One of the most controversial diet, whether it is healthful or harmful, high protein diet refers to a diet pattern in which you keep your protein intake higher than other two macros (carbs and fats). Many people, athletes, bodybuilders, and health experts use this diet pattern to cut down fat percentage while keeping all of your lean muscle mass.
Some experts count any diet, in which daily protein intake is higher than 15% of total daily caloric intake, as a High Protein Diet. Others, keep it more than 30% of daily caloric intake. High Protein diet is often coupled with either low carb diet, which is not recommended by most health professionals, or caloric cycling.
High Protein diet and Calorie Cycling
Most of the health professionals suggest that you should not continue high protein periods for long. You can keep it high for 2-3 days then give a break of 2-3 days in which you ll keep your protein intake moderate. On high protein days, you can keep your calorie intake slight above than maintenance calories. On the other hand, on moderate protein days you can keep your calorie intake either on maintenance or slight below or in deficit.
According to studies, high protein diets should be coupled with caloric cycling, in which you keep your protein intake high on high calorie days, and take it back to normal protein intake range on moderate or low calorie days. Studies suggest that you should administer high protein days with high carb days as well.
Reason behind this is when you go low on carbohydrates, your body starts craving for glucose (primary fuel source). And if at that time, you provide higher intakes of protein, your body can convert that extra protein into glucose, which ll place extra stress on Liver to produce glucose from a non-carbohydrate substance (the process called gluconeogenesis).
But if your carbohydrate intake is appropriate to deliver ample amount of glucose to the body, which is required, it doesn’t harm (according to studies). But still, you need to cycle your high protein days with moderate or low protein days.
On the days of moderate or low protein intake, you can replace the required calories with higher fat intake.
What studies suggest
According to studies, subjects provided with higher intake of protein, in caloric deficit diets (500 calories in deficit), lost approximately 20%-30% more weight than the subjects provided with (same calories) moderate intake of protein intake.
No harm reported to the kidney or liver found with the studies of continues 6 months of experiment.
Who can do it
High protein or Protein cycling has shown great results in many studies in loosing fat while keeping or gaining in lean muscle mass. Anyone, who wants to improve his or her body composition can implement this kind of diet approach.
Who should not do it
Anyone, who is dealing with or recently cured with liver or kidney disease, should not do it or atleast consult with your physician prior implementing it in your daily routine.
High protein diets have shown great results in loosing fat and gaining muscle mass. But still, you ll have to be very careful while planing your high protein diet.
In fact, you should always consult with your physician or your dietitian before implementing any diet, or specially high protein or low carb diets.