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If you’ve had a weight problem for years you will be up for trying anything to shed that excess fat. But if you look behind the headline promises of lost inches and fat what will you find?

Diets, like the Atkins diet, tend to be high in saturated fat as well as protein. It’s actually the fat that is the main driver for the weight loss and this is for two reasons:

  1. Fats are digested slowly and therefore suppress your appetite longer than other foods, especially refined carbohydrates.
  2. When fats are broken down by your body, things called ketones are formed – these reduce hunger too

A certain amount of saturated fat in your diet does you no harm, it’s a source of energy.

Problems with high protein

Two problems with high protein diets are allergy and autoimmune disease.

An example of allergy is hayfever.

An autoimmune disease happens when your body’s immune system attacks itself, the commonest one results in an underactive thyroid gland – making you lethargic and sometimes fat. A more severe type is multiple sclerosis.

Both of these health problems are very common in countries with high protein diets. It is thought that this is because excessive protein is the trigger.

There are obviously potential long term consequences of high protein diets and if you choose to make yours even higher -are making illness later in life even more likely?

Problems with high fat

Another problem with these types of diets is that they don’t address the issue of unsaturated and essential fats. Without these in your diet you become prone to heart disease and cancer. These illnesses are common already in Western societies, largely due to diet, and  an Atkins-type diet can accentuate these deficiencies if you don’t educate yourself and get it right.

If you really want to do a high protein diet, do it with some knowledge:

  1. Learn a bit more about meat and how to make healthier meat choices here
  2. Eat lots of fresh vegatables with each meal – this helps digestion of protein
  3. Be sure to get your essential fats from raw nuts and seeds + oily fish

Alternatively, if you want an education about nutrition, health and fat loss – get in touch.

My next fat loss course is starting soon. You can find out more details here.

Until next week :)

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