Popular High-Protein, Low-Carbohydrate Diets

Atkins Diet

The Atkins Diet was introduced by Dr. Robert Atkins in the 1970s when he wrote his first book called, The New Diet Revolution. Since there, there have been a series of updates, revisions and new editions to the book and diet plan. Recently, in response to negative reaction to its severe restrictions on all carbohydrates, the diet has been reformatted to focus on healthy, nutritious foods with an emphasis on portion control. This approach is detailed in the book The New Atkins For A New You. In general, the Atkins diet is a high-protein, high-fat diet that moderates carb intake from sources such as fruits, vegetables and complex carbs. The diet is based on Ketosis, a process in which the reduction of carbs forces the body to burn fat as fuel. The reduction of carbs also reduces the insulin response, which decreases the storage of excess calories in the form of fat.

Protein Power Diet

Protein Power, a diet book that was first written by Michael and Mary Eades in the 1960s, introduces a high-protein and fat diet that is low in carbs, similar to the Atkins approach. However, in contrast to the traditional Atkins approach, it does not go into Ketosis with a strict induction phase where carbs are severely limited. The exact proportions of carb and protein intake vary among individuals and is affected by gender, age, weight and height. It is believed that this diet approach will improve health by decreasing cholesterol and blood pressure levels due to the reduction of processed, refined foods.

South Beach Diet

The South Beach Diet is another popular high-protein diet plan that promises quick weight loss between 8 to 15 lbs. on the first two weeks of the program. This diet is divided into three phases with each phase allowing less restrictions on what you eat. In general, processed, high-carbohydrate foods such as breads, baked goods, candy bars and soda are avoided. The diet also advises against eating foods that are labeled or advertised as low-fat as they are often filled with sugar that leads to further cravings and weight gain. Low-fat dairy products such as yogurt, milk and cheeses are exempted from this rule however.

Zone Diet

The Zone Diet is another higher-protein diet first popularized by Barry Sears in his book “Entering The Zone”. This diet is based on a dietary intake of 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein and 30 percent fat. It is believed that this macro-nutrient ratio helps control the body’s production and release of insulin. The body is able to burn fat more effectively when insulin levels are at an ideal level. Although the diet is lower in calories, feelings of fullness are attained by the consumption of protein and fat which decreases hunger levels and over-eating commonly caused by the consumption of excess carbs.

Categories: Diet, Nutrition, Weight Loss