It’s not that bad actually.
STEAKS, RIBS & WINGS
One of the best ways to lose weight is by eating a diet that’s high in protein. If you eat high protein foods then you’re automatically going to be eating fat as well. The reason is that most of the high-protein foods like meat, chicken, pork, fish and eggs, all have a high amount of fat in them. But that’s okay.
That’s actually what we want. We need to get energy from something and that usually comes from either fat or carbohydrate. Most the time we eat both in our diets (an example would be a chicken sandwich) but in order to lose weight by eating mostly protein, were going to have to take out one of those energy sources and it can’t be fat so you can already picture what kind of diet this is going to be.
Like I said it’s not all that bad. You can have one your favorite pub or barbecue foods almost every night of the week. Imagine eating barbecue ribs one night, the next T-bone steaks, then rotisserie chicken, pork medallions, grilled fish, chicken wings like you do for game night etc.
You get the idea. All those dishes are foods that we salivate over when we see them on commercials while watching the Super Bowl or the NBA finals. These are foods that we look forward to eating, and so going on a diet with them doesn’t seem to be such a grim undertaking.
HIGH PROTEIN IS REALLY LOW CARB
Even though we’re talking about a high protein diet, what were really looking at here is a diet that is very low in carbohydrates. A diet high in protein like I said has a lot of fat in it and so naturally that means it’s a high-protein and high-fat diet together. This is why it’s easier to say that it’s a low-carb diet as you only have to refer to one of the three macro nutrients.
There is however a difference between the Atkins diet and all of the other low-carb diets such as the Paleo, Keto etc., because the Atkins diet really is an ultra high fat diet compared to the others. In that diet you eat lots of heavy cream, bacon, cheese and other foods that are primarily fat with much less protein.
Those Atkins type diets are said to be beneficial in some ways but they’re just too high in fat for my liking. It seems unnatural to me for the body to consume that much fat with little protein, or any plant food like greens and berries etc. It’s very difficult for your body to digest large amounts of fat and so even though you’ll get the benefit that comes with not eating carbohydrates (some weight loss) it’s just not ideal.
This is why were focusing on high-protein, because in doing so were generally going to be looking to foods that are more complete, meaning they have a little bit of everything; fat, complete proteins, vitamins and minerals.
Now if you want to go extreme on me here and point out that it’s possible to have a very high protein diet with little to no fat and no carbohydrates then sure, it is possible but again an extreme diet usually has its drawbacks. An example would be to chug down gallons of protein powder shakes, and maybe have some chicken breast, greek yogurt and tuna fish, and then completely saturate your blood with protein.
You would also get some fat from those foods (unless you’re able to take in all the calories you need through a pure protein powder shake mixed with water exclusively) but it would be mostly protein. And so you your body would be using the protein as it usually does (for repair for example) and then any excess will be converted into energy because you aren’t taking in very much, because you’re not eating carbohydrate or much fat.
The problem with this extreme protein diet though is again it’s still a strain on your body. Just like eating too much fat is hard on your digestive system, eating way too much protein puts some strain on the kidneys as they have to deal with all the excess nitrogen found in protein that your body doesn’t need.
But that’s an aside, we’re here to talk about weight loss and protein.
So if you’re going to eat a high-protein diet to lose weight then there isn’t much that you have to figure out logistically. You can still eat your three meals a day, or whatever schedule of eating that you currently have, but instead of eating what you usually eat you simply have to make sure that all of your meals are high-protein foods.
So for example:
Breakfast – for breakfast you can eat eggs, cheese, lean sausage, cottage cheese etc.
Lunch – for lunch you can eat chicken salads, either the ones with mayo and celery in it or the ones with leafy greens and other vegetables, pork medallions, an omelette and even a sandwich if you can find or make bread that has no carbohydrate in.
Dinner – for dinner you can go to town. All the delicious foods that I mentioned above – barbecue ribs, steaks, rotisserie chicken – are at your mercy, or your calling if those foods are holy to you like they are to many of us. There are hundreds of different meat, fish and poultry dishes that you can enjoy at dinner time to keep you smiling from ear-to-ear for months on end.
It’s a pretty simple set up really. The reason you don’t have to cut back much on what you eat is because eating a diet high in protein doesn’t stimulate the release of much insulin and it’s this hormone insulin that we want to control.
We want to keep our insulin low for as long as possible and we do that by lowering our carbohydrate intake (hence why this is a low-carb diet more than it is a high-protein diet) while still eating foods that are healthy and good for us. Foods like fish, meat, fruit and vegetables.
You may be asking how strict you have to be on this diet. Does this mean that the only thing that you can eat on this diet is meat or chicken? No, you can eat many other foods just as long as they are low in carbohydrate. I’ll list some examples below:
Nuts & Seeds – these foods are generally high in fat and fiber, moderate in protein and low in carbohydrate so nuts and seeds are okay to have on a high-protein diet.
Vegetables – you can eat most vegetables and in almost any quantity you want. That’s the good news. These vegetables are leafy greens, peppers, cucumbers, radishes, avocados, tomatoes and onions etc. the bad news is you can’t have the ones that we love the most like corn, potatoes and other starchy foods.
Fruit – fruit does have carbohydrate in it. But because of the type of carbohydrate it generally has, most fruit are okay to have in small to moderate amounts because that type of sugar (fructose) doesn’t release insulin to the same degree that other sugar and carbohydrate does. The type of fruit that are okay to eat are berries, apples, pears, watermelon and other melons etc. The types you want to eat a little less of are plums peaches nectarines and other fruit in that category. The ones you want to stay away from are fruit like cherries, grapes, bananas and any version of dried fruit. Fruit is very good for you and I encourage you to eat them but you just have to be careful of what kind and how much you eat.
Most people are successful in losing weight when they decide to take on a high-protein diet. People who decrease or almost eliminate the amount of carbohydrate they consume tend to lose weight pretty quickly and keep it off if they’re able to stick to the diet.
And this is key here. Being able to stick to it which is the hardest part of almost any undertaking you attempt in your life.
So what you have to do, is make sure it’s enjoyable and a lot of fun. If you’re not looking forward to your food then you’re not going to stick to that diet long term.
Make it fun. Make it more fun than it was before and change becomes effortless.