Where smart watches and Fitbits were the biggest fitness accessories of 2017, genetic testing is set to be the ‘must-have’ health trend of 2018. Want to know your ideal diet and exercise programme, or how to delay your natural ageing patterns? It’s all possible.
The first individual genome sequence was published in 2007. Since then improvements in technology and prices mean it is affordable and accessible to everyone. But is it worth it? and will it help with weightloss?
The reason behind the need for testing is the 20,000 – 30,000 variants that make us unique. These variants are called SNPs (pronounced ‘snips’). So can they help me lose weight? The short answer is definitely YES.
Geneticists have discovered that certain SNPs determine how well we metabolise carbohydrates and fats, and that this varies from person to person. So a genetic test can tell you the exact percentage of carbohydrates, fats and protein that best suits your body. But more than the SNPs that determine metabolism, it’s the ones that determine our behaviour that are really life-changing. There are SNPs that make us feel hungry; SNPs that stop us from feeling full; SNPs that make us emotional eaters and SNPs that make us want to snack all day long. Once you know that it’s your genes affecting your behaviour towards food, you can ditch all the guilt and shame and stop blaming yourself.
One of my clients has the SNP that means she is ALWAYS hungry, and rarely full. Since learning that it’s her genes, and not something that she needs to hide, or feel ashamed about, she now accepts it and deals with it. She now tells herself it’s ok to feel hungry, it doesn’t always mean that she needs to eat, and she’s started to finally lose weight. And she feels a lot happier now she’s not constantly fighting herself.
The yo-yo diet dilemma
There’s even a Yo-Yo diet SNP. For individuals with this particular variant, low calorie diets, or even fasting days are a disaster. Their bodies are genetically primed to put weight back on the minute they eat normally again. This variant is why we see so many ‘yo-yo’ dieters, who lose weight easily on the latest low-calorie diet, only to pile the pounds on (and then some) the minute they stop. If you have this variant, even intermittent fasting is a bad idea. What your body needs is consistency.
Losing weight the genetic way…
A 2010 study from Stanford University found that dieters who followed their genetically appropriate diet achieved 2 and a half times more weight loss than the control groups. So it seems the advice is: Ditch the fad diets, and follow your genes if you want to lose weight in 2018.
For more information on losing weight the genetic way, or to request a test, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ref: Dieting by DNA? Popular diets work best by genotype, research shows – Medscape – Mar 08, 2010