The highly anticipated Final Panel discussion at the 2021 Low Carb San Diego Conference, From left: Dr. Stephen Phinney; Michelle Hurn; Dr. Ben Bocchicchio; Dave Feldman; Dr. Eric Westman; Miriam Kalamian.

There is always a strong sense of anticipation for LowCarbUSA® conferences, but after more than a year of COVID-19 lockdowns, the excitement of meeting in person again made the 2021 Low Carb San Diego Conference even more special.

“We had been anxiously awaiting the start of this conference for many months,” said LowCarbUSA® co-founder and CEO Doug Reynolds. “We regretted not being able to hold the past two conferences (San Diego 2020 and Boca 2021) in person, and we were really hoping everything fell into place for this much-anticipated event.”

The months of hard work, planning, and patience paid off, and close to 200 people showed up for what was one of the most memorable conferences to date. The conference was also available for online streaming, and several hundred attendees from across the world took advantage of that option.

“Many people were still not able to travel due to restrictions or other concerns,” said Reynolds, “but we were able to greatly upgrade our streaming capabilities over the past year, so everyone had two great options for participating in this groundbreaking event.”

The 2021 San Diego Conference featured 20+ presentations from some of the most highly regarded practitioners, researchers and writers in the areas of metabolic health, addiction, and therapeutic carbohydrate restriction. Many of these speakers are experiencing significant success with patients, and many have powerful personal stories of their own journey to sustained weight loss and improved metabolic  and mental health.

Attendees traveled to San Diego, from across the country and beyond, to hear these cutting-edge presentations, the ensuing Q&A sessions, and to interact with like-minded individuals between and following the presentations.

Chris Diaz, a Nutrition Adviser from Austin, TX, who has attended several low carb conferences in the past, both in-person and virtually, said she learned even more at this year’s event than in the past.

“I learned more regarding nutrition at this conference, probably because I’ve narrowed my focus to my role as a Nutrition Advisor,” she said. “There are so many people suffering from chronic issues that can be treated with some simple advice, especially regarding processed food addiction and even potentially for long covid inflammation.”

Chris first got involved with low carb in early 2018 after reading The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung.

“I dove deep into finding ways to heal my own body with fasting and low carb, and whole food eating,” she said. “I was thirsty for more knowledge as I watched my weight effortlessly stabilize to normal, as well as carpal tunnel, eye floaters, hives, and rosacea. Our family has embraced low carb as a lifestyle and I spend countless hours listening to podcasts and reading books on nutrition, lifestyle and fitness.”

Chris says attending low carb conferences in person has been enormously beneficial as she attempts to learn more, not only for her own health, but also so she can help others.

“I leave every conference with renewed energy and even more supporting details to continue down the path. I like to post snippets on my personal Facebook page for the people that want to know more, but aren’t comfortable asking. There are people that quietly listen and then show up in person a year down the road and say ‘Oh, by the way, I did what you said and reversed my diabetes diagnosis and lost 40 pounds,’ and they never asked me a single question! These are the stories that tell me people just need to hear the right information.”

Dr. Eric Rodgers, an optometrist from Hillsborough, NC, said one of the speakers he was most looking forward to hearing was Dave Feldman, a senior software engineer and entrepreneur who founded the Citizen Science Foundation.

Feldman excited the audience in San Diego with his announcement of the launch of the Lean Mass Hyper-responder study, which will be conducted in partnership with the Lundquist Institute for Biomedical Innovation at Harbor-UCLA.

“I’ve been following Dave’s work in the area of LDL since 2018,” said Rodgers, “and I know he’s been working toward this for the past two years. It’s exciting to see this being fulfilled.”

The study aims to identify plaque (atherosclerosis) or noting a lack thereof, found in certain individuals, described as lean mass hyper-responders, who have adopted a low carb, ketogenic diet and whose LDL has increased substantially, while maintaining other risk factors for heart disease at optimal levels. Feldman hopes the study can provide valuable new insight on the risk level for this group at a population level.

“Aside from issues of adherence, the only thorn in the side of the ketogenic diet is the issue of the rise in LDL,” said Rodgers, “and now this study will address that.”

Rodgers has a personal interest in the results of the study because he saw his own LDL increase after using a ketogenic diet to lose weight and reverse his pre-diabetes.

Rodgers has already registered for next year’s Low Carb  San Diego Conference. “I’ve always been fascinated by science, and once I started going down the rabbit hole of nutrition, the possibilities are endless.”

Rodgers said he frequently shares his own experiences with his patients. “For those who are interested, I will tell them about Dr. Westman, who is located near to me in North Carolina, or about the Virta program.”

Low Carb San Diego was the first low-carb conference for another attendee, Wendy Winquist, a dog trainer and Nutrition Network Advisor from Austell, GA. 

For Wendy, there were a multitude of highlights, including the opportunity to meet and engage with the speakers.

“I made it a point to sit with different people at dinner on different nights,” she said, noting that the presenters were available to answer questions and socialize after presentations and during meals. “There were no egos in the way,” she said, “People were friendly and willing to share.”

Wendy said she was involved in engaging mealtime conversations with several presenters, including Dave Feldman, Dr. Ben Bocchicchio, and Dr. Joan Ifland, and that she had the opportunity to meet and converse with a large number of fellow attendees.

Wendy said she discovered low carb while she was researching dog diets for cancer. She found the book, The Cancer Cure Diet for Dogs in the summer of 2016, and that led her to learn how low carb could potentially help her improve her own health.

