Health & Wellbeing

High protein diets for weight loss

Do they work?

There are several high protein diets out there. Atkins, Paleo and now Keto are the most well-known high protein diets out there.

All three have a higher protein and low carb ratio and evidence shows that following these types of diet lead to weight loss.

Research has shown that eating more protein may supress hunger and increase your metabolic rate.

In a controlled study of 12 women, the group that consumed the higher protein diet experienced a greater feeling of fullness and less hunger than those that consumed a lower protein diet.

“There’s a reasonable amount of evidence to suggest that higher protein, depending on where the protein comes from, may help with low-calorie compliance by providing satiety,” claims Tom Rifai, MD, medical director of metabolic health and weight management at the Henry Ford Health System.

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“During weight loss, you want more protein—to prevent hunger, enhance satiety, and minimise muscle loss, as long as there’s some degree of physical activity,” he adds.

Consuming more protein may also increase the metabolic rate. Several studies have shown that those following a high protein diet may boost their metabolic rate by 20-35 per cent.

In a study of 10 women, those on the high protein diet for just one day, increased their metabolic rate nearly twice as much as those on a high carb diet.

Is it safe?

Contrary to popular belief, high protein diets do not have adverse-affects on your kidney or liver, unless you have issues with these areas in the first place.

Some high protein diets have been shown to promote kidney stones but this is mainly in the case of those consuming large amounts of animal protein.

What Can You Eat

The best types of protein on this diet according to David Katz, MD, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Centre are “eggs, fish, poultry, and small amounts of lean, grass-fed meats (a few 100 gram servings a week), along with plant-based proteins like beans, soy, and lentils combined with nuts and seeds or rice and grains.”

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Sample meal plan

On a high protein diet, your sample meal plan may look like this:

Breakfast: Smoothie made with 1 scoop protein powder, 1 cup milk and berries.

Lunch: Grilled salmon, avocado, mixed greens, olive oil and vinegar

Dinner:  Grilled chicken with quinoa and broccoli and toasted almonds.


For ideal recipes for a high protein diet, choose a Keto, Paleo or Low Carb cookbook or search for these types of recipes online. 


Opt for protein rich snacks such as a smoothie made with protein powder, protein balls, nuts or chia puddings.

What can’t you eat?

Stay away from sugary, carb dense foods as well as processed meats and fast food. If you are following a Paleo diet you can’t eat dairy, legumes, sugar or grains. If you are going Keto you can’t eat legumes, grains, fruit other than berries and root vegetables need to be avoided.

If you are simply following a high protein diet you can still eat the above just in smaller quantities.

Can you drink alcohol?

Both Paleo and Keto only allow certain forms of alcohol such as low sugar, dry wines and spirits in moderation.

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