There are several different types of protein diets, with the most popular being the Atkins Diet and the South Beach Diet plan. The idea of all protein diets is to limit the intake of carbohydrates for loading into the protein, which helps to break down fat while, in combination with regular exercise, muscle building and even increasing energy
All protein-heavy diet stresses protein and fat intake while limiting carbohydrates. Some diets, like Atkins, requires followers to keep their carb intake to less than 20 g per day during the first two weeks (although the amount of carbohydrates increases during ongoing stages). Instead, proponents of such a plan chooses mostly protein-enriched foods such as eggs, lean meat, fish, poultry and low-starch vegetables. For example, someone on a protein diet has a cheese omelet with a side of sausage for breakfast, but no cakes or a double cheeseburger without the bun for lunch.
Proponents of protein plans say foods in their diet burn calories just by eating them, such as restricting carbohydrates switches the body from burning glucose to burning stored body fat. Protein is also considered the building block of muscle, and therefore protein diets are often the choice of bodybuilders. During initial stages vehicles often experience headaches and lack of energy that the body adapts. These events are later replaced by weight loss and improved energy and mood, according to the followers of these diets.
According to an extensive study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, if followed properly, a diet heavy in protein and low in carbohydrates will actually lead to weight loss and increased energy. And while these diets do not allow you to consume unlimited amounts of protein and fat, they allow you to eat lots of your favorite foods without feeling hungry or deprived. Even after the initial phases, most protein plans can slowly incorporate some carbohydrates in your diet.
Since protein diets eliminate fruit and other high-fiber foods such as bread and pasta, can fans experience side effects such as constipation or lightheadedness (which is why it is crucial for everyone on a protein diet, drink plenty of water and take fiber supplements). Also critics question the long-term effects of diets that allow such high intake of fat, especially the heart and kidneys. Aside from that, protein diets severely restrict food choices, making meat, fish or chicken centerpiece of virtually every meal.
Protein diets may actually have a short-term positive effect, especially when it comes to weight loss. Typically, people in protein diets lose most of their weight during the first two weeks (sometimes up to 10 or 15 kg.). That slows the latter stages, as carbohydrates are incorporated back into the diet. But like many “fad” diets, there is no evidence that protein diets are a healthy long-term solution.