Ever wondered why someone can lose weight eating high carb/low fat like Weight Watchers while others gain weight.  Or, maybe you tried the latest in fad diets – Ketogenics or The Whole 30 diet and were able to lose weight but your friends got the “keto flu”.  The answer is probably in your genes.

Your Genes Determine How Well You Metabolize Carbohydrates

Weight loss on a high carbohydrate diet that is high in starch can be close to impossible for those that have the AMY1 genomic marker as this causes carbohydrate intolerance.  People who have this genetic polymorphism will not produce enough of the digestive enzyme, amylase, which breakdown carbohydrates.  Without enough amylase to breakdown carbohydrates, people will experience longer-lasting blood sugar spikes compared to people who are ample amylase producers.  And, that means more insulin and cortisol – the fat-storage hormones.

This genetic polymorphism usually follows our ancestors' diet and environment.   For instance, in Japan, their diet is much higher in starch  (rice, beans) and they tend to have higher salivary amylase and more copies of AMY1 than people whose ancestors ate a higher protein and fat diet.  This genetic polymorphism is commonly seen in Northern European whose diet over 100 years ago was higher in fat and protein.

What does that mean when it comes to weight loss and reducing the risk of diabetes?  

People who have this genetic polymorphism have a much higher risk of obesity and diabetes due to poor blood sugar regulation, low satiation, and weight gain.  They tend to get hungry right after a high carbohydrate (especially refined) meal,

This could explain the failure of some plant based diets (which are inherently higher in starch) like Pritikin, Ornish, McDougall and Esselstyn programs for some people.

This along with other genomic markers like your ability to metabolize fats, your tendency towards snacking or your preference for sugar could go a long ways towards pointing you in the right direction for the right weight loss program for you