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Why Do So Many Low-Carb Representatives Tend To Be On The ‘Heavier Side’?

If there’s one thing I hope you can always count on from me when you read my blog, it’s this: I’m never one to shy away from the topics that matter the most when it comes to weight loss and health–even if that means diving into subjects that are less than desirable for someone putting himself out there as an example of what low-carb living is all about. My sincerest desire is to be as open and honest with you my readers even if it doesn’t necessarily put me in the best light so that we can all learn from our shared experiences about this lifestyle change. These are things that go much deeper than what any one person is going through while eating low-carb and could actually help shed some light on problems that many of you might be going through as well.

Today I’ve got a really juicy one for you to ponder that’s probably gonna ruffle a few feathers of people who’d rather I never even broach this subject. That’s okay because I think this is precisely the kind of thing that is most important to get out there in the open, have meaningful discussions about publicly, and dispel some of the rumors that tend to creep into the culture about healthy low-carb living. Yes, I realize this is quite controversial but it is something I’ve been meaning to address for a very long time and now seems to be the appointed moment. A recent e-mail from one of my faithful readers rekindled the subject in my mind and I’d like to share it with you as a starting point in looking at this more closely. You can tell it pained her to write this to me and I was very grateful for the tact she used in approaching me with this. Here’s the e-mail she wrote about her observations of low-carb leaders and her concerns about their weight:

Hey Jimmy,

Okay, I have to ask this because you are the only person I could think of that would hopefully understand and not take offense…I always listen to your podcast show and love it…so I am fan…saying that…I have often wondered when looking into the “low carb world,” aside from movie stars, why are there not skinnier low carb representatives? If it really works, why do most of the blog sites, authors and speakers seem to be on the heavier side? Is it due to insulin problems that have ruined the metabolism, lack of exercise, not adhering to the diet? I understand the health benefits, but was confused by this. I know this probably sounds super offensive and that’s not how I meant it. Shamefully, a lot of us choose diets depending on how the representative looks, not always feels, sad but true. But why not feel great AND look great?

At first glance, I could see how someone could possibly be offended by what was shared in this e-mail. But if you look closely, you’ll notice it’s not written in an accusatory tone at all. In fact, I think she went out of her way to be respectful and yet at the same time express her sincere concerns about the weight control of some of the leaders in the low-carb movement. That’s not to say there aren’t some pretty darn good examples of how low-carb eating can make you look (Mark Sisson, Jonas Colting, Richard Nikoley, Dr. Kurt Harris, Kent Altena, Caroline Jhingory, and Christina Adler all immediately come to mind). I cannot speak for anyone else in the low-carb world except for myself and I won’t even try to. They all have their own platforms for doing so if they choose to share their thoughts on this subject and I’ll leave it at that. But I can give my own observations and input from personal experience.

When I started on the Atkins diet in 2004, I weighed in at an extremely unhealthy weight of 410 pounds with a size 62-inch waist, 5XL shirts, and on three prescription medications for breathing, cholesterol, and blood pressure–not to mention all the emotional turmoil happening in my life through the lack of satisfaction with my career and other “life” issues. Although I was just 32 years old, my physical and mental health were in very bad shape and I probably don’t even realize just how much damage had been done from years of improper nutrition and basically not caring about my health one iota.

Thankfully, though, the low-carb lifestyle swooped into my life like Prince Charming and rescued me from an almost-certain future filled with ailments like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and most probably an early grave like what befell my brother Kevin at the age of 41. Although I was able to shed 180 pounds in that year, I never really attained the body I was hoping to have. Yes, it was a huge accomplishment for which I am grateful for, but my ultimate dream of looking good shirtless with six-pack abs has never been a reality (or as my pastor says, “I’ve got sick pack abs, but I keep them in a cooler!). And I’m cool with that.

Flash forward to 2010 and let’s assess my current situation. As I’ve been sharing quite extensively at my menus blog in recent months, I’ve been frustrated by an increase in my weight back up again in the 280s again and I’m actively working on rekindling the plan of action that worked for me in 2004. It’s been quite discouraging for me to be seemingly doing all the right things keeping my carbohydrate intake limited on a daily basis and yet seeing no weight loss and even some gradual weight gains. My next course of action will begin on Tuesday morning when a new gym will be opening near my house (I just signed up for a 1-year membership!) and I can get back into a regular routine of consistent daily cardio just as I did when I originally lost my weight almost seven years ago. Yes, I know what Gary Taubes and others have said about cardio being useless for weight loss, but this is one area of my original success story I have not tried to replicate again. I’m hopeful it is one of the missing pieces to this puzzle I’ve been dealing with.

My reader has brought up some interesting points in her inquiry because I’ve never really had the perfect physique for representing low-carb living nor have I pretended to be a role model for what you can look like if you go low-carb. But does that mean low-carb didn’t work for me? Well, let’s look at the facts: despite my current weight being higher than when I lost weight in 2004, I’ve still kept off well over 100 pounds now for the past six years and I’ve been able to stave off the inevitability of diabetes, heart disease and premature death. I’m no longer taking prescription medications for anything which I’m very proud of. Best of all, my low-carb lifestyle has not made my health worse as some anti-meat/anti-low-carb pundits would have you to believe. In fact, just the opposite is true!

The fantastic news is my lipid panel is amazing! My HDL cholesterol is still way above 50 while my triglycerides are below 100–the HDL/triglyceride ratio is becoming recognized as being more and more relevant for measuring heart health than LDL and total cholesterol despite the fact that those latter two numbers are what most doctors put their focus on. But it’s not the LDL cholesterol number, but the size of the LDL cholesterol that matters most. Making sure your small, dense LDL particles which can penetrate the arterial wall are reduced is the goal and that’s precisely what has happened for me. Last year I had a CT scan of my chest (aka a “heart scan”) conducted and it showed a calcium score of a big fat ZERO! Dr. William Davis says you only need to have this test redone every five years if your score comes back with no plaque in your arteries. And, best of all, I feel fantastic despite carrying around more weight than I’d prefer to.

On the mental side of things, I couldn’t be happier with the changes low-carb has made in my life. When I first started low-carbing, I was struggling to find purpose in my career feeling like I was never able to reach my fullest potential working for other people. It wasn’t until I was privileged to start working full-time as a blogger/podcaster in October 2006 that I felt the future of my career was limitless and uninhibited so that finally I could pursue the creative dreams and desires that God made me to do. None of this would have been possible had it not been for the doors that livin’ la vida low-carb opened for me. And my marriage to Christine has grown that much closer because we’re able to spend more time together, I’m not under as much stress anymore, and we’ve been blessed to do things we would have otherwise never been able to do. Life’s not completely perfect but a lot better off than it was in 2004.

