High Protein Diet Strategies
There’s no denying the benefits of protein for a healthy and active lifestyle. Not only does protein support lean muscle mass, it also keeps you feeling full, boosts your metabolism during digestion, and prevents cravings.
With its pretty serious role in recovery and fat loss, it’s not surprising that there have been so many high protein diets to hit the market. But do they really work? And which one is the best?
To help you get things straight, I’m taking a look at 3 leading high protein diets and offering my own advice about these different diet strategies.
Let’s get to it…
1. The Paleo Diet
This has probably been the most popular high protein diet plan to date. The basic premise of the paleo diet is to mimic the eating habits of our caveman ancestors. This means avoiding processed foods, cutting out grains and dairy, and increasing your intake of fruits, veggies, nuts, and lean proteins.
Here are the rules:
- Eat lots of vegetables (diversity is key) and a moderate amount of fruit. Go organic and completely natural as much as possible.
- Cut out grains and cereals like what, oats, and corn. Processed sugar is also a big negative. Instead of grains, go for nuts and seeds.
- Avoid dairy products, especially in the beginning.
- Cut out all processed and packaged foods. Go for whole food options and real ingredients.
- Eat lots of lean protein like eggs, poultry, and wild fish.
My verdict? This is one of my favorite diets to become popular in recent years. It doesn’t remove anything that’s essential to your health, and it’s not too restrictive, so you can still cook and eat without too much hassle. Plus it has a big impact on both muscle gain and fat loss!
If you want to give the paleo diet a try, check out my article on The Paleo Diet here, or check out my Paleo Diet for Athletes.
2. The Zone Diet
This diet is all about balance and keeping your blood sugar levels in check. It essentially asks you to eat a certain ratio of carbs, proteins, and fat in every meal in order to stabilize your insulin and glucose levels, improving fat loss and supporting an active lifestyle.
Here are the rules:
- The unit of measurement in the zone diet is a block. One block of protein is 7 grams, one block of carbohydrates is 9 grams, and one block of fat is 1.5 grams.
- For each meal, you have to eat the same number of blocks for all 3 nutrients in order to stay in the zone and keep your blood sugar levels balanced. This results in a diet that is high in protein and relatively low in fat.
- The more active and fit you are, the more blocks you can eat every meal.
My verdict? I know a lot of people who have tried this diet and swear by it. While there may be some science behind it, it’s just a little too impractical for me, and requires way too much organization and planning. But if you’re up for the challenge, give it a try!
3. The Slow-Carb Diet
This version of the low-carb diet comes with some pretty big claims, but the basic premise is reducing your carbohydrate intake and focusing on whole foods that are nutritionally dense.
Here are the rules:
- Avoid all carbs, including bread, rice, pasta, and potatoes, except within the 30 minutes before an intense weight training or interval workout.
- Eat lots of protein from a variety of sources, including eggs, chicken, beef, seafood, and vegetable-based protein sources like lentils and legumes.
- Avoid drinking calories, and opt for black coffee, teas, and water whenever possible.
- You’re allowed one cheat day a week when you can eat whatever you like. This cheat day is supposed to give your metabolism an extra boost.
My verdict? This high protein diet strategy is similar to other low carb, high protein diets. It’s not bad, and I like some of the rules, like avoiding drinking your calories.
That being said, you need to make smart decisions on any low-carb diet plan. For more information, read my rules for a High Protein Low Carb Diet here.
At the end of the day, I would choose the paleo diet over all others. It offers enough structure without getting too complicated. And it’s most in line with a healthy and active lifestyle.
Have any questions or feedback about these High Protein Diet Strategies? Please leave a comment below…