Although it is no secret that weight loss is the result of a healthy diet combined with physical activity, not a few people find this process difficult.
Some, already discouraged with the traditional method, end up looking for new types of diets that promise faster, effective, but also safe weight loss.
And it is not new that the so-called “protein diet” is touted as a good solution for those who want to lose weight faster.
Renata Brasil, Health & Stylist Coaching, comments that protein diets are seen as an effective way to lose weight. “When you reduce carbs (especially simple carbs), you are decreasing the amount of glucose in your bloodstream. In this way, forcing your body to take advantage of the fat from food and the fat stored in your body to function. In very simple terms: when you consume less sugar, your body uses fat as a source of energy. When your body uses fat as an energy source, you lose weight,” she says.
However, it is also a fact that this type of diet still generates controversy. Questions such as “is the protein diet really safe?”; “Should I stop consuming carbohydrates at once?”; “what kind of food is allowed in the diet?”; “I won’t regain all the weight I lost later?” etc. are some of the doubts around the subject.
With that in mind, below you know the different types of protein diets and understand why it can really be effective for those who want to lose weight.
Why are proteins important?
Before getting to know protein diets better, it is essential to know the importance of protein in a weight loss process.
Luciana Spina, endocrinologist, PhD in Endocrinology from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, doctor specializing in Protein Diet, scientific collaborator at PronoKal (Brazil), highlights that proteins are essential nutrients for the human body. “In addition to being the basis of the body’s tissues, proteins are also a source of energy. With the exception of water, proteins are the most abundant molecules in the body, being the main structural component of all cells, particularly muscles,” she says.
In the weight loss process, says the doctor, proteins are important as a source of energy and for the maintenance of muscle tissue.
According to Luciana, the following foods are the main sources of protein:
- Meat and poultry (beef, pork, chicken, turkey, rabbit, quail and frog);
Renata Brasil adds that protein digestion is the longest and most laborious of all food categories, and this slowness of digestion delays gastric emptying and increases the feeling of satisfaction and satiety.
Why is the protein diet effective for those who want to lose weight?
Luciana explains that protein diets are very low-calorie diets, where the speed of weight loss is more pronounced than traditional diets, being an important motivating factor for adherence to treatment.
“They are also ketogenic diets, due to the sharp reduction in carbohydrate intake, which favors a decrease in the feeling of hunger and increases the feeling of well-being, also favoring adherence to the diet”, adds the doctor.
Another important advantage of protein diets, according to Luciana, is the preservation of lean mass (or muscle tissue) that favors the maintenance of energy metabolism, contributing to the maintenance of lost weight in the long term.
The different types of protein diets
What few people know, however, is that there are different types of protein diets. And it is essential to know the main differences between them.
Luciana points out that there are older methods, traditionally known as high-protein diets, and more recently used methods based on protein diets. “In high-protein diets, there is an increase in protein intake above the ideal requirements, which can increase uric acid levels and generate renal overload”, she says.
Most of the time, in high-protein diets, adds the doctor, there is an increase in fat intake, which can increase cholesterol levels, favoring the deposition of fat in the liver. “It does not always require vitamin and mineral supplementation, which ends up favoring side effects such as weakness, headache, dizziness, cramps, anemia and hair loss, for example, especially when performed for more than 15 days”, he highlights.
In the protein diet, as Luciana explains, protein intake is adjusted to the ideal requirements to maintain a balanced protein balance (0.8-1.2 g/kg ideal/day), avoiding renal overload. “It is based on the consumption of high biological value proteins and there is vitamin/mineral supplementation to provide the necessary levels and avoid adverse effects when carried out for longer”, she says.
In the protein diet, adds the doctor, the intake of fat is limited to extra virgin olive oil, and there is a decrease in cholesterol levels, favoring a healthier lipid profile.
“The protein diet is now considered an effective and healthy weight loss method, which provides a feeling of well-being, motivating results and a greater chance of maintaining the lost weight in the long term”, emphasizes Luciana.
How to adhere to the protein diet?
Luciana explains the main phases of the diet:
1. First, a medical consultation with clinical evaluation and laboratory tests must be carried out. “It is recommended to carry out tests before starting the diet and during its realization for better adequacy of vitamin and mineral supplementation”, says the doctor.
2. Then, the first stage begins, where there is carbohydrate restriction, marked calorie restriction and ketogenesis process that will favor rapid weight loss with a feeling of satiety and well-being.
3. After the loss of about 80% of the desired goal, the second stage of food reeducation begins, where there is still caloric restriction and carbohydrates are progressively introduced in the menu.
4. Finally, the third stage, maintenance, where there is a balance between consumption and calorie intake, for weight maintenance.
Luciana highlights the types of foods allowed in the protein diet:
- Limited quantity extra virgin olive oil (10g/day).
“The use of protein supplements (such as, for example, Whey) in this type of diet is favorable to replace one or more meals, prioritizing the intake of proteins of high biological value, reducing the intake of saturated fats, avoiding monotony and allowing practicality. day-to-day – which improves adherence to the diet”, adds the doctor.
Luciana highlights the foods that are not allowed in this type of diet:
- Fruit juices;
- Sugar in general;
- Vegetables like carrots and beets.
Luciana points out, finally, that these are the main guidelines, but the protein diet menu must be individualized and assembled according to the needs of each individual, preferably with follow-up together with the endocrinologist and nutritionist.
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