These days it seems as if you can't read a fitness magazine, or browse the internet, without having some Z-list celebrity trying to endorse their latest fad diet or so-called “miracle weight loss supplement”. Needless to say that nine times out of ten, these fad diets and supplements are relatively useless, and if they do offer some levels of success, they are often very dangerous and/or end up making your life miserable in the process. One type of diet plan however, that has been tried and tested for a number of decades now, is a high protein, low carbohydrate diet. Perhaps made the most famous by a certain Dr Atkins, these diets have been found to be hugely successful, not only for losing fat, but also for building and maintaining lean muscle mass in the process. Here's a look at a few of the main benefits of following a high protein, low carbohydrate diet.
Fat loss – first and foremost, arguably the biggest selling point associated with these diet plans, is the fact that they have been found to be so incredibly effective when it comes to burning fat. The reason for this is that, by restricting your body of sugars and carbohydrates, the body, which uses these as primary energy sources, begins to panic and thinks that it is starving. Ketones are then released into the blood via the liver, placing your body into a ketogenic state. This generally takes around 3 days of very low/no carbohydrates. When in a ketogenic state, the body actually burns body fat as an energy source, so you get your energy from your body fat reserves instead of from glucose sugars from carbohydrates. During the first few weeks, it isn't uncommon to lose as much as 7 pounds of fat each week.
Muscle growth – Protein is arguably the most vital macronutrient when it comes to muscle growth, so obviously, when following a high protein diet, providing you're doing some form of resistance exercise, you will see some pretty impressive muscle growth results in a matter of weeks. Protein plays a key role in protein synthesis, which is when the body synthesizes new muscle proteins to replace damaged ones. Bodybuilders follow high protein diets and drink protein shakes to feed and fuel their muscles and to help them recover after they workout. If you're looking to burn fat and build muscle, a high protein, low carb diet is ideal.
Never get hungry – Most diets that are designed to help you lose weight basically require you to follow incredibly low calorie diet plans and place your body in a constant calorie deficit. They require you to severely limit your food consumption and as a result, you feel constantly tired and hungry, because you are literally starving. Not only do you feel awful, but you also lose muscle mass as well. With high protein, low carb diets however, there is no set amount of food you should eat, you simply eat when you're hungry, and eat as much as you like, as long as it is low in carbohydrates and high in protein. You can also enjoy healthy fats that help fill you up quicker as well.