Given everything else identical, would weight loss be equal on 1200 calorie/day high protein, low carb vs. 1200 calorie/day high carb?
Thanks for your reply.
While a calorie is a calorie, it shouldn’t make any difference. However in high protein, low carbohydrate weight loss diets, people lose weight faster due to loss of body water rather than loss of body fat.
On these type of weight loss diets, you lose body fat (15% water) which fuels your body with ketones from incomplete fat breakdown since you need carbohydrates to completely burn body fat. You also lose muscle protein (70% water) in order to fuel your body’s need for glucose (blood sugar carbohydrate) because your muscles store glycogen (the storage form of glucose). Normally the carbohydrates you eat would replenish your blood glucose as fuel for your brain, organs, and muscles. Many weight loss diets unnecessarily eliminate whole food groups (starches, dairy, fruit) because they contain carbohydrates.
After you quit a high protein, low carbohydrate diet, weight gain is often the result. Because people gain back more weight after low carbohydrate diets when they return to their former eating habits when they didn’t learn how to eat moderately from a wide variety of foods. Also, your body is restoring muscle glycogen which attracts 4 times its weight in water when you resume eating carbohydrates.
When weight loss is too fast, you are more likely to gain weight back when you return to your former eating habits. The problem with quick weight loss diets is they don’t teach you to eat healthy to maintain your weight loss.
Nor would I recommend a 1200 calorie per day high carbohydrate plan to lose weight as that leaves little room for protein foods (meats, poultry, fish, egg). Instead, I would recommend a moderate carbohydrate, protein, and healthy fat eating plan.
If you would like a personalized healthy eating plan, try my HELP Healthy Eating for Life Plan®. I would suggest you re-do HELP after every 10-pound weight loss as your calorie needs will be lower to sustain your lower body weight. This will help to limit weight plateaus where weight loss stops due to lower calorie needs at your lower weight. Also after you reach your weight goal, you can re-do HELP for a weight maintenance plan with the calories you need to maintain your new lower weight. You can follow a HELP eating plan for the rest of your life.
Secondly, 1200 calories may be too restrictive for you depending on your current weight and height. I would suggest you try my Healthy Body Calculator® first to determine your calorie target for weight loss and choose to lose 1 or 2 pounds per week as a goal. When people eat too few calories, they often binge on food because they are so hungry and eat whatever food is available. Re-do HBC after every 10-pound weight loss and when you have reached your weight goal. A lower body weight needs fewer calories than a higher body weight assuming you are not a competitive athlete with a higher than normal muscle mass and lower than normal body fat.