gene pools

Secret to Dieting Could Be in Your Genes

Are your genes stopping you from getting into your jeans? The role of dieting and genes is one that is attracting more and more interest from scientists, with recent research suggesting that your success at dieting is likely to be influenced by your genes.

The findings go a long way towards explaining why some people achieve great success on a high fat, high protein diet like Atkins, while others achieve better results on diets that emphasise carbohydrates. You may be genetically programmed to achieve success with a particular diet plan!

What Research Has Been Carried Out?

Research was conducted in the USA back in 2010 by the prestigious Stanford University. This involved taking mouth swabs from over 100 overweight women who had already tried different diets. The mouth swabs were analysed, with researchers looking at the women's DNA for five key genes that are linked to how the body uses fat and carbohydrates. This was then compared with results of the women's successes and failures when they used different diets.

What was found was that when women followed diets that matched their "genotype", or genetic make-up, they shed nearly a stone in a year. This was almost three times more than the weight lost by women whose diet didn't match their genotype.

In addition to the weight loss, the women whose diet matched their genotype also lost an average of two and a half inches from their waists.

What Does This Tell Us?

The implications from this could be profound. It suggests that different people metabolise fat and carbs differently and that this will be the most important factor in how much impact any given weight loss program will be for you.

Can I Test Myself Now?

So how can you use this information? The ideal solution would be for anyone who wants to lose weight to have the DNA testing done. However, this test is not widely available, and certainly not through the NHS!

The alternative is to monitor your own reaction to different diets. The only way to find out which kind of diet works best for you is to try a couple of different ones and see how your body reacts. To do this:

  • Choose two different diets for example, Atkins (high fat) and a low fat diet
  • Follow each diet very strictly for a period of at least two weeks
  • Monitor your weight loss, and also how you feel
  • Keep your exercise levels the same on both diets

The chances are that you will notice a difference not only in your weight loss, but also in how you feel. If one is clearly more effective than the other, you have discovered what type of diet works for you!

Of course, you still have to stick with it, but at least you can do so in the knowledge that it is giving you the best possible chance of success.

In Summary

If you've tried a number of different diet plans and noticed no difference in your weight, then you may not have found the right plan for you. Likewise, if you have tried a few and one worked, then that may well be your best bet to lose the pounds.

As well as the diet plan, you must look at increasing your exercise and introducing physical activity on a daily basis. Otherwise if you are one of every six adults that have the FTO (Fatso) Gene, then you will be predisposed to gain weight otherwise.

Further Reading

Medscape -

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