Protein diet: a full guide

Protein weight loss: which diet is better?

Strictly speaking, there is no protein diet as such. Despite the fact that many dietary regimes in one form or another recommend an increased intake of protein, not one of these diets is not officially called "protein".It can even be said that any diet that limits the amount of carbohydrates in the diet can to some extent be considered protein - even high-fat diets are built on the fact that a significant amount of energy must be absorbed by protein foods and fatty meat.

In this article we will consider popular diets that have the right to be considered protein - the traditional diet of a bodybuilder with high protein content;The paleodietet is gaining popularity with its rejection of modern food products;a non-carbohydrate keto diet, considered the best way to quickly burn fat, two variations of the keto diet - the American diet Atkins and the Russian Kremlin diet. In addition, we will separately focus on the growing popularity of the Japanese diet.

Nutrition of the bodybuilder

Increase in caloric content and a lot of protein

The most common version of the protein diet is the traditional recommendation of bodybuilding that the amount of protein in the diet should be maximized. Most often it is about the daily intake of 3-4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, which gives 240-320 g for an athlete weighing 80 kg. The total calorie intake is determined from the calculation of 40-50 kcal per kg of weight - 3200-4000 kcal per day with the mentioned 80 kg. The daily requirement of fats is calculated as 30% of the total caloric value - 960-1200 calories or, given that 1 g of fat contains 9 kcal, 110-140 g of fat per day. The remaining calories - carbohydrates in an amount of 5-7 g per kg of body weight.

However, in order to consume 240-320 grams of protein per day, you need at least a kilogram of different meats and an additional intake of protein shakes. It is important to mention here that the latest scientific research indicates that, firstly, the use of red meat in an amount exceeding 300 grams a week has a negative impact on health, and secondly, that muscle growth does not need consumption at alla huge amount of protein and a modest 1-2 grams per kilogram of body weight( 1).The reason is that the more protein the body receives with food, the less "economically" it treats to it - a certain proportion is simply utilized. Consumption of protein on the lower border teaches the body to use the protein to the maximum, sending it straight to the recovery of muscles. This fact explains the presence of professional bodybuilders among vegetarians.


Any meat, fish, vegetables and nuts

is acceptable. Paleodieta is the principle of nutrition, consisting in the rejection of modern products. The diet should consist exclusively of what was known to mankind many thousands of years ago, during the Paleolithic period, which gave the name to the diet. Since sugar and any crops are excluded first, the diet is inherently protein. Unlike many other diets, paleodietta does not impose serious restrictions on the amount of food consumed, nor on the ways of its preparation. Admissible meat, fish and vegetables in the diet can be cooked, stewed or fried - it does not matter. The result is weight loss and normalization.

Despite the fact that the exclusion of flour and dairy products, industrial food( fast food, frozen foods, various types of pizza) and sugar in all its manifestations at first glance seems complicated, in reality this is not quite so. In fact, people who care about the figure have long avoided these products - the paleodieta builds such a diet in a logical structure. In addition, there are increasing opinions that it is the modern food is the true cause of many diseases - you will not find a single nutritionist who would argue that sugar, gluten and convenience foods are good for health. In Russia, the first materials on the paleodite appeared in 2014 on our website, and the current year will undoubtedly be the year of rapid growth in the popularity of this traditional diet for human beings.


Restriction of carbohydrates to the level of 30 g per day

The next most popular version of the protein diet is a carbohydrate diet, also called a keto diet. As the name implies, such a diet implies a virtually complete rejection of carbohydrates. In the absence of carbohydrates, the body rebuilds the metabolism, starting to obtain glucose from the amino acids and free fatty acids necessary for the brain. The most important factor in the popularity of the keto diet is that, 4-5 days after giving up carbohydrates, the body starts using fat reserves as the main source of energy - the result is a rapid weight loss due to fat deposits and not muscle tissue.

The plus of the carbohydrate diet is also the fact that the rejection of carbohydrates does not impose significant restrictions on the total caloric intake - in fact, any foods in any quantities are allowed, provided they do not contain carbohydrates. The basis of the diet consists of different types of meat and fish. At the same time, more than 50% of calories are in fat - according to this criterion the diet can be considered high-fat. Consumption of carbohydrates is allowed in an amount of 30-50 g per day( most of them will be either indigestible fiber, or go to brain work).The downside of the keto diet is that the rejection of carbohydrate-containing foods deprives the diet of virtually all vitamins and important microminerals. In addition, scientific research is increasingly encountered that diets with high protein intake can cause various health disorders( 2).

