The High Protein Diet Myth (Applicable to Fad Dieters)

For the general Indian diet of the masses, it is highly unlikely to be extremely high in protein. On the contrary, Indian diet severely lacks good quality protein.

This article is aimed at people who blindly follow western diets from the internet. Balance and moderation is the key to good health, not exaggeration!

If you are under the (wrong) impression that extra protein can't hurt you, then rethink! You can quickly become fat like a pig on a (high calorie) high protein diet or “protein only” diet. The body is unable to store excess protein as protein or even in the form of amino acids. Excess amino acids are broken down by the liver by a process called deamination. The end products of this process are: urea and glucose (excess calories). Urea is excreted by the kidneys but glucose goes into the bloodstream and if in excess, it may be ultimately converted into fat!
High Protein Diet is the most recent diet fad! Protein is essential for many functions in the body including growth, tissue repair, tissue replenishment, and many more. Protein is an indispensable nutrient. Optimal amount of protein should always be included in your diet. But if you consume protein in a very high proportion, the extra protein will not only get wasted, but will get converted into glucose/fat/calories thereby defeating your very purpose of fat loss and weight loss. The additional disadvantages of high protein diet are

  1. It may overload the liver.
  2. It may overload the kidneys.
  3. It may irritate your digestive system.
  4. It may cause constipation.
  5. It may cause sleeplessness.
  6. It may cause mood swings.
  7. Ironically it may also cause muscle loss!
  8. Many researchers think that excessive protein intake raises excretion of calcium.

What about weight loss? And more importantly, FAT LOSS? Yes, it will cause weight loss, but not fat loss! When you eat only protein (or very high protein) and very little or no carbohydrate, body utilizes glycogen for energy. Weight is lost by depleting the glycogen stores in the body (glycogen in the liver and muscle). When glycogen stores are depleted, water is lost and you feel that you lost weight. For loss of every 100 grams of glycogen from the body, you lose roughly 300 ml (300 g.) of water. When glycogen stores are depleted the body attacks the muscles for energy (because you are depriving it from its favorite source of energy; the carbohydrates). You may lose weight but not fat! Muscle loss is sort of health loss but not fat loss. The conclusion is that you should keep a proper balance of all the three macronutrients namely, protein, carbohydrates and essential fats. Even if you want to opt for high protein diet, the increase in percentage of protein should be moderate. For example, if normally 10% of your total calories come from protein, you may raise this to 12% or 15%. More than this has no benefit.

You may also be interested to read the following relevant information about protein:

You may also be interested to read the following relevant information:

Protein In Indian Food

Nutrient Chart For Indian Food


The High Protein Diet Myth