Following a low-calorie, high-protein, low-carb meal plan often results in weight loss. However, the amount of weight you’ll lose weekly on this type of diet is based on your total daily calorie and carb intake. Although rapid weight loss is often desirable, a slow and steady rate of weight loss is best when you want to keep the lost weight off long term.
Weight-control Information Network reports that low-calorie diets generally range from 1,200 to 1,600 calories daily for males and 1,000 to 1,200 calories per day for females. However, the number of calories present in high-protein, low-carb diets varies depending on which type of diet you choose. Unless supervised by a doctor, the minimum safe recommend intake is 1,500 calories daily for men and 1,200 calories a day for women, notes Harvard Health Publications.
Drastic Weight Loss
Different types of high-protein, low-carb diets exist, and each promise different rates of weight loss. According to Rush University Medical Center, some low-carb diets say you’ll lose 5 pounds in just two days. The Atkins diet, a well-known, high-protein, low-carb diet suggests you’ll lose 7 to 15 pounds in two weeks by eating no more than 20 grams of carbs daily. This rapid rate of weight loss may also occur in individuals following very low-calorie diets containing 500 to 800 calories per day.
Water Weight Concerns
The more carbs you cut, the more water weight you can expect to lose because carbs hold onto water in your body. Rush University Medical Center reports that losing 5 pounds in two days means you’ve lost water weight, not body fat. To help prevent ketosis — a condition that occurs when partially broken down fats called ketones build up in the body and may cause gout and kidney stones — eat at least 130 grams of carbohydrates a day, suggests the University of Rochester Medical Center.
Safe Weight Loss
Regardless of which type of low-calorie, high-protein, low-carb diet you choose for weight loss, aim to lose one-half to 2 pounds per week, suggests the University of Rochester Medical Center. Weight-control Information Network reports that losing 3 pounds or more weekly can cause gallstone formation, nausea, fatigue, diarrhea and constipation — and requires medical supervision. To lose about 1 to 2 pounds of body fat weekly, reduce your intake by 500 to 1,000 calories daily. A maximum safe protein intake is 35 percent of your total calories, notes the Institute of Medicine — which equates to 105 grams of protein daily when consuming 1,200 calories and 131 grams of protein per day when following a 1,500-calorie weight-loss plan.