I say all of that to say this–no, I don’t have the body of Adonis or Arnold Schwarzenegger, but I’m not supposed to. I’m Jimmy Moore and my body is only gonna go as far as my genetic makeup will allow it. Yes, I could look better than I do now, but I’m not gonna fret and feel guilty about what others think I should look like. This is my journey and one that in the end I must deal with personally in the way that I see fit. It’s easy to let disappointment creep in and then you just give up on it all. That isn’t gonna happen with me because I can see the dramatic changes that have happened to me over the past few years and nobody will be able to take that away from me. I’ll always strive to be the best me I can be. You can’t really expect more from yourself than that.

Keep in mind that most of us who have found low-carb were either very heavy prior to changing our lifestyle or severely metabolically damaged in some form or fashion–and perhaps for some of us we have a more difficult time fixing what has already been broken because of our past choices. I’ve seen that happen in my own progress and it can indeed be frustrating. But I keep coming back to the saving grace in this whole thing inasmuch as my health is immaculate. There are so many more variables at work here other than diet that are mostly hormonally related that could be standing in the way of weight loss progress (thyroid, insulin, leptin, etc.). It’s one of the reasons why I blog about the struggles I go through so we can learn from each other. To that end, I’d love to hear your theories about why some people may not be able to get their weight down to an “ideal” level even on a low-carb diet (no, this isn’t the place for bashing low-carb so don’t even try it).

To my reader and anyone else who feels compelled to share an e-mail with me about a tough subject like this one, THANK YOU! It’s only through honest dialog that we can effectively communicate the message with those who are still confused about whether low-carb is a healthy nutritional approach or not. I’ve always believed that living with integrity is the best thing you could ever do if you are sincere about helping others and that’s been the goal of everything that I do. No, it’s not always flattering towards me to be so blunt with the way things are but this lack of pretense is what you the reader deserve. Please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts with me anytime at livinlowcarbman@charter.net. I’m always happy to hear from you!

  • BD

    Hey Jimmy,

    Thanks for your honesty. It sure is easy to come up with answers for anyone other than yourself! So you just keep plugging away.

    I wanted to make one comment about what is going around these days about how exercise doesn’t help with weight loss. I understand the arguments from Mr. Taubes and others and certainly have to agree with them. Animal studies show the more the exercise the more they eat. Make sense. However, hasn’t anyone ever said that we are not caged animals in a laboratory? I exercise and I am hungrier than before, but I have a rational mind and can make the decision not to eat more. Isn’t that so?
    It may be hard, but I (we) can do it. So doesn’t that make a difference?

  • John

    Thanks for this discussion Jimmy.

    Question: Do you want to believe somebody that is still fat but improving or somebody that has been skinny all their life and is trying to sell a book and a can of vitamins to you?

    Yes I promote this stuff, and yes I’m still overweight. Fat doesn’t melt off overnight. It took decades to put it on, it will take time to take it off. I’m down 25 and counting.

    The motivator for me is the science. The science of low carb makes sense. It’s too deep for a reply, but Jimmy covers most of it somewhere in his archives. And it’s still developing.

    I see it working in everybody that tries it. By working I mean weight loss, reversal and control of diabetes, healthy lipids, and more energetic bodies. I see people becoming healthy and vibrant.

    BD: our bodies’ demands eventually overcome our mental fortresses. Starvation diets have 97% failure rates. Low carb is a sustainable option.

  • ~C

    Jimmy, you’re fantastic, thanks for writing about this.
    I lost 20lbs. in the first 4 months or so of Low Carb, then it took another year to shed 5 more and in the last two months I’ve finally shaken off the last 10 pounds and finally made goal. The 3 things I did differently in the last two months were, 1.) reducing my portion sizes, 2.) Cutting out Dairy completely and 3.) exercising consistently (cardio and weights). I realize these things go against the common Low Carb rules, but this its what it took for me and nothing I did before this would work (to get the last 10 pounds off). You’re so right, everyone is on their own journey and shouldn’t be judged for where they’re at. It’s too bad one can’t wear their blood or cholesterol results on their forehead and show everyone that they are indeed- healthy!!

  • http://livingnotsurviving.com Ahmed Serag

    Good and sincere article Jimmy.

    I’d be interested to hear what your opinion on extended low carb (plus lifestyle stress of today) and its’ relationship with adrenal fatigue/hormonal issues that lead to weight gain.

    In other words, what do you have to say about Matt Stone’s opinion at 180 degree health?

  • http://www.holdthetoast.com Dana Carpender

    I know that I live every day of my life with the knowledge that all it would take would be 18 months inattention to diet and exercise and I could be a size 24, no problem. It scares me, how quickly I could become morbidly obese. And not only do I have a strong genetic tendency to obesity — my father was obese, my sister has been obese — I’m also just plain short and stocky, with a ridiculously short waist and a huge rib cage (and rack). You could starve me for a couple of years, and I wouldn’t look willowy, I’d look like an emaciated fire hydrant. Not to mention the fact that I’m hypothyroid, and rapidly approaching menopause, which sure doesn’t help matters any.

    Low carb hasn’t made me a skinny girl. It has made me a skinnier girl — I’m sitting here in size 10 shorts; I was a size 20 when I went low carb 15 years ago. It has also made me incredibly healthy, given me abundant energy, and done away with the constant, driving hunger that sometimes made me feel like I was crazy. Seems to have slowed the aging process, too — I have no arthritis at 52 (okay, I’ll be 52 in a week), despite years of massage therapy, *not* easy on the joints. My skin looks remarkably good for my age. I still have my near vision. (I haven’t had my distance vision since third grade, so that’s not an aging thing.) I heal quickly.

    There’s no question in my mind that low carb is exactly what my body wants from me, and what has made me, and will keep me, well.

  • http://pegasuspublishing.com Scott Merritt

    Well I can certainly attest that it’s really difficult to obtain the body that one would like. However I cannot complain since switching to low carb eating I’ve lost 110 lbs, (15 inches off my middle) had my blood pressure stabilize, and no longer require any of the multiple medications that I used to require. Am I still a little heavy. Yes, but I look and feel a whole lot better at 185 than I did at 295. I may never get down to 170 but at least I may live long enough to make the attempt

  • Megan B.

