Protein is essential to maintaining a healthy body so when the time comes to lose weight, you might turn to a high protein diet. This can be safely done if you are a healthy adult, according to the Mayo Clinic. People with liver or kidney disease are cautioned against following a high-protein diet. Knowing the basics of several high-protein weight-loss programs can help you decide which one will be right for you.
The Atkins diet is founded in the belief that the key to successful and lifelong weight loss can be found in changing the balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats that you ingest. A high amount of protein is the cornerstone of Atkins and can include poultry, pork, beef, dairy products and eggs. There are also some low-starch vegetables allowed on the plan. Almost all breads, potatoes, pastas and sugars are permanently restricted or forbidden while you are on the Atkins diet. The diet is broken into four phases with the first phase being the most restrictive and the last phase being the lifelong maintenance phase.
In 2003, Dr. Arthur Agatston, a cardiologist, developed the South Beach diet, which at first glance may resemble the Atkins diet; however, there are several structural differences. Though South Beach has a phase system that begins with the most restrictive and moves to the least restrictive, the diet also allows breads and pastas as long as they are made with stone-ground wheat or grain. The South Beach diet also pushes high protein as its foundation but cautions followers to stick to low-fat meat cuts and dairy products to maintain acceptable cholesterol readings and good health. Books are available that detail each phase and provide recipes that meet South Beach’s high-protein, low-fat guidelines.
The Stillman Diet was invented by Dr. Irwin Stillman in the 1960s and, according to Diet Choices, does not consider exercise as part of its regime. The premise of the Stillman Diet is that if you eat only the listed foods, and not anything else other than drinking water, you will lose weight rapidly.
Dieters are instructed to divide their daily food intake into six small meals each day. The diet doesn’t limit the amount of protein food you eat but does mandate that the foods be low-fat choices. Stillman does not allow dieters to consume any whole dairy products and only allows moderate portions of low fat or fat free cheeses and milk. The diet encourages the liberal use of condiments to dress up the foods, and you are allowed to drink as much coffee, tea and water as you want. A minimum of eight glasses of water each day is required.