Protein diet originates from the 1971 PhD thesis of Harvard University professor George Blackburn. Two year later, the Canadian ministry of health listed this protein diet as an official method for treatment of obesity. Since then, 30 million people have been treated applying this method throughout Canada, USA and Europe.
The protein diet consists of three phases:
– Active phase
– Reductive phase
– Weight maintenance phase
The active phase implies reduction of fats and carbohydrates in the diet while maintaining a normal protein daily intake. This leads to certain metabolic changes in the body, such as supplying the necessary energy for its own fat reserves. Thanks to the low carbohydrates intake, hypoinsulinaemia (low insulin level) occurs, which then on causes lipolysis (breakdown of lipids). The fat acids oxidize into ketone bodies which become source of energy, preserving their anorexic effect – absence of hunger and anorexic effect – absence of hunger and euphoric effect -good mood with loads of energy.
Due to the described metabolic changes, the protein diet is characterized by absence of hunger, good mood, rapid loss of excess body fat while preserving muscles (because of the adequate high biological value protein intake). In the active phase, about 1,5–2 kg are lost per week, which motivates the patients since the results are noticeable and the dropout rate is almost negligible.
Prior to the commencement of the protein diet, it is necessary to carry out certain medical laboratory blood tests .The diet must be conducted under strict medical supervision by highly trained doctors who will monitor patients in all phases of the diet and will complement the diet with certain vitamins and minerals and will control the metabolic changes from phase to phase. In the first part of the active phase, five pre-cooked protein meals are consumed, adding fresh salads and vegetables. The meals are in a form of soups, omelettes, mash potatoes, shakes, juices, musses, puddings, pancakes and cookies. In the second part of the first phase, two of the pre-cooked meals are substituted by meat, fish, seafood and eggs.
The reductive phase starts immediately after the active phase, when the patient’s weight approximates the ideal one. In this phase, the intake of carbohydrates gradually increases while the intake of pre-cooked protein meals decreases. The ingredients are taken per groups, tending to reach a balanced diet and new eating habits.
The weight maintenance phase is actually the new lifestyle and the already changed eating habits. In compliance with the gender, age and the health state, each patient finalizes the diet with individual recommendations and periodical controls. In the phase the metabolism is adapted to the everyday diet and thanks to this phase, there is no yo-yo effect.
The protein diet based on this method reduces cardiovascular risk which is one of the basic triggers of diseases and mortality of obese people. The diseases and disorders such as: high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, hyperlipoproteinemia and other metabolic disorders, alleviate in the course of the diet, as well as other associated disorders such as arthrosis, apnea during sleep, asthma or venous insufficiency.
Protein diet provides rapid weight loss, ranging from 7 to 10 kg per month, maintenance of muscles and skin elasticity (due to the high biological value protein intake, mineral and vitamin supplements), absence of hunger and presence of good mood.