Nutrition & Dieting/Low carb not working?


Is it possible that very low carb diets dont work for some people, possibly because of genetics?
After two months of eating less than 20 grams of carbs, I have lots of energy,lost some weight on my extremities and face, but my waist actually got bigger, and I ganed 5 pounds.
Last year I went the other way and ate vegetarian, lots of carbs, and while my belly shrunk, I was tired all the time.
Looking at my Dad and uncles, who were all big meat eaters with big bellies, but died early from cancer and heart disease, maybe I need to cut back on the meat, at leat the red meat or saturated fat. There has to be a genetic component to it.
Thanks for your thoughts!

Hi Bud, didn't realize I had had saved your answer as a draft instead of sending it. My apologies for the wait.
Here is the thing about diets as a whole, low carb, high card, low fat, etc. There is no one that works well for everybody.
Take carbohydrates, some people have a high carb tolerance. They can incorporate starch into their diet with no problem. Then there are those with a poor tolerance that need to limit their starch intake.

Generics plays a part in our body composition to a degree but those genetics can be over come.

Finding the right diet is a lot of trial and error. However the best over all approach is a cycling program. You cycle high, medium and low carb meals. You might do this daily or weekly.
For example on day or week one you would eat high calorie. Each meal would incorporate protein, fat and a carb, at least your 3 main meals will include a whole starch (bread, rice)
On week or day 2 you go to a moderate day. You'd remove the starch from your last main meal and reduce it at lunch
Week or day 3 you will remove most all starch except maybe from breakfast.

This approach never lets your body and metabolism adjust. Humans can quickly adjust to any environment or situation so you need to keep things changing for your body, in this case metabolism working.

As for your belly getting bigger I'd have to wonder what you were eating while eating low carb. Also other factors like your exercise habits and stress level. Stress can increase mid section fat. Basically there are a lot of factors to consider.
Not saying you did this, but a lot of times people excuse low carb for a free pass on other stuff.
When I go through low carb cycles the main part of my diet is lean poultry and lean cuts of beef.
Also what were you doing with fibrous carbs like broccoli, spinach, etc? Those are usually ok to eat even when reducing carbs as they have a very limited impact.

Hope this helped somewhat, please feel free to write back though.  

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Tim Santoro


I can answer questions regarding the following. Confusion about basic nutrition, explain how to improve diet, when and how to eat better, eating for weight loss, eating for health, eating for fitness. I will answer questions about nutritional and workout supplements. I will not endorse any fad diets, however I can explain the draw backs to them and explain why they are the wrong way to go. I will not give advice relating to medications and/or their interactions with food and supplements.


I have earned certifications in Fitness Training and Fitness Nutrition from ISSA. I also self taught and stay current on the fitness industry. I lost 70 pounds training my self.


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