Did you realise that in the effects they have, high protein diets are very similar to low carb diets - they both advocate an extreme reduction in carbs to be replaced by high levels of meats and fats at every meal.
However, where low carb plans differ from the high protein diets is that the low carb plans generally allow restricted amounts of certain carbs, high protein diets on the whole severely restrict or even forbid the consumption of ANY carbs.
Sitting in between both high protein diets and low carb, is the Atkins diet. Many high protein diets result in faster than average weight loss, which can make them seem a tempting proposition. But how do they work? And how do you know if this kind of weight loss is safe over the long-term?
These eating plans work quickly because carbohydrates are foods which provide energy to the body and assist in the storing of that energy as fat reserves. When you limit or stop your intake of these foods such as bread, rice, potatoes, fruits and vegetables or pasta, your body will have to look to it's already existing fat stores for energy. As your body uses up these fat stores to provide you with energy for the day, you lose weight, often very rapidly. The problem with this eating plan is that in limiting your carb intake, you're also limiting your intake of important vitamins and minerals which keep you nourished. Particularly, fruits and vegetables contain anti-oxidants which have been proven to fight cancer. Certain fibre-dense foods such as pulses and grains have also been known to bond with cholesterol and prevent it's entry into the blood stream, as well as work towards maintaining a healthy digestive tract. For this reason, many doctors, and especially cardiologists will not recommend this eating plan for weight loss.
If you are considering this plan, bear in mind that it shouldn't be adopted as your normal, on-going eating plan, because it's long-term side effects have yet to be determined. Consult your doctor before embarking on any weight loss plan.