Wendy was so pleased with this year’s conference that she purchased her ticket for next year’s event while she was still sitting in the presentation room.

For Dr. Ellie Jarrouge, a physician based in Houston, TX, Low Carb San Diego was the first low-carb conference he has attended.

“The topics covered were broad and informative,” said Jarrouge. “I was especially interested in the talks centered around addiction and cholesterol. Questions always come up about cholesterol, and many of my patients are on statins. I gained some assurances from discussions about ways we can stratify risk.”

Jarrouge said he particularly enjoyed the format of the Q&A sessions that allowed people to engage directly with the impressive roster of expert speakers. 

In one remarkable moment, the line of people asking questions of Dave Feldman included Dr. Eric Westman, Dr. Arthur Agatston, Dr. Stephen Phinney and Dr. Christopher Palmer, and the dialogue was priceless.

“The conference organizers did a great job in selecting the presenters—I was interested in every single one,” Jarrouge said. “I also got a lot from the personal stories shared by many of the presenters — anecdotes can teach us a great deal.”

Jarrouge, who lost 35 pounds, reversed his own pre-diabetes, lowered his blood pressure, and eliminated his back pain through low-carb lifestyle changes, has started using therapeutic carbohydrate restriction for his patients in Texas, and he also coaches clients in other states.

The powerhouse lineup of speakers, and their presentation topics, included:

  • Arthur Agatston, MD – Diagnosing, Treating and Monitoring Metabolic Disorders in Clinical Practice
  • Joan Ifland, PhD, MBA – Essential skills for Recovering Processed Food-Addicted Patients
  • Eric Westman, MD, MHS – Evidence-based vs. Internet-Based Keto
  • Dave Feldman – Major Advancements in the Lipid Energy Model – A New Way of Thinking for Fat-Based Metabolism
  • Stephen Phinney, MD. PhD – The Realities of Sustained Nutritional Ketosis (hard) and it’s Benefits for Diabetes Reversal (big)
  • Miriam Kalamian, CNS – Keto for Cancer: Are you a good candidate?
  • Gary Taubes – The Biography of a Very Bad Idea: Energy Balance, Fat Shaming and the Failed Science of Obesity
  • Brian Lenzkes, MD – The Clinical Aspects of Low Carb and Monitoring
  • Robert Cywes, MD, PhD – Do Keto Veterans Develop Protein-Lipid Resistance?
  • Maria Emmerich – Why Humans Should Prioritize Protein – The Most Important Macro Nutrient
  • Tony Hampton MD – Incorporating Root Cause Analysis Into Your Low Carb Clinical Practice
  • Bret Scher, MD – Low-Carb and LDL – What’s the Deal?
  • Ben Bocchicchio, PhD – The History of High Intensity Exercise: The Nuts and Bolts
  • Peter Ballerstedt, PhD – Pondering ‘Protein’ Parameters, Plus
  • Andrea Salcedo, DO – The Uterus as an End Organ: The Relationship Between Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
  • Michelle Hurn, RD, LD – Restrictive Diets: Are They Bad For Eating Disorders?
  • Gurpreet Padda, MD, MBA – Metainflammation (in relation to chronic pain)
  • Mark Cucuzzella, MD FAAFP – The Child Obesity Pandemic: The Policies Driving It and the Science and Practice to Flatten the Curve
  • Chris Palmer, MD – The Ketogenic Diet in Neurology and Psychiatry
  • Mary Ruddick, CNC – Dysautonomia and Post Viral Syndrome, A Dietary Approach

The conference was the 15th successful conference orchestrated by Doug Reynolds and Pam Devine, the co-founders of LowCarbUSA®.

Gary Taubes presents at the 2021 Low Carb San Diego Conference.

“We were truly overwhelmed by the response we had from this event,” said Devine. “It was amazing how many people participated, both in person and from around the world. It’s long been one of our goals to not only provide opportunities for people to acquire education in the area of therapeutic carbohydrate restriction, but to also create a community where people can make connections and benefit from a shared vision. In each of those regards, this conference was extremely successful.”

The conference was held August 26-29 at the beautiful Wyndham San Diego Bayside Hotel, and provided an excellent opportunity for medical and allied healthcare professionals to learn from leading researchers and clinicians while obtaining Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Continuing Metabolic Health Education (CMHE) credits. The conference also attracted keto nutrition enthusiasts, keto coaches, personal trainers, sports enthusiasts, citizen scientists, as well as individuals with an interest in restoring and/or maintaining their health.

Adding to both the excitement and the enjoyment of the San Diego Conference were the engaging evening wine sampling receptions held on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. Attendees, presenters, and vendors had additional time to relax, sample the low-carb wines, and continue their conversations right up until it was time to head across the terrace to the outdoor dining area.

The event featured three optional chef-prepared low-carb gourmet dinners, buffet style, as well as a carnivore option. Attendees were able to enjoy the food paired with low-carb wines, and sit late into the evening at outdoor tables along with their favorite speakers, exchanging stories, asking questions, and making new friends.

Purchase the recordings from the 2021 Low Carb San Diego Conference

It is not too late to purchase the recordings for online viewing and reviewing at a later time (indefinitely). You can also still receive CME/CMHE credits. For more information or to purchase the recordings click here.

Sign up for upcoming Low Carb Conferences and save!

For information about the 2022 Low Carb San Diego, and to purchase tickets with the early bird discount, click here.

For information about the 2022 Low Carb Boca Conference, and to purchase tickets with the early bird discount (expires soon), click here.

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