Friday, November 29, 2013

Losing Pounds with the High Protein Diet

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Don’t be fooled by the name ‘high protein’—high protein is another way of saying low or no-carb diet.  All of the fad diets that were no or low carb in recent years were bashed for their unhealthiness.  Don’t be tricked into thinking that this new thing—the high protein diet—is a whole new thing!  Low or no carb diet also means high protein or fat diet; it’s just changing the name and hoping everyone will buy it!

What exactly is a high protein diet?  Well, a high protein diet is exactly what it says it is; but the important distinction to make is that in order to be high protein it also has to limit the amount of carbs that you put into your body.  If you keep the amount of carbs the same as it currently is, but up the amount of protein, you will not lose any weight; however, if you take out some of the carb calories and replace them with calories from protein, you will, most likely lose weight.  How it works is a whole different question though, and the bottom line is that it is not very healthy.

First of all, the body does, indeed, need protein in order to be healthy.  The body uses protein to build and to maintain muscle mass, which is absolutely essential to the health of the body.  What most people don’t know is that there are a lot of foods that provide protein; meat is not the only source of protein.  Other common sources of protein in an average diet include all dairy products from milk to cheese and everything in between, all types of nuts, and several types of beans.  What this means is that even vegetarians, if they know how to design a proper diet, can get more than adequate daily protein intake from milk, yogurt and cheese even if they do not eat meat, fish or eggs.  The abundance of soy products today makes this possible even for vegans.

So the body does, indeed, need protein.  On the other hand, the body definitely needs carbohydrates.  Carbohydrates are what the body runs on, the energy source of the body, if you will.  While protein builds and maintains muscles, carbohydrates give the body the energy to move those muscles so that they can be built and strengthened.  If you cut carbs out of your diet, it’s like asking your car to run on water instead of gas; you’ve taken away the body’s energy source.

Protein can be converted into energy, but the process of doing so is inefficient and produces toxins while it’s converting protein to glucose.  The result is becoming overtired, cranky and constipated.  Of course, low and no carb diets make you lose weight, just like the high protein diet will make you lose weight (assuming that not all of the proteins you choose to consume are rib eye steaks and filet mignons wrapped in bacon) but there’s a reason why the food pyramid exists.  The ideal human diet is varied, including foods from all groups.  Each group has its purpose, except refined sugars.  If you’re looking to lose weight in a healthy, effective way, the answer is to choose the right carbs (complex), the right meats (leaner), the right fats, (unsaturated, not trans) and to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.

This may not be the quickest way to lose weight, but it’s the healthiest and it’s the most permanent type of weight loss.  High protein or no carb diets help you lose a lot of weight all at once, but it all comes piling back on as soon as you go back to your ‘regular’ diet.


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