You may have heard that to gain muscle and lose weight, you need to increase your protein intake. When I first heard that I thought … wait a minute, the same thing that is going to make you bigger would make you ‘smaller’ … I asked the trainer this question and he looked at me dumbfounded but it left me behind to think … “apart from sounding absurd, will this method really be safe?”
While we all know that we need a certain amount of protein every day to be healthy and because of propaganda for this effect, many people consider the daily consumption of protein foods such as meat and dairy products to be very beneficial. However, judging by the failure of most, if not all, of the people I personally know who are trying to lose weight on a high-protein, low-carb diet, it may be time to rethink our ideas about protein.
From what I have seen (more than six cases I have been able to observe among friends, family and colleagues) it will be safe to answer the question in this article with a simple No!
According to many naturopaths a diet high in protein is NOT the best way to lose weight, according to many naturopaths such a diet can even be harmful to overall health.
Due to its complexity, excessive protein and fatty foods are the hardest foods to digest and tend to tire out all the time. In addition, the general rotting of protein during digestion creates a lot of acids in the body and is known to lay the foundation for cancer.
This is not to say that proteins and fats should be avoided, on the contrary, what should be the goal when consuming these foods should be exactly what the body needs and no more. The Max Planck Institute has proven that 25 grams of protein per day is more than enough, as the body recycles most of its proteins for its own needs.
According to T.C. Fry, a well-known naturopath and pioneer of drug-less healing, there are different cultures like the Caribbeans, who follow a cassava-based (root vegetable) diet and get about 12g of protein per day. Likewise, it was discovered that an indigenous tribe living in the mountains of Hagen lived on about 80-90% of their diet consisting of sweet potatoes, the remainder mainly leafy vegetables, bananas and the like.
While I lived in Nigeria for over 17 years, most people almost never consumed milk or cheese (they were overpriced) and families strictly rationed animal meat consumption to about the size of medium lemon per person every other day. All these groups of people, with their root vegetable diets, are clearly in good health and do a lot of physical work.
In addition, breast milk, which for a while is perfect food for babies, has about 1-2% protein. (Only fruits and vegetables are similar in composition) Any reasonable person will be able to infer that a growing baby needs more protein than an adult, but human baby, just like our distant cousins: the monkeys in the wild, do just fine with breast milk, and as for monkeys that share about 98% of our DNA, you know that the gorilla, the strongest primate, is known for bench presses weighing about 4,000 pounds! What does this being live on? According to Dr. George Schaller and Dian Fossey, two great primatologists, this mighty relative lives mainly on fruit and leaves.
Now, taking all of the above factors into account, when it comes to the right diet for weight loss, I would recommend a slimy or mucous (raw and cooked fruits and vegetables) over any other fad in the quest for fitness and health. Of course, if the consumption of animal meat is to be continued, I would also advise doing this with a minimal amount and occasionally only one type of animal meat.
In my opinion, consumption of fresh homemade salads, mono meals of fruit, snacks over dried fruit such as dates, a few nuts and maybe even a short juice fast, as a diet choice (along with some form of exercise) is the best way to lose weight safely and healthily.