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Get excited about nutrition, and learn as you go with these information-packed resources on a wide variety of nutrition-centric topics! Our bistroMD experts review the importance of the macronutrients protein, fat, and carbohydrates, as well as how to make them work most efficiently for you.

What is Protein Fasting and is it Healthy?

When it comes to dietary practices for weight loss, increasing protein and limiting carb and fat consumption is often advertised and encouraged. So how could, if it all, skipping out on protein for bouts of time lead to any positive gain? Learn about protein fasting and if you may benefit from the practice here!

What is Protein Fasting and is it Healthy?

What Is Protein Fasting?

Fasting is essentially an eating pattern, focuses on meal timing, and perpetrated for health or religious reasons. The windows of feasting and fasting are individual, and fasted periods can be from hours to days, devoid of food and oftentimes consisting of water and potential unsweetened beverages such as coffee and tea. So in the context of protein, the macronutrient is withheld during the fasting period, while carb and fat sources are consumed. You may be wondering why or how skipping a core macronutrient could lead to any sort of benefit, especially following rigorous exercise or dieting in general.

Also known as Bulletproof Protein Fasting, the practice encourages individuals to severely reduce protein content to 15 grams of protein one day out of the week. Advocates of protein fasting suggest doing so induces autophagy, or self-digestion, which is theorized to burn fat, maintain muscle mass, and promote “detoxing” and cellular repairing. Ultimately, autophagy is a natural body process and protein fasting is suggested to facilitate and accelerate the process.

Is Protein Fasting Healthy?

While the practice is not necessarily harmful, the act of dismissing protein from the diet once a week has not shown great health benefits based on available research. Sure, withholding calories may be favorable for weight loss, but scrapping lean protein for a day’s time has not shown to be advantageous over any other diet strategy. Additionally, individuals may be unknowledgeable or unaware of just how to limit protein down to such a miniscule level. Although it may seem apparent to cut out all animal and plant-based protein sources, people may not realize protein naturally lies in other foods. For instance, a cup of broccoli supplies approximately three grams of protein, while a half cup of dry oats offers almost five, which may encourage people to avoid foods and form negative assumptions. And when it comes down to the notion of “detoxing,” withholding protein is not necessarily the answer. Most nutrition experts denote “detoxing” by external means is merely pointless, as the liver, kidneys, and other innate detoxers within the body does the job without the need of restrictive and demanding diets and expensive pills and supplements.

A Food Strategy That Works

If looking for a food strategy that works without feeling restricted or confined, let bistroMD assist! bistroMD is the nation’s leading meal delivery service, providing well-balanced meals across the country. Each meal contains 1,100 to 1,400 calories daily with 40 to 50 percent of total caloric intake from lean, adequate protein, 20 to 25 percent of calories from healthy fats, and 30 to 35 percent from complex carbohydrates. The balance of macronutrients provides the body with what it needs to target fat, lose weight, and jump start healthy weight loss, all without the need of fasting. Additionally, all programs are customizable to meet individual needs and approach personal health goals, without the need of food deprivation. For more information on bistroMD and available programs, visit the official webpage here or call 866-401-3438 to speak to a live representative today!

Sarah Asay's Photo
Written By Sarah Asay, RDN. Published on February 26, 2018. Updated on June 09, 2020.


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