    I have been living the low carb lifestyle for a few years now, even during my 3rd pregnancy (which was by far the easiest and comfortable pregnancy out of 3! No heartburn!!!) I keep the maintenance lifestyle for health but when I want to get serious about getting thinner I go 30 grams of carbs (after subtracting fiber) or less a day and have to slash my calories to under 1200 (I am 5’5 and 155 lbs. still working on getting down to 125, but I’m not in a big rush! I am healthy and busy taking care of my 3 small children) Along with that I also add some intervals a few times a week. Running as fast as I can for 30 seconds…walking for 90 seconds…as many times as I can. Mixing it up every now and then with diet can work, too, because our brains get used to what we are doing, and are always trying to be more efficient so it gets harder to lose after the first big weight loss from LCing. I count my carbs and calories on thedailyplate.com and it always surprises me how quickly the food energy adds up when you eat some nuts, cheese, cream, etc… it’s easy to see why weight begins to stay the same…just eating too much of a good thing! I usually do not gain, though, at all, unless I have had splurges for birthdays, etc… cake, cookies and frappuccinos put on pounds IMMEDIATELY!! Switching to some whole milk in my coffee instead of heavy cream seems to help with weight loss, too. :) Thanks for sharing, Jimmy!!

  • Sharon

    Thanks reader and Jimmy for bringing this up. My doc was on the verge of putting me on high blood pressure meds and last check-up my pressure was low normal. No meds for me! I know it’s because I’ve been low carb since Easter. On the other side, I haven’t lost a pound – and it’s not like I’m fretting about 10 lbs. – I need to lose 30-35. No matter what I do, nothing changes. I feel much better – whenever I have grains, even 20-30 grams, I pay for it dearly the next day. And of course, my family sees that I haven’t dropped any weight and think I’m crazy to talk about low carb for any reason. (Except for my darling husband, who’s convinced of the science and is low carb for the most part, though he eats what he wants, when he wants – which is fine – he’s a grown, responsible man, and I’m not going to nag at him. I fix delicious low carb meals and have lots of low carb snacks around; I’ve replaced diet and sugary sodas with homemade low carb beverages like iced tea, and he’s totally cool with it.)

    The real goodness of your bringing all this up, is to remind anyone who’s struggling (like me) and maybe confused, that it IS about health and pant size is secondary.

    When you’ve followed all the “good advice” and messed up your metabolism for years, you can’t expect every extra pound to just melt away. There are set points that your body clings to and they’re really hard to get past. And the information in the new Journal of Nutrition: “In the face of contradictory evidence: Report of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee” confirms it: Americans are only consuming an average of 20 calories a day more now than we were in the 70s, but the make up is completely different: we’re eating ten times more carbohydrates now. And the USDA keeps plugging the same crippling advice: cut down on fat, get protein from plants, eat more “good” carbohydrates. And the result: we’re getting heavier and sicker.

    Stopping the madness is the first step. Regaining your health is next. Being your ideal weight? Well, we’ll just have to see. But I’ll trade the last one for the first two any day of the week.

    Thanks Jimmy!!

  • Michael Scott

    Dear Jimmy

    I have lost more than 85 pounds and kept it off for the past ten years. I cannot eat grains in any form. I have to count the carbs even in the fibre. I can’t eat fruit because it give me cravings and puts on weight. I dropped an additional 25 pounds in the last two months So that I can bicycle better up hills. My wife calls me a fanatic! If this is what it takes to have a healthy life, then “so be it”. I remember just how badly I felt at 300 pounds. Now at 194 I am leaving for Vegas to bicycle for one month with my friend. One of the many things I coudn’t do at 300! I will never be able to get out of Induction. So be it. I am 68 years old and the last time I was this weight was at 18! I will never be able to go over 20 grams. Whatever it takes! Never give up. I will be starting my eleventh year on Atkins level one this month. I have never felt better in my entire life! My only advice is to keep the carbs as low as you have to go to drop weight and the fat as high as you need. All the best. Mike Scott

  • http://www.atkinsdietgeek.com Kent

    I hear you there Jimmy. And while you put me in the “good example” category, I fully know that I am not at single digit body fat percentages nor winning marathons races — however coming in the top 25% is close enough to winning for me. I’ll probably talk more about this on my blog when it isn’t 1am, but here are a few thoughts.

    A lot of low carbers like you said came into the game because we had to. I never looked at being a physical fitness star. Even when I was in high school while I could play a mean game of pickup basketball, I was not your typical jock or had the athlete’s body. I was more the “Rudy” of the athletic world — I had to work harder than everyone else to get ahead or excel. I would imagine many other low carbers were the same way. They weren’t the star linebackers, the cross country elite runners, or the basketball jocks. They were the common everyday person who do their best to be active and fit. In many case like myself, we let that genetic makeup slide even further with years of neglect and inattention. My body was closer to the red light district focused on temporary pleasures than a temple.

    Using that analogy of the red light district, my internal city council put on city (body) renovation project to refurbish the districts and the slums. Like any city renewal project, it is easy to see the big changes right away. As things get torn down, and new buildings go up, i.e. weight is dropped and new sports are taken up. However like city councils, as time passes and funds (energy) decrease, the results aren’t as dramatic. Many of the low carb representatives have more than one career. Some days, I’d love to be able to workout in a gym all day or focus on my running to get to the next level, but I also love producing education videos and being a firefighter/EMT to say nothing of full time jobs of husband, dad to 4, and network engineer. Perhaps because we are representatives of the low carb community our results are lessened as time is pulled away from self-serving or self-betterment activities to serving or engaging the community.

    One final piece of city renovation analogy, there is also some damage that unlike a city renovation project of brick and stone can not be fixed without surgical intervention. Stretchmarks may lessen and loose skin may tighten up, but for the big losers, they are likely a fact of life no matter what life or exercise plan they do. I doubt I will ever lose my “Sharpei,” but like I aid in my loose skin video, it serves as a reminder to what could be. If that means that doing 75 situps give me floor burns from the loose skin chafing, so be it. I may never look like Arnold or Mr. Olympia or as thin as Ryan Hall, but I still eliminated all the heart risk factors, pre-diabetes, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, and achieved a level of physical performance I had never seen before.

  • http://www.cutthecarb.com Hans Keer

    Hi Jimmy, You are a brave and honest man. I don’t hope that the Matt Stones of this world will take advantage of it. My thought is that a lot of low carbers don’t lose the weight they had hoped, because they still eat foods that do not go whit their DNA and their damaged metabolism. For those people I would recommend a paleo, low carb style of diet. This in my point of view means abstaining from all grains, legumes, nightshades and dairy. Restricting nuts and eggs would certainly help too. I would be very happy to discuss a new (underpinned) diet plan with you and your readers. On my site you can find my general dietary guidelines. VBR Hans.

  • http://vitamind3.blogspot.com/ Ted Hutchinson

    Bear in mind it isn’t simply a matter of calories in = calories out.
    One important point of Taubes talk is that under some diets mothers become obese while their babies are malnourished as a result of endocrine disruption.
    In the current obesity epidemic it’s worth considering the Impact of environmental endocrine disrupting chemicals on the development of obesity and asking to what extent may the storage of calories from sweetened beverages be determined by the extra oestrogen from polycarbonate they are bottled in.
    We should also ask whether the lack of vitamin D disrupts the endocrine system as does the disruption of the melatonin circadian rhythm by too much light at night~ insufficient bright light daytime.
    Dietary n-3:n-6 fatty acid ratios also differentially influence hormonal signature
    All these factors are operating in bodies that, because of changes in plant breeding in the mid 1960′s, instead of getting 500mg magnesium daily as would have occurred 100yrs ago are probably only getting 150mg/d. Magnesium deficiency through exacerbating chronic inflammatory stress and thus also impacts on obesity and chronic disease.

  • Bob Apjok

    There is another issue to consider. Low carb is not only about weight, but health. There are studies that show that skinny people are not necessarily healthier than heavier people. There are other factors. There are skinny people who may “look” better, but are not actually healthier. There is a line, to be sure, but people with more weight many times are better of physically. obviously, im not talking about the extremely obese person, but many times a person like myself that was 400 and is now 280 is making ourselves heathlier, not skinnier.

  • http://twelveblackcodemonkeys.com Levi Wallach

    Thanks for this, Jimmy. I’ve been disappointed in myself recently as well for gaining back much of what I’ve lost. Part of that is due to not adhering as closely to low-carb as I’d like, but even before that straying, lbs slowly krept back despite sticking very closely to it. I’m one of those smaller/stockier people who I think can easily consume huge amounts of calories without thinking, and thus the normal mindset of “you can eat anything you want, in whatever quantities you want as long as it’s low-carb” just doesn’t hold. I think unfortunately that mindset was put upon us for better or worse by Dr. Atkins. I don’t think he meant to, but the take-away by many was just that. It was “freedom” from convention, and that meant thinking about caloric intake. I’ve read Good Calories Bad Calories and understand that things are much more complicated than the simple calories in/calories out. But given my current metabolic state (and that of others low-carbing), calories do count, if not as much as mainstream thought suggest, but they do count and if you overdo them, especially without the metabolic resources to deal with them, the weight will at least platau at a level that is too high for many people’s liking, if not creap back, slowly but surely.

    I’m starting to think the key is to find ways to eat not necessarily LOW calorie, but in a way that helps metabolism in ways other than simple macronutrient levels. One of these could be the simple choice of food, elliminating items that might actually interfere with metabolic processes because we haven’t fully evolved to handle them. So for example dairy products (which can also be very dense in calories), anything with artificial (or natural) sweeteners, etc. Something more akin to a paleo lifestyle where you eat foods that we were eating 50,000 years ago: eg wild game or at least grass-fed/free-range stuff, no grains, dairy, processed food of any kind. Also, I wonder if consuming water (which I almost never do) could aid metabolism. Finally, there’s the physical side of things. I have a desk job, as do most people these days. Not only does this decrease the overall number of calories burned during the day, but I’ve heard that certain hormones that help us maintain/lose weight are triggered while standing. This is one reason I’d love to find some way of rigging a standing desk. Even better would be a 1mph treadmill desk, but I don’t think my office would go for that! ;-) Yet another thing I think might be helpful is to actually concentrate on my food, eat slowly and chew 30+ times before swallowing. This actually is supposed to pre-digest food and help with hormones like leptin that produce a feeling of satiety and thus help you eat less. Again, I don’t think simply eating less will solve weight issues, and I think people who aren’t “thin” can live long lives without major health issues. But I also take note of the animal studies which show calorie-restricted diets greatly improving longevity and health. Another item that has been linked to longevity is drinking alcahol, not heavily, but also not lightly – ie 1-2 glasses of wine per day. This might prevent a faster weight loss, since alcohol is burned before fat is in the body, but it might be worth it in the long run. Finally, I believe that sleep is a big factor. A recent study showed that those getting 7.5 hours of sleep while on a diet lost mostly fat, while those getting 5.5 hours lost much more muscle. Calories might count for a fair amount, but all these other factors I think also count and for many of us need to all be in an optimal setting in order to get to the weight we’d like.

    To be honest at this point in my life I could care less if I had 6-pack abs. It would be a nice ego boost, sure, but that’s about it. I’m certainly not going to spend lots of time and money trying to attain them. Really “all” I want to have good energy, stamina, strength, and maintain reasonable muscle mass, fit into my clothes and not have a huge gut or a double-chin! lol (this aside from the normal health benefits I’ve felt I’ve already attained from low-carbing). If I can do that, then I’m set. Unfortunately people judge others and diets based primarily on appearances and that’s wrong. Hopefully as we see more people age on low-carb diets, the paradigm will shift and we won’t see weight (outside of real obesity) being associated with ill-health and lack of longevity. But that will probably take decades if not much longer!

  • Holly J.

    I’m glad someone has addressed this, because when I hit plateaus I thought/think like this too. Another female I can think of would be Courtney Thorne-Smith. I know that she is an actress, but I think a lot of people look to celebrities for how they dress, eat, exercise, etc. (I also think of Jessica Simpson when she was LC too.)

    I agree with you, Jimmy, that years of messing with one’s metabolism probably causes their body to hold on to visceral fat more than someone who had a healthy body before going LC. I think that’s why some people are able to eat eat higher carbs than others. Kind of like years of bad eating = amount of carbs your body can handle. (Not very accurate, or scientific… the theory is definitely a work in progress.) I have a higher amount of carbs I can handle than you, but much lower than my BF, Derek. Everyone is different (which is why I really do love LC! It can work for everyone and can be tailored!)

    I think maybe it has less to do with the world’s ideal, and more to do with your own bodies’ ideal. You cannot override your body’s choices when going LC. You can’t bully it into submission. You don’t feed yourself, you don’t lose weight. You don’t get enough sleep, you don’t lose weight. LC requires that you respect your body. Maybe that’s really the key.

    Right now I sit here in a size 12. I know that it’s not perfect for my frame; I’m still working on it. Like you, I’ve picked up the exercise (a little more on my end, not a lot more)… and actually, weight training helped a lot – there is a lot less jiggle. I’m working on learning to love cardio because while there isn’t much science to back it up (that I’ve seen), I cannot recall a time where I didn’t feel better doing it.

  • MCOZ-09

    Way to Go Jimmy! I admire you and your perseverance. I empathize with the (seemingly) impossible desire to lose further weight, to achieve a number that just seems unattainable, particularly because one wishes to “be a better example for low-carb”. I lost 60 lb and wanted everyone to notice and comment on my great achievement. So what? Another 25 lb would have created a svelte-like figure everyone admired. My weight loss stalled, and worse, I regained about 15 lb: this started when I did something else I’d tried and almost done so often. I stopped smoking. And this time, unlike so many others, I have no desire to restart. Together with a surgery and associated illness, I’m up 15 lb. Was it worth it to lose 45 lb? A million times YES! I do feel better, and my lipid panel is better. Can I go back down? I think so.
    Toward the end of my 60 lb loss, I found that I had to eat less. Yes fewer calories. I don’t usually put on weight when I eat very low carbohydrate (eg 10-20 g/day) but I don’t lose weight. If I eat fewer total calories I do lose weight. I love heavy whipping cream (Organic Valley only has 0.37 g carb/serve) but it’s very high in calories. For me, calories don’t count unless they’re carbs or I really really want to lose weight.
    I’m not an exercise fanatic, but I would like to, I’m finally going to, start doing Fred Hahn’s Slow Burn Program.
    By cutting calories (eg, no more cream, a day or 2/week with eggs and butter etc) and adding exercise, I hope to restart my weight loss.

  • Lynne

    Thanks for sharing and talking about the truth, Jimmy. This isn’t a perfect world, and I read somewhere once that less than 3% of people in the USA actually look like the models we see in media. Less than 3%! So if that’s what we’re looking for, we better have been born within that number already.

    I always remember too, at a place I worked at several years ago. There were two guys there that were on the skinny side of normal weight and licked to make others feel bad about not being “healthy” like they were — except that one was a lifelong (and still user) of hardcore street drugs, and the other was an alcoholic nearing last stages. They were “skinny/normal” weight because they were incredibly UNhealthy, and I’d be surprised if either of them is still alive by now (or will be before another few years is up).

    I don’t say that to be mean, or to try and disrespect them at all. I just use it as my own reminder that if ALL I care about is LOOKING perfect, then I’m missing the most important thing in my own weight loss plan: getting back to being truly healthy!

    I’m probably never going to be “body beautiful”, but when I get low enough in weight that I can start doing the things that make me most happy (like having less trouble finding nice clothes, being able to bike ride again, and so on), that’s going to be just fine by me!

  • David

    There can be a lot of things going on in people who suffered from years of dietary abuse. I’ve been a diabetic for 25 years and have been doing low-carb seriously for almost two years. I’m 57 years old. My blood sugars are under much better control, I am off many of my meds, but I have a lot of issues – low testosterone, high blood pressure, osteoporosis – all of which require treatment. I’ve only lost about 12 lbs., but I had worked at my weight for many years and had been eating reduced carb for a pretty good while. 25 years ago, I weighed 235 – now I weigh 160. I’d like to weigh 10 pounds less and feel like I will at some point. Many of the benefits of low carb have not yet happened for me. My HDLs remain low and my triglycerides remain in the 120-135 range, though I am able to keep my A1c at 6.0 or less most of the time (I’d like it lower). At least twenty years of abuse may mean that it will take a long time to repair myself to the maximum extent. Some things may never be fixed. When you are balancing all these issues, it is easy for an illness, for example, to throw things off. You have to take a long term view point.

  • Richard Tamesis, M.D.

    For me, the missing ingredient was strength training. I wasted years doing the cardio/aerobic thing, spending 30 min to an hour three times a week running on treadmills and elliptical machines without anything to show for it other than sore knees and hips because that’s the conventional medical advice recommended. I decided to take a fresh approach and look at strength training with free weights instead. My research eventually lead me to Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength book, which talked about how to do certain basic lifts properly safely and his Practical Programming for Strength Training book, which talked about the physiology of exercise and how to actually train in order to increase strength. The result is that combined with a low carb diet, my love handles gradually disappeared, my stomach flattened and my general build has improved without looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger. The changes didn’t happen overnight, but I can now climb a hill without gasping for breath or carry a heavy suitcase without fearing that I would injure my back or dislocate a shoulder.

  • Ed Terry

    My weight and diet problems started when I was two years old. I weighed sixty pounds and when my grandmother brought over a big bag of cookies, I would sit down and eat the whole bag in one sitting. She thought that was so cute. I remember as a kid never getting enough sugar even though an hour didn’t go by where I wasn’t stuffing sweets into my mouth. In elementary school, I was twice as slow in the 40 yard dash as the next slowest kid. I was never athletic.

    Years ago, I tipped the scales at 245. Two years ago I had dropped to 170 but my wife complained I look anorextic. I back up to 185 with a 36′ waist and still have a pooch below my waist. However, I feel great and I do exercise several times a week. I don’t exercise to lose weight. I do it to improve my health.

    15 years ago my HDL hovered around 25. Today, its in the 60 to 75 range, and my doctor just shakes her head when I tell her what I eat. However, she doesn’t nag me because my blood pressure’s great, lipid numbers super, and the only time I have a complaint I bring to her is when I overdo it in the gym. I’m also the only male in my family not to have a heart attack or stroke by the age of 50. I occasionally get complements about my physique from younger people and I have have to look around me to see if there’s someone else they’re talking to.

    My motivation for eating low carb is purely health-related- my life depends upon it. Without the support of everybody interested in eating healthier, I’d be lost. I will never by svelte, but that’s OK because I’ll never be good-looking either :-)

  • Adrienne Larocque

    In the summer of 2005, I gained 20 lbs in 2 months. A friend recommended that I read The Diabetes Solution by Richard K. Bernstein, M.D. I changed my diet and immediately lost 30 lbs in 3 months. By 2008, my BMI was down to 19.1 which I felt was too low. I deliberately put on weight, and my BMI is now about 20.4. Low-carbing has allowed me to easily maintain my weight without starving myself. I eat as much as I want, whenever I want. Not to mention all of the benefits that came about through LCing – increased energy, improved cholesterol, lowered triglycerides, and better immune function.

    My own belief is that low-carbing helps people sort out their health issues. If you can’t lose weight through dedicated low-carbing, there’s a good chance that you have some other endocrine issue (PCOS, thyroid, etc.). LCing helps eliminate the variables so you can figure out what’s really going on. Of course, there is plenty of good science demonstrating that LCing is beneficial for health even in the absence of weight loss.

  • yogijudi

    Hi Jimmy,
    I’ve learned alot from your work, and appreciate your candor about your journey. I’ve been a professional athletic trainer for decades, and have trained some very notable athletes, thousands of ordinary citizens and perhaps hundreds of people with some very serious problems. One thing I really believe, is that no matter what ails you being more fit will only help your mind and body. I was excited to read you were going to take up some exercise, and I would like to put a few thoughts your way that I believe are important in training. First, don’t start with every kind of training known. Start by addressing any muscle imbalances and movement problems so you don’t get hurt. After a movement screening and attendant exercises, I’d pick either cardio or light free weights to begin to bring your joints to a level of adaptation to exercise in preparation for the future. I’m not a huge believer in cardio, but I must say I have done a ton of it, and I am in remarkable shape. Lifting heavy free weights for short, intense workouts only every few days has been what has always taken weight off me. I encourage you to look up Clarence Bass on the web. He is a70 year old plus inspiration in fitness, writing and law. His website is jam packed with outstanding, research based articles on exercise. He has a long reputation in the business, and while your dietary approaches will differ, his exercise articles will give you alot to think about as you go forward. As for diet, I’d keep an open mind. Perhaps you are used to what you are doing and you would benefit from a change, either by moving toward a strict paleo plan or perhaps looking more toward a Japanese way of eating, more low fat, more carbs. Just as I was totally brainwashed by the food pyramid it was very hard for me to consider trying anything else, but with change being the only constant in life, being flexible in mind seems to be on the path to being strong in the body. Exercise will help change your metabolism and where that is concerned you must look at the Tabata protocol. Fast and effective. Perhaps stepping away from your computer and racking up some miles walking in interesting places would be useful for you right now. Anyway, Godspeed and thanks for your work here.

  • Alma

    Thanks for this article Jimmy. I’ve often wondered if lowering carbs like lowering calories is too simplistic a solution to the problem of becoming overweight in the first place. The superiority of lowering carbs instead of fat or calories is obvious but neither model actually addresses the main issue which is teaching your body to process carbs the ‘normal’ way without producing too much insulin which then leads to weight gain. This is why you have people who are able to lose quite well on very low carbs but the weight starts to creep back even on limited carbs of 30-40 grams a day.

    Some diets like the metabolism miracle try to address this by using the ‘timed carbs’ model but to date I have not come across a satisfactory model that solves this issue. Some would argue that we were never meant to eat as many carbs as we currently do. While the meat eating eskimos would agree with this, you couln’t tell this the hunter gatherer tribes of the kalahari desert who survive on root vegetables when the hunt does not go so well!

    Maybe an evolutionary change in the way we humans process carbs will step in to solve the problem before global diabetes becomes a reality? Until then personally I remain low carb for the health benefits but I use the timed carbs model to lose any fat I gain when general low carbing. I am still awaiting a way of eating that will allow my body to process carbs like a ‘normal’ person.

  • Olivia

    “skinny” isn’t necessarily “hot”. You can lose all the weight in the world through diet but you aren’t going to look muscle-y and svelte without physical activity — which is what the human eye really gets attracted to. So there’s nothing wrong with being ready to hit the gym. Besides, being physically active is one of life’s pleasures. It’s also about your emotional health — do you feel right? Do you act right? Do you love yourself?

    I may not know how to fix the suspected damage to my metabolic system by the fructose poisoning & high carbohydrate/low fat diet as a growing human. Perhaps my course-change to a sugar free, high-fat/low carb diet has occurred early enough to delay cancer & heart disease that I should be healthy and sound-of-mind well into old age. But this isn’t about being some hollywood-esque hot skinny chick (plastic surgery, fake tans, 6″ neck breaker shoes, airbrushing, girdles, dental veneers anyone) — this is about feeling healthy and my body being a temple. About not constantly having stomach cramps after eating, with no energy and little will to get-up, go-out and L-I-V-E.

    And now it’s really not just about me; I need to be a leader and example for my daughter to set her on the healthiest physical and emotional course. In a time of calls to check cholesterol in children, make chewable (no-doubt fruity flavored) statin tablets, and to give low-fat dead milk to children — I’m so ready to dig in and fight for my daughter.

  • http://followingmynose.blogspot.com/ Patty

    Great post Jimmy, and great comments! I am really happy to see so many fifty-somethings (me included) eating low carb. So far, low carb has not helped me lose the 20 or so pounds I was hoping to shed, but it has drastically improved my health.

    I think I will eventually find the tweak that helps me lose the extra weight, but even if I don’t, I’m so happy and healthy now, I almost don’t care! :-)

  • Dan (aka Renegadediabetic)

    The problem is that Hollywood and the fashion industry has established unrealistic expectations. It’s hard for people to focus on the improvements made if you don’t have the “perfect” body.

    I appreciate your willingness to take this on and be open about your issues. After losing about 120 lbs, my weight loss has stalled for quite a while. I’ve been up and down within a small range, but have managed to maintain an 100+ lb weight loss for 3 years. Even though I’d like to lose more weight, that’s better than I’ve ever done on low fat and better than many people do. My blood sugar is near normal and I am in better shape than I was 5 years ago. I damaged myself with the low fat dogma for 20 years and I can’t expect everything to improve over night.

  • River Rance

    Good post Jimmy,
    It seems I’m always banging my head and feet on plateaus…thanks for sharing your thoughts there.. you have motivated me… to get back on my bikes with more earnest for the next few months, that, Low carb and Martin Berkham at http://www.leangains.com/ . Thanks again for the post very timely for me.
    River

  • Tula

    Thank you for sharing, Jimmy. I think you’re right to be happy to be who you are and not bemoan the fact that you don’t look like a pinup boy :-) Everyone has a different body type. I, for one, will never look like most Hollywood types. Even at my skinniest, which was after an allergic reaction to medication put me in the hospital for 2 weeks, I weighed 105 pounds at 5’8″ and still didn’t fit into anything smaller than a size 6 (and that was pushing it). Hip bones and shoulders don’t shrink by dieting or from illness starvation. You have to work with the framework you have (unless you’re into serial plastic surgery).

    When I was married, my very athletic husband would get so frustrated that he couldn’t get rid of that last layer of tummy fat and get a 6-pack, no matter how he dieted or exercised. Worse was that a few weeks of sit-ups and I’d start developing one easily, since my problem weight area was always below the waist and not in the abs. Drove him nuts :-)

    Basically, I think you’re perfectly right in aiming for the best health and shape for your body and not some idealized version of what you “should” look like. The fact that you’ve made such progress in your health is commendable and is a good enough selling point for me on the virtues of low-carb. Like you’ve always said, we’re all different and have to find what works best for us. The same goes for goals and end results.

  • Ginger

    Great post, Jimmy…thanks for being “out there” and available in success as well and not-quite-there-ye(you’re healthier so NOT a failure!).

    Have you SEEN Arnold lately? In a bathing suit? Yikes. His 6 pack is in a cooler too! I just spent a couple of hours with a friend who is tiny and thin and told me that her triglycerides are quite high…her hubby is overweight and has had a heart attack but his trigs are perfect. His HDL is low though, and he is on Niaspan for that. I had to take that for a few years for my trigs (I’m off of it now though) and it ain’t fun stuff. One way I think I was able to get off of it is exercise…that’s one thing I’ve always been told, that trigs respond well (i.e. drop) with exercise, so it’s not useless. It is getting tougher though as I get older – degenerating kneecaps and a current case of racquetball elbow attest to that.

    I’ll probably never look like Cindy Crawford…but dang, I do want to not look pregnant! From my belly button to right up in underneath “the girls”, this portion of my belly sticks out further than the lower abs or said girls…definite apple shape. I could easily stand to lose 75 more pounds but my lipid panel is better than my skinny little friend and probably many other “healthy” weight people (my trigs are down to two digits from FOUR). I feel better when I eat clean and it’s the only “diet” I’ve ever stayed on for this long (Jan. ’04 too) and plan to keep with.

  • Nancy

    From my own personal (chunky) experience, I tend to hold on to weight because I still have some of the problems I had before going low carb and these are eating dinner too late (still struggling to get dinner on the table earlier, but its a little difficult because I have two kids with various activities in the evening, swim team, dance class, girl scouts etc) and not making time for exercise, AND simply eating TOO MUCH. Alot of low carb staples are high high high in calories and its not about calories in/calories out, but when a day contains 3000 calories and not enough exercise, little 5’7″ me tends to hold on to weight. What I dont do is gain on low carb.

    People also forget that most dairy products are processed foods, as are low carb breads and tortillas and bars etc. When I went low carb I quickly realized that I was actually doing a low processed foods diet. Anything that had to be processed I wasnt eating and this helped me lose weight. But add too much cheese, too many atkins candy bars and more than a couple of low carb tortillas a week and I stop losing. Low carb bread is awesome, but I cant eat that every day or I stay plump.

    Exercise is the biggest thing that causes my weight loss to shut down. Fine, tons of cardio are not necessary, but what about the muscle you build doing that cardio? You do burn more fat if you simply HAVE more muscle. So maybe a little cardio, at least walking and also maybe some weight lifting would help me lose more weight. I know when I am religious about treadmilling (walking with a little jogging) I begin to drop lbs. I think its the muscle I am building that does it. People get scared when I say muscle because it weighs more than fat. I’d rather weigh more than have more fat. I have sisters that are heavy and my mother and maternal grandmother were up in the 400′s at one point so I know I have it in me to get morbidly obese, so being simply “overweight” doesn’t worry me at all.

    The best part for me of being low carb even though I am not the skinniest girl on the block, is my blood work. I have low tryglycerides a good number for HDL and low blood sugar. Diabetes runs in my family so I know I am preventing diabetes. I would rather be chunky and have low blood sugar and live to see my grandkids and not lose any limbs and just be healthy, than to wear a bikini!

  • ekon

    Here in Sweden most high-profile low-carb advocates are very slim, interestingly enough (Annika Dahlqvist, Andreas Ehnfeldt, Jonas Colting). I suspect that the problem is partially related to the horrible quality (in relative terms) of the food supply in the US, including the prevalence of low-carb “fake food” that is LCINA (“Low carb in name only”).

    However, that there is selection for people with serious weight issues amongst low-carb practitioners should not be surprising. The overwhelmingly dominant reason that people turn to “low-carb”, a supposedly “extreme” weight-loss method, is not surprisingly that they have serious weight issues.

    Thus, the relevant metric for assessing low-carb as an approach to weight loss is not the average weight of the practitioners, but rather the change of weight following adoption. In controlled studies, results are at worst identical to “standard” diets, but frequently better in most respects (blood values, weight loss, etc.).

  • Dave – FLAX Z SNAX

    I can tell you all from experience that when Colleen and I attended health food shows people came to our booth and would say ” WOW you guys look great you do look like you lowcarb.” We believe in our life style and what we make. We eat the products we make. We have always posted pictures of ourselves on our website. We have a passion for what we do. We were never bandwagon jumpers like a lot of reps were. Hence thats why they and their companies are not around anymore. We have been attacked,maligned and lied about but the proof is in ourselves and our customers for the past ten years who all say our products have help maintain their weights. With diabetes running rampant on both sides of my family and in the Mexican population this has been the major reason we started our company.. At 49 years of age im 210lbs a far cry from my weight 11 years ago of 260. 34-36″ waist and Im proud to say I can still bench press over 300lbs like I did in college. Simple put Colleen and I are just HOT LOOKING COUPLE.

  • http://www.fatthenfitnow.com Joe Leonardi

    Hi Jimmy,
    Nice posting. You remain a leader in the low carb field

  • Barb Van Der Male

    I think that for most of us true blue low carbers, the diet puts us on the playing field of health. Many of us would be imploding with out of control cravings. Once those cravings are under control with low carb living, the honing can commence dependent upon our motivation level.

  • Rochelle

    Very interesting reading. My family and I made the transistion to LC almost a year ago. I lost about 30 pounds so far and that is holding. I’d like to lose another 20 or 30, but I have to agree with folks about being healthier. My cholesterol numbers got low enough that my Dr said I should start taking fish oil capsules (advice that I still don’t understand and completely ignored). I have more energy and have gone down two sizes in clothing. Am I still curvy? Absolutely! But I am happier on so many levels than when I was eating bread and rice, etc. I did want to comment on exercise. I typically exercise for about 4-5 hours a week, not including walking to school and lots of housework/taking care of my 3 little kids. I do find that I am hungrier afterwards, and I do eat more. But what exercise does is lift my spirits and make me feel strong and empowered. When I can work hard physically, then I have the strength to come home and make good food choices. A couple of days without exercise and I forget that I’m a strong person and I start making poor choices again. So for me I need the endorphins and that feeling of grrr. Makes me feel like I can do anything, including resisting the English muffins and cookies. :)

  • http://www.karenranney.com Karen Ranney

    What a great post! Thank you for your candid response to your reader’s question.

    She said something that’s been bothering me – we choose a diet based on what the proponent looks like. Shouldn’t we choose a diet based on our own health?

    One size doesn’t fit all, and it’s taken me years of keeping food diary and monitoring every bodily response to finally reach that conclusion.

    Low carb is the only way I can stay healthy. Health, and not appearance, is the goal for me. Of course, it’s really nice that I’ve lost a lot of weight, too.

  • Rachel

    Hi Jimmy, great post and great comments. I am low carbing for the second time around. The first time I went from 260 to 195 and then over 6 years regained to 245 because I stopped low carbing. I re-started low carb 4 months ago and I’m now at 230. It’s not coming off as fast as the first time, but I will continue on.

    Anyway, the point I wanted to add to the discussion is that I find myself not sharing the good information I find about low carbing with others (except my DH) because I am so obese that I feel they would take a look at me and ask why they should believe me. I look at nutritionists advocating low fat, low calorie plans and they appear thin and healthy so it’s no wonder people believe them.

    Then, after reading your post yesterday, it occurred to me, were those thin, healthy looking nutritionists ever obese? If not, then they really can’t identify with me and what will help an obese person lose weight and become healthy. I think if you start out at a normal weight you can probably eat any type of moderate diet plan and still maintain your weight.

    Many low carb leaders and bloggers have been obese or at least overweight and have tried both low carb and low fat/low cal and chosen low carb and lost weight and gotten healthier. And, the most important thing for me is that even with a re-gain here or there, they are able to keep off the majority of the pounds they lost. That is what is inspirational for me.

  • Jean Smith

    You are simply still obese because low carb does not work! It’s a fad diet, a big scam. Wake up before you die Jimmy! Cut the lard from your diet, the lard from around your waste will go away. Listen to Fuhrman!

    • http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com Jimmy Moore

      Any more opinions you have to share?

  • JayCee

    As always a great post Jimmy. Thanks for sharing.

    To everyone, maybe skinny is in the eye of the beholder. Somebody I know did a great job with lowcarbing see before and after pics here : http://www.lowcarbsa.co.za/ and who am I to argue that he is not ‘skinny’ now. There is no ‘heavy side’ to somebody who has lost weight. The truth is, if the health of that person improved and at the same time as a bonus he or she has lost a few pounds, then they are a qualified representative for any diet-lifestyle in my eyes.

  • JayCee

    Jean – and your perfect alternative is … ?

  • http://healingartoffood.blogspot.com/ Debbie

    Great post Jimmy, and one that really resonates with me. I’ve lost 110 pounds over the last 4 1/2 years, but now seem to be essentially stalled though still at least a good 100 pounds from my goal. In fact – the first time I tried low carb was back in the 1997-2001 time frame. Back then I got down to the same weight I’m at now, and stalled there for 2 1/2 years though over that time I tried every suggestion made to me, including: eating fewer carbs, eating more carbs, eating less fat, eating more fat, exercising more, exercising less, exercising differently, eating fewer calories, eating more calories, eliminating dairy, eliminating nuts …. yet I still didn’t lose another ounce over the 2 1/2 years I tried all those things, and eventually gave up and gained all the weight back plus a bunch more pounds!

    So here I am again, 4 1/2 years into my journey again, 110 pounds down – but stalled at the SAME WEIGHT I was stuck at last time, which is easily a good 100 pounds higher than I should be. I’m still “morbidly obese” by BMI standards. But been stalled around this weight, give or take 5-10 pounds, for over a year now. I don’t eat processed foods, I don’t eat any of the low carb alternative products. Just “real” food. I’ve tried some of the same tweaks again – cutting carbs, increasing carbs, cutting dairy, etc. Still to no avail. I do exercise as well, swimming, walking, and weight training a la the Fred Hahn “Slow Burn” method.

    I just tell myself that “this time it’s about my HEALTH” not only the number on the scale. I don’t need to be a fashion model, but heck, I’d sure love to get out of plus-sizes, which I have been in for nearly 30 years now, almost half my lifetime. :-(

  • Seth W.

    Hey Jimmy,

    I just want to start this post saying I’ve been trying low carb (probably 40-60g, maybe a little higher some days) for the last 8 months or so. I felt great at first, but never consistently felt any better than before after a while. After going to numerous different blogs and just reading about how the body processes nutrients, I’ve decided to ditch the diet…..and now I feel a hell of alot better and sleep better too. The body can use ketone bodies to fuel things, yes…but this is merely an adaptation to the body thinking it’s starving (as this only happens during starvation or during low carb diets — of course without enough protein to provide glucose needs as well…). Especially if you’re starting an exercise program, your insulin sensitivity will be heightened, and you will be able to tolerate carbohydrates. Even now that I’ve ditched low carb, I still don’t go extremely overboard with carbohydrates, and all carbohydrates are coming from veggies, tubers, peas, etc — Never from bread, rice or anything like that.. My carb intake now is probably around 80 (on a low day) to about 135-150 (on higher days or days with a little exercise, which usually is a quick 20 mile bike ride or something like that…I definitely don’t exercise my brains out…) Upping the carbs a notch have made a difference. They have 1) Spared dietary protein to rebuild tissues instead of fueling my body 2) Increased conversion of thyroid hormones (which is probably the reason I have much more energy and has probably increased my BMR — as BMR is controlled by thyroxine) Ultimately it’s about calories balance, but can be tricky if someone isn’t all that active or BMR has been lowered by decreased thyroid hormone activity. Especially if you’ve been trying extremely low carb (50 and below) for some time, upping the carbs a little (and lowering the fat a little) could be a worthy experiment (of course again, carbs coming from veggie sources — sweet potatoes, squash, potatoes…..) Good luck sir!

    • http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com Jimmy Moore

      Thanks Seth! I don’t think raising my carb intake is going to help more than harm me, but I appreciate your input.

  • Michelle

    I was just looking at your menu blog and I have to say I’m pretty surprised at your low amount of calories, and the amount of processed foods you are eating. I kindof said to myself, no wonder he hasn’t maintained the weight. Have you considered that:
    1. The low amount of calories might mean you’re starving yourself and therefore your body is making it that much more difficult to release the fat?
    2. All that bread, even though it’s low carb, might be contributing to inflammation? Have you ever considered you might have a wheat intolerance?
    3. That the “primal fuel” protein powder every day for breakfast might also be another stumbling block? That’s not real food! And it contains sugar.

    It seems to me you’re following a low carb diet that adheres to the
    “letter of the law” but not really the spirit of it by alot of gimmicky “low carb” food, instead of just eating natural whole foods.

    ALSO, don’t underestimate the power of stress. I personally lost ~40 lbs by getting out of a really really bad relationship without going on a diet at all whatsoever and without even consciously noticing it. One day a few months later while clothes shopping I realized that my pants size had dropped a few sizes. Under much stress lately? :)

    • http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com Jimmy Moore

      Thanks for your comments, Michelle! I was having issues with my weight long before the foods I currently consume. Believe me, I’m working on this the best I know how.

  • Bev

    Some are mentioning here to “up” the carb level. Boy, whenever I do that, the pounds come on right away, plus it makes me crave more carbs. If I only had the “stick-to-itiveness”, I’d do best on a meat diet, mainly red meat!