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

the essence of a protein diet for weight loss

You can find various articles and discussions on the Internet about how a protein diet will ensure fast weight loss.

Is dietary protein the key to sustainable weight loss? Is a protein diet effective for weight loss at home?

Essence and principles of protein diet

First of all, let's look at what a protein diet is. As the name suggests, it is based on a high protein intake with a low percentage of fat and carbohydrates in the diet. By eliminating carbohydrates from the menu, the body enters a state of ketosis, which is characterized by increased levels 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 glycogen depletion, resulting in a source of energy from protein or, better said, fat in the body.

3 stages of protein diet

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

  1. Phase 1- the beginning of metabolism, the beginning of noticeable weight loss.
  2. Phase 2- continued breakdown of fat reserves.
  3. Phase 3- preparation for a 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 completion of the diet and that the yo-yo effect is prevented. By following these steps, your body will be ready for a gradual return to a healthy, balanced diet. It is important to gradually increase the carbohydrate content in the menu so that the body gets used to them and learns to absorb them again.

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

Step 1 - Fast Weight Loss:

  • 5 protein meals / drinks per day;
  • + up to 400 g of allowed 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 - Return to a balanced diet:

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

Protein diet foods allowed and forbidden

Before you start cooking, let’s 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 protein diets, on the refrigerator. When preparing food, do not use food that has no place in the diet.

What you can eat with a protein diet:

  • lean meat;
  • smoked products (lean ham only);
  • eggs;
  • milk and milk products (yoghurt, cheese, cottage cheese, butter, etc. );
  • soybeans and products thereof (tofu, tempeh);
  • most vegetables, some fruits;
  • herbs and spices.
  • special protein products (mixtures, sticks, cereals, cocktails).

Prohibited list of foods (weight loss protein menu does not contain them at all):

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

How to choose a protein drink?

A weekly menu with a protein diet allows for protein drinks. They are not like special weight loss cocktails. In contrast, they are effective in combination with dietary and exercise restrictions. Moreover, they are much cheaper and even tastier.

You can drink protein without taste. Various flavors are also available, which allow 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 a major component of a protein diet. But that does not mean that a large number of different types of meat are allowed. It should be slim, without greasy parts.

The best choice for a protein diet menu is poultry, freshwater and sea fish. Suitable lean beef, veal, lamb.

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).

There are no protein foods for weight loss, sausages and similar products full of fat, salt, preservatives. Only pure lean ham is allowed. The fish must always be fresh, not smoked, not canned.

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


This is the next basic ingredient in a protein diet for weight loss. From eggs you can cook many dishes (scrambled eggs, fried eggs, soft-boiled eggs, hard-boiled).

Proteins promote fat loss and muscle gain. Egg yolk contains important nutrients, iron, phosphorus, zinc, folic acid, vitamins A, B, D, E and K.

Milk and dairy products

allowed foods on a protein diet

Only milk and dairy products are excellent sources of protein found in protein diet recipes. Do not use skim watery milk, but opt ​​for high-quality fatty foods. A little “excess” 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 varied diet, enjoyment of food.

Protein diet can be enhanced with goat's 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 danger of vitamin and mineral deficiencies while on a protein diet. Therefore, it is important to include enough vegetables in your diet. The most suitable vegetables contain little sugar, while sweet (carrots, peas, kohlrabi, corn, beets) are less included in the diet or not at all. The same goes for sweet fruit.

A protein weight loss diet may include the following high protein vegetables:

  • broccoli;
  • celery stalks;
  • zucchini;
  • leek;
  • radish;
  • pumpkin;
  • asparagus;
  • eggplant;
  • cabbage;
  • spinach;
  • green beans;
  • rikola;
  • chicory;
  • cucumber;
  • artichoke;
  • dill;
  • cauliflower;
  • tomato (only 1 per day);
  • soybean shoots.

Protein diet: advantages and disadvantages

There are many companies that deal with protein diets and offer imitation 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 dishes like pasta. But it has nothing to do with dough, it’s protein mass.

If you adhere to the protein principle of the diet for a short time (in general, a protein diet counts for a week), this 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 provide?

Key benefits of a protein diet:

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

Damage and contraindications: who should not lose weight on a fast protein diet?

