Are Your GENES Making You Fat?

JJ Virgin, CNS, CHFS

As you know, I am NOT a fan of the bank account model of metabolism. I have always said that your body is a biochemistry lab, not a bank account and that in order to lose the fat and keep it off you need to find out what is causing your weight loss resistance, what has damaged your metabolism, and fix it.

Over the 25+ years of working in this field, I have seen countless people who eat well, exercise consistently and still can’t lose the weight. I have identified 7 different areas of weight loss resistance that I have used to help clients finally lose the fat and keep it off but I always sensed there was more to it.

About a year ago I had a meeting with a fascinating group out in San Diego, Pathway Genomics. They wanted to hear about my theories on weight loss resistance to see how they played into their genetic testing profile on obesity that was in development. Over the course of the year, I had the ability to get a group of my clients tested with their new obesity profile and most recently, I was able to use this profile on the TLC reality series, Freaky Eaters. Concurrently, they tested their profile with the Biggest Loser candidates. And guess what they found? There are some common gene variants in people who are overweight or obese that thinner people typically don’t share.

Can I blame genetics on my hatred of Brussels sprouts?

The information I have learned over the past year through the testing and the research has been nothing short of miraculous. Genetics can have a major impact on your ability to lose weight and keep it off, the likelihood of you regaining weight and even which type of diet you are best suited to. Genetics can play a huge role in your degree of appetite, your food triggers and your tastes. We tested a couple of the Freaky Eaters participants who HATED vegetables and it turned out that they both had genetic issues with bitter taste which made eating vegetables way more difficult for them.

You can use this info to change your life.

Now all of this would be useless if you couldn’t do something about it. The good news is that once you know about your genetic profile you can create the diet, exercise program and lifestyle that will best support your health and help you reach your goals. For example, if you found out that you are someone with the gene variants for increased hunger and snacking, we can move you from 3 meals to 4 smaller meals, increase your fiber significantly to slow down stomach emptying and suppress hunger and increase your water in between meals. If you have genetic variations with eating disinhibition then we would make sure that you got your trigger foods (remember my line, “Get the enemy out of the house”) out of sight and out of reach, in fact we would put as much distance between you and them as possible!

No Fair! That chick has better GENES than me!

The other thing that finding out which your genetic profile does for you is help you forgive yourself, acknowledge that some things really may be more difficult for you then that skinny chick down the street who seems to be able to eat ANYTHING so that you can get over it, make changes to help you handle it and then focus on more important things like what do you want to do today for your burst workout. I will be sharing more about this fascinating subject, great case studies and how you can get it for yourself so stay tuned!