High Protein Low Carb
What it is
Similar to the Atkins diet, a high protein, low carbohydrate diet limits refined carbohydrates in ones diet. Protein sources such as poultry, fish, beef, pork and soy protein are the main source of nourishment, while whole grain foods such as barley, oats and brown rice are eaten sparingly. Veggies are encouraged on this diet as well as fruit, however, fruit is limited to low glycemic fruits. The low carbohydrate, high protein approach has been proven to be affective for weight loss and weigh management because the body needs carbohydrates for its main energy source and without them, your body has to look elsewhere, i.e. stored fat.
I began this diet just after graduating college. I had a friend come visit to help celebrate my college graduation. She looked amazing and was competing in fitness competitions (Fitness and Figure competition for women that emphasize muscle definition, not size.) For the duration of her stay, family members positively commented on her figure and I knew whatever she was doing, I was going to try. I began to carefully watch what she ate and ask questions. Her diet consisted of mostly lean proteins, green veggies, minimal fruits, brown rice, and oatmeal. She was working with a personal trainer at the time who gave her diet advise, meal plans, as well as help sculpt her body. So without further research, I embarked on my own high protein low carb diet. I kept my diet approximately 25% carbohydrates, 35% fats, 40% protein.
Here is an example of what I would eat for any given day:
What I ate
Breakfast (8:00am): My morning consisted of scrambled eggs with salsa for flavoring. One egg to egg whites.
Snack (10:00am): Most times nothing, but occasional a cup or so of Cheerios. This was to keep my metabolism going.
Lunch (2:00pm) : Salad with all the veggies I wanted with light salad dressing and/or ground chicken or turkey with Franks Red Hot.
Snack (3:00pm): Nothing because I ate lunch so late.
Dinner (6:00pm): Baked fish and perhaps a green veggie or salad
* I also sustained from eating after 8:00pm. A typical day consisted of only 700 calories. It is also important to note that I continued to drink alcoholic beverages that most times fell past my 8:00pm rule. I typically would have a captain and diet coke or apple martini 2 to 3 times a week, which would put my calorie intake closer to 1,200 on those days.
I worked out three times a week, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I walked on the treadmill to warm up then ran till I hit 1mile. I weight lifted or used my own body weight to work (depending on if it was a Monday-bicep/triceps day, Wednesday-leg day, or Friday chest/back day). One set of four different exercises. Followed by another mile, another set, another mile, another set. My workouts typically took me 1hour to complete.
After of total of six months on this diet, I lost a total of 10lbs. With a 6.9% weight loss. That is a starting weight of 145lbs. and end weight of 135lbs. After hitting 135lbs (which was not my goal weight) I plateaued for 2 whole months. I gave up on the diet after that but continued to maintain my new weight.
Although I did see relatively fast weight loss results in the beginning, I would not do this diet again. I did not follow the diet as recommended and felt as long as I was eating mostly protein in my diet and very little carbohydrates I would lose more weight. During my plateau period I also tried increasing my protein intake to 50% but still had no change. I got diet burnout quickly because I felt there was no room for flexibility or creativity in the kitchen. I also suffered from poor digestion from this diet and had to take fiber twice a day to keep me regular. As far as my energy levels were concerned, I had no change.