High Protein vs. High Carb Diets for Weight Loss

Healthy salmon dinner with shrimp, avocado and spinach

There are a million weight loss theories, programs, diets, and supplements out there today.

Most of them are either gimmicks or short term band-aids that do not address the underlying issues of weight gain. There's a reason we gain weight, and if we don't figure out the root cause and make a change, we will continue to get the same results.

The one dietary theory in particular that I would like to address here is everyone's latest obsession...

The High Protein Diet 

Yes, a high protein diet DOES work for weight loss. I myself have done it with short-term success.

A couple years back I was training with a personal trainer that promoted a high protein and very low carb diet. Even whole FRUITS on a high protein/low carb diet are a big no-no. You're basically eating meats, low-carb vegetables (like greens), and healthy fats.

High protein worked really well for a short period of time, but after a little while, the cravings hit. I wanted fruit and I couldn't stand the restriction. As much as I enjoyed the weight loss results, I knew I wanted to find something sustainable, and high protein wasn't going to be the right fit for me.

Right around the same time I was learning more and more about the immense benefits of raw fruits and vegetables, and how most chronic disease is caused by eating too much animal protein.

My views on fruits and vegetables were changing, and ultimately fruit won out over my trainer. I quickly traded in my high protein diet for a high carb diet that included protein. 

Kris Carr, author of Crazy Sexy Cancer & Crazy Sexy Diet, includes this excerpt from Dr. Alejandro Junger on the subject:

If carbs go missing, the body uses stored fat as the next best fuel. When fatty acids are broken down by the liver and kidneys to be used for fuel, ketone bodies are one of the by-products. The presence of ketone bodies results in a condition known as ketosis. A low level of ketosis, created by fasting briefly, by going on a very low calorie diet, or even in the morning after not eating overnight, is common. The body is designed to use ketones as a temporary solution to a shortage of glucose. Being constantly in ketosis, however, can make your blood acidic, because the molecular composition of ketones resembles alcohol.

There's nothing revolutionary about using the ketosis metabolic pathway to burn fat (i.e. high protein diet). Bodybuilders were using it decades before Atkins wrote about it as a way to lose weight. There are even those who toutu a high protein vegan diet.  Regardless of the sources, the overall systemic acidity that inevitably results from a high protein, low carb diet helps you lose weight but has long-term negative consequences, including inflammation, chronic digestive problems, heart disease, and cancer.

If your goal is rapid weight loss, a high protein/low carb diet works well. It is a short-term approach, however. If your goal is to achieve wellness and longevity, you need a long-term approach that avoids systemic acidity. This means a diet with little or no animal products and plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This way, you can lose weight safely while improving, not damaging, your health.

The High Carb Diet 

I have found better results using a high carb "diet" for weight loss (mostly fruits and vegetables) over all of the other diets I've tried. There are plenty of high protein vegetables and fruits, so I never give protein deficiency a thought.

Juicing is a big part of my high carb diet. I actually didn't start to see real weight loss results until I started drinking fresh green juices regularly. This is why we include 3 green juices per day with the Skinny Cleanse. Dark greens are packed with the vitamins and minerals that your body needs to support healthy weight loss and give you lasting energy. Try incorporating 1-3 green juices a day for a week, and see the difference it makes in your own life! 

Bio image of article author Lisa Testa, M.S.

With over two decades of expertise in the field of Health & Wellness, Lisa Testa, M.S. is an experienced nutritionist who has dedicated her career to empowering hundreds of clients on their journeys to weight loss and natural healing through the transformative power of raw food nutrition.

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