Expert Q&A: When you are trying to lose weight, is it more important to focus on calories or on nutrients like carbs, protein and fat amount?
Answers from Caroline J. Cederquist, M.D.
Both are important when you are trying to lose weight.
Decreasing calories to below what you body needs on a day to day basis is important, but the nutrient composition of these calories is also critically important. Specifically, when you are trying to lose weight you need to eat less calories, but if your diet does not contain the correct amount of protein and essential fats, your body will break down muscle tissue to meet the need. This is not healthy and is stressful for the body, which is why extreme diets like grapefruit or cabbage alone don’t work. You initially lose water weight but then further weight loss stops because your body is being starved of essential nutrients and your metabolic rate slows.
For more than ten years, my medical practice has been exclusively focused on weight loss. We perform body composition analysis on all of our patients weekly and have found that fat is lost when our patients meet their nutritional requirements for protein. If they do not meet these needs they lose fat free mass (muscle) and water.
Trying to balance the amount of protein most people need when dieting, while keeping calories, fat, and carbohydrates under control is time consuming. BistroMD was created to make all of this easier. The BistroMD meal plan provides adequate lean protein, necessary for weight loss, while controlling total calories, fat, and carbohydrates. Most importantly, the food tastes great. It is no sacrifice to eat the meal. When you stay on a reduced calorie meal plan consistently for several weeks you can see results on the scale.