Is it okay to eat only protein for three days in a row? How does the protein mono-diet affect the body? Health benefit or harm, weight gain or weight loss?
A protein diet is a popular way to lose weight. Many girls know that they are needed for building muscles, and also that they "burn fat", preventing the formation of a fat depot. However, if you only eat protein foods, you can harm your health. It is important to understand what risks such a mono-diet entails. It is also worth taking a closer look at the processes taking place in the body in order to assess the chances of losing weight and relate them to potential harm.
Effect on internal organs
It would seem that it could be easier. Protein is a building material. It is vital for building up body tissues. We can say that all the work of our body is built with the involvement of such molecules. Since they are different in functionality, they are involved in numerous processes. For example, enzyme proteins serve as catalysts for biochemical reactions. The elements are involved in the metabolism, carry out a transport, protective, motor function.
Therefore, every doctor teaches patients that it is possible and necessary to eat proteins. Usually, one does not have to talk about their potential harm, since a varied diet is assumed. However, after the effect of weight loss was noticed while limiting fats and carbohydrates simultaneously with an increase in protein intake, many losing weight rushed to the mono diet. It is also used by athletes who also know very well that muscles are built from protein molecules. As a result, from their own experience, some people realized that from this vital element there is also harm, and tangible.
It should be understood that in a moderate amount, protein is necessary for almost all internal organs in one way or another, because it participates in their vital processes. But if it is eaten immoderately, refusing from other products, then individual systems suffer especially:
- Kidney … They are called the first doctors, warning that a protein diet can be dangerous. Curiously, at the end of the twentieth century, researchers learned and proved that protein activates the kidneys. They begin to rapidly filter the blood, which, it would seem, only has a beneficial effect on health. In fact, the risk of kidney failure increases as a result. True, impaired renal function does not threaten everyone. If a person is generally healthy, he does not have a tendency to renal pathologies, then even a protein mono-diet will not harm his kidneys.
- Liver … Another organ that can be damaged if there is protein and nothing else. True, in this case, there is one "but". A healthy person who eats a full and varied diet may not worry that his liver will suffer if he decides to consume exclusively protein foods for a day or two. But in the case of a protein deficiency for several days, it is very harmful and dangerous to switch sharply to protein. After a hunger strike of 48 hours or more from such a mono-diet, damage can form in the liver tissues.
- Intestines … And in his work, you can notice changes if there are only foods with proteins. Vegans are very keen on this element. They say, they say, the protein simply "rots" in the intestines, so that it is of no use - only harm. But this is completely unfair. A complex and multi-stage process of food processing takes place in the digestive tract. First, the protein enters the stomach, where it is processed with gastric juice. Further, its path lies in the small intestine, where mainly products are broken down into amino acids. The latter are absorbed into the bloodstream to serve as a building material for body cells. But when processed into amino acids, special enzymes are used, and in the process, half-life products are formed. Among them are toxic and non-toxic. The body displays the first naturally. If there are proteins and nothing else, the load on the gastrointestinal tract and the intestines in particular increases. In fact, the system works with extra effort. Unpleasant symptoms may occur - diarrhea, colic or bloating. Only if you get too carried away with the protein mono-diet can the microflora suffer. In this case, a course of prebiotics will be needed to restore it. If a person is generally healthy, he does two or three days with a protein diet, then the work of the gastrointestinal tract is safely restored. Naturally, with pathologies it is better not to engage in such experiments.
- Heart … With regard to this organ, only recently, Finnish scientists have figured out the relationship between protein abuse and the development of heart failure. It has been found that when the diet is dominated by protein foods, the risk of this syndrome is 33% higher. True, it is too early to draw such conclusions regarding short-term diets with the abandonment of fats and carbohydrates in favor of one protein. If the heart is already unhealthy, it is definitely better to eat a balanced diet, taking into account the recommendations of a cardiologist. Or consult your doctor if you are going to sit on a protein mono diet to prevent the risks of worsening the condition.
There is also another insidiousness of diets, when people eat only foods rich in protein. Literally in the first days of rejection of fats and carbohydrates, unusual severe fatigue and irritability, insomnia may occur. Therefore, it can be difficult to withstand the restrictions purely psychologically. But you shouldn't get too carried away with this, bearing in mind the potential detrimental effects of a protein mono-diet.
For the rest, spending the day on proteins is not harmful, but useful. Protein foods prevent surges in insulin and glucose. Therefore, the deposition of sugar in fats is excluded. In addition, they contribute to the debugging of metabolic processes. Metabolism is getting better, it proceeds evenly and stably.
Certain types of proteins act as a kind of reinforcement that creates the structure of cells. For example, they include the well-known collagen. It is extremely useful and vital. If you occasionally use a short-term protein diet, it can help maintain healthy cartilage and tendons. In addition, with its help, you can create a kind of amino acid reserves.
If you periodically sit on a mono-diet that includes only foods containing proteins, you will notice that it has a beneficial effect on your appearance. Such an element is necessary to maintain the elasticity of the skin. It also strengthens the hair, restoring its structure. By triggering the processes of cell regeneration, the protein prevents early aging.
