First introduced in 1996, the Protein Power Diet was created by Dr. Michael and Mary Eades. The diet plan borrows heavily from the Palaeolithic man and is one of the healthiest on earth. Actually, it follows the conventional Zone and Atkins diets.
The main idea behind the diet plan is that by reducing carbs you reduce your insulin levels which triggers the body to manufacture more glucagon and in turn helps you burn excess body fat.
Another pillar of the diet is restoring users’ health and well-being. This is done by avoiding processed foods, particularly those made from some dairy products, grain and sugar.
The creators of the diet believe that by doing this you will reduce triglycerides, lower blood sugar and pressure. In addition you will increase your HDL cholesterol so that your levels of HDL and Triglycerides adjust are appropriate.
How does it Work?
As mentioned earlier, the main idea behind the Protein Power Diet is lowering your insulin levels. This is a hormone responsible for regulating carbohydrate breakdown or metabolism. Some adverse effects of high insulin levels include:
-Converting dietary fat into body fat
-Increasing cholesterol levels
-Enhancing fluid retention in the kidneys
Now, the idea here is that if you rely on some fats and protein in your diet and limit your carbohydrate intake, you will considerably reduce your insulin level. And if you do this for a while it will eventually lead to weight loss.
The plan has 3 main stages: Intervention, Transition and Maintenance. The amount of carbohydrates allowed is what differentiates these phases. In the first stage, carbohydrates are relatively restricted. Both carbohydrates and protein intake are spread over 3 meals.
You are also likely to experience ketosis in this phase. This means excess fat breaks and ketones (partly burnt fat) are eliminated. So you will be shedding off fat without necessarily burning it.
In the second stage you can rave up the carb level to around 20 grams per day. The last phase allows you to move up the carbohydrate level to a level where your health and weight are stable.
What You Can and Can't Eat
The power protein diet strongly recommends you eat tofu,eggs, low fat cheese (feta, Muenster, cottage cheese) fish, red meat and poultry. You can also take mushrooms, green beans, eggplant, broccoli, tomatoes, leafy green vegetables , peppers, cucumber, asparagus and celery.
To be specific, the diet recommends you consume at least 25 grams of fibre every day. This is around 5 cups of whole wheat spaghetti. Some fats like butter, avocado, nut and olive oils are also allowed. Other foods that you can eat include:
-Artificial sweeteners and diet sodas in moderation
-A light beer or a glass of wine
-A high quality mineral and vitamin supplement plus around 90mg of potassium to round out your nutritional needs.
Recommended foods in the plan are eggs, wild game, pork and beef. Restricted foods include refined sugars, pasta, bread, cereals and some fruits. Here is an example of a menu that has 1600 calories where 25% of them are from carbohydrates, 50% from fat and 25% from protein.
-Breakfast: Tea or coffee and one an ounce of breakfast sausage, toast with butter and a poached egg.
-Lunch: One half boiled egg, 3 ounces of tuna seasoned with low-fat mayonnaise and mustard. Limited amounts of sunflower seeds, green onion, olives, pickles, bean sprouts, lettuce, tomatoes, green onion, and pita bread.
-Dinner: One cup of zucchini with 4 ounces of grilled salmon and a half tablespoon of butter mixed witty green salad. You can also add 4 ounces of white wine with vinegar and oil dressing.
-Snacks: Recommended snacks include one large orange,2 ounces of Gouda Cheese.
How hard is it to adjust?
Just like most low carb and high protein diets, you will need to overhaul your current diet completely with this plan. Actually you will have to forego a lot of foods. It also recommends exercising. It encourages workouts like weight lifting and resistance training so as to help you burn excess fat.
Pros and cons of the diet
Besides reducing the risk factors of cardiovascular related conditions significantly and losing weight, the advantages of this low carbohydrate and high protein diet are invaluable. From feeling and looking better to less hunger and preserving lean body mass the diet has hundreds of benefits.
Be as it may, this doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its own share of cons. Restricting carbohydrates can easily lead to insufficient intake of minerals, vitamins, and fibre because of reduced intake of various dairy groups, vegetable, fruit, and grain. In addition, high protein intake may strain your kidneys. Other concerns about the Protein Power plan include:
-Inadequate intake of calcium and vitamin D may cause osteoporosis
-Saturated fats recommended in the diet can lead to heart disease
-Eliminating certain carbohydrates like sweets, baked products and fruits makes the diet very hard for some people to adhere to.
How to Be Successful on the Diet
The first week of the diet is usually very challenging. Well, don’t worry, this is normal and keep in mind that there will be tough times particularly as your body acclimatizes to your new diet. You will also experience carb withdrawal symptoms or even worse a carb crash. The good news, however, is that this can be avoided. Just stick to the diet, adjust slowly, and you will get through the first week easily.
Find your Carb Level
Another important factor in this journey is finding your carb level. This is essential as it is different for everyone and taking very few carbohydrates can affect your health adversely. And if you are pre-diabetic or diabetic, it is important that you check your sugar levels regularly.
This is another important step. Get support from friends, family or related groups. This can be the game changer in your journey. Find somebody else to do the plan with you if it is possible. Also, ask questions where necessary and chat with other like-minded individuals.
Ready to work for that lean body you have been dreaming about for months?
Well, the Protein Power diet can help you achieve that seamlessly. It is a good example of a diet plan that will offer you the benefits of decreasing carb intake and enhancing saturated fat consumption while losing weight.
Another good feature of this diet is that it isn’t extreme so anyone can try it. And don’t forget that no plan is complete without working out, so take at least 20 minutes every day to exercise. Be smart, be fit.