This is How High Protein Diets Work

What is a High-Protein Diet?

A high-protein diet can be as simple as increasing the ratio of protein you have on your plate! One way to do that is by choosing lean cuts of meat, poultry or fish to accompany your vegetables instead of doubling down on starchy sides. It could mean reaching for protein-rich snacks like yogurt or protein puffs instead of empty carbs.

Too many people work out several hours per week, consume plenty of protein, and eat the right amount of calories for their weight goals, yet never seem to change their body fat percentage.

If that sounds familiar, let’s talk about how high-protein diets actually work.

How it Works

It’s well established that our bodies need protein, especially our muscles. In fact, one study found that when starting a rigorous training regimen, our need for protein is more than double what is currently being recommended.

Protein repairs muscles. When we eat protein, our body breaks it down into peptides. Peptides are combinations of at least two amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein.

After a workout, we actually damage our muscle fibers with little rips at a microscopic level. (Puts another meaning behind getting ripped, doesn’t it?)

woman on treadmill running

Then our body uses peptides and amino acids to repair the damage, resulting in stronger, bigger, more resilient muscles.

When you combine high-protein meals with the right type of high-protein diet, your body will operate from a state of ketogenesis and readily consumes lipids like fats and oils. Once the lipids from a meal have been completely exhausted, the body seamlessly reverts to consuming its own body fat for energy.

Aside from the awesome benefits of building muscle while shedding excess fat, studies also suggest that ketogenic diets can prevent dementia and even improve the mental state of Alzheimer’s patients.

Note to future self!

Discover the Right Ways To Up Your Protein

Some sources of protein contain a heavy percentage of carbohydrates. Think legumes, nuts, and grains. Yet many medical experts agree that high-protein, low net-carb diets are a superior way to maintain good health.

Two of the most commonly referenced high-protein diets are the paleo and ketogenic diets. Both of these diets support health, fat burning, and muscle building. In each of these nutritional concepts, there is a high percentage of meat, lots of vegetables, a wealth of nuts and fats, and no grains.

Below is an extremely simplified list of what is allowed and not allowed in each of these diets.


Allowed: grass-fed meats, vegetables, nuts, and some oils and fruits

Not allowed: dairy, grains, legumes, potatoes, overly processed foods


Allowed: most of the same things allowed in paleo, plus dairy items like cream, yogurt, and cheese

Not allowed: grains, root vegetables, sweets, legumes, certain types of alcohol

The Science Behind High-Protein Diets

If you stick to a high-protein, lower-net-carb diet, you just might love what you see and feel. Besides toning up, people who are consistent with these diets experience amazing improvements like reduced inflammation, better cognitive function, more energy, and a better mood.

And according to Dr. Lane Sebring, high-protein diets could reduce the occurrence of osteoporosis and auto-immune diseases, in general.

All of these health benefits may be surprising, considering that most people only start high-protein diets to gain muscle and tone up. Yet the athletic performance gains and overall impact on health are validated by medical professionals.

fitjoy fun size protein bar

Take it from a pro.

D.K. Metcalf, an NFL football player who just signed a signed a four-year deal with the Seahawks worth $4.6 million, became a viral meme for his muscular definition. When asked about his diet, Metcalf said that he ate a lot of meats, veggies, and fruits while avoiding too many carbs.

Can’t argue with that.


Plan your protein by getting these keto-friendly protein puffs, these keto-friendly protein snacks and these 20g protein bars!

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Annabel Landaverde

Annabel Landaverde is a content marketing consultant based in Austin, TX. She helps health and fitness brands define their voice and tell engaging stories. Besides writing, she loves to travel, dance and eat her way around the world. Get in touch at: 

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