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Is Your DNA Keeping You From Losing Weight?

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Have you tried every diet in the book, spent hundreds — or even thousands — on weight loss products, specialized foods and fitness products, only to find you’re right back where you began? Maybe you lost a few pounds here and there, but never found a diet plan that really worked for you, and eventually gained back any weight you’d lost.

You are not alone. But what if I told you that losing weight and keeping it off for good isn’t always about food and exercise; that “calories in vs. calories out” is a far too simplified approach to weight loss, and one that doesn’t work for everyone? There’s more to the equation.

Advancements in genetic science reveal that an individual’s ability to lose weight is greatly affected by one’s own unique genetic profile.

Genes determine everything from eye and hair color to skin tone, freckles and dimples, but they also influence how our bodies process foods. There are seven components of body weight that are specifically influenced by genes, and by analyzing each of those components through genetic testing, we can help develop a weight loss program designed specifically for you.

Your genes determine:

If your body is resistant to weight loss. Certain genes have been shown to be associated with a person’s ability to lose weight and keep it off. People who carry “unfavorable” pairs of genes have a harder time losing weight and are more likely to regain some of the weight they are able to lose.

How well your body is able to process carbohydrates. Low carb, high fat diets are all the rage right now, and for many people they do work. However, there are some people who consume higher amounts of carbs and are not overweight or diabetic. The gene IRS1 has been associated with insulin sensitivity and the effects of carbs on the diet. One study showed that people with a variant of this gene who consumed a high carb, low fat diet that consist of high fiber, whole plant foods had greater insulin sensitivity, lower levels of insulin resistance and experienced greater weight loss compared to a lower carb, high fat diet.

How much body fat you are able to lose through aerobic exercise. Certain genes may affect your ability to lose fat from a regular cardiovascular exercise program. That being said, regular physical activity is essential for your overall health and well-being, even if you don’t see a significant change on the scale from working out.

How well your body is able to absorb folate. The MTHFR genetic pathway affects how your body absorbs folate and metabolizes, or vitamin B9. Folate plays a role in the metabolism of the amino acid,
Homocysteine, production of neurotransmitters and cellular detoxification. High levels of homocysteine and problems with the MTHFR pathway may be associated with a higher risk for heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's, and autoimmunity.

How sensitive your body is to fat in your diet. Studies have linked several genes to an individual being more likely to have more body fat, a larger waist size and a higher BMI the more fat the consumed. Other genes may be able to prevent an individual from gaining weight on a high-fat diet.

How your body responds to strength training. Specific genes are associated with a person’s ability to improve their body composition and decrease body fat percentage from strength training. People with a “favorable” genotype may be better able to lose weight and reduce body fat with resistance training than people with an “unfavorable” genotype.

How sensitive your body is to protein in your diet. The gene FTO has been associated with body fat mass and BMI in relation to a high protein diet. One study found that people with an “unfavorable” genotype lost more weight and body fat on a moderate-to-high protein diet, regardless of fat and carbohydrates.

The only way to understand what diet and exercise programs are right for you is to have your DNA tested. Genetic testing gives you an understanding of how your body responds to certain diets and forms of exercise and can guide you in choosing a weight loss plan that will work for your body type. If you would like to know more about genetic testing in regards to weight loss, we can help. Give us a call today at 972-930-0260 or email info@livingwelldallas.com.