Getting Started on the Protein Power Diet

6 Simple Steps to Ensuring Your Diet Is a Success

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The Protein Power Diet is a low-carb diet plan developed by Doctors Michael and Mary Dan Eades. First published as a book in 1997, it remains a popular option among the many diet programs available today.

As outlined in the book, "Protein Power," the Eades' diet focuses on high-protein, moderate-fat, and low-carbs. The doctors based it on their research and claim that it helps people lose weight and feel healthier overall. Better yet, there are no major sacrifices like some plans require and people reportedly feel rather satisfied after starting the diet.

While that sounds great, how can you get started the right way? Here are six simple steps that can help you find success with the Protein Power Diet.

Protein Power Diet Basics

It's great to be able to find free Protein Power information here and at other websites, but there's really no substitute for reading the original books. Before embarking on any diet, it's important to know what you're getting yourself into over the long haul and to thoroughly understand the reasons for the food choices you'll be making.

The Eades have written a number of books, though it's often best to start with the original, "Protein Power" published in 1997. If, after reading it, the diet still interests you, pick up one of their more recent books for a little extra help and some helpful alternatives.

How to Count Carbs

The Protein Power Diet plan relies on knowing how much carbohydrate is in everything you eat. Therefore, it's of the greatest importance to learn about carb counting. There are books with carb counts (including one by the Eades) and also software you can buy or use online.

There is also an alternative to carb counting and it is presented in the Eades' book "The 30 Day Low-Carb Diet Solution." Rather than count carbs, this approach specifies servings of carb-containing food. They list what constitutes "small", "medium," and "large" servings depending on the phase of the diet you are in.

For example, in the first phase, you can have 2 small servings of carb at each meal. Examples of a small serving would be:

  • 2 cups raw broccoli
  • 1 cup cooked green beans
  • Unlimited spinach
  • 2 apricots
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1 slice low-carb bread

It's relatively easy and each phase contains similar portions appropriate to that stage of the weight-loss plan. As you can see, this may be a much easier method for some people to follow than counting every carb.

How Much Protein You Need

As the title of the diet suggests, getting enough protein is crucial to the success of the diet. The Eades have come up with several ways to determine this in the different books they have written.

They started out in "Protein Power" using a formula based on lean body mass. They then simplified it by providing charts based on height and weight in the "Protein Power Lifeplan." These give most people 100 to 120 grams of protein per day. This is above the minimum recommendation, but well within the guidelines of the National Academy of Sciences.

In "The 30 Day Low-Carb Diet Solution," the Eades provided an option for those who don't want to count protein grams. Similar to the way they do carbs, they have several serving sizes of protein, with pictures to illustrate how large some of the servings are. 

High-protein foods include eggs, beans, nuts, and meats, so you can already see the appeal of this diet. The key is to know how much protein you need, then remain mindful about portion control.

How to Plan Meals Ahead

Planning your food ahead of time is the most important part of starting out on a new way of eating. This really cannot be emphasized enough. Plan at least a week's worth of menus, and have food on hand a few days ahead of time. Then you won't be caught wondering what to eat.

Find inspiration to start planning your new menus:

How to Be Successful on a New Diet

The first week of a new diet can be quite challenging and this is normal. Know that there will be rough spots, especially as your body adjusts to a new way of eating.

It is likely that you will go through carb withdrawal and maybe even carb crash, though that can be avoided. If you stick with it and get a few tips, you can get through that first crucial week.

Find the Right Carb Level

Another important part of low-carb diets is finding the right carb level for you. This is very important because it's different for everyone and too few carbs can negatively impact your health. If you have diabetes or are pre-diabetic, it cannot be stressed enough that you monitor your glucose carefully.

Get Support

This could be the most important step of all. Finding support from family, friends, or even a group can really make a difference in your weight loss goals.

If possible, find someone else to do the diet with you. Ask questions, get support for the new steps you are taking, find help through the rough patches, and chat with people who have similar goals.

A Word From Verywell

The high-protein approach found in the Protein Power Diet may be more appealing to you than some other weight loss programs. You also have to appreciate those alternatives to counting carbs and protein.

For these reasons, you may want to give this one a try. If you do, prepare yourself before diving in, talk to your doctor about any concerns, and be sure to get support. 

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Article Sources
  • Eades MR, Eades MD. Protein Power: The High-Protein/Low Carbohydrate Way to Lose Weight, Feel Fit, and Boost Your Health–in Just Weeks! New York, NY: Bantam Books; 1997.

  • Eades MR, Eades MD. The Protein Power Lifeplan. New York, NY: Warner Books, Inc.; 2000.

  • Eades MR, Eades MD. The Low-Carb Diet Solution. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2003.