protein diet

The famous Dukan diet is a type of protein diet divided into 4 phases. Many people, however, are not aware of these diets, their benefits and effects on the body.   

What is the protein diet?

As the name implies, this diet is based on eating foods rich in protein and low in carbohydrates. This diet, however, should not be confused with low-carbohydrate diets (such as the Atkins diet), which are not calorie controlled and are usually high in fat. The protein of choice should be low in fat, such as skimmed foods and lean meats.

The protein diet is indicated by nutritionists and bodybuilders to increase muscle mass (lean mass) and lose fat. Although many people manage to lose fat and build muscle mass with this type of diet, there is debate in many countries about the risks and benefits of eating high in protein.

Effects on the organism of the protein diet

The low consumption of carbohydrates and high consumption of proteins causes the body to use adipose tissue (fat reservoir) as the main source of energy for activities. With that, fat is burned at an accelerated pace. In the first days, the person may feel some weakness due to the reduced intake of carbohydrates, however, this effect is temporary and the person begins to adapt during the first week. Proteins help in the formation of muscle fibers, which causes increased muscle mass. The bigger the muscles, the higher the basal metabolism, which causes increased caloric expenditure and fat burning.

However, there are some risks associated with this type of diet. Excessive protein consumption overloads the kidneys and causes an effect called metabolic acidosis, even if it is mild. There are many debates about the possible risks of metabolic acidosis, including damage to bones, muscles and kidneys. There is little evidence in the scientific literature about the long-term data of high-protein diets, and debates about the validity of this type of diet are not closed. Nutritionists indicate that this diet should be done for a limited period, no longer than 15 days, with a break for a few days and then resumed.

Foods Allowed on the Protein Diet

In this type of diet, proteins are low in fat, and calorie consumption is controlled. Few carbohydrates are allowed, and prohibited foods include bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, cookies, sweets in general, sugar (white and brown), soft drinks, sweetened beverages, coconut water, corn, beans and other sources rich in carbohydrates. Allowed foods are:

– Lean meats: fish, chicken, fat-free cold cuts.

– Skimmed milk and derivatives (white cheese, yogurt, fat-free Greek yogurt).

– Whey protein.

– Sugar-free diet gelatin.

– Egg white.

– Some vegetables: cucumber, tomato , radish, lettuce , mushrooms, green leaves, eggplant.

– Some fruits: lemon , watermelon, avocado, melon, orange.

A whole diet

This diet is a type of protein diet divided into 4 phases. In the first phase, which lasts from 3 to 7 days, any source of carbohydrate (including fruits and vegetables) is prohibited, with only lean proteins allowed. One and a half tablespoons of oat bran should be ingested per day, to satisfy hunger and aid in digestion.
In the second phase, some vegetables are included, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, chard, lettuce and mushrooms. Still, it is not allowed to eat any sweets or carbohydrates such as bread, rice or pasta. In this phase, one day eating only protein is interspersed with one day eating proteins and vegetables, until completing 1 week.

In the third phase, add 2 servings of fruit a day, 2 slices of bread and 40g of cheese of any kind (it doesn’t have to be light). In addition, the person can eat 1 portion of carbohydrate (such as brown rice, beans, whole grain pasta, etc.) 2 times a week. This phase has a variable duration, and must be done for 10 days for every 1 kg that the person wants to lose (that is, if the person wants to lose 5 kg, the diet must be done for 50 days).

In the fourth and final phase, the person must dedicate 1 day a week to eating only lean proteins. Carbohydrates and sweets are prohibited for more than 2 times a week. It is important to remember that it is essential to drink plenty of fluids on this diet, such as water, tea and coffee (without sugar).

Also read: 11 animal foods rich in protein – Mediterranean diet – 10 tips to lose belly fat

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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