I’m feeling rather nauseated today. This is my fifth day of a high-protein, low-fat, low-carb diet, and I have already developed a deep-seated hatred of egg whites. My regimen includes uncomfortable quantities of grilled chicken breast, fat-free cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and egg protein, occasionally garnished with a lettuce leaf or perhaps a blueberry. Just yesterday I had to drink a plastic test tube of liquid protein to meet my goals (see offending product image to the left). It looked like a blood-tinged albumin sample, and tasted like orange flavor crystals with a splash of soy sauce.
I know that the scientific literature (if we distill it and perhaps oversimplify it a bit) seems to suggest that there may be a short-term advantage to high-protein diets in terms of weight loss, but that this advantage fades after a year. Yet almost every trainer and athlete I’ve encountered keeps telling me that the only way to get “really lean” is to eat unimaginable amounts of protein, avoid refined carbs, dramatically limit the complex carbs, and dial down the fat intake. Essentially, I must be reduced to swilling test tubes of orange-soy “albumin.”
When I strenuously protested the diet plan presented to me by my trainer, she simply said, “If you care what food tastes like then you’re not serious about losing fat.”
“Well how long do I need to consume 50% of my calories as protein?” I asked meekly, assuming that there would be an end point in sight.
“As long as you can,” my trainer said matter-of-factly.
“So… For the rest of my life?!” I said, gasping with eyes wide open, visions of my beloved oatmeal, bran cereal, and whole wheat bread being permanently barred from my pantry.
This was a very traumatizing interaction. So I decided to get feedback from healthcare professionals and friends via my blog. What has been your experience? Is this diet nuts, or is it likely to bring me results like none other? I suppose the proof will be in the pudding (as if I could ever eat pudding!) and in 6 weeks we’ll see if there has been any kind of noticeable improvement. (I’m also exercising fairly aggressively – burning about 1000 calories/day, 6 days/week).
I’d really appreciate your input… because if there is ANY other way to lose fat as effectively, I’m all ears! (Let’s chat in the comments section below).