A high protein, high fiber, weight loss diet is generally one for which we are emphasizing gaining some muscle mass by way of an intense exercise program while as the same time we are losing some fat. For example! this could be a goal for a man weighing a little over 180 pounds with about 15 percent body fat. Going toward an optimum weight of 170 he will need to to exercise extensively on a high protein, high fiber diet with care to lower normal carbohydrate intake in order to keep caloric food intake a few hundred calories below what he burns on average per day. That would generally allow one to lose 2-3 pounds per month and thus lose the weight in about 3-5 months. Overall about 10 pounds will be lost, but in fact he will nominally lose 12 pounds of 10 pounds of fat and about two pounds of muscle, but the weight training program will allow him to regain about two pounds of muscle and the increased protein in the diet will contribute to the new muscle mass. Thus, if a net of ten pounds of fat is lost, going from 180 to 170 then the 15 percent body fat will go to 10 percent, or 153 pounds of muscle and bone and 27 pounds of fat at 180 pounds total and 153 muscle and bone and 17 pounds of fat at 170 pounds total. After that a continuing emphasis on muscle building exercise can produce further increases in bone and muscle mass while reducing fat but keeping the overall weight at the same level. The measure reduction of body fat in phase one allows is individual to go from about 15 percent body fat to 10 percent. In phase two in which little or no weight loss is targeted this individual could go from about 10 percent body fat to perhaps 5 percent. Thus, he would go from a 153:17 muscle to fat ratio to about 162 to 8 ratio. It would be very hard to go much further (less) than five percent body fat as too much bone and skeleton begins to appear. Indeed, most of us would look great, if not exceptional, settling for 10-15 percent body fat.
So, what does the diet look like? Generally emphasis in a high protein diet is on lean meats, sea food, beans and other legumes, soy products and some low-fat dairy. One keeps carbohydrates lower than the average American diet, soluble and insoluble fiber higher, and fat tolerated at higher but not at excessive levels.
It’s a good idea to have some meat with each meal or snack at lunch of after. Protein and fiber can be gotten at breakfast or in a mid morning snack with dairy, eggs or low fat yogurt with the latter sometimes mixed with whey protein and a bit of almond nut meal or shaved almonds. It’s good to get 25-30 grams of protein or sometimes more 5-6 times a day. A whey protein smoothie with several kinds of fruit, low-fat plain yogurt and a bit of unsweetened fruit juice will be great for a mid morning snack especially before heading to the gym.
Poached eggs on a bed of steamed spinach or multigrain bread (toast) is good for breakfast, but also cooked steel-cut oats or other high protein, high fiber cereal over fruit also works well. Add a few raisins and some cut up prunes to the cereal as it finishes cooking. A drizzle of honey on top is best to sweeten it or other items during the day that may need sweetening. Stay away from refined white sugar.
For lunch try a salad most days — add a few chopped nuts cut up meat (chicken or turkey) or fish (salmon or tuna). Add tofu, beans or peas, cottage cheese, and/or eggs and that will add more protein. A bit of olive oil and flavored vinegar will be a fine dressing. As an alternative, a chicken and wild rice soup with made with additional protein-contIning ingredients will be good. You can add red or white kidney beans, other beans and mix in other vegetables to add fiber and some added protein.
For an afternoon snack, a turkey meat cheese roll-up is a possibility. Add in some almond butter on light crackers or celery, or roasted flavored tofu.
For dinner chicken thighs or breasts, fish (salmon, & many other varieties), ricotta cheese, broccoli or other vegetable with good soluble and/or insoluble fiber content.
For medium or small amounts of protein to add to meals or snacks always consider low fat cottage cheese, tofu, lentils, peanut or almond butter, fish or poultry, eggs, low-fat yogurt, soy milk, and regular milk.