A high protein diet is normally suggested by fitness trainers and diet centers and has been very trendy over the last two decades. Usually, the goal is to shed excess body fat and give the body enough amino acids to repair muscle from the micro-tears and trauma due to heavy workouts . Body builders and people who are looking to put on muscle mass do well on this type of diet. The diet which is considered eating 50% or more of your total caloric intake in protein, teaches the body how to use fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. However, it is a diet that I would not recommend using for more than six weeks at a time.
Why not longer? There are plenty of side effects that come with a high protein diet that a lot of people don’t think of. There are obvious signs like lethargy, bad breath, or constipation from lack of fiber. In some cases, when carbohydrate intake is low to nonexistent, your body goes into a state of ketosis, which is a dis-ease state of the body. The longer effects of a high protein diet are really dependent on what type of protein you are OD’ing on. If it is animal meat then you are dealing with all of the things that goes into your cow, chicken, pig, etc. This means growth hormones, antibiotics, and a soy and corn based diet which increases the inflammatory fats in your meat.
So what’s my advice? If you do want to try a high protein diet, be sure to choose organic, free range meat, wild caught fish and eggs and include plant based proteins like nuts and legumes. Don’t skip on vegetables for your carbohydrate intake, instead cut out the processed ones like sugar, bread and pasta. See how your body reacts to the change and how you feel and please, make sure you are working out. You need to earn this diet!