I’ve now taken 20 clients through the ‘Eat to Fit your Genes’ DNA testing and coaching programme, and it’s been fascinating to discover how different people with similar genetics can end up with quite different results. This is especially so with regards to weight loss.
With the Smart DNA testing, 16 different gene polymorphisms that affect weight are tested, that have either direct or indirect effects on your metabolism and BMI. These include factors such as; a tendency to prefer sweet tasting food (the ‘sweet tooth’ gene), a slow satiety response which enables a person to keep on eating beyond their needs, a tendency towards snacking behaviours, a tendency towards addictive behaviours, a tendency to stay up late and not get enough sleep (the ‘night owl’ gene), variations in adiponectin hormone levels, and lower fasting glucose levels (the ‘hangry’ gene).
Some of my clients have recognised their tendencies reasonably early in life, and adapted their lifestyle and behaviour accordingly. In fact, one of my clients has every one of the so-called ‘fat’ genes, which would predispose her to being in the highest BMI category, but she is not at all overweight. From quite a young age she recognised how her body responded to food and exercise and has created a lifestyle that keeps her lean.
I have had a few weight loss consultations recently with women who have previously lost a significant amount of weight, and then over a period of time have regained some or all of it back again. From my perspective it was easy to see why this happened, and happens for so many people.
Genetically, some people have to a harder time managing their weight, but knowing your weaknesses can be very helpful to know how to keep your body healthy and well. However, despite your genetics, there are a few principles for effective weight management that apply regardless.
- Mindset. People who are lean have a different mentality around food and exercise compared to people who are overweight. Learning to think like a lean, healthy person will enable you to also be lean and healthy. In fact, most lean people don’t spend much time thinking or talking about food, and what they do eat is normal food in a healthy balance – and they don’t deprive themselves of the odd treat.
- Habits. The habits you practice diligently to lose weight must be continued in order to maintain your lean figure. If you’re not willing to continue doing those things indefinitely, maybe you need to set your target weight to a level that you’re happy to manage.
- Energy and effort. Body fat is simply stored energy, so in order to become leaner and have less stored energy to carry around, you will need to put some effort into burning off your excess stores. Yes, eating a little less will help but putting some effort into vigorous activity will also make a big difference. Increase the energy you put into everything you do e.g. housework, or even going for a brisk walk rather than a dawdle. Moving more generally during the day – especially if you have a sedentary job – has been shown to be beneficial. Walk across the office to talk to that person rather than sending an email, go and hang out that load of washing, check the letterbox, or do that thing that you tell yourself that you can’t be bothered or are too tired to do. Overcoming this inertia will help you to change your energy and metabolism.
I’m often bemused at some of the ‘rules’ people follow when it comes to weight loss, as they make absolutely no sense from a metabolic perspective. I have many success stories with weight loss, and I’m happy to share some of my secrets, attitudes, practical steps and habits that will help you succeed now and in the long term.
I have created a one-day ‘Enlighten Me’ workshop to set you in the right direction for effective long-term weight management. For details or to register for the workshop click here, or to request a free 30 minute DNA testing discussion click here.