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Help! My Diet Is So Gross. Do I Have To Do It This Way? Insights Welcome!

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).

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7 Responses to “Help! My Diet Is So Gross. Do I Have To Do It This Way? Insights Welcome!”

  1. Jim says:

    What has you doctor advised about the situation ?

  2. My doctor says I don’t need to lose any more weight for health purposes. I’m doing it for athletic reasons and aesthetics at this point. However, I sure would like some help figuring out how to vary this protein a bit. There must be some combinations that I’m missing that could give me some variety/flavor!

  3. Sean says:

    OK. Just some points to ponder.
    Going on the ‘diet’ of any kind is not what I would call a decision in the right direction. All ‘diets’ fail. I don’t think I need to explain why.
    While I can appreciate the need/want to lose weight, and of course attaining a better physique by way of getting ‘really lean’, but at what point is it really worth it if you are miserable during the whole process.
    Your trainer may have great intentions, but any good trainer should realize that your interest level is a set up for failure – sooner or later.
    There are better alternatives, and much more enjoyable food choices out there. They may take longer to get you to your goal, but going slower is better than jumping at light speed to only stop just short of goal because you can’t stand the food.
    A lifestyle change is what I believe in, not a ‘diet’. Color it any picture you like and dress it up how you choose, but in the end all diets will eventually fail.
    Best of luck Doc.

  4. R. Bentley says:

    Yes, that diet is nuts. You don’t need that much protein; in fact that much isn’t good for you. To become really lean while still enjoying what you eat you should eat a plant-based diet. I’ve been doing this for 3 years, and I’ve lost 85 pounds, have much better health, and I love what I eat. I still eat a little meat and dairy, but not much. The best part is you don’t starve. I eat more now than I did when I weighed 85 pounds heavier. You can learn the details in one of these 2 books: Eat to Live or Eat for Health.

  5. Jim says:

    Athletics: burn off of energy , regardless .
    Aesthetics : you look extremely attractive as you are .
    Easy diet : eat smaller portion(s) .
    Please don’t go anorexic .

  6. Dr. Val says:

    Thanks Jim and R. Bentley. I also don’t believe that eating 500% of my daily protein requirements is a good idea long term (not even sure it’s good short term). I figured it’d be ok to try it since the competitive athletes I know swear by it… and my kidneys are nice and healthy and I’m drinking tons of water. I was eating about 2200 calories/day on my 60% whole grains/fruits/veggies, 20% healthy fat, and 20% lean protein and maintaining my weight comfortably. Now I’m feeling stuffed, nauseated, and can’t force down more than 1400-1800/day. I’m still working out about 1000/day, but will have to see if I have the energy to keep it up. They say you “get used to” eating this way after a while… but I’m not sure about that. I guess this is my science experiment of N=1. 😉

  7. Jim says:

    Val , I’m going to be rude : eat healthily and sensibly . Don’t worry about % here and there , live YOUR life . Btw , I live in the UK and retired . 🙂

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