Protein Diets like Atkins, Paleo or Dukan promise a large amount of weight loss fast, but what are the pros and cons of following such diets and are they safe for our health?
In this article, we will see what exactly protein diets do, the stages of a protein diet, which groups of people should avoid doing a protein diet as well as the advantages and disadvantages of protein diets. But first let´s see!
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How is our Body Normally Able to Lose Weight?
The energy that our body needs to function depends on different factors like the age, gender, height, weight as well as amount of daily physical activities.
There also must be an analogy between the calories that we take and the ones that we spend because if the calories that we take are more than what we spend, there is going to be fat accumulation in our body.
Thus, it is easily understood that if we want to lose weight, we need to reduce the amount of calories we take.
What weight loss diets do is to reduce the caloric intake through the reduction of certain foods so that the body starts consuming calories from the accumulated fat in the body, resulting in the much desired weight loss.
How Do Protein Diets Work?
The main idea behind a protein diet is to increase the protein intake so that it goes more than 2.2 kilograms per day.
So, what you have to do is to consume more proteins and few carbs and what these diets do is to reduce the fat and retain the muscle mass.Reduction in the fat means weight loss and something else protein diets do is to make you feel full and not hungry.
Protein diets are generally strict diets that are suitable for overweight people or obese people who are also dealing with health problems such as osteoarthritis,hypercholesterolemia, sleep apnea or type 2 diabetes. In this case, these people’s diet progress should be followed not only by a nutritionist but a physician as well.
The 3 Stages of Protein Diets
Let’s have a general look at the stages of protein diets which may vary.
The first stage of a protein diet lasts 2-4 weeks. During this period, the person on diet should take 15-18 grams of protein and consume vegetables that are low in carbs such as asparagus, broccoli, zucchini with the goal of taking 650-800 calories per day.
During the second stage, carbs and fruits are gradually added to the plan aiming at providing the person with 1.200 calories a day.
In the last stage, you have to follow a full balanced dietary plan so that you can preserve the weight goal you were able to reach.
Precaution Tips of Protein Diets
There are certain groups of people that should not go after protein diets and these are pregnant women, breast feeding women as well as patients with hepatic or kidney failure and diabetes.
Also, since the diet affects the blood flow and the medicine absorption into our body, you should keep in mind that by increasing the blood flow and the hepatic blood flow, protein diets increase the bioavailability of certain medicine and at the same time reduce the bio availability of others.
Therefore, it is often recommended that people who follow protein diets should take dietary supplements that will keep the vitamin and minerals levels in their body sufficient but also drink 1.5-2 litres of water per day.
Pros and Cons of Protein Diets
The big advantage of protein diets is fast weight loss without you feeling hungry and while at the same time being able to retain muscle mass.
On the other hand, there are a lot of disadvantages as well. Bad breath is one of them due to the high concentration of ketone bodies or Ketones in the urine.
Other negative reactions that have been recorded are gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and constipation, orthostatic hypotension, night cramps, cardiological and kidney problems as well as menstrual cycle disorders.
To conclude, protein diets are recommended only for a short period of time and they are effective because they are low energy diets but they are not based on a balanced dietary plan.
Therefore, they have unwanted side effects but not only that. Once a normal dietary plan is followed, people may regain the weight they used to have before starting the diet. This is also known as the yo-yo effect or the yo-yo dieting.