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You hear about the Dr. Atkins diet, Protein Power, Carbohydrate Addicts, the Zone diet, CKD, SommerSizing and all other high-protein low carb diet plans, but which one is right for you? Read what other low-carbers think about the low carb plan they're following and how they live with it. This may help you find the right plan for you. Please feel free to join the discussion to comment on these plans or tell about your favourite low carb plan!
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Atkins Diet
Protein Power
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Dr. Donaldson, Eskimo Diet, 1929
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Neanderthin Diet
Dr. Mackarness Stone Age Diet, 1958
Carbohydrate Addict's Diet
The Zone Diet
Specific Carbohydrate Diet (IBS)
South Beach Diet
Insulin Control Diet
Insulin Resistance Diet
Go Diet
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Low-Carb Diet Plans



Protein Power Plan

Protein Power: Lifeplan


Plan's name: Protein Power Plan

Book(s): Protein Power Plan. Published 1995, Michael and Mary Eades.

About the author: Michael R. Eades, M.D., and Mary Dan Eades, M.D., are the authors of the New York Times bestseller Protein Power and The Protein Power LifePlan Gram Counter. They practice bariatric (weight loss) medicine in Boulder, Colorado.

Basic Philosophy: PP and PPL were written by Michael and Mary Eades, two medical doctors practicing in Colorado. In 1995, they wrote Protein Power as a guide to better health and weight loss through diet, nutrition, supplementation, and exercise. In 2000, they followed up Protein Power with Protein Power Lifeplan, which was similar but contained updated information on studies that had come out since their first book, and a broader coverage of topics, including fats, magnesium, anti-oxidants, sunbathing, iron, cholesterol, and more. Protein Power and Protein Power Lifeplan differ from many other low carb books in that they share a very science-oriented approach to low carb and higher protein. But fear not, they are well written and easily understood by the layperson 

The driving idea behind the Protein Power Low Carb plan is quite simple; we haven't changed much from our cave-man ancestors who, for hundreds of thousands of years, ate mainly animal protein, with a few wild vegetables and nuts thrown in. They maintain that our bodies are still designed to eat this way and doing otherwise has caused us tremendous health problems.

The principle of PP is the restriction of carbohydrates – in particular refined ones. Carbohydrates are sugar as far as your body is concerned; carbs are actually saccharides, di, tri or poly -saccharides and they break down into sugar almost immediately after ingestion. Carbohydrates, once in the body are converted to glucose in the blood stream to be used as quick fuel. An increase of glucose in the blood causes a release of insulin. Insulin is a hormone in the body that has many functions, one of which is to regulate blood sugar by converting the newly arrived sugar in the blood into fat for storage in fat tissue.

Over time, eating excessive amounts of carbohydrates in the form of grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables (like potatoes) overworks the insulin response causing our cells to become less and less sensitive to insulin. The net result is our body has to produce more and more insulin to have the same effect. This increase of insulin in the bloodstream can cause all kinds of health issues. Examples include type-two or Adult Onset diabetes, obesity, hardening of the arteries, plaque buildup, and high blood pressure.

By the numbers: : The Eades use different phases for the diet as follows: The "intervention " phase is the initial phase of the diet and the most restrictive. In this phase, the Eades suggest limiting your intake of carbs to 7-10 grams per meal, with an optional snack of 7-10 grams. In other words you can have anywhere from 20 to 40 grams of carbs per day. As for protein there are formulas in the books as to how to calculate it, depending on your current weight, height, body fat percentage and activity level. Fat is something that the Eades do not put limits on as they consider it to be metabolicially neutral; it does not cause an insulin reaction. However, it is the food type that is the densest in calories and they do note that if one eats 5000 calories per day it's going to be all but impossible to lose weight, even if you otherwise conform to the plans' guidelines.

Intervention is followed until you are very close to your goal for weight and/or health. Once you are very close, you can switch over to the "Transition" phase in which you increase your carb allotment to 50 grams per day. Once you feel you have met your weight and/or health goals, you can then go onto the "Maintenance ” phase - somewhere between 70 and 130 grams per day.

