The Protein Power Diet

What Is the Protein Power Diet?

Low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets had their day in the sun, when the book Protein Power managed to stay at the top of the New York Times Bestseller List for 13 months.  But there is still much to be said for a low-carb, high protein regimen.  Followed carefully, it is still possible to lose weight using such a diet.

The book referred to above was written by a doctor couple, Michael R. and Mary Dan Eades, MD, after their frustrated search for an existing diet to help their patients lose weight.  The Zone author, Barry Sears, labeled their diet plan as the epitome of 90’s research and optimism.  The Drs. Eades promised on the cover of their book that readers who followed their diet would lose weight and feel fit in a matter of weeks.

Protein Power is one of the few historical diet books every published, exhibiting the fruits of the Eades’ persistent research into the past of diets and their fads.  They even manage to drag in the antique “Letter on Corpulence” by William Banting, a naval attaché to the British Embassy in Mexico during the Civil War.  As well as being scientific, bandying about explanations of insulin and glycogens, their book is quite practical, explaining what to order in a French restaurant, and what foods are almost acceptable in a fast food place.

What You Can Eat on the Protein Power Diet

The Protein Power diet revels in fish, eggs, beef, pork, poultry, and cheese.  It remains the only diet in history to encourage gluttony.  It has never been any great shakes for vegans, since tofu is the only protein they are allowed; and tofu three times a day is about a dreadful as . . . as . . . well, as tofu three times a day!

In order to figure out how big a steak you may sink your teeth into, the book explains the various steps to measure body fat and lean body mass and the distance from Jupiter to Sheboygan, Wisconsin.  It looks complicated, but it’s not.  The Eades wrote the book, not exactly for dummies, but for those who feel challenged by a yard stick or protractor.

The list of ‘good’ protein foods reads like a menu from an Iowa chophouse.  Any kind of red meat, organ meat, poultry, is allowed.  Eggs are okay.  Seafood is allowed.  Going through the book, one notices eventually that the authors never say anyone will lose weight, only that they will lose fat.  The problem comes when you crave a warm slice of Texas toast or a bowl of grits – 30 grams of carbohydrates is all that’s allowed per day – and that amounts to about sixteen oyster crackers.  But the Eades cheerfully promise that you’ll feel better, perform better (at work and in the bedroom) and that your overall health will bloom like a hothouse hibiscus.  Of course, there are plenty of low-carb veggies and fruits to fill out the menu – green leafy vegetables, rhubarb, tomatoes, peppers, green beans, watermelon, cantaloupe, apples, oranges, pears, kumquats, and berries of any sort.  Even avocado, which is verboten in most other diets, is here lauded as a low-carb wonder with high protein content.