You’ve probably heard of high protein diets from a variety of sources—friends, family, on the news…—and more often than not in contradictory fashion: “they work great”, “they’re dangerous”, “won’t help you lose weight” or “they won’t make you hungry”.
The truth is that people in good health can safely follow a high protein diet as long as it’s for a short period of time. These types of diets enable weight loss by combining high levels of protein, which make you feel full and, therefore, suppress your appetite, and few calories.
However, high protein diets also pose long-term health risks:
–Most of the lost weight is due to water loss. These types of diet favor liquid elimination as opposed to burning fat.
–Some high protein diets restrict carbohydrate consumption to such a degree as to cause nutrient deficiency, fiber insufficiency, and associated health problems, like diarrhea and headaches.
–Red meats are the basis of many high protein diets, which may increase the risk of heart disease and/or colon cancer.
-The effort required to eliminate the excess protein related to these types of diets can also lead to kidney damage.
And last but not least, since every high protein diet must someday come to an end—usually once the desired target weight is reached—you might find yourself going back to your previous ways and experiencing the dreaded ‘rebound effect’. No one doubts that high protein diets promote rapid weight loss; but what’s the point if all that weight is quickly gained back? Don’t forget that the ultimate goal isn’t simply to lose weight, but rather to do it in a healthy, permanent way.