Protein-Palooza Diets

And some more diets the world offers as alternatives to the Slow Carb Diet:

The following diets agree that refined carbs can be detrimental to people’s health. They suggest that, in its place, protein is king (or queen).

Dukan Diet

Created by French Dr. Pierre Dukan, this diet has only just become popular in the United States after Kate Middleton used it to slim down for her wedding. That news shot the book to the top of the US Bestseller Lists!

In essence, the diet is low-carb, low-fat, and boasts quick weight loss in the beginning, ‘no counting,’ and ‘eat whatever you want’ in the end. The first stage, ‘Attack’ features guaranteed quick weight loss, due to the fact that for 2-7 days, users eat ONLY lean protein, choosing from a list of around 70 approved protein types . Cutting out all food types except for one, no matter the food type, is guaranteed to shed pounds, but Dukan says protein is the best because it promotes fullness and satiety. Quick weight loss in the beginning is important, Dukan says, to create motivation capable of overcoming the instant gratification of food.

In the second phase, ‘Cruise’,  users can add non-starchy and low-fat (i.e. not avocadoes) vegetables every other day.  The third phase, ‘Consolidation,’ is the most important, because this is where Dukan believes most diets fail. In this phase, users can add 1 non-sugary fruit, 2 slices of whole grain bread and 1 ounce of hard cheese per day, as well as eat all the protein and vegetables they want. And, to make sure users won’t feel too deprived, they can have 1-2 ‘celebratory’ (nothing banned) meals per week.

Six Glasses a Day

Finally, in the ‘Permanent Stabilization’ phase, you can eat anything you want –Dukan believes you will have developed healthy habits in the preceding stages – as long as one day a week, Thursday to be exact, you eat only protein.

Through it all, you must drink 6 glasses of water, eat 1.5 tablespoons of oat bran, and walk 20 minutes every day.



Protein Power

The role of protein in this diet is obvious – it’s in the title. Drs. Michael and Mary Eades created the Protein Power diet in the mid-90s. This is a low-carb diet: the Eades’ echo others when they say that carbs cause weight gain because the insulin spikes that carbs produce contribute to fat accumulation.

However, they also point out that protein produces glucagon, which is the chemical that releases fat from cells. They say that by combining low carb (less insulin, less fat storage) with high protein (more glucagon, more fat release) you will lose weight. Additionally, protein is better digested by the human body than carbs, since our bodies are evolved to process what our ancient ancestors ate – wild game/protein rather than cultivated grains/carbs. (See Darwin on a Diet).

The diet consists of 3 phases: Intervention, which consists of 20-40 carbs per day, Transition at 55 carbs per day, and Maintenance, which is 70-130 carbs per day. The time period of each phase is completely up to the individual user. Foods like dairy, caffeine and alcohol are not forbidden, but users must keep an eye on their calories. How many calories and/or protein you are allowed depends on your body composition and level of physical activity, which the Eades’ give tips on calculating.

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