To be black and white – the answer is false. If the high protein diet is followed properly – ticking all the criteria to make it a weight loss diet – then yes you will lose weight. However, I see a lot of my clients make one big mistake – which I will shed light on.
However, firstly we need to revisit ‘Energy in, Energy out’ – I’m sure you’ve all heard it, and it has a lot of truth behind it. ‘Energy in’ refers to the food we consume – and more specifically the kilojoules (kJ) we consume from food. The main nutrients providing kJ in our diet are protein, fat and carbohydrates. ‘Energy out’ refers to not only the kJ we burn off when we go for a long walk or bike ride, but also the amount of kJ our body needs to be alive and functioning, and also additional kJ for all the movement we do in daily activities such as standing up, making a coffee, having a shower etc.
Putting it simply – if the energy in & energy out is balanced = weight stays stable. All diets work by either reducing energy in or increasing energy out. As I mentioned, carbohydrates, protein and fat are our primary source of kJ – so if you tweak these nutrients – say have less carbohydrate, and increase protein intake – you will see weight loss – as fewer calories are coming in.
However, If you’re following a high protein diet – where you’ve increased your protein intake, and the rest of your diet is untouched. You’ve just increased your ‘energy in’, so unless you’ve significantly increased the amount of exercise you’re doing ‘energy out’ – you may actually put on weight.
If you’re thinking of following a high protein diet, it’s important to do your research to ensure you are having a balanced diet that’s going to support your health as well as weight loss goals – accredited practising dietitians are specialists in this area and can assist you.