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

benefits and harms of a protein diet for weight loss
  • relatively monotonous menu - meals are constantly repeated (unlike, especially from protein-free diets 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, especially 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 - diet plan associated with excessive consumption of fats (especially animals) and cholesterol;
  • high probability of yo-yo effect;
  • with long-term adherence - risk of gout (therefore the protein diet menu for weight loss has been developing for a week).

Serious contraindications to following a protein meal include:

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


  • Breakfast: protein plate, 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: yogurt smoothie with vanilla.
  • 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: vegetable salad with cheese.
  • Lunch: turkey, cheese, pumpkin puree.
  • Snack # 2: cottage cheese, cucumber.
  • Dinner: salad with avocado and walnuts.


  • Breakfast: ham, pepper.
  • Snack # 1: acidophilic milk.
  • Lunch: meatballs with vegetable salad, mustard.
  • Snack # 2: Walnut cake without flour.
  • Dinner: salad with tuna, olives and onions.


  • Breakfast: cheesecake with coconut.
  • Snack # 1: Fatty white yogurt with flax seeds.
  • Lunch: roasted salmon, broccoli.
  • Snack # 2: avocado, a handful of walnuts.
  • Dinner: egg omelette with mozzarella, vegetable salad.

Fast protein diet for 3 days

The three-day meal plan is less varied than the weekly protein menu (however, this is a plus because there is no need to cook different dishes). It consists of a one-day menu that is 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. Cooked or cooked vegetables are ideal. This allows you to make not only various salads with toppings of white yogurt, oil, vinegar, but also vegetable soups, 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 onion), lemon juice are allowed. The best option is fresh and dried herbs, which add flavor and aroma to the food.

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

5 tips for cooking healthy eggs:

  • Omelet is a great breakfast. You can add a piece of cheese, low-fat ham, vegetables, fresh herbs.
  • Fried eggs - the yolk should not be damaged when 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.

Stewed salmon with zucchini and eggplant

preparing meals for a protein diet


  • salmon fillet;
  • zucchini;
  • eggplant;
  • chicken soup;
  • butter;
  • sol;
  • pepper;
  • basil.

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

Stewed chicken breast with leek


  • chicken breast;
  • leek;
  • chicken soup;
  • oil;
  • lemon juice;
  • sol;
  • pepper;
  • marjoram.

Peeled and washed leeks cut into thin slices. Put in a sherpa, pour over the soup. Add a small piece of butter, cook for about 10 minutes. Cut the chicken into slices, salt and pepper, add the leeks and cook for another 10 minutes. Then remove the meat to 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 efficiency of a protein diet

Protein diet requires 3 basic conditions for proper functioning.

Violation of them can lead to slowing down or interruption of the state of ketosis in the body:

  • Drinking mode.Drink at least 2-3 liters of tasteless water, green or black tea without sugar. 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 allowed vegetables. They can be included in the main meal or used as a snack.
  • Eat regularly.Eat by the Hour - A protein diet for a week’s weight loss menu with recipes (for women and men) includes a diet at intervals of about 3-4 hours. The first meal should take place within 30 minutes after waking up, and the last - no more than 2 hours before bedtime.

It is not recommended to keep a protein meal plan for a long time - it will always have a negative effect on your health. Please consult your dietitian before you start adhering.

Stop eating

A protein diet can help you lose weight, but only for a healthy person with clear goals. Lack of carbohydrates is a huge burden for the body, which is why it must provide other nutrients for satiety and energy. Once you have completed your meal plan, move very carefully to your usual meal to avoid yo-yo effects.

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

Protein diet ranking

The protein diet was popular in the 1970s and is once again beginning to dominate the effectiveness scale (following the Atkinson diet plan). Despite its prevalence, it is not suitable for long-term harmonization. Before adjusting your diet, you should consult your doctor or dietitian.

Results and feedback

The protein diet plan has received both praise and negative reviews. His supporters are mostly men, especially athletes. It helps bodybuilders get rid of excess fat, build muscle mass. For "ordinary" people, this is a way to lose weight fast. Regardless of belonging to the 1st or 2nd group, get enough information in advance, eat taking into account your health condition.