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Do High Protein Diets really Work?

Is a high protein diet effective for losing weight while at the same time putting on muscle? In many ways, as I shall outline below, it is the only way to lose weight while putting on muscle.There are...

Is a high protein diet effective for losing weight while at the same time putting on muscle? In many ways, as I shall outline below, it is the only way to lose weight while putting on muscle.

There are two minimum prerequisites to losing weight while maintaining (or increasing) muscle density: High protein intake, combined with low calorie intake. Without conforming to these basic principles, no amount of dietary supplements or special exercises can make the slightest bit of difference in the long run.

For many, high protein diet is synonymous with the Atkins Diet – but in fact, this is an erroneous assumption. Those of you who have looked into the Atkins diet will know that it emphasises foods with a low carbohydrate count, while at the same time advising the eating of a lot of protein, regardless of calorie and fat content.

There are two groups of people who a high-protein diet will most concern. Bodybuilders and the overweight. Protein is an essential building block for the creation of skeletal muscle tissue, so any diet which provides too little is doomed to failure. In fact anyone who is dieting should watch out for this factor. If weight is lost too quickly, for example though a radical reduction in calorie intake without taking into account the protein count, skeletal muscle will be lost. This is because the fat stored in your body is harder to convert into the energy you need than the protein in your muscles.

So, how do you know if your diet is providing you with enough protein? A simple way to tell is the way your breath smells. At times of food scarcity, your metabolism changes to provide energy for essential bodily functions and mobility. Your brain especially needs a constant supply of sugars, which at times of scarcity will be provided by your muscles – the amino acids in the protein which has been converted into muscle cells can be retrieved and broken down again to release sugars. A by-product of this process is the production of keytones, which are eliminated on your breath, with a characteristic sweetish smell. So if your breath smells oddly fragrant, a little like acetone, for no apparent reason, and especially if you are feeling light-headed, your body has basically started devouring itself.

The breaking down of fat, on the other hand, into its constituent carbohydrate (glycogen) and water requires a further step in the chemical process – and energy to achieve it. A high-protein diet is likely to lead to a loss of water in the initial stages, which apparently tips the scales favourably. This rapid weight loss slows as the fat deposits are accessed and broken down.

To avoid the unpleasant side-effects of starvation such as muscle shrinkage, protein should be consumed in sufficient quantities to keep pace with weight loss. And to get the fat stored in your cells to yield up its energy, you are going to have to shake your booty. Exercise increases circulation to the fatty deposits, which are normally something of a circulatory backwater, as anyone snuggling up against a cool and cuddly rear-end will have noticed.

Those who follow a high-protein diet can suffer from mood swings or headaches, although on the whole energy levels are higher than a diet low in proteins. In the long term, other factors such as high fatBusiness Management Articles, low fiber or high cholesterol should be taken into account to avoid unnecessary health risks.

Perhaps the best thing about a high-protein diet is that many foods rich in proteins are simply delicious.

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Kelly Hunter writes for and operates about High Protein Diet.

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