High protein diet: How it works, Menus & Reviews

[Article updated on 19/09/2023]

The high-protein diet emerged in the United States in the early 1970s. It was born under the leadership of Blakburn, a professor at Harvard University. This slimming program recommends a high consumption of proteins, to the detriment of foods rich in carbohydrates and lipids. It stands out for the spectacular weight loss achieved quickly and for the preservation of muscle mass. This is a very effective slimming diet.

Before reading on

I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.

The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.

So, for people who don’t know how to lose weight quickly, the high-protein diet is a solution you can turn to. Whether you want to lose a few extra pounds before surgery, have health problems or for any other reason, it is a choice that will meet your expectations. Find in this article all the essential information you need on the high-protein diet.

Definition of the diet: principles of the high protein diet

The high-protein diet is one of the effective slimming programs favoring foods rich in protein. The very simple principle of this weight loss method consists of reducing as much as possible the body’s calorie intake in the form of lipids and carbohydrates. On the contrary, we rely on a diet consisting of proteins to maintain muscle mass despite the weight loss caused.

Fish in the high protein diet
A high-protein diet generally includes foods rich in protein such as dairy products, fish, egg whites or even lean meat.

The diet can also consist of plant-based foods such as soy, quinoa, beans, nuts and more. This high-protein diet is also carried out using powdered preparations. These products for losing weight without losing muscle come in the form of high-protein sachets.

Explanation of the diet: how does the high protein diet work?

The implementation of a high-protein diet is carried out in three or four steps that must be followed exactly for optimal results. For those who decide to lose weight quickly thanks to this program, it takes commitment in addition to being methodical.

First stage

The first phase is a strict protein diet. This involves exclusive consumption of vegetables (among those authorized) and high-protein food supplements.

In addition, you must drink enough during this phase, where slimming remains the main objective. Because it triggers the ketosis process, this step is of capital importance during this slimming diet.

Second step

The second stage gives rise to a mixed protein diet. It prolongs the slimming process previously started while taking care to reintroduce proteins into your diet.

To do this, you must reduce your daily consumption of high-protein sachets by 3 to 4 times. At the same time, you continue to eat vegetables while hydrating yourself daily with at least 2 liters of sugar-free drink.

Third step

The third level or transition phase involves a gradual reintroduction of carbohydrates into your diet. During this stage, the diet includes 3 high-protein sachets per day while reintroducing a breakfast consisting of natural proteins and fruits. Depending on your schedule including vegetables as well as milk and/or animal proteins, you must add 2 slimming dishes.

Step four

During the fourth stage or consolidation level, the quantities of foods are gradually increased in addition to the introduction of starchy foods. With this in mind, you must have 2 slimming meals with starchy foods and vegetables, 2 high-protein biscuits or bars, 2 high-protein sachets, 2 snacks of your choice and a codified breakfast.

We achieve a lasting change in our eating habits by gradually returning to a normal diet. This return to healthy meals provides the person following a high-protein diet with better balance.

Progress of the diet: The typical day of the high-protein diet

The food program for a typical day of the high protein diet, which varies from one individual to another, can be presented as follows. It can start with a meal like protein porridge with nectar for breakfast.

This recipe comes together in just a few minutes with main ingredients like cottage cheese and oatmeal. Then, you can indulge in a beef filet with Caesar salad for lunch. Parmesan, heart of lettuce and beef fillet are the essential ingredients of this meal.

Dinner on the high protein diet
Consider scrambled eggs with shrimp for dinner. To prepare this dish, you need milk, eggs and shrimp.

The advantages of the high protein diet

  • Low amount of calories in the body : providing only 4 cal / kg, proteins are known to be foods with very low calorie levels.
  • Efficiency and speed : the interest of the high-protein diet does not lie only in the importance of the weight loss it causes. It also stands out for its speed and effectiveness, allowing the person who uses it to lose on average nearly 2.5 kg per week from the first moments of the treatment.
  • Easy to implement diet : Preparing high-protein products is a simple task.
  • Reduced feeling of hunger : the proteins on which a high-protein diet is based are characterized by their natural effect of effective appetite suppressant. Their consumption removes any desire to snack and reduces the feeling of hunger. Be aware that the digestion of high-protein products is slower, which means that the feeling of satiety lasts longer.
  • Variety of high protein products : there is a wide variety of high-protein products for this type of weight loss program. To prepare your different meals, you can choose from a hundred flavors or more.

Conservation of muscle mass: unlike many slimming programs, the high-protein diet stands out for its ability to protect the muscles while having an effective effective fat burner. With the large quantity of proteins that it provides to the body, it is only at the level of adipose mass and reserve fats that the elimination of calories takes place.

