October 9, 2018

The Problem with High Protein Diets

“But I’m already on a low-carb diet, and it’s not working…”

Sound familiar? I’m guessing it does because this is one of the MOST COMMON concerns I hear expressed by my patients when we talk about cutting out the carbs as a weight loss strategy. So let’s talk about the pit falls of high protein diets.

A little bit of history…

For the last 4 decades or so, we’ve been bombarded from every conceivable angle with the message that fat should be feared.

If you lived through the 80s and 90s, you

1 – remember SnackWells, and
2 – probably still believe that eating fat will make you fat.

So naturally, your toe dipping into the low-carb craze has resulted in eating meat with a side of meat, drinking protein drinks loaded with strange ingredients you find difficult to pronounce, or tasteless bowls of steamed broccoli that leave you feeling hangry and deprived.

You don’t need me to tell you this won’t work for the long haul, but you might need me to tell you why…

Your body is controlled by chemical signals delivered by hormones.

Even if you don’t think of yourself as a person with hormonal imbalance, if you’re struggling to lose weight, your hormones are involved – and more specifically, insulin is playing a role.

Insulin – most famous for regulating blood sugar – tells your body to store fuel (by adding fat to your belly, arms, and that lovely area where your butt meets your thighs).

Most people think that carbs, and carbs alone, cause your insulin to go up. This explains why people who still hold a lingering fear of fat, but want to explore the low-carb tend, end up eating lots and lots and lots of protein.

The problem with high protein, though, is that protein – like carbs – causes your insulin to increase, triggering the same fat storage signals as the brownie.

Frustrating, isn’t it!

But don’t worry. There’s an answer. And I’m going to teach you all about it.

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