A protein-based diet has become very popular in recent years due to the
spread of diet plans such as the Atkins weight loss programme. These
types of plans involve consuming protein-rich foods at every meal and
eliminating or restricting carbohydrates. The assumption behind these
diets for weight loss and/or muscle development is that by reducing the
intake of carbohydrates and increasing the level of protein, the body
will change to ketosis – a process by which the body uses its own fat as
the primary fuel source instead of carbohydrate. This means that
essentially, the body is forced to burn fat as there are not enough
carbohydrate levels in the body.
Sources of Protein
protein diet usually involves high consumption of meat, fish cheese,
nuts, eggs and certain vegetables. All types of meat is naturally high
in protein including poultry, fish, beef, pork and lamb. Eggs are a
fantastic food for this type of diet plan as they are loaded with other
useful nutrients such as omega fats. Cheeses are also a good
protein-dense food group as are nuts like almonds, brazil nuts and
walnuts. It is also crucial to have a healthy portion of vegetables with
every meal in order to get as much nutritional value as possible and to
get enough fibre in the diet. Green and leafy vegetables such as
spinach, kale, cabbages and broccoli are some of the best options but
all types of vegetables will up your fibre intake and boost your
vitamins and minerals so it is crucial to include these in generous
amounts. It is also vital to drink around 2 litres of water every day
and include some herbal teas on a regular basis if possible to eliminate
toxins from the body.
Foods to Avoid
Carbohydrate-dense foods should be either banned or carefully controlled on a protein diet.
This means that all grains, sugars, fruits and processed foods are
almost entirely eliminated. Foodstuffs such as bread, pasta, rice,
cereals and other grains are avoided. Fruits that are high in natural
sugar like apples, pineapples, melons, oranges, mangoes and bananas
should also be restricted. Processed food which look innocent enough may
also be loaded with hidden sugars and for this reason it is best to
stick with natural food or meals you make yourself from scratch so that
you know exactly what is in everything. Of course snacks like
chocolates, biscuits, cakes, sweets and crisps are completely
unacceptable also which is one of the reasons many people find this type
of plan quite difficult to stick to initially. However, such cravings
are usually greatly reduced after a few weeks as the body gets used to
being without sudden sugar rushes.
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