The promise of finally having a terrific body makes many people flock to the high protein diet… Let’s see if we find it smart to rearrange the fridge when we conclude this article!
Let’s start off by looking at the side effects of the high protein diet, and what the experts actually have reported about this way of eating.
You see, all the confusion about the diet commonly thought of as a muscle building diet, can make people afraid to try it. I get it, dieting is always so controversial, no matter the kind, and the protein diet is definitely not an exception.
Many claim that a protein diet can revolutionize your life by helping you lose fat and gain muscle, while others label the protein diet as the black sheep of diets, warning against adverse health effects, smelly breath and not to mention the horror that the big juicy steaks will cause your vegetarian friends.
Having to find the right diet is something that often stands in the way of those wanting to change their bodies. This is not a tinfoil-hat article, but a well researched collection of information to help you sort through the controversy and find out if a protein diet is right for you. So read on!
Dispelling High Protein Diet Myths
The tales some people spread about the long term effects of a high protein diet are scary enough to convince even the bravest cowboy to give up beef.
Past those who petition for chicken rights are the doomsday, anti-protein preachers that advertise either the balanced or vegan (righteous) way of eating. On the other hand, you have highly intellectual people on both sides giving either a thumbs up or a thumbs down for diets rich on protein foods.
They all justify their campaigns about the protein diet, saying it’s either good or bad for your health. But what is the truth? What really is the protein diet pros and cons?
Myth #1: The Protein Diet is bad for Kidneys
One of the listed side effects of a protein diet is that it’s harmful to your kidneys. Apparently this bean-shaped organs simply can’t handle your decision to feast on turducken.
The rumor that a high protein diet results in the kidneys being harmed, got started in 1983. Fittingly, the year when the pop band Duran Duran was played over and over on the radio with their song «Hungry Like the Wolf», a group of researchers claimed to have found something interesting and potentially dangerous.
Their research showed that consuming higher amounts of protein increases glomerular filtration rate (GFR), which is the volume of blood kidneys filter by the minute.
It was quickly concluded that kidneys can’t handle this heightened volume.
However, later they had to admit it is hard to find evidence that a higher GFR resulting from a sustained protein diet causes kidney damage.
By the way, the song «She Blinded me With Science», by Thomas Dolby was played heavily on the radio this year (also kinda fittingly… lol).
Myth #2: Beef in a High Protein Diet Causes Cancer
Most protein diets recommend that the person eats lean meat, so you might want to put off buying bacon in bulk.
Unless they use protein shakes, most people on a high protein diet eat meals based on lean meats. Food that is usually thought of as healthy meats for diets can include chicken breast, beef, alaskan salmon and other fish. However, that’s where some of the controversy surrounding the protein diet begins to set in because many say red meat causes cancer.
This myth started in 1986, the year when Survivor came out with the hit song «Burning Heart». Thanks to some Japanese researchers who found cancer growing in rats fed compounds made from overcooking meat at a high heat. But eating burnt compounds doesn’t exactly sound like a high protein diet, does it?
The report of these findings led some to suggest that a high protein diet causes cancer, especially when it includes a lot of red meat, and the rumors continued to evolve from there, as they tend to do. The common advice about it nowadays is that you need not worry when following a protein diet, just don’t eat the icky burnt stuff.
It would seem that no study has successfully established the rumors connecting cancer to the consumption of meat to be true, but that is not quite accurate. And so enters The China Study…
This study deservers more time and space than what you get in this article, because The China Study is a large study which accumulated into a controversial book written by professor T. Colin Campbell.
With 20 years of study on thousands upon thousands of people in China, they pretty much concluded that all animal sources of protein is damaging to the body. Watch this lecture from Campbell himself:
I suggest you click here and get a copy of The China Study. Also research some of the critics raised against the study. Seriously, be a critic yourself and don’t blindly trust information given to you without verifying if it’s true or not. Like we did, you must do your due diligence to make up your own mind.
In this case, you’ll end up having to chose believing a well documented study or the critics who seem to merely protect shareholders and the profits of large food industries. Sounds crazy, but that’s what we found it comes down to when you dig deep enough.
Real Concerns of Following a Protein Diet
Indeed, the protein diet also comes with numerous health benefits. Yes, there are some real concerns as well as some untrue myths floating around about protein foods, and media hysteria have succeeded in making some people paranoid enough to stay away from an all protein diet.
The fact is that there are a few things you should be concerned about when following a protein only diet.
