Most of all, your ability to lose weight and look good depends on your genetic profile. In fact, your genetic profile controls between 25 to 70 percent of all factors affecting your weight and body composition. In addition, your genetic profile determines how your body processes ingested food, how hungry you become, how your body burns calories, how to provide energy for moving your body, and how much you eat.
The genes, in your genetic profile, that influence your weight and body composition are described below.
FTO or Fat Mass and Obesity Associated gene is also known as the fatso gene. In fact, FTO is a gene variant that acts as a nutrient sensor affecting your hunger and the amount of food you eat. Also, anyone with a particular variation of this gene has a high probability of becoming obese. In addition, a study published in BMJ compared people with and without the FTO gene. First the study reported that anyone with the FTO gene weighs 6.61 pounds more, on average. Also, anyone with the FTO gene is 1.7 times more likely to be obese. On the other hand, anyone consistently exercising 30 minutes a day, five days a week, is able to turn off this gene.
Melanocortin-4 or MC4R is a receptor gene that controls your hunger, appetite, and energy balance. Regrettably, common variants of this gene are related to obesity and insulin resistance. As a result, anyone with this gene is likely to be obese.
Next, the PPARG gene encodes the Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptor Gamma (PPARG) protein. Indeed, the PPARG gene is involved in fat metabolism. And, when activated, PPARG creates fat cells along with absorbing dietary fats from your blood. Regrettably, too much activation of this gene leads to weight gain. In fact, obese people have large amounts of PPARG in their fat tissue. On the other hand, people with no PPARG encoded genes have less fat tissue in their limbs and buttocks. Consequently, to combat PPARG encoded genes and lose weight, you should eat more saturated fats than unsaturated fats.
Adrenoceptor Beta 2 (ADRB2) is an Adrenergic beta-2 receptor gene that codes for a protein which helps breakdown fat. As a result, when the hormone epinephrine is released, epinephrine binds to ADRB2 to release energy by breaking down fat molecules. Therefore, exercising and reducing the amount you eat is a good treatment to fight ADRB2.
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator 1α (PGC-1α) – A high rate of a chemical process called methylation increases metabolism. Above all, methylation adds chemical groups to the genes PGC-1alpha and TFAM (Transcription Factor A, Mitochondrial). As a result, methylation changes the rate in which these genes are converted to proteins and regulating mitochondrial biogenesis in your cells. Consequently, eating efficiently and exercising increases methylation, which in turn increases metabolism.
First of all, genes that determine if you can even lose weight include FTO, TCF7L2, MTNR1B, PPARG, BDNF, and ABCB11. In fact, large studies have reported that people who participated in exercise and diet programs, lost less weight if their genetic profile included any of these genes when compared to others who did not. In addition, these people were more likely to get back the weight lost when compared with people who did not have these genes.
Next, ADRB2 and LPL genes control body fat loss by aerobic or cardio exercises. Most noteworthy, a large study reported that the amount of fat lost by men was about the same irrespective of the amount of these two genes. On the other hand, depending on their genetic profile, women lost different amounts of fat. In addition, even with significant fat loss, weight loss depended on the genetic profile.
The gene Insulin Receptor Substrate 1 (IRS1) affects a person’s insulin and the reaction to carbohydrates in the diet. In fact, a long term study reported that people with a variant of the IRS1 gene, who ate a high carb, low fat diet consisting of high fiber and whole plant foods had greater insulin sensitivity. As a result, because of low insulin resistance, their bodies needed lower insulin levels to absorb glucose from the blood. In addition, these people experienced greater weight loss when compared with people eating low carb, high fat diet.
Next, the gene MTHFR has a significant association with a person’s folate or vitamin B9 status. In fact, folate acts as a coenzyme in DNA creation and in energy metabolism. Also, folate has a role in the biochemical processes that affect the metabolism of amino acid and homocysteine. Regrettably, high levels of homocysteine increases risk of heart disease. While low levels of folate causes anemia.
The gene FTO affects body fat mass and BMI. In fact, a large study found that anyone, with FTO variants, lost more weight and body fat if they ate a moderate-to-high protein diet (25% of total daily calories) when compared to a low protein diet (15% of total daily calories). However, they also lost muscle with weight loss.
Genes, that improve a person’s body composition while decreasing fat, because of strength training include FTO, NRXN3, GPRC5B, GNPDA2, LRRN6C, PRKD1, SLC39A8, FLJ35779, MAP2K5, QPCTL-GIPR, NEGR1, LRP1B, MTCH2, MTIF3, RPL27A, SEC16B, FAIM2, FANCL, ETV5, and TFAP2B. Above all, strength training increases strength and muscle mass while decreasing body fat, thereby, resulting in better body composition. As a result you have a leaner look and able to burn a lot more calories every day. Especially noteworthy, when you are trying to lose weight it is necessary to do strength training, because it increases muscle mass, to make up for muscle mass lost with dieting or aerobic exercises.
Genes that decide how to react to the fat in your diet include PPARG, TCF7L2, APOA5, CRY2, MTNR1B, and PPM1K. In fact, studies show that weight loss depended on the fat content in the diet. Another study reported that people with an unfavorable genetic profile, who ate more fat, were more likely to have more body fat, large waist and high BMR. On the other hand, people with a favorable genetic profile were able to consume greater amounts of fat, but without the higher BMI. Meanwhile, another study reported that people, with unfavorable genetic profile, on a low-calorie diet that was higher in fat, lost less weight.
For example, people with specific genetic profile benefit from high protein diet, lose weight, reduced food cravings, and low appetite. On the other hand, if you don’t have this genetic