Atkins diet

Refusal of simple carbohydrates and sugars

A light version of the keto diet is the Atkins diet. If the classical keto diet implies a ratio of the obtained fat and protein calories in a 4: 1 ratio( based on 2500 kcal - 2000 kcal per fat, or 220 g per day, 500 kcal per protein, or 125 g per day), then even the introductorythe induction phase of the Atkins diet is not so stiff. In the period of greatest popularity of the diet, in 2003-2004, according to its rule, about 10% of the adult population of the USA and Canada were eating, and the sales of macaroni fell by the same 10%( 3).The cause of mass popularity was the spread of opinion about the dangers of any carbohydrates and attributing them responsibility for the epidemic of obesity.

After the death of the author of the diet, Robert Atkins, the popularity of his diet was drastically reduced, and in 2005 the company founded by him declared himself bankrupt. The reason for the fall in the popularity of the diet can probably be called the work of food lobbyists - despite numerous publications about the possible harm of low-carb diet Atkins for health, none of them has been confirmed by independent scientific research. However, without denying the effectiveness of the diet, FitSeven never brought it to the list recommended because it, like any low carbohydrate diet, is not suitable for strength training - it is almost impossible to train with a ketosis rod. The only carbohydrate diet suitable for sports is the cyclic keto diet, which we examined in detail in the "Six-Pack Project" training program.

The Kremlin diet

The Ballroom Diet System, the calculation of carbohydrates( glasses)

The Russian version of the Atkins diet is the Kremlin diet. According to this diet, each product is assigned a "price" in conventional units, where each point is one gram of carbohydrates. The number of points scored per day should not exceed a certain value, different at certain stages of the diet. During the period of reorganization of the body for a new diet, the first two weeks( in the induction phase) must strictly adhere to the restriction of 20 points. At the stage of losing weight, a limit of 40 points is established. To save weight, you need to score up to 60 points. It is believed that when using carbohydrates for more than 60 points, weight gain occurs.

The main claim to the Kremlin diet is the deduction of the mathematics of scoring points, rather than the logic behind the counting. Meeting with a new product, losing weight on this diet is not in a position to decide on its own, whether the product is acceptable - it needs a mandatory reconciliation with the plate. The word "ketosis" is not found even in books devoted to this diet, just as the classification of fats for useful and harmful. The list of allowed products that give zero points, also raises a lot of doubts - alcohol and meat semi-finished products like sausages are allowed, while fiber-rich foods are almost banned. Despite the logic deep in the basis of the Kremlin diet, we do not recommend it to follow - the original, the Atkins diet, is much more substantiated and integral.

Japanese diet

A sharp restriction of the diet for 13 days

In conclusion of the review, I would like to dwell on the so-called "Japanese diet", which is rapidly gaining popularity in the Russian Internet. The texts, reprinted from one site to another, contain a reference to the fact that "the diet was developed by the Japanese clinic Yaeks" - but with the same amount of truth you can write that the diet was developed by the school of sorcery and magic of Hogwarts. The most interesting thing is that the diet recommends products that are not typical for Japan - for example, boiled beef, stewed cabbage and zucchini.

At its core, the diet is low-carb and low-calorie. Since the basis of the recommended diet is boiled and fried fish, beef and eggs, the diet can be considered protein. Given that the meeting menu for 13 days is extremely sparse, and the total calorie content is unlikely to exceed 1000 calories, the diet will indeed work. However, the health consequences will not be long in coming - first, due to the extremely sparse content of vitamins in the recommended products, and secondly, due to the consequences of a typical hunger diet. As soon as the body understands that food is available again, he will start actively recruiting what he has not received in the days of the hunger strike. The result will be the return of the weight lost and a set of additional fat reserves in the case of the next attempt to torture yourself with the help of the "Japanese system".


Last updated:

  • March 25, 2015

Scientific sources:

  1. How Much Protein Do You Really Need? , source
  2. High-Protein, Low-Carb Diets Explained, source
  3. Atkins Bankruptcy a Boon for Pasta Makers,source