How to Stay on Diet

Following a low protein diet is important for good health and development, but staying on diet can often be challenging. Support from family and friends can help you stick to your goals and keep your Phe levels on track.

Reasons to stay on diet

Some people who have been off diet say that when they return to a low protein diet they:

  • Feel better
  • Look better
  • Are less moody
  • Find it easier to get along with others
  • Have more energy
  • Can concentrate
  • Can think clearly to study or work
  • Can complete assignments or work projects more easily
  • Can think more strategically, such as in team sports


Tips to help you stay on Diet

Flavour your foods

Including a variety of foods can help you stick to your diet, whilst eating the same foods each day may make it difficult. One way that may help is to ‘jazz up’ your food by trying new flavours and recipes. Although many foods may be restricted or limited in the low protein diet, you do not have to compromise on taste.  Knowing what tastes and foods you like is important.

Add interest to your foods

Keep zesty seasonings (e.g. Moroccan spices, garlic salt, lemon juice) and herbs handy. Be creative and try something new – ask your dietitian for ideas or check out our recipe section.

  • Spicy
    Add spicy seasoning, curry powder or paste, cracked pepper, tabasco or chilli sauce to steamed vegetables to give them a fiery kick.
  • Sweet
    End your meal with some pineapple or other fruit to get the sweet taste. Try your low protein cooking skills and make a low protein dessert as an occasional treat.
  • Creamy
    Satisfy your creamy cravings with some marshmallow treats.
  • Fluffy
    Change the texture of a low-protein baked item by using apple sauce instead of oil.
  • Crunchy
    Toast low-protein bread to make your own croutons and add to salads.

Note: some of these ideas may need to be included in your protein allowance


PKU Handbook [2005]. Australasian Society for Inborn Errors of Metabolism (ASIEM) (Australia and New Zealand). Chapter 11: PKU teenagers and adults

My PKU Binder [2011]. National PKU Alliance (USA). Chapter 8: 18+ to Adulthood.

Please Note: The dietary treatment for PKU varies for each person so all information presented here is for guidance only. Your own dietitian and/or doctor will advise you on all aspects relating to management of PKU for you and your family.