Review: The Protein Power Diet
The Protein Power Diet, by Michael and Mary Dan Eades, is similar in many ways to the Atkins’ diet program. The fundamentals of Protein Power are primarily the same: reduce your carbohydrate intake until your body switches over to using fat for fuel (a process called ketogenisis). Then, slowly reintroduce low glycemic carbs back into the diet, until you’re eating slightly more carbs than you are protein.
The Protein Power diet differs only slightly from the Atkins diet, and is really more like a cross between a ketogenic diet (like the Atkins diet), and Barry Sears’ Enter The Zone.
The key to this diet is the drastic carbohydrate reduction required for the initial phases of the diet. Phase 1 is to be implemented by those individuals who are 20% and over their ideal body weight. These folks need to reduce their carbohydrate intake to a maximum of 30 grams per day.
Phase 2 is for those individuals who are less than 20% over their ideal body weight. They need to reduce their carbohydrate intake slightly less drastically – to 55 grams per day!
I like the 2 phase approach. Low carb dieting is difficult to do for extended periods, and many folks don’t need to severely reduce carb intake. A substantial reduction (like that recommended on Phase 2 of the diet), and a later switch-over to good carbs will be plenty effective.
However, the biggest difference between the Protein Power and Atkins diets is the way caloric values are determined.
On the Atkins diet, as long as you don’t exceed your daily carbohydrate intake, you can eat whatever and whenever you want. This is good!
On the Protein Power diet plan, your daily caloric intake is directly tied to your protein requirement. Protein requirements are typically determined by analyzing the activity level of the individual in question. Active individuals may require as much as 1 gram of protein per pound lean body mass, while 0.5 gram protein per pound lean body mass will suffice for inactive people.
The problem with diets that tie total daily caloric intakes directly to protein intake is that those individuals who are on the sedentary end of the scale end up having an extremely low caloric intake. In many cases it’s lower than the 1,200 calorie minimum standards for men, and 1,000 calorie minimum standards for women. This a serious detriment. Reduce calories too much, and your metabolism slows to a crawl. Lean tissue is also threatened.
And of course, there’s always the “battle with hunger.” Of course, you’re not actually supposed to ever be hungry on the Protein Power diet, but if you follow it to the letter, you will be.
If you’re going to try the Protein Power diet, I suggest you ignore the protein requirements chart and the daily caloric intake limits. Eat when you want, and don’t ever go hungry. The important aspect of this diet is the severe reduction, and elimination of simple carbohydrates. If you can manage this, you’ll be able to eat all the meat, eggs, and cheese in the world and still be successful on this diet.