Twenty-four obese but otherwise normal men and women were followed for: Two weeks on their usual food intake; eight weeks on a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet; and then again for two weeks on their usual diet. During this time, several metabolic parameters were measured bimonthly. The high-protein, low-carbohydrate dieting resulted in substantial weight loss, probably due to a combination of salt and water loss, as well as caloric restriction. Plasma triglycerides fell as well. Significant increases occurred in LDL-cholesterol, uric acid, and free fatty acid levels. HDL-cholesterol levels failed to rise despite significant weight loss, indicating that the previously reported relationship between HDL-cholesterol and weight may be dependent, in part, on the composition of the diet.