The World's Healthiest Foods

Are High Protein Diets a Magic Bullet for Weight Loss?

If you pay any attention to health and nutrition news, you couldn’t help but know a little something about the plethora of high-protein weight loss diets that are out. Such diets, most notably the Atkins and Zone Diet, have increased in popularity in recent years, and the hype around these diets doesn’t seem to be subsiding.

So, is a high-protein diet the long sought magic bullet for weight loss and longevity? Of course, the answer to that question depends on whom you ask, as this is a hotly contested debate. While Dr. Atkins of the Atkins Diet and Dr. Sears of the Zone Diet would answer “yes”, many other nutrition experts say “no way!”

The basic premise of the Atkins Diet is that calories don't matter – a revolutionary and refreshing concept for anyone who has tried unsuccessfully to lose weight by tediously counting the calories in every bite of food. While severely restricting the consumption of carbohydrate-rich foods to 20-60 grams per day, the Atkins Diet encourages unlimited consumption of foods containing protein and fat, including red meat, poultry, most cheeses, and heavy cream. While the Zone Diet does not restrict carbohydrates as severely as the Atkins Diet, the 40-30-30 (protein-carbohydrate- fat) varies from more standard dietary recommendations, which suggest consuming approximately 65% carbohydrate, 20-25% fat and 10-15% protein.

It is true that many people successfully lose weight when they follow the Atkins or Zone Diet. However, it is also true that many people regain the weight back once they return to a more “normal” way of eating. In addition, these diets tend to exclude important food groups, so the dieters intake of key nutrients, most notably fiber, vitamin C, calcium, and the B vitamins may not be sufficient.

Don't be fooled - there is no magic bullet for weight loss! However, by building your diet using the World's Healthiest Foods, you will maximize the nutritional value of your food without having to eat excessive amounts of calories - an important step towards achieving health and successfully managing your weight!

For more information on these and other popular diets, please see the About Popular Diets section of our website.

This page was updated on: 2003-01-12 20:23:24
© 2002 The George Mateljan Foundation