Mainstream dieticians and scientists condemn high-protein diets. They argue that it's wasteful and expensive to eat so much protein because the excess will be converted into glucose and used for energy (or stored as fat if there's a calorie surplus). This is true, but in the absence of large amounts of carbohydrates, it's this conversion of protein to glucose, a process called gluconeogenesis, that helps bodybuilders get leaner. The process is "metabolically costly." In other words, you actually burn off calories and speed up your metabolism by eating too much protein.
Critics often question whether this practice is healthy. I have to confess, most bodybuilders eat entirely too much protein, especially before competitions. And perhaps, if sustained for a long period of time, it might not be the healthiest of all diets. I can't argue that a diet with higher fiber content and more variety isn't healthier than one that is mostly protein.
However, a baseline diet with up to 30% of the total daily calories from lean protein is not only healthy, it's a necessity if you're in serious training for bodybuilding or fat loss. If you reduce your carbohydrates and raise your protein above 30% of your total calories, then you sometimes have to be more cautious as issues such as dehydration and nutrient deficiencies might become issues. However, a key distinction must be made: A high-protein, low or moderate carbohydrate diet is a temporary tool. Nutrition programs should be cycled just like training programs. After a fat loss phase (Or competition season) is over, an intelligent person will cycle back to a much more balanced diet that contains a wide variety of foods, with less protein, more carbs and plenty of fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates and whole grains.
Was this article helpful?