If there is only protein during the day for weight loss, flabbiness and sagging of the skin is excluded. Since new cells will actively grow, which does not happen in case of refusal in favor of other products - for example, vegetables and fruits.
Effects on the musculoskeletal system
For 3 days, squirrels are eagerly eaten by athletes who dream of building muscle as soon as possible, and they are right about that. It is hardly the muscle tissue that benefits most from such a diet. If there is only protein food, it grows steadily. At the same time, fat is burned - and the stronger and larger the muscle, the more actively the fat cells are broken down.
Protein is also called the basis of strong bones. After all, it takes up a third of the bone mass. Eating protein is important and beneficial for calcium absorption. This structural mineral is most abundant in the skeletal system. It is indispensable for maintaining the health and strength of bones, preventing their fragility. Nature has foreseen that due to the use of protein, the absorption of calcium occurs.
To get the most out of your nutritional benefits for bones and muscles, it is important to ensure that these two elements enter the body in large quantities and together, complementing each other. In this case, the risks of bone loss, which occurs in old age, are reduced. And this, in turn, is fraught with fractures. If you periodically sit on a diet rich in protein, with sufficient intake of calcium in the body, this will help maintain normal bone mineral density.
Only the decision on a protein mono-diet should be made, keeping in mind the potential harm to other organs and systems, so that, in the pursuit of healthy muscles and strong bones, do not disrupt the functioning of the liver or kidneys, the gastrointestinal tract or the heart.
Since most often a variety of diets are used in order to regain the harmony of forms, it is worth figuring out whether you can count on proteins for weight loss. They do contribute to this for several reasons:
- After a protein breakfast or lunch, a feeling of satiety is guaranteed for 3-4 hours. Therefore, I do not want to sit down at the table ahead of time, and, moreover, I do not want any harmful snacks. The fact is that protein foods are rich in a variety of nutrients that are important in preventing hormonal and metabolic imbalances. Basically, a protein diet can help combat unhealthy carbohydrate cravings, as a person doesn't want to eat something sweet in between meals.
- Protein foods are difficult to digest. Therefore, the body spends a lot of energy for the whole process. Scientists have found that digesting a protein dish consumes about 25% of the calories received. In addition, when working on such food, hormones in the gastrointestinal tract send the brain a signal of satiety.
- Since foods high in protein help build muscle tissue, metabolism is activated, which burns more calories daily than other types of diets.
It is worth adding that with an increase in the amount of protein in foods that fall on the table, it is not so much the weight that changes, but the shape and density of the body. The numbers on the scales may not change downwards, and sometimes even grow, but this should not be embarrassing if volumes fall. The fact is that when fat is burned, muscle tissue is formed, and it is heavier in itself.
If you are interested in exactly bringing the body into shape, then it is worth finding out which proteins are included in the list for weight loss. Animal products are the most conducive to muscle building in parallel with fat burning. Egg white, fish, caviar and white meat - they are distinguished by an almost perfect amino acid composition. Therefore, such food is quickly and well absorbed, providing the body with amino acids to the maximum. These products should be supplemented with cheese, low-fat cottage cheese.
It is a little more problematic to find out which plant foods have enough protein if the person is a vegan. Soy is recognized as the leader in this regard. But it is also much poorer in amino acid composition than eggs or meat. If you refuse animal food, then trying to compensate for the lack of vital substances. Therefore, in addition to legumes, you need to eat grains and nuts.
However, scientists have found that you can not constantly limit yourself in fats and carbohydrates, hoping to quickly and confidently lose weight. Such restrictions are permissible only for a short-term period - up to three days maximum.
The fact is that for normal metabolic processes, all three components are needed - proteins, fats and carbohydrates. If at least one drops out for a long time, metabolism is disrupted as a result. So, after protein is processed by the intestines, it turns into amino acids, which in turn break down into ketone bodies. The latter self-destruct in the body, as intended by nature. But not just like that - with the active participation of carbohydrates.
What is observed when carbohydrates cease to enter the body? A condition called ketosis develops. Its danger is that a vicious circle is actually formed. The body cannot cope with the destruction of ketone bodies, lacks energy and begins to break down fat even more actively, which is accompanied by the formation of the same ketone bodies in huge quantities. In fact, this leads to poisoning. A person feels weakness, malaise, bad breath appears.
The most unpleasant news for those who are making a list of proteins for a diet for weight loss: the magic words "breakdown of fat" in ketosis no longer mean that the form will get slimmer. The body works in an emergency mode, lipid metabolism is disrupted. Therefore, a long-term protein mono-diet leads to excess weight.
Moreover, in this case, fat is formed not only on the sides - it grows inside. A fat pad envelops the internal organs. This type of fat is unhealthy and harmful. It leads to a malfunction of the hormonal system. As a result, diabetes and pressure surges are threatening. Excess cholesterol is inevitable. The accumulation of fat around the internal organs impairs the functioning of the heart and can even provoke cancer.
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