We all know that diets for weight loss usually mean avoiding sugar and simple carbohydrates, limiting saturated fat and reducing the overall count of calories in the ration. A high protein diet plan, meanwhile, on top of the above-mentioned things, requires you to increase protein intake.
Due to its efficiency, rapid results and relatively easy tolerance, the high protein diet has gained huge popularity and has become one of the most favorite diets of Hollywood stars. And those guys know what they’re doing, right? You bet!
How does protein diet work?
Protein is the most important organic substance, the source of amino acids, which are the building materials for human muscles. If you follow one of those “always hungry” diets with a strict restriction of protein products, it does lead to the desired weight loss, yes. But the problem is that it’s achieved due to loss of muscle mass.
Important: the body requires much more energy to maintain one kilogram of muscle mass than one kilogram of adipose tissue. Therefore, the more the muscle mass is, the more calories are burnt, even if you are in the state of rest.
Protein diet is good since it helps to reduce body weight due to fat decrease. It is a good choice for fast weight loss and can be used by those who cannot tolerate the “always hungry” diets.
How does it work? Protein is digested for quite a long period of time, which eliminates the feeling of hunger. Moreover, the processing of protein products by the body requires a lot of energy. So if you like such a principle as ‘eat and grow thin’, protein is definitely what you’re looking for.
If you choose the high protein diet, it is necessary to adhere to the following principles:
- include protein products to each meal;
- completely exclude sugar and white flour from the diet;
- limit the amount of complex carbohydrates (cereals, pasta);
- supplement protein meals with fresh vegetables;
- limit or eliminate starchy vegetables (carrots, beets, potatoes);
- avoid fruits (the possible exceptions are green apples and grapefruit in a small amount);
- abstain from eating frying foods in oil. Give preference to steaming and baking.
At first glance, the choice of products for the protein diet is quite limited, but the menu for each day can be quite varied. While preparing for the diet, one should focus on such products:
- Chicken breast;
- Low-fat cheese;
- Low-fat cottage cheese and milk products;
- Salad, cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage, peppers, herbs;
- Vegetable oils.
During the protein diet, it is necessary to drink water in the amount of no less than 2 liters daily. This is necessary not only for achieving good results, but also for you to feel good. In case of lack of water and large amounts of protein, ammonia starts to retain in the body, and it poisons it, provoking failures in the pancreas and intestine. Water is needed to eliminate waste products from the body as soon as possible.
Protein diet can provoke constipation. To avoid this trouble, start each morning with a glass of water and a tablespoon of oat bran or flax seeds. These foods make intestine work more actively and eliminate waste products.
Important: flax seed is also a source of omega-3, a substance necessary for the normalization of fat metabolism and protection of blood vessels.
Like many other weight loss diets, the protein one is not perfectly balanced. This limits the intake of important minerals and vitamins. Take special vitamin complexes to compensate those losses.
Physical activity will develop your muscles and protein diet will help to preserve them. If you supplement nutrition with physical activity, you will greatly improve the results, and more importantly, will be able to preserve the achieved results.
Important: athletes use more rigid version of the protein diet during preparation for a sports competition. We cannot but trust the choice of professionals, right?
If you are not an athlete whose body is experiencing an increased need for protein, it will be very difficult for your body to cope with the increased amount of protein products in the diet. In order not to harm your health, follow these principles:
Do not forget to drink water;
Do not use a diet longer than 2-3 weeks in a row;
Do not start a diet, if you suffer from kidney or liver disease.
Protein diet during pregnancy
Many expectant mothers want to remain slim after childbirth and resort to this restrictions in nutrition. Protein diet for pregnant women can not be used in the same form that is used by others.
As it has been already mentioned, the increase in the amount of protein in the diet exerts a significant stress on the kidneys, and these organs are affected much more than the others. On the other hand, the protein helps to withdraw excess fluid from the tissues, which is important for many expectant mothers suffering from edema.
