So you need to cut your body fat percentage and you want to see results now. Naturally, a protein-only diet is the option for you, right? Sharifah Alrabah looks at why this may not be right for everyone and in some cases could even be dangerous to your health.

Regimens like the Dukan diet and The Atkin’s plan have made mostly-protein diets popular over recent years, but what isn’t included in the diet plans are the risks. You can eat all the food you love – like steak, cheese and chicken – and still lose weight. Surely there must be a catch? Well yes, there is. The damage a high protein diet does to your body in the long run isn’t worth the fast weight loss.

Here are five reasons you should consider choosing another diet:

Short-term Results

Yes, eating meat non-stop does mean fast results. But wait, studies have shown that this way of eating also leads to your body storing excess fat in the long term; not what you want when you’re trying to lose a few pounds.

Risk of Bingeing

Your body needs certain nutrients that it gets easily from a balanced diet. Take away the balance, and you take away the nutrients. Your body will crave what it is missing, and this may lead to bingeing on high fat and high sugar foods. Imagine all that hard work ruined in one sitting.

Kidney Damage

A study carried out by scientists at the University of Granada, Spain suggests that high protein diets can lead to kidney stones and even kidney failure. The study was carried out on rats, and had extreme results. The rats’ kidneys increased in size by 22 percent, and similar results have been found in humans. This effect can be avoided by eating plenty of fruit and vegetables alongside the protein in your diet.

Irritability & Low Mood

A diet lacking in carbohydrates can cause a reduced amount of serotonin in the brain – the chemical that affects your happiness and wellbeing. A lack of serotonin results in feeling depressed and irritable, and that in turn could make you stop wanting to diet at all. Also, finding the willpower to exercise when in a bad mood is extremely difficult for many, and exercise is an essential part to making sustainable weight loss healthy and manageable.

High Cholesterol

One of the main reasons people choose to follow a high protein diet is because you can eat meat to your heart’s content – but this could be a terrible idea. If you only eat animal proteins, in high volumes, then there’s no doubt that your cholesterol levels will go through the roof. Alternatives like soya have been proven to be effective in terms of protein levels, but contain a lot less cholesterol.

So is it all worth it? Balanced diets that provide all of your nutrients can provide the same amount of weight loss, and you’ll end up looking just as ripped (if not more) without the health complications. For the easiest and healthiest way to cut body fat, don’t ditch the vegetables and make long-term life changes rather than short-term goals.

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