Obesity Surgery

, Volume 21, Issue 8, pp 1194–1202

Short-Term Carbohydrate-Restricted Diet for Weight Loss in Severely Obese Women

  • Andresa de Toledo Triffoni-Melo
  • Ingrid Dick-de-Paula
  • Guilherme Vannucchi Portari
  • Alceu Afonso Jordao
  • Paula Garcia Chiarello
  • Rosa Wanda Diez-Garcia
Clinical Research



Weight loss in bariatric pre-surgery period reduces surgical complications, surgery time, blood loss, and length of hospital stay. Carbohydrate-restricted diets have been used as an alternative for weight loss. We tested the efficacy of a low-calorie carbohydrate-restricted diet (RD) for short-term weight loss in women with severe obesity and evaluate its metabolic effects in relation to a conventional low-calorie diet (CD).


The subjects received a 1,200-kcal diet with or without carbohydrate restriction for a period of 1 week in the hospital. Nineteen obesity class III women were distributed into two groups: experimental (n = 10) and control (n = 9). The following variables were assessed at the beginning and end of the study: anthropometric measurements, body composition, resting energy expenditure, substrate oxidation, and biochemical tests.


Compared with CD, RD led to larger weight loss (2.6 and 4.4 kg, respectively; p = 0.01) and waist circumference reduction (p < 0.01). Among the assessed biochemical indicators, only plasma and urine acetone levels were different (p < 0.01); higher values were found in the experimental group with no symptoms and other diet-related complaints. There was also a significant decrease in triglycerides and carbohydrate oxidation, as well as a significant enhancement in lipid oxidation in the RD group.


Short-term RD was more efficient than CD regarding quick weight loss and waist circumference reduction, which may favor gastroplasty. Also, RD did not lead adverse metabolic effects.


Low-carbohydrate diet Weight loss Ketosis Morbid obesity 



low-calorie carbohydrate-restricted diet


conventional low-calorie diet


Clinical Hospital, School of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo


body mass index


arm circumference


waist circumference in the navel


waist circumference 10 cm above the WC


waist circumference 20 cm above the WC


homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance


standard deviation


resting energy expenditure


fat mass


lean mass


respiratory quotient


total energy value


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andresa de Toledo Triffoni-Melo
    • 1
  • Ingrid Dick-de-Paula
    • 2
  • Guilherme Vannucchi Portari
    • 3
  • Alceu Afonso Jordao
    • 4
  • Paula Garcia Chiarello
    • 4
  • Rosa Wanda Diez-Garcia
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine of Ribeirão PretoUniversity of São PauloRibeirão PretoBrazil
  2. 2.Clinical Hospital, School of Medicine of Ribeirão PretoUniversity of São PauloRibeirão PretoBrazil
  3. 3.Faculty of NutritionFederal University of Triangulo MineiroUberabaBrazil
  4. 4.Nutrition and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine of Ribeirão PretoUniversity of São PauloRibeirão PretoBrazil

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