Sticking to the protein diet by pregnant women is possible only with the permission of an obstetrician-gynecologist, and only after adjusting their diet. Expectant mothers should slightly reduce the amount of protein, balance the number of complex carbohydrates in the diet and add more fruits and vegetables.
Protein diet: weekly menu
While sticking to the protein diet for weight loss, it is important to not only choose products correctly, but also learn how to distribute them throughout the day the smart way. To maximize the results.
For example, products rich in fiber and carbohydrates should be taken for breakfast and lunch, while dinner should include only protein products.
Do not forget to take a tablespoon of bran or flax seeds and drink a glass of water 20 minutes before breakfast.
Breakfast: 3 eggs omelet with herbs and tomatoes, half a grapefruit or green apple;
Lunch: salad of fresh vegetables, boiled chicken breast;
Dinner: boiled or stewed with spices pangasius fillets (or other white fish).
Breakfast: chicken breast, baked in foil, apple or half a grapefruit;
Lunch: cabbage, stewed with peppers, boiled beef;
Dinner: low-fat cottage cheese, a cup of yogurt.
Important: non-fat cottage cheese — is a perfect protein source for dinner. It is well-saturated and at the same time is easy to digest.
Breakfast: salad, cheese Ricotta or other low-fat cheese;
Lunch: chicken breast, braised in yogurt, tomatoes;
Dinner: mackerel, baked in foil with herbs.
Breakfast: two boiled eggs, half an avocado, green apple;
Dinner: boiled or grilled salmon, boiled asparagus;
Dinner: grilled beef steak.
Breakfast: eggplant, baked with cheese, 1 boiled egg, green apple;
Lunch: beef stroganoff, cabbage-cucumber salad with fresh herbs;
Dinner: tuna, canned in its own juice.
Breakfast: chicken liver stewed with onions, green apple;
Lunch: cabbage, stewed chicken meat, cucumber;
Dinner: boiled chicken breast.
Breakfast: a piece of boiled beef, half a grapefruit;
Lunch: vegetable salad, chicken cutlets steamed or cooked in an oven;
Dinner: protein omelet with herbs.
Important: to cook omelet, use only skim milk. The same applies to coffee or tea, if you drink it with milk.
This is a 7-day menu that can be modified to suit your tastes and on the basis of available products. The main thing is to follow the rules of the protein diet, which I’ve outlined at the beginning of the article.
If you understand the principles of the menu and learn how to distribute proteins and carbohydrates throughout the day, you will be able to create your own menu for 14 days. Let me know in the comment section below if you have any questions/suggestions!
Chicken breast in yogurt
- 500 grams of chicken breast;
- 1 cup of nonfat yogurt;
- 1 clove garlic, spices.
Chop chicken breast, sprinkle with your favorite spices, add chopped garlic and pour a glass of buttermilk. Stir and leave to marinate for 1 hour. When put it on a heated dry frying pan and stew, covered over moderate heat for about an hour. Fillet will be incredibly tender and juicy.
Braised cabbage with minced chicken
- 300 grams of minced chicken breast;
- half of the average cabbage;
- 1 onion;
- herbs and spices.
Put mincemeat with chopped onion and spices on a dry frying pan. Stew it for about 10 minutes, then add the chopped cabbage and cook until it becomes soft. If necessary, add a little water to extinguish. In just a few minutes until cooked, you can spice tomato juice.
Eggplant baked with cheese
- 2 small eggplants;
- 100 grams of low-fat cheese;
- 1 clove of garlic, parsley.
Cut eggplants in half along the midway and clean, to get a “boat.” Chop the pulp and mix it with cheese, mashed with a fork, add the chopped herbs and garlic. Fill “the boat” and put in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
Protein diet involves the consumption of simple food – ideally, it is boiled meat and fresh vegetables. Unfortunately, such a diet is psychologically very difficult to follow, but recipes for protein diet will help to diversify a daily menu without violating the principles of diet.