The protein diet, that is not a high protein diet, is a diet to lose weight. It is done under strict medical supervision.
It is about keeping the daily protein intake of a normal diet radically reducing the consumption of carbohydrates and fats.
The first energy source of the body is carbohydrates. When we eliminate them from the diet, excepting the minimum levels required, we get to exhaust the storage of the muscles and of the liver (muscle glycogen and hepatic glycogen). As a result, the body begins to ‘pull’ the second energy source, the fat stored in our body.
The diet is followed in several stages established by a nutritionist, so that our food is healthy and correct:
- First stage:Having five meals a day with protein products. There are several pharmaceutical companies in the market that provide these foods preparations. The protein products are combined in the lunch and dinner with vegetables from a defined list.
- Second stage:From about five days, the packaged product is replaced by natural proteins present in food, certain meats and fish. As we move forwards with the diet and with the weight loss, we will introduce the rest of the food of the pyramid food, such as fruit, more vegetables, rice or pasta.
It is important to follow all the stages in order to stabilize the lost weight, to prevent a weight regain and the feared yo-yo effect. If we skip phases and we do not take the food allowed, the body stops burning fat and the process will not restart until after 3 or 4 days.
Once we start using fat as an energy source, which will be approximately after three days following the diet, we find ourselves with greater vitality and less hunger. As we continue with the diet and as it reduces our weight, carbohydrates are introduced into the diet in the following order: from lower to higher glycemic index. In this way, the weight is stabilized and the feared rebound effect is avoided.
It is suitable for large weight losses between 15 and 60 kg, and for this kind of people is very encouraging because the results are immediately visible and the patient feels very motivated. The diet duration depends on the weight to lose and on the characteristics of each person. It is a diet without negative health consequences, provided it is managed by a nutrition professional.