Cookbook:High Protein Diet

Cookbook | Recipes | Ingredients | Special diets

A High Protein Diet is often recommended by bodybuilders and nutritionists to help efforts to build muscle and lose fat. It should not be confused with low-carbohydrate diets such as the Atkins Diet, which are not calorie-controlled and which often contain large amounts of fat.

High Protein diets typically obtain 30%–60% of their calories from protein, 15%–30% from fat and the remainder from carbohydrates. They tend to rely heavily on seafood and lean meat, which makes them difficult or impossible for vegetarians.


  • Protein is essential for building muscle.
  • Unlike carbohydrates, protein provides long-lasting energy without an insulin surge (which promotes fat storage).
  • Protein tends to suppress the appetite.
  • Protein takes quite a bit of energy to digest, which boosts the body's metabolism.
  • Lean protein-rich foods are much less calorie-dense than carbohydrate-rich foods. For example, the ham in a common sandwich may have 343 kJ per 100g, whereas the bread has 1011 kJ per 100g. Like vegetables, they help to bulk out a meal.

Sample dietEdit

Category: Special Diets
Servings: 1
Calories: 1250 (per day)
Time: 10 min (total)
Difficulty: Easy

The daily food intake that is detailed below contains 1250 kCal in total, and would therefore be suitable for someone with 45 kg of lean bodyweight—such as a 60 kg female with 25% bodyfat—who wants to lose weight at a rate of ¼–½ kg a week (the maximum safe rate). Individuals with a greater lean bodyweight should increase their food intake proportionately, as should lean individuals who are attempting to gain weight. 50% of the calories come from protein, 25% from carbohydrates and 25% from fat.

Anyone attempting to reproduce this diet should try to find products that match the nutritional profiles shown below. The protein, carbohydrate and fat content is given as their percentage by weight, which is the same as grams per 100g (as marked on nutritional labels). This is not the same as the percentage of calories.

A multivitamin supplement should be taken to ensure that adequate levels of each essential vitamin and mineral are maintained.

Sundried tomato tuna with baby beetroot is a quick, tasty and nutritious high-protein meal, that can be eaten hot or cold.

Breakfast serving size weight protein carbs fat kJ/100g net energy
High Protein Cereal ¾ cup 22g 22.1% 68.2% 2.2% 1641 88 kCal
Fat-free Milk large glass 250g 5.7% 5.6% 0.1% 195 117 kCal

Some of the milk can be put towards cups of coffee or tea throughout the day. If required, artificial sweeteners should be used instead of sugar. Milk is important weapon against osteoporosis, not just because of its calcium content, but because it also contains enzymes that promote bone growth.

Lunch serving size weight protein carbs fat kJ/100g net energy
Soya/Linseed Bread 3 slices 111g 15.5% 29.8% 7.0% 1011 268 kCal
Low-fat Ham 50g 14.7% 2.0% 1.7% 343 41 kCal
Lean Sliced Roast Beef 50g 23.8% 0.3% 1.7% 474 57 kCal
Sliced Turkey Breast 50g 23.9% 1.9% 0.8% 446 53 kCal

In order to achieve the recommended six meals a day, one sandwich should be eaten mid-morning, one at lunchtime and one mid-afternoon. Soya/linseed bread has very low Glycemic Index (36), which also helps to ensure a steady release of energy during the day. Lettuce or sliced tomato may be added to make the sandwiches more interesting.

Dinner serving size weight protein carbs fat kJ/100g net energy
Red Salmon 1 large tin 210g 16.8% 0.0% 10.1% 683 343 kCal
Fresh or Frozen Vegetables 1 cup 85g 2.7% 3.4% 0.2% 110 22 kCal

Red salmon is a very good source of Omega-3 essential fatty acids (2.7%). Other fish or seafood may be substituted if salmon is unavailable. The meal can be microwaved, or stir-fried without oil in a nonstick pan. "Zero-calorie" condiments such as herbs, spices and soy sauce may be added.

Pre/post-workout serving size weight protein carbs fat kJ/100g net energy
Protein Bar ½ large bar 45g 44.4% 21.0% 10.9% 1480 159 kCal

The protein bar may be more suitable as a pre-workout or post-workout meal, depending upon when the workout occurs. It can be useful pre-workout if the workout would otherwise occur more than two hours after the last meal. Alternatively, it can be consumed immediately following the workout, because both protein uptake and protein usage are increased at this time.

Nightcap serving size weight protein carbs fat kJ/100g net energy
Milk-Powder Diet Shake 1 heaped tbs 16g 32.0% 43.4% 0.9% 1334 51 kCal
Whey Protein Shake 1 heaped tbs 16g 73.0% 6.5% 3.9% 1420 54 kCal
Psyllium Dietary Fiber 1 heaped tsp 5g 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0 0 kCal

The protein shake should be taken shortly before going to bed to maintain protein availability during the night, when HGH (Human Growth Hormone) levels are at their peak. The milk-powder based diet shake adds slow-release casein to the mix of proteins, and offsets the sometimes poor taste of whey-based shakes. The added dietary fiber aids digestion.

High Protein RecipesEdit

Most meat recipes are suitable for a High Protein diet, for example:

Visible fat should be cut from the meat, and (in the case of poultry) the skin should be removed. Generally, lean meats such as beef or turkey are preferred to pork or duck.

Soya protein powder can be mixed with flour to increase the protein content of pancakes, muffins and other baked goods.


Last modified on 8 May 2013, at 11:01