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Is losing weight based on genetics?

Is losing weight based on genetics? 

Have you been told to lose weight simply by eating less and exercising more? Chances are that this didn’t work for you, and you were left feeling frustrated and wondering if your genes were to blame. 

It turns out that genetics play an influential role in individual differences in weight loss ability, in fact, up to 70% of an individual’s weight management experience can be attributed to genetics. This is why two people can eat the same foods and do the same exercise, and their body composition will still be very different.  

It is no surprise then, that doing a genetic test to understand your ideal weight loss program can be a game-changer. 

How Genetics Affects your Weight 

Common variations in genes can affect distinct aspects of weight management, such as how you respond to exercise, how you experience hunger and fullness cues, the quantity and size of your fat cells, and even the types of foods you crave.  

Here are just some of the genes tested for in the 3X4 Genetics Blueprint that impact weight management: 

FTO – This gene plays a role in regulating appetite and metabolism. A common variation in this gene can increase appetite, drive someone to consume more calories, especially from fat, and is associated with reduced satiety signals, poorer food choices, and an increased BMI. 

MC4R – This gene plays a key role in regulating energy balance, food intake, and body weight. A common variation in this gene is associated with increased caloric intake, increased waist circumference, and over-eating.  

ADRB2 – Several variants in this gene are attributed to reduced weight loss response to exercise and increased rebound weight gain. 

DRD2 – A variation in this gene is associated with increased binge and emotional eating, especially under stress.  

Understanding how genetics has played a role in your own weight management story can be validating and can illuminate a clearer, personalized path forward. 

Can you Overcome your Genetic Makeup and Lose More Weight? 

Absolutely! Understanding key insights about how your genes will respond to various forms of exercise, the types of foods you eat, and even stress and sleep patterns will help you to identify the most critical changes to make, unique to you.  

By understanding your genes, you can fully understand your experience up until now and see what has been getting in the way of weight loss for you in the past, as well as the next best steps moving forward. Genes are not your destiny, and you can harness the power of genetics to uncover the best weight loss formula for you. 

For example, some people may respond well to intermittent fasting, while for others this practice can actually increase stress on the body and drastically increase hunger drive. Some people will respond quickly to exercise as a form of weight loss, while for others it is less about exercise and more about the types of foods you consume.  

A 3X4 Genetics test can help to understand these individual differences so that you can stop wasting time feeling frustrated with poor results that aren’t right for you. This information can help you to prioritize which health practices will give you the most benefit. 

To what Extent are Genes to Blame for Obesity? 

The genetic contribution to obesity may be as high as 70%. This is not simply due to one gene variant but is a contribution of many different genetic variations and their response to the environment. This means that individuals respond differently to the same environment and this difference is genetically driven.  

In rare cases, a single gene variant can cause obesity, particularly in children, but this is uncommon. Most cases of obesity are caused by an interplay of susceptible genes and a triggering environment. Furthermore, some people develop obesity with no other health issues, while other people develop obesity which puts them at greater risk for developing co-morbidities such as diabetes or heart disease. Genetic factors play a role in susceptibility to co-morbidities in obese individuals. 

Understanding this genetic contribution can give us powerful insights in how to address these differences on an individual level – this is called precision medicine! 

How to know whether habits or genes are causing weight gain? 

Can eating well get you ahead of your genetics? Absolutely! However, “eating well” is a vague term and should be defined differently for each individual. A diet that works well for one person may not be an ideal match for someone else. Genetic testing can help you to uncover the best types of foods for you to consume that will support your body’s optimal functioning. This goes beyond blanket diets like keto, low-carb, or Mediterranean but can help you identify specific foods that impact your genes. 

Since your genes can’t entirely dictate your weight, it is often an interplay between genes, habits, and environment that may cause someone to struggle more with weight management. Remember, Genes + Choices = Health! When you know your genes, you can make choices that will target your unique genetic profile! 

The 3X4 Genetics Blueprint looks at 6 key areas of weight management including appetite, inflammatory fat, fat storage, exercise response, and weight loss resistance to uncover which areas are most vulnerable. Further, we also consider cellular processes that can impact health and thus the ability to manage your weight. 

These key insights can help you to identify which foods and lifestyle habits are most important for you to implement, based on your unique gene story!