoyed and lose weight. but as i said it all came back plus more when i stopped. i did isometrics once. i didn’t change my eating habits. i just kinda walked around or layed around on my tummy holding in my stomach, except when i was sleeping and using the restroom. i lost 2 inches just from that. but i have to say it starts off hard, holding your stomach muscles in all the time. and of course i couldn’t hardly hold my muscles in for even 10 seconds at the beginning. so maybe you can try that for a month. ps lying on your back holding in your muscles using gravity didn’t work for me. im so big now because im not consistent.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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..

  • pete flores

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

  • 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

    • DP

      Raise ur protein level. Cut out all sugar and starches. Starch turns to sugar. Drink half ur body weight in water. You can drink tea and coffee but no sugar. If you need need sugar use stelivia sweetener. You can have apples or strawberries. You can do some light exercise or none at all. Good luck.

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