Many people are desperate to lose weight to look “hot”, and some actually even want to become healthier! It is unfortunate that we live in an age where it is all about appearances – and it is this reason I believe that many are desperate to lose weight fast, at just about any cost. Liposuction clinics are the extreme end of weight loss, but are getting to be surprisingly more common and acceptable in society.

The foods recommended in high-protein diets are the rich foods we were all raised with and learned to love, it is no wonder this diet is so appealing! These foods are the traditional roasts, bacon and eggs, lamb chops, cheeses, full cream and various other high protein and high fat offerings. There is no doubt that this diet works, (short term, just like a cash loan) but there is also no doubt that too much protein in one’s diet can lead long term to all sorts of complications as well. (Like having the debt collectors around when you can’t service that debt you want to forget ever existed) Don’t kid yourself – if it sounds too good to be true – you know the story.

High dietary protein: kidney damage & osteoporosis – in the making

The protein you consume is metabolised by your liver and excreted by the kidneys into the urine. A high protein load causes damage to these organs. By the time most people reach 80yrs of age, it is estimated that they lose over 30 percent of their kidney function. This loss of kidney function is caused by the amount of protein typically consumed in the diet, about 12% to 15%. The Zone diet recommends 30% protein, and even more protein (30 – 45%) is found in the Atkins approach.

Doctors recommend low protein diets (4% to 8%) to treat patients with any liver and kidney failure. High protein diets can cause serious metabolic changes leading to bone loss (osteoporosis) and kidney stones. Red meat, chicken, fish, and eggs are acid forming foods. Vegetable foods are alkaline by nature.

The body guards its acid-base balance (pH) carefully, the dietary-derived acid load from high-protein animal foods must be buffered. The primary buffering system of the body is the bones which dissolve for that purpose into phosphates and calcium. This is the first step in bone loss that leads to osteoporosis. The presence of bone material in the kidney system lays the foundation for calcium-based kidney stones. The Nurse’s Health Study recently found women in America who consumed 95 grams of protein a day compared with those who consumed less than 68 grams a day had a 22% greater risk of forearm fractures. Still want that steak, cream and bacon every day? Try to eat meat sparingly and focus on vegetables with a small amount of protein. Your kidneys will love you for it, and you won’t age nowhere near as fast either.

The Zone Diet (attributed to Barry Sears)

Barry Sears of the “Enter the Zone” claims the problem with our weight and health, specifically heart disease, is that high carbohydrate diets promote excessive production of specific hormones such as insulin. The secret to weight loss and preventing heart disease is controlling hormones into a narrow range referred to as “the Zone,” which can be achieved by adding more protein to the diet than is commonly consumed or recommended.

The Zone diet can give people the false sense of security thinking that it is their hormones at fault, they are happy to hear that it’s not their fault they’re fat, “It’s my hormones that are the real culprit, I don’t have to feel guilty about being a glutton and not exercising.”

40% Carbs: non-starchy vegetables and fruits, portion controlled grains and legumes

30% Protein: low-fat animal protein (fish, seafood, poultry, lean meats and soy)

30% Fat: low-fat animal foods and small amounts of nuts, olive oil, avocados and cheese
The Good

Finally a diet which emphasizes lower-carb fruits and vegetables over grains, which many people don’t tolerate well. A much hier approach long term.

Serves as a “bridge” between the very high-carb diets and the low-carb diets.

A good maintenance diet because it contains a wide variety of essential vitamins and minerals, with a macronutrient balance to help stabilise blood sugar.

The Zone provides more insulin control than most other diets. This translates into greater fat loss and longevity since excess insulin is what helps make you fat and keeps you that way.

The Not-So Good

The Zone Diet is difficult to consistently follow for each meal and snack.

Contains common food allergens such as dairy products, eggs and soy products.

Like most American diets: The Zone Diet over-emphasises common food allergens such as eggs & dairy products, and recommends processed meats, refined grain products and condiments containing potentially unhealthy additives.

Eric’s Instant Zone Solutions

I have found that people who take a good B Complex vitamin supplement two times daily fare better on the Zone Diet than others who don’t. You will metabolise the carbs better.

For those with established blood sugar problems, try 200mcg of Chromium picolinate once or twice per day with meals during the first few weeks of the Zone Diet. I can highly recommend Good Sugar, the best blood sugar product I have used.

Try a digestive enzyme for the stomach and small intestine if you burp or bloat.

Careful not to load up on dairy protein such as cheese, I’ve seen it happen on this diet. Take a Lipotropic product (a supplement which helps you metabolise fat more efficiently), you will digest fats and proteins so much better.

A good approach more long term, expect results particularly after several months.

My Final Say on Diets

Correct dietary recommendations include eating fewer animal products and more plants foods have been made by every major health organisation, many select committees on nutrition, including the heart, cancer and diabetes associations. What do they all have in common? They all believe that chronic illnesses, including obesity, plaguing modern Western society, are generally caused by an unhealthy diet and lifestyle, and that improved health comes from regular exercise and by eating less food generally, consuming fewer animal protein products and having a diet rich in plant foods.

So what are you going to do? See – it’s all common sense. And remember, if it sounds too good to be true …

0 0 vote
Article Rating

Eric Bakker is the clinical director of The Naturopaths and holds a Bachelor Degree of Science majoring in Complementary Health Care, as well as separate diploma qualifications in Naturopathy, Herbal Medicine and Homeopathy. Eric has 20 years clinical experience in natural medicine, and received post-graduate natural medicine training in Australia, India, America as well as New Zealand. Eric has four children and lives in the sunny Hawkes Bay

Notify of
1 Comment
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Cheston Domine

I’ve been overweight all my life and tried so many things. Different things work for different people and I was lucky enough to find one that worked for me. I lost 19 pounds in one month without any exercise and it has been a life changer. I’m a little embarrased to post my before and after photos here but if anyone actually cares to hear what I’ve been doing then I’d be happy to help in any way. Just shoot me an email at and I’ll show you my before and after photos, and tell you about how things… Read more »

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x