The disadvantages of the high protein diet

  • Mandatory compliance with the weight loss program : it is imperative to follow the established slimming program to the letter. With this in mind, the success of your high-protein diet does not allow any dietary deviations. Rigor must be required to avoid unpleasant surprises in terms of results.
  • Bad breath : it is not uncommon for people who follow a high-protein diet to have bad breath. Understand that this is a completely normal phenomenon caused by the evacuation of acetone from the lungs. A fairly effective tip is to use a menthol spray or sugar-free chewing gum to get rid of that unpleasant smell from your mouth.
  • Slowdown in social life : During your high-protein diet, it is important to adapt the pace of your outings. This means reducing invitations to other family members or friends. You should avoid going out to restaurants as much as possible so as not to risk being tempted by the urge to snack, especially during a strict diet.
  • Risk of fatigue to be expected in the long term : A high protein diet means cutting out carbohydrates from your diet. The absence of these elements in the body can cause a lack of energy, causing a feeling of fatigue in the long term. Taking a vitamin food supplement at the start of your treatment helps reduce the effects of this absence of carbohydrates.
  • Need for frequent hydration : The kidneys are organs constantly in demand as part of a high-protein diet. This is mainly due to the fact that this program provides the body with proteins in large quantities. Therefore, you will have to get used to drinking enough (around 2 liters of water per day) during the period of this diet.

Diet effectiveness: The effectiveness of the high protein diet

As one of the most effective programs for losing weight, the high-protein diet allows you to obtain interesting results in a very short period of time. As proof, the weekly weight loss is around 2.5 kg.

However, it is appropriate to qualify the comments at this level as the results differ from one individual to another. Dietary history, genetic capital, the chosen program or age are factors that could have an influence on the body mass lost per week during a high-protein diet.

Weight loss induced by high protein diet
The high-protein diet allows you to lose weight quickly. If you are overweight, it can get rid of one to two and a half kilograms of excess body mass per week.

Duration of high protein diet

The duration of a high-protein diet depends on the weight loss goal you want to achieve. If you want to lose between 5.5 and 8.5 kg, the first three phases of this slimming program must last at least 10 days. As for the so-called stabilization or consolidation stage, its duration varies from 3 weeks to 1 month, in this case.

For a planned weight loss of 8.5 to 12.5 kg, the first two stages last around two weeks. The duration of phase 3 is 20 days in this hypothesis. As for the fourth stage, it can extend over a period of one month.

If you plan to lose weight between 12.5 and 18 kg, you will need to spend at least 3 weeks to follow the first two levels. For the third phase, the time required is one month, while the stabilization stage can last up to a month and a half.

Special menus & recipes for the high protein diet

The specific foods to eat on a high-protein diet can vary significantly depending on whether you are a woman or a man. So, here is an example of special menus and recipes for women as part of a slimming program.

Breakfast1 knob of butter, 2/10 of a traditional baguette, 1 yogurt preferably soy, unsweetened tea and coffee.
Lunchgreen beans, grilled chicken breast and salad made with rapeseed oil and olive oil.
Snack1 apple, coffee not without sugar or tea.
Dinner1 portion of fresh goat’s cheese, tomatoes and 1 whiting fillet.
Table of an example menu and recipes for women (high protein diet)

As for a special menu and recipe for men, it could look like this on the first day of a high-protein diet.

Breakfast1 0% yogurt, 1 knob of butter, 2 to 4 slices of cereal bread, unsweetened tea, coffee.
Lunchapple, green beans, ribeye.
Snackcottage cheese, unsweetened tea, coffee.
Dinnerratatouille, duck aiguillettes.
Table of an example menu and recipes for men (high protein diet)

Opinions of health professionals on the high protein diet

The effectiveness of the high-protein diet for rapid weight loss is recognized by many nutrition specialists. But, despite its multiple advantages, professionals recommend caution when using this slimming program. You should consult a doctor before embarking on this method of weight loss. This diet is not suitable for everyone.

In addition, high protein consumption would somewhat increase the risk of heart failure in middle-aged male subjects. These effects were revealed by a study called Heart Failure, published in the journal Circulation.

Consumer reviews

Those accustomed to the high-protein diet are unanimously satisfied with the weight loss results they obtain in a very short time.

However, some users do not fail to draw attention to the yo-yo effect at the end of this slimming program. Returning to a normal diet could cause you to gain a few extra pounds.

You can avoid this yo-yo effect by regular nutritional monitoring. This will help you better approach the stabilization phase, especially.

To learn more about high-protein diets, read the following articles: