A diet comprised of high levels of protein is one of the most common components of weight loss diets around the world, from fad diets to ketogenic diets. While there are numerous reasons for this, a cornerstone of the protein-heavy diet is that without enough of it, muscle growth will not happen, and without muscle growth, metabolism and functional strength doesn't increase.
A study examined by MASS (who we are huge fans of, check them out!) goes over the safety concerns of having a high protein diet, as it is something that is brought up to us by clients from time to time who have done a little reading on their own about diet plans and how to change their eating habits. The main concern with a high protein diet is creating a loss in bone strength along with extra work for the kidneys, as it has been shown in studies (done a long time ago) that this can potentially be a problem. According to the more modern research examined in the above linked overview, this is not a concern for healthy adults that don't have other contraindications. If you are a missing a kidney, or already have bone density loss problems, then you should speak with your doctor before greatly increasing protein intake. However, for the vast majority of clients and athletes, upping your intake to levels where you can increase your lean mass effectively does not pose a risk.
Once you realize it's not a concern, we reach the next roadblock; how do you get enough protein in your diet? With the vast majority of our clients, once we have them start logging their food, it's discovered that protein usually makes up about 10-15% of their diets. This is especially common in american diets as we rely so much on fast food, processed carbohydrates, and "salads" doused in dressings. We like to see our clients who are serious about gaining muscle shooting for a minimum of 30% of their diet consisting of protein. This is not an astronomically high number, but when looking at changes to the "typical" diet, it often turns everything upside down! Once you start tracking and thinking about it, your attitude towards food will begin to change as you see it as a means to an end, rather than just something you need to get through your day.
If you have questions concerning how to go about adjusting your diet to better suit your goals and intake needs, shoot us a message! We are happy to help.