Body Sculpting With Low Carb/High Protein Diets

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One of the more intriguing health benefits I’ve observed in my patients from decreasing carbohydrate intake (to 25-30% of daily calorie intake) and increasing protein (20-30 grams per meal 3 times per day) is the significant and fairly rapid body sculpting effect that occurs. Patients will often comment how quickly they seem to shrink in the abdomen, hips and legs with unusually small amounts of weight loss.

There are a few reasons for this.  First, carbohydrate reduction metabolically “unlocks fat cells” to release stored energy so that the energy can be more readily used as a primary fuel source. This leads to a reduction in fat around the hips, waist and abdomen.

Secondly, the increase in protein increases overall muscle mass and prevents our stored muscle mass from being burned as a fuel source. This results in an increase in muscle and allows the energy stored in fat to be burned.

I had a recent patient report he went from a size 36 to 32 pant size with only a 1/2 pound weight loss in 1 month.  Similarly, I had another patient report that after a very stressful month in which she ate more than she should but continued to adhere to my motto of “more protein and less carbs”, says her clothes fit much better inspite of a 3 pound weight gain.  I hear these comments very often from my patients who stick to the “more protein, less carbs” strategy.

Now if you also want to lower your total body weight, reduce the total amount of calories you eat in a day.  Paying special attention to the fat content can help here since each gram of fat contains a little more than double the number of calories than does a gram of carbohydrate or protein.  But be careful, do not switch to “low fat” foods because they often are much higher in carbohydrates which will prevent the sculpting effect.

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Patrick Nemechek, D.O.

Patrick Nemechek, D.O.

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