However, don’t turn away from having a high protein diet just yet. If you follow our advice when we conclude this article, you’ll might be able to take control of the situation and avoid any negative consequences.
Heart Disease and High Protein Diet
There is a link between a protein diet and heart disease. It comes mainly from consuming too much saturated fat. The American Heart Association has found that diets high in saturated fat can lead to not only coronary heart disease, but also increased risk for stroke, diabetes, and cancer.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the protein diet and avoid the risk. Instead, it means you have to watch out for foods with a high saturated fat content.
If you’re not open to try a protein diet without meat, then at least trim the fat off your meats and eat only lean protein. This is commonly recommended for those on a meat diet.
Even though you love meat, you might want to consider securing your daily protein diet requirements from protein shakes. Who knows, you might love it! A protein shake only diet might not sound that fun, but start small. Include it to your meal at first, and finish it off before you turn to the meat and other animal sources.
Truly, you might find that you need less meat than you are used to, and that a protein shake diet is far easier and healthier than a meats only diet.
Toxicity and the Protein Diet
Toxicity is another thing to watch out for with the protein diet, but it’s also something you can do something about. No meats are found on the alkaline diet for a reason. Meat is an acid-forming food that causes the body’s toxicity level to increase over time. It makes the blood more acidic and you do not want that to happen to you!
Sure, a higher toxicity can also result from consuming an excessive amount of vegetable protein. But, it is vital for people to have a minimum intake of protein, including all the essential amino acids, for a healthy living. This is a good reason for considering a protein diet based on various vegetable sources.
Still, even when following a protein diet devoutly, it can take a while for acid levels to reach such a point that it causes major adversities with your health.
Consider going on an alkaline diet to alkalize your blood before going on the protein diet and then taking a periodic break from the protein diet in order to detox again. However, a better and more effective method for having a sustainable protein diet without having to worry about toxicity, might be to include alkaline foods along your high protein diet menu.
Want to Know the Worst Problem with the Protein Diet?
Experts can say what they want, and they usually do, but the worst problem with following a high protein diet might be the increased flatulence by far. Most people have no problem controlling themselves, but there is a small risk of sheer embarrassment from letting a foul one out at the most inconvenient time, such as in a crowded elevator, in the middle of giving a presentation, or when laughing too hard on a first date.
You see, the farts resulting from a high protein diet have a notoriously rancid odor! That’s why it’s so funny when Ryan Renyolds cracks his joke about protein farts in the video above! Lol!
What is the second worse problem? Well, what about the foul breath that comes with the protein diet… Eating meat doesn’t exactly make your breath sweet.
However, much like a concealed weapon, some people consider these problems of protein diets to actually be an advantage, as it’s a very effective way to clear a room. But, for those who don’t want their new nickname to be ‘stinky’ can tackle the problem simply by brushing their teeth more frequently, eating slower, and adding a little ginger to their meals.
Get to Work: Which Protein Diet Plan will You Choose?
There is no such thing as «just a protein diet». Instead, there’s an exhaustively long list of dieting methods that can be placed among the high protein diet plans. Please take note that the Atkins Diet doesn’t qualify as a protein diet and is, in fact, a low carb diet, as they’re quick to tell people.
Some of the diets that do classify as a high protein diet include the Zone Diet, South Beach Diet, the Paleo Diet and the Stillman Diet. The list is actually quite long. What often sets one protein diet apart from the next is the percentage of protein called for and the list of approved foods. The problem is finding the protein diet that suits your needs the best.
It has a lot to do with your lifestyle, your fitness goals, and the types of foods you enjoy eating. Some diets restrict carbs to a disastrously low level, while others give dieters a high protein high fiber plan and even allow desserts!
Some programs give you a lot of protein diet recipes to work with. If you’re a busy person, you may not want to choose a protein diet that requires you to spend a lot of time cooking. For instance, the Zone Diet and the South Beach diet are two kinds of high protein diets that have commercialized convenience foods available.
Other choices for people who want fast and easy solutions for their ideal protein intake might find a possible solution in the bottom of this post.
Lose Fat or Gain Muscle: Is the Protein Diet for All?
There are two main benefits to following a high protein diet. The first is that it causes weight loss and the second is that it helps build muscle. Aside from consideration of specific goals about athletic performance, purely losing weight and gaining/maintaining muscle seems to cover just about all of the fitness goals out there. It would seem that a high protein diet is the ultimate solution for the physique-conscious.
