What is a high-protein, low carbohydrate diet?
Specifically, there is no such thing as ‘the’ high-protein, low carbohydrate diet. It is more of a diet style, so you would refer to it as being ‘a’ high-protein low carb diet.
One of the main aims of the diet is to put your body into a state known as ketosis; this is the actual term for the above process (when our body doesn’t receive enough carbohydrates, stored fat is broken down for energy.)
This can be achieved by just following a high-protein, low carb diet. Or you can specifically focus on entering ketosis whilst attempting to build muscle.
Lets go more indepth…
This type of diet became very popular as of recently due to the promotion of the ever-popular Atkins Diet Craze.
This diet is very popular because there is no calorie counting involved. And many foods that many people love to eat are allowed on the diet.
Further, the Atkins diet is a high-protein diet. Which means that weight lost during this diet will not result in lost muscle mass, since protein is the main nutrient needed for maintaining healthy muscle tone.
This diet basically eliminates carbohydrates, which are simple sugars or foods that break down into simple sugars. These serve as empty calories in your diet, providing no nutrients yet many calories.
While we won’t cover the Atkins diet here, we can give you basics of the high-protein, low-carb diet. First let us identify carbohydrates.
Sugar, including powdered sugar, granulated white sugar, brown sugar, or any type of sugar you can think of, is the main carbohydrate that you would need to eliminate.
All types of pastas count as carbohydrates, meaning all noodle and spaghetti products must be eliminated.
Starches of any type, such as white rice, potatoes and potato chips, need to be eliminated. Cereals are mostly carbohydrates and should be avoided entirely during the diet phase.
Because of the low-carb craze, there are many low-carb options of sodas, milk, ice cream, bread, beer, and wine available in the average supermarket.
If you do consume these, be sure to do so only occasionally and in moderation, even if it is a low-carb type.
Otherwise, the aforementioned foods should be eliminated entirely when not of the low-carb type.
Beware of foods that contain hidden sugars, like bacon, barbeque sauce, ketchup, salad dressing, cough syrup, and fruit juice.
As strange as it may seem, fruits and fruit juices should be eliminated while in the weight loss phase of this diet, as they are nearly pure carbohydrates.
Anything made with flour needs to be eliminated during the weight loss phase, since as mentioned earlier they are high in carbohydrates.
Now what can you eat?
Well, the good news is that you can eat all meats, fish, poultry and seafood, except prepared meats like bacon and honey baked ham, which are high in sugar.
Skip the bread and have meat and salad, or meat in your salad.
Eggs are very low-carb friendly, but be sure to skip the mayonnaise or salad dressing unless it is low-carb type mayonnaise or dressing.
Any type of vegetable is fine, but be sure to realize that when making that salad that tomatoes are actually a fruit. And you want to limit your consumption of them at least during the weight loss phase.
Choose brown rice as your starch replacement, as it is low in carbohydrates comparatively to potatoes, bread or white rice.
Cheese is good in limited amounts, as this is a high-protein, low-carb food. Butter and cream can be used, but should be consumed in limited amounts.
One complex carbohydrate that is good is fiber. As it does not break down into simple sugar, and helps the body with elimination.
Further, fiber fills you up quickly without adding significant calories, so hunger pangs are fought off successfully.
Finally, make sure you are drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day minimum in addition to any other liquid you may consume.
Dehydration often masquerades as hunger and causes overeating. Of course, again exercise is a necessary and vital part of your diet plan. Which we will cover in the next section on exercise.
Amazing Benefits Of High Protein Low Carb Diet
Including protein-packed and low-carb foods as a part of your daily diet can do wonders to improve your overall health.
Here are some of the primary reasons you should eat low-carb and high-protein foods:
1. It Helps To Achieve Greater Weight Loss
If losing weight is on your agenda, then a high-protein and low-carb diet should be highly effective. A Journal of Pediatrics study Make sure you form your diet plan in consultation with a certified dietitian or a medical practitioner.
2. It Fights Cancer
The number of cancer cases worldwide are on the rise owing to our poor dietary and lifestyle habits.
A Cancer Research study reported that a diet low in carbohydrates and high in protein not only assists in weight loss but also restricts cancer initiation and growth.
3. It Helps In The Management Of Diabetes
High-protein, low carb diets Side effects
There are no specific ‘side effects’ to speak of, however the diet may not be ideal for you if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.
Consuming too much protein, (without putting it to good use through training) in the long run, has been linked with kidney problems.
- Furthermore, you should try to stick to lean protein sources to prevent you from consuming too much fat:
- This could lead to further health issues so if you are required to eat small amounts of fat, you should consult your doctor before beginning this diet to ensure it is suitable for you. That also goes for any other medical condition which you fear may be affected by the diet.
- Women who are pregnant require folate (folic acid) which is added to many products which are high in carbohydrates:
By cutting carbs, you are getting less folate which could be harmful. You can always supplement folic acid into your diet.
However it is probably a better option to take a more conservative approach when it comes to weight loss whilst pregnant or before pregnancy.
Once you lose the weight that you set out to lose, the weight loss phase of your diet is over. Of course keep in mind that you are making lifestyle changes, not going on fad or binge diets.
This means that you will not go back to your old eating habits. Instead you will introduce certain foods back into your diet in moderation.
For example, you may add a couple of strips of bacon once a week to your meal plan. You can enjoy small portions of deserts of any kind, simply in moderation.
It is best to avoid soft drinks all together, or opt for the low-carb type permanently. If you do introduce any other carbohydrate-laden foods, be sure to do so only at one meal, and in small portions.
Reducing carbohydrates will become a lifestyle to you when following this plan. One is very likely to boost your overall energy level and help you keep the weight off.