Nutrition Myth – High protein diets are not healthy and are less effective than traditional low fat, high carbohydrate diets in producing weight loss

Things have changed over the years in how scientists and nutrition professionals view dieting and what is truly considered “high protein.” When it comes to health, as long as the diet falls within the current and much wider range of acceptable amounts of protein, carbs and fats (45-65% Carbs, 10-30% Protein, 20-35% Fat), then the best diet for producing weight loss is the one that works for the individual.

As long as the diet does not vastly exceed the guidelines, weight loss itself trumps the dieting method when it comes to improving health. In other words, weight loss is the primary driver of health improvement rather than the type of diet used. Other important facts to consider are presented here.
The current recommendation for protein is 10 to 30 percent of total daily calories. Therefore, diets that were once considered high in protein (e.g. 40/30/30, Zone Diet) are well within recommended guidelines and are widely acceptable among scientists and nutrition professionals.

Low-carb diets (e.g. Atkins) are those that severely restrict daily carbohydrate intake to below recommended levels (< 130 g/d) and allow unlimited protein and fat intake. Protein intake often falls within guidelines while fat intake exceeds guidelines (>35% of total calories). A recent review evaluating the safety and effectiveness of low-carb versus traditional high-carb, low fat diets has found that low-carb diets produce greater weight loss at six months but the diets are equally effective after one year.

The effectiveness of low carb/high-protein diets is likely be due to 1) protein’s increased ability to prolong the feeling of satisfaction when compared to carbohydrates and 2) limiting food choices to mostly protein and fat sources which often leads to fewer calories consumed daily. Despite this, widespread use of low-carb diets is not recommended because of adverse changes in LDL (“bad”) and total cholesterol levels. It’s also important to note that drop-out rates were significantly high – almost 50% for both diets — and that most people who lose weight return to their original weight within three to five years.

Although participants of the National Weight Control Registry represent a model for long-term weight loss success, this population represents a very small percentage of those who attempt weight loss. Therefore, to lose weight individuals should select sustainable eating patterns and activity behaviors that create a calorie deficit and regularly check weight, inches gained/lost or body composition to determine if adjustments are needed. Gaining continuous visibility of weight changes and self-regulating food intake and activity are critical for maintaining losses.

Don’t believe the myths. Always get the facts when it comes to health, nutrition, and fitness. Follow my blog to get information and tips. If you need help getting started on your health and fitness journey contact me or click on my link for your free consultation. Make it a great day!!!

Philip “FitGuy46”

Published by FitGuy46

Hi I’m a recent grad from NASM. I am a Certified Personal Trainer. I specialize in fitness assessment, program design and weight training. I want to help people who have had difficulties in the past incorporating fitness as a lifetime goal. My desire is to help potential clients see fitness as a lifetime endeavor. My philosophy is that fitness should be sustainable and a lifelong goal. My plan as a fitness coach is to teach my clients to make and incorporate fitness as a permanent part of their lives to be engaging, and for the outcome to continuously be revolving into a better physical shape. Make it a GREAT DAY!!! Philip “FitGuy46”

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