Can a high protein diet really satisfy all? In 2008, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that a high protein diet is more satisfying to the appetite. As those who follow a high protein diet find it easier to not overeat, it makes it all the easier for them to slim down. There’s also much research suggesting that a protein diet can help protect lean muscle mass.
When it comes to building muscle, many don’t realize that it’s not actually the protein in a protein diet that helps, but the amino acids!
There are many different types of amino acids, and the various types of dietary protein sources each offer various amounts of the many amino acids. It’s for this reason that a high protein diet should contain more than one type of protein.
For example, fish is known for being very high in omega 3 fatty acids, which can’t be said of other meats, making it an important food to have in the protein diet for carnivores. For vegans and vegetarians you have a wide range of food that are high in protein, like beans, lentils, hemp, quinoa, tempeh and soy just to mention a few. Don’t believe for a second that meats are the only food for people on protein diets! :)
Amino acids help to both build muscle and burn fat, which makes a high protein diet ideal for people with either goal, losing weight or gaining muscle.
The Protein Diet vs. Other Types of Diets
Although a protein diet can assist weight loss as well as muscle gain, many wonder if any other type of diet would serve them better. Low fat diets are also highly popular and widely recommended. While it’s possible for a protein diet to be a low fat diet, not all low fat diets qualify as a protein diet.
Instead, they call for dieters to consume fruits and vegetables while staying away from fattening and processed foods. The benefits of a low fat diet is that it can help a person to lose weight and that it’s heart healthy. However, a protein diet is often to be preferred because of the increased amount of satiety, which helps prevent overeating, keeping calories at bay.
The “protein diet” also gets a lot of competition from fad diets. These diets require the dieter to go to extremes. A great example of a fad diet is the Cabbage Soup Diet. This diet consists of eating as much cabbage soup as you want for seven days. For each day of the diet there are additional recommended foods. While this diet may be a vegetarian’s dream come true and does result in rapid weight loss, of course, it simply isn’t as practical as a high protein diet.
Is A High Protein Diet a Fad Diet?
Some people just normally eat a high protein diet because that’s what they crave. It can’t be ignored that there have been some high protein diets that were fad diets, but the protein diet generally is not a fad.
The problem with fad diets is that they simply aren’t sustainable over long periods of time. Their way of eating doesn’t reflect a lifestyle change, which is exactly what many need in order to transform their physiques for good.
With a fad diet, the weight comes off while the diet is being followed and it may even stay off for a lengthy period afterwards, but eventually the pounds return and sometimes the pounds come back two-fold, no pun intended.
High Protein Diet Tips
It’s true that not everybody who starts out on a protein diet successfully reaches their goals. For some, those Twinkies are simply far too tempting and there’s always a great excuse for not working out. The thing to remember is that you need to sacrifice the person you are, in order to become the person you want to be! Get it?
Nonetheless, achieving the goal is possible and can even be quite simple. Here are a few tips to help make the protein diet work well for you:
1. Focus On The Protein Diet Lifestyle. Not Just On The Goal
Get the weight off and keep it off. Build the muscle and keep it. Don’t enter into the protein diet with an attitude that it’s just another diet to try out. Focus on making it your new eating habit for life.
2. Plan Ahead For Your Protein Diet And Have A Backup Plan
Because following a protein diet usually calls for you to consume higher amounts of lean meats and other protein sources, it’s always good to plan ahead. Carnivores will find that the time it takes to prepare fresh, lean meat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner might not always be available to them.
This is where liquid protein shakes or protein bars really come in handy for those on a protein diet. Some producers make them ready-made so that all you have to do is grab a bottle while on the go.
3. Drink Water, Water, Water
Although it has been talked about ad nauseam, the importance of drinking water simply can’t be stressed enough, especially when you’re following a high protein diet. Water is vital whether you’re looking to bulk up or slim down, so make sure that you get plenty of it.
Water can accelerate your results while keeping your body internally clean and noticeably energized!
Reaping Your Rewards from the Protein Diet
The protein diet is controversial and it will continue to remain such, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not right for you.
Ultimately, the most important part is your health and whether you get to see results. With the protein diet you can enjoy a healthy living, and as well get visual results especially when combined with exercise.
Remember that this way of eating doesn’t necessarily have to mean sitting out the family barbecue…
…or maybe it does depending on how flatulent you are. Lol!
But for you who are looking to transform your physique and health, getting that optimal fitness you’ve always wanted, I think the smart, fast and easy solution just might be to include a little something into your present day diet; a liquid protein diet.