Method: There are three main types of food or "macronutrients": protein; carbohydrates; and fat. Most grain products like bread; rice, pasta, etc. as well as most fruits and vegetables are nearly 100% carbohydrate. Oils are all 100% fat. Few natural things get close to 100% protein with the exception of very lean cuts of meat or fish. Everything else is a mixture of at least two of the three macronutrients

Sources of Protein (and fat): all meats, poultry, and fish. Eggs and cheese (they have a small amount of carbohydrate), dairy products like milk, cream, and yogurt are ok as long as you read labels and keep track of carbs.

Carb sources – what to avoid : The Eades contend that certain types are bad for you in and of themselves even before we consider how dense they are in carbohydrates. Ex: Grains have been linked to leaky gut syndrome, which in turn has been linked to autoimmune disorders like arthritis, asthma, allergies, multiple sclerosis, etc. They suggest eliminating these items entirely. Other food limited or eliminated from the diet : legumes, starchy vegetables like potatoes and some squashes, and anything with a high sugar content like sweet sauces, syrups, candy, ice cream, high-sugar fruits like pineapples and mangos.

Carb sources – what to eat : Although vegetables (other than the starchy ones like potatoes) are primarily made up of carbohydrates, they do not have nearly as many carbs as grains per serving. They also are packed with nutrition - vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, as well as fiber. Fiber is a carbohydrate that your body cannot absorb, therefore the Eades discount it from the carb count of a food. So if a serving of vegetable has 10 grams of carbs but also 5 grams of fiber the vegetable has 5 grams of Effective Carbohydrates. PP recommends eating berries, melon, peaches, etc. Finally nuts and seeds

Alcohol : Alcohol is permitted on PP but you do need to be careful of its form. A sweet red wine or a hearty stout can be loaded with carbs. Hard alcohol is generally fine (aside from certain ones which might have a lot of sugar like bourbon, rum, brandy, etc. or are mixed with some sweet juice or soda.) Wine is ok as long as it is not very sweet, and lite beers are ok, but both lite beers and even dry wine do have some carbohydrates, so having more than a few of these will probably make staying within the plans' guidelines difficult. You also need to understand that your body will burn alcohol before it goes after carbs or stored fat.

Typical menu: 
1/2 grapefruit
2 eggs with 3 sausages
small coffee w/ whipped cream

1/2 cup each cottage cheese and blueberries
Caesar salad with 5 oz Chicken breast, parmasagn cheese

Possible Snacks:
Celery with 2 tbsp peanut butter
1 oz hard cheese w/ pepperoni slices
2 oz Macadamia nuts

8 oz sirloin steak
1/2 cup each broccoli & cauliflower with butter drizzled over top
Salad with Olive oil dressing, (onion, tomato, celery, olives)
6 oz dry wine
SF jello with Whipped cream

Unique Fatures: PP is most closely compared to Atkins in that it is at the more restrictive end of the spectrum where carbohydrates are concerned. However there are some differences. The Eades permit the consumption of alcohol and caffiene unlike Atkins. PP was also one of the first plans to allow for the deduction of fiber from the total carbohydrate count, thus permitting a higher Effective Carbohydrate Level.

With the release of Protein Power Lifeplan the Eades have moved out from under the "weight loss" umbrella; Protein Power Lifeplan is just that, a plan for life. The advice and information is not designed, nor is it aimed, solely for those interested in weight loss; it is, rather, a plan for optimal health and nutrition.

A note about Exercise :
They suggest that one way to optimize one’s weight/fat loss but maintain or even gain muscle is to concentrate on resistance exercises, otherwise known as weightlifting. By increasing your muscle mass by lifting weights, you are increasing your body’s calorie requirement to maintain that new muscle tissue. Also, they suggest both walking and brief bursts of intense cardio, like sprinting or jumping for 30 seconds. These intense sessions of alternating rest and intense exertion may only last for a total of 10 minutes and are done only a couple of times per week. The idea is to do what our bodies were designed to - chasing game, or avoiding the game chasing you. These types of cardio apparently strengthen the immune system and provide all kinds of additional benefits without the incredible expense in terms of time.

Summarized by: Natrushka


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