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

the essence of the protein diet to lose weight

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

Is dietary protein 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, let's see what a protein diet is. It is based, as its name suggests, on a high protein intake with a low percentage of fat and carbohydrates in the diet. With the elimination of carbohydrates 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 with uncontrolled diabetes or in a healthy person, for example, after a prolonged fast, leading to glycogen depletion, as a result of which protein or, better yet, fatin the body they become a source of energy.

3 stages of the 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 to return 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 avoided. By following these steps, the body will be ready to gradually return to a healthy and balanced diet. It is important to gradually increase the content of carbohydrates in the menu so that the body gets used to them and learns to absorb them again.

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

Step 1 - Quick Weight Loss:

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

Step 2 - weight stabilization:

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

Step 3 - Return to a balanced diet:

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

Allowed and forbidden protein diet foods

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

what you can eat on a protein diet

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

What can you eat on a protein diet:

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

List of prohibited foods (the menu of foods with proteins for weight loss does not contain them at all):

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

How to choose a protein drink?

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

Unflavored protein drinks are accepted. Various flavors are also available, allowing everyone to choose the right product (fruit, chocolate, vanilla flavors). 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 must be lean, without fatty parts.

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

The 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 foods to lose weight, sausages and similar products full of fat, salt, preservatives are absent. Only pure lean ham is allowed. Fish should always be fresh, not smoked or canned.

Cooking is also important on a protein diet. Frying is not desirable. The meat is boiled or cooked. A good option for cooking is barbecue. You're not sure where to start? Try the salmon stew, chicken breast stew, and beef patties.


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

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

Milk and dairy products

foods allowed on a protein diet

Milk and dairy products are excellent sources of protein found in recipes for protein diets. Don't use skimmed, watery milk; opt for quality fatty foods. A little "extra" fat won't hurt.

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

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

  • fermented dairy 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 during a protein diet. Therefore, it is important to include enough vegetables in your diet. The most suitable vegetables are low in sugar, while the sweet ones (carrots, peas, kohlrabi, corn, beets) are included in the diet to a lesser extent or are totally absent. The same applies to sweet fruits.

The protein diet for weight loss may include the following protein-rich 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);
  • bean sprouts.

Protein diet: pros and cons

There are many protein diet companies that offer simulated 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 prepare pasta-like dishes. But it has nothing to do with the mass, it is a protein mass.

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

What does a protein diet provide?

Key benefits of a protein diet:

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

Harms 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, to a protein-free diet for a week or 3 days);
  • psychological effect: the rejection of certain products requires a strong will;
  • lack of essential nutrients due to lack of certain foods (especially fiber, vitamins and minerals, particularly 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 consumption of meat;
  • increased risk of cardiovascular disease - diet 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 has been developed to lose weight for a week, no more).

Serious contraindications to following a protein eating plan include:

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

Relative contraindications (need for further 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 an experienced physician or nutritionist.

Protein diet menu n. 1 for a week (7 days)

The biggest obstacle of the protein diet to lose weight at home is the menu of the week. How to cook so that the relatively strict meal plan is not stereotyped? The daily alternation of small amounts of lean meats, eggs, milk and white yogurt is not a very attractive aspect.

Someone welcomes the week-long protein diet to lose weight with recipes characterized by relative monotony. It gives the body everything it needs to lose weight without having to invent new foods. For other people, diversity is essential. The following detailed protein diet for the weight loss menu will suit both categories of people.


  • Breakfast: 2 eggs (fried eggs), cucumber.
  • Snack n. 1: cheesecake with walnuts.
  • Lunch: baked chicken with vegetables and cheese.
  • Snack n. 2: yogurt drink.
  • Dinner: salad with goat cheese and walnuts.


  • Breakfast: quality ham, eggs, vegetables.
  • Snack n. 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 n. 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 n. 1: Vanilla Yogurt Smoothie.
  • Lunch: broccoli pudding with cheese, vegetable salad.
  • Snack n. 2: 2 eggs, tomato.
  • Dinner: salad with smoked tempeh and dried tomatoes.


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


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


  • Breakfast: coconut cheesecake.
  • Snack n. # 1: fatty white yogurt with flax seeds.
  • Lunch: baked salmon, broccoli.
  • Snack # 2: avocado, a handful of walnuts.
  • Dinner: omelette 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 an advantage, as there is no need to cook different dishes). It consists of a one-day menu, which is repeated for 3 days:

  • Breakfast: cottage cheese with onion, tomato.
  • Snack n. 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 in a protein diet. Mustard, fresh onions, and garlic should be used in limited quantities. All kinds of dry spices are allowed (including garlic and onion), lemon juice. 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 hard-boiled eggs. This will help prepare foods rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. Simply chop the vegetables and add the hard-boiled egg in quarters. For flavoring, you can use oil, vinegar, herbs. This dish is ideal for dinner.

5 tips for cooking healthy eggs:

  • Omelet is a great breakfast. You can add a piece of cheese, lean ham, greens, fresh herbs.
  • Fried eggs: the yolk must not be damaged by breaking the 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, you can follow these recipes.

Salmon stewed 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 roughly equal cubes. Fry the vegetables in butter, add pieces of fish. Season with salt, pepper, sprinkle with basil. Pour half 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 slices. 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 take out the meat on a plate. Reduce the amount of liquid in the leek to the required amount and season with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and marjoram.

Tips to improve the effectiveness of a protein diet

The protein diet requires 3 basic conditions for its proper functioning.

Its violation may cause a slowdown or termination of the state of ketosis in the body:

  • Drinking regime.Drink at least 2-3 liters of plain water, unsweetened green or black tea a day. If you like coffee, drink it 2 times a day (Turkish or espresso) without milk or sugar. Decaffeinated coffee is also suitable.
  • Vegetables.Eat at least 300-500 grams of vegetables allowed. They can be included in the main meal or used as a snack.
  • Eat regularly.Eat by the hour: The Weekly Weight Loss Menu Protein Diet with Recipes (for women and men) involves eating at approximately 3-4 hour intervals. The first meal should be taken within 30 minutes after waking up, the last - a maximum of 2 hours before going to bed.

It is not recommended to follow a protein eating plan for a long time, as it will invariably negatively affect your health. Consult your dietitian before you start complying.

Stop the diet

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

Going back to normal food, be careful. Increase the amount of carbohydrates in the diet gradually, avoid hidden sugars.

Protein diet classification

The protein diet was popular in the 1970s and is again beginning to dominate efficacy ratings (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 comments

The protein diet plan has received both praise and negative reviews. His followers are mostly men, especially athletes. Helps bodybuilders shed excess fat and 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.