Side Effects of the Hamdy Diet

Dr. Osama Hamdy, director of the obesity clinical program at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, advocates a slow weight loss program that provides more protein and less carbohydrate than some plans 2. The moderate diet, aimed at helping you lose one-half to one pound per week, should cause few side effects, although you may need to reduce the amount of protein in the diet if you have kidney disease. Talk to your doctor before beginning any weight loss diet.


Dr. Hamdy’s diabetes control and prevention diet recommends that you obtain 40 percent of your calories from fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other high-fiber carbohydrates. A gram contains 4 calories so, based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, your daily meal plan would include 200 grams -– 800 calories -– of carbohydrates. This is somewhat less than the amount of carbohydrates -– 225 grams to 325 grams -– recommended for healthy adults. But Dr. Hamdy’s carbohydrate restrictions align with those of the American Diabetes Association, which recommends limiting carbohydrates to 45 grams to 60 grams per meal plus two snacks of between 5 and 30 carbohydrates each -- 145 grams to 240 grams per day 1.


The diet advocated by Dr. Hamdy and the Joslin Diabetes Center, affiliated with Harvard Medical School, recommends you obtain 20 to 30 percent of your daily calories from protein 2. Suggested sources include:

  • tofu
  • skinless chicken or turkey
  • peas
  • beans
  • fish
  • low-fat or non-fat dairy products

Based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, your daily menu would include 100 grams to 150 grams of protein. This falls within the range of the 50 grams to 175 grams of protein recommended for healthy adults.

Kidney Disease

The Kidney Foundation recommends that people with chronic kidney disease limit their protein intake to 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. Depending on your weight and the condition of your kidney, Dr. Hamdy’s diet might include more protein than your kidneys can adequately filter. A person weighing 200-pounds -– about 90 kilograms -– should limit protein consumption to 72 grams a day, and a person weighing 150 pounds – 68 kilograms – should eat no more than 53 grams of protein daily. If you have kidney disease, talk to your doctor about how much protein you should include in your diet.


If you eat the types of protein Dr. Hamdy recommends, you could keep your saturated fat intake within heart-healthy guidelines of 16 grams daily. If you include fatty meat among your protein choices, you might exceed them. If you included 150 grams of beef ribs in your menu, your saturated fat intake would total nearly 22 grams.

Dr. Hamdy’s diet reduces your normal calorie intake by 250 calories to 500 calories a day, which should yield a slow and steady weight loss. Don’t confuse Dr. Hamdy’s diet with a diet sometimes wrongly attributed to him – a Dr. Humdy diet that promises you can lose up to 10 to 22 kilograms -– 22 pounds to 48 pounds -- in four weeks.