What is a protein diet, a menu with recipes for a week and reviews on effectiveness

the essence of the protein diet for weight loss

On the Internet, you can find various articles and discussions about how a protein diet will provide rapid weight loss.

Are Diet Proteins the Key to Sustainable Weight Loss? Is a protein diet effective for weight loss at home?

The essence and principles of the protein diet

First of all, let's look at what a protein diet is. It is, as the name suggests, based on a high protein intake with a low percentage of fat and carbohydrates in the diet. When carbohydrates are eliminated from the menu, the body enters a state of ketosis, characterized by an increased level of ketone bodies in the blood (toxic substances).

Ketosis can also occur in uncontrolled diabetes or in a healthy person, for example, after prolonged fasting, leading to depletion of glycogen, resulting in the source of energy from proteins or, better, fat in the body.

3 stages of protein diet

The protein diet is divided into 3 stages of equal duration:

  1. 1st stage- start of metabolism, start of noticeable weight loss.
  2. 2nd stage- continuation of the breakdown of fat reserves.
  3. 3rd stage- preparation for returning to a normal balanced diet.

When following a protein diet, it is very important to go through all 3 stages. This will ensure that the new weight is maintained after the end of the diet and that the yo-yo effect is prevented. By following these steps, the body will be ready to gradually return to a healthy, balanced diet. It is important to gradually increase the carbohydrate content on the menu so that the body gets used to them and learns to absorb them again.

The 3 steps that make up a protein diet for weight loss assume roughly the following meal calculation.

Step 1 - Fast Weight Loss:

  • 5 protein meals / drinks per day;
  • + up to 400 g of permitted vegetables;
  • + healthy fats.

Step 2 - weight stabilization:

  • 4 protein meals / drinks per day;
  • + about 500 g of allowed vegetables and fruits;
  • + healthy fats.

Step 3 - Returning to a balanced diet:

  • 2 protein meals / drinks per day;
  • + about 700 g of allowed vegetables and fruits;
  • + healthy fats.

Allowed and Prohibited Protein Diet Foods

Before you start cooking, let's take a look at what you can eat on a protein diet and what you will have to give up.

what you can eat on a protein diet

Hang a clear list of foods, including allowed and forbidden foods for a protein diet, on the refrigerator. When preparing food, do not use foods that have no place in the diet.

What you can eat with a protein diet:

  • lean meat;
  • smoked products (only lean ham);
  • eggs;
  • milk and products from it (yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, butter, etc. );
  • soy and its products (tofu, tempeh);
  • most vegetables, some fruits;
  • herbs and spices.
  • special protein products (mixes, sticks, cereals, cocktails).

Prohibited List of Foods (the menu of protein foods for weight loss does not contain them at all):

  • bread;
  • cereals;
  • legumes and rice;
  • fatty meat;
  • sweet vegetables and fruits;
  • sweets;
  • fried foods;
  • sweetened drinks;
  • alcohol.

How to Choose a Protein Drink?

The weekly protein diet menu allows for protein drinks. They are not like special slimming cocktails. On the contrary, they are effective when combined with dietary restrictions and exercise. Moreover, they are much cheaper and even tastier.

Unflavored protein drinks are acceptable. Various flavors are also available, allowing everyone to choose the right product (fruit flavors, chocolate, vanilla). The aroma should not affect the price of the drink.

How to choose meat for a protein diet?

Meat is the main component of a protein diet. But this does not mean that a large number of different types of meat are allowed. It should be lean, without fatty parts.

The best choices for a protein diet menu are poultry, freshwater and saltwater fish. Lean beef, veal, lamb are suitable.

Protein (protein) diet allows the use of the following types of meat:

  • chicken;
  • turkey;
  • rabbit;
  • beef;
  • veal;
  • lamb;
  • fish (sea bass, salmon, trout, pike, eel, shark, cod, tuna).

In the diet of protein food for weight loss, sausages and similar products full of fats, salt, preservatives are absent. Only pure lean ham is allowed. Fish should always be fresh, not smoked, not canned.

Cooking is also important in a protein diet. Frying is undesirable. The meat is boiled or stewed. A good cooking option is barbecue. Not sure where to start? Try salmon stew, chicken breast stew, and beef patties.


This is the next staple on the protein diet for weight loss. You can cook many dishes from eggs (scrambled eggs, fried eggs, soft-boiled eggs, hard-boiled).

Protein promotes fat loss and muscle gain. The yolk contains important nutrients, iron, phosphorus, zinc, folic acid, vitamins A, B, D, E and K.

Milk and milk products

allowed foods on a protein diet

Milk itself and dairy products are excellent sources of protein found in protein diet recipes. Do not use skimmed watery milk; go for high-quality fatty foods. A little "extra" fat won't hurt you.

There are many dairy products to choose from for a protein diet for weight loss every day. This will provide a variety of diet, food pleasure.

A protein diet can be fortified with goat milk and the following foods:

  • fermented milk products, mainly kefir;
  • white yogurt;
  • cottage cheese;
  • different types of cheese;
  • butter.

Vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices

There is a risk of vitamin and mineral deficiency while on a protein diet. Therefore, it is important to include enough vegetables in the diet. The most suitable vegetables are low in sugar, while sweet (carrots, peas, kohlrabi, corn, beets) are included in the diet to a lesser extent or are absent altogether. The same goes for sweet fruits.

Protein Weight Loss Diet may include the following high protein vegetables:

  • broccoli;
  • celery stalks;
  • zucchini;
  • leeks;
  • radish;
  • pumpkin;
  • asparagus;
  • eggplant;
  • cabbage;
  • spinach;
  • green beans;
  • arugula;
  • chicory;
  • cucumber;
  • artichoke;
  • dill;
  • cauliflower;
  • tomatoes (only 1 per day);
  • soy shoots.

Protein Diet: Pros and Cons

There are many protein diet companies that offer mimic protein foods for a lot of money. These are instant products that the consumer does not need to cook. The powder can be used, for example, to make pasta-like dishes. But it has nothing to do with the dough, it is a protein mass.

If you follow the protein principle of nutrition for a short time (in general, the protein diet is calculated for a week), it does not pose a danger to most healthy people. But there are no long-term scientific studies to support its overall efficacy and safety.

What does a protein diet give?

Key Benefits of a Protein Diet:

  • regular meals - divided into 5-6 daily meals;
  • rapid weight loss due to the removal of excess water from the body;
  • suppression of appetite (the result of increased protein intake);
  • a sufficient amount of complete protein;
  • eating healthy food.

Harm and contraindications: who shouldn't lose weight on a fast protein diet?

Each diet plan has its own characteristics and contraindications. The protein diet is no exception:

the benefits and harms of a protein diet for weight loss
  • a relatively monotonous menu - dishes are constantly repeated (in contrast, in particular, from a no-protein diet for a week or 3 days);
  • psychological effect - rejection of certain products requires a strong will;
  • lack of important nutrients due to lack of certain foods (especially fiber, vitamins and minerals, in particular calcium);
  • increased risk of kidney disease - excessive protein intake damages the kidneys, increasing the risk of kidney failure;
  • increased risk of colon cancer as a result of excessive meat consumption;
  • increased risk of cardiovascular disease - dietary plan associated with excessive consumption of fats (especially animals) and cholesterol;
  • high probability of yo-yo effect;
  • with long-term observance - the risk of developing gout (therefore, a protein diet menu for weight loss has been developed for a week, no longer).

Serious contraindications to following a protein meal plan include:

  • chronic liver and kidney diseases;
  • insulin-dependent diabetes;
  • recent myocardial infarction;
  • severe arrhythmias;
  • pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Relative contraindications (need for increased medical supervision) include gout, less severe arrhythmias.

Diet therapy can also be effective, but significant weight loss (more than 10 kg) requires the supervision of a physician or experienced nutritionist.

Protein diet menu # 1 for a week (7 days)

The biggest sticking point of the protein diet for weight loss at home is the menu for the week. How to cook so that the relatively strict food plan is not stereotyped? The daily alternation of small amounts of lean meats, eggs, milk and white yogurt is not a very appealing aspect.

Someone's menu for a week of protein diet for weight loss with recipes characterized by relative uniformity welcomes. It gives the body everything it needs to lose weight without having to invent new meals. For other people, diversity is critical. The following detailed protein diet for weight loss menu will suit both categories of people.


  • Breakfast: 2 eggs (fried eggs), cucumber.
  • Afternoon snack # 1: cheesecake with nuts.
  • Lunch: baked chicken with vegetables and cheese.
  • Snack # 2: yoghurt drink.
  • Dinner: salad with goat cheese and walnuts.


  • Breakfast: quality ham, eggs, vegetables.
  • Snack # 1: fatty white yogurt, cashews.
  • Lunch: baked duck breast with cabbage.
  • Afternoon snack # 2: carrots with cottage cheese.
  • Dinner: Greek salad.


  • Breakfast: protein bar, cheese.
  • Snack # 1: ham roll with horseradish, cucumber.
  • Lunch: chicken breast with wine.
  • Snack # 2: celery with cheese.
  • Dinner: Zucchini pasta with cheese and chicken.


  • Breakfast: cheese, pepper.
  • Snack # 1: Vanilla yoghurt smoothie.
  • Lunch: broccoli pudding with cheese, vegetable salad.
  • Snack # 2: 2 eggs, tomato.
  • Dinner: salad with smoked tempeh and sun-dried tomatoes.


  • Breakfast: Chia seed pudding with Dutch cocoa and banana.
  • Snack # 1: vegetable salad with cheese.
  • Lunch: turkey, cheese, pumpkin puree.
  • Afternoon snack №2: cottage cheese, cucumber.
  • Dinner: salad with avocado and nuts.


  • Breakfast: ham, pepper.
  • Snack # 1: acidophilic milk.
  • Lunch: meatballs with vegetable salad, mustard.
  • Snack # 2: Flourless nut cake.
  • Dinner: salad with tuna, olives and onions.


  • Breakfast: cheesecake with coconut.
  • Snack # 1: fatty white yoghurt with flaxseeds.
  • Lunch: baked salmon, broccoli.
  • Snack # 2: avocado, a handful of walnuts.
  • Dinner: egg omelet with mozzarella, vegetable salad.

Fast protein diet for 3 days

A three-day meal plan is less varied than a weekly protein diet recipe menu (for women, however, this is a plus, since there is no need to cook different dishes). It consists of a one-day menu, repeated over 3 days:

  • Breakfast: cottage cheese with onions, tomato.
  • Snack # 1: white yogurt.
  • Lunch: vegetables.
  • Snack # 2: 2 eggs.
  • Dinner: fish fillet, vegetable salad.

How to prepare meals?

Vegetables can be eaten raw or cooked. Boiled or steamed vegetables are ideal. This allows you to make not only various salads with dressings of white yogurt, oil, vinegar, but also vegetable broths, thick soups (for example, Pho-bo soup, but without rice noodles).

Spices can be used in the usual way on a protein diet. Mustard, fresh onions and garlic should be used in limited quantities. All types of dried spices (including garlic and onions), lemon juice are allowed. The best option is fresh and dried herbs, which add flavor and aroma to food.

A good way to diversify your diet is to use a combination of fresh vegetables and boiled eggs. This will help prepare food rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. Simply chop the vegetables and add the quartered hard-boiled egg. For flavoring, you can use oil, vinegar, herbs. This dish is great for dinner.

5 Tips for Cooking Healthy Eggs:

  • Omelet is a great breakfast. You can add a piece of cheese, lean ham, vegetables, fresh herbs to it.
  • Fried eggs - the yolk should not be damaged when breaking eggs. Fry in oil for about 3 minutes.
  • Soft-boiled eggs, boiled for no more than 5 minutes.
  • Medium hard eggs (boiled for about 7 minutes).
  • Hard boiled eggs (boiled for about 10 minutes).

When preparing food according to the principles of a protein diet, follow these recipes.

Stewed salmon with zucchini and eggplant

preparing meals for a protein diet


  • salmon fillet;
  • zucchini;
  • eggplant;
  • chicken broth;
  • butter;
  • salt;
  • pepper;
  • basil.

Cut the zucchini and eggplant into approximately equal cubes. Fry vegetables in butter, add fish pieces. Season with salt, pepper, sprinkle with basil. Pour half of the broth, simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Braised chicken breast with leeks


  • chicken breast;
  • leeks;
  • chicken broth;
  • oil;
  • lemon juice;
  • salt;
  • pepper;
  • marjoram.

Cut the peeled and washed leeks into thin wheels. Put in a saucepan, cover with broth. Add a small piece of butter, cook for about 10 minutes. Cut the chicken into slices, salt and pepper, add to the leeks and cook for another 10 minutes. Then remove the meat onto a plate. Reduce the amount of liquid in the leek to the required amount, season with salt, pepper, lemon juice and marjoram.

Tips for Improving the Effectiveness of a Protein Diet

Protein diet requires 3 basic conditions for proper functioning.

Their violation can lead to a slowdown or termination of the state of ketosis in the body:

  • Drinking regime.Drink at least 2–3 liters of unscented water, green or black tea without sugar daily. If you like coffee, drink it 2 times a day (Turkish or espresso) without milk and sugar. Decaffeinated coffee is also suitable.
  • Vegetables.Eat at least 300-500 grams of permitted vegetables. They can be included in the main meal or used as a snack.
  • Regular eating.Eat by the Hours - The protein diet for weight loss menu for a week with recipes (for women and men) involves eating at intervals of about 3-4 hours. The first meal should take place within 30 minutes after waking up, the last - a maximum of 2 hours before bedtime.

Sticking to a protein meal plan for a long time is not recommended - it will invariably negatively affect your health. Please consult your dietitian before starting to comply.

Quitting the diet

A protein diet can help you lose weight, but only for a healthy person with clear goals. A lack of carbohydrates is a huge burden on the body, requiring it to provide other nutrients for satiety and energy. After completing your meal plan, very carefully switch to normal meals to avoid the yo-yo effect.

Returning to regular food, be careful. Increase the amount of carbohydrates in the diet gradually, avoid hidden sugars.

Protein Diet Ranking

The protein diet was popular in the 1970s, and is starting to dominate the efficacy rankings again (after the Atkinson Nutrition Plan). Despite its prevalence, it is not suitable for long-term compliance. Before adjusting the diet, you should consult your doctor or dietitian.

Results and Feedback

The Protein Diet Plan has both laudatory and negative reviews. Its supporters are predominantly men, especially athletes. It helps bodybuilders get rid of excess fat, build muscle mass. For "ordinary" people, this is a way to lose weight quickly. Regardless of belonging to the 1st or 2nd group, get enough information in advance, eat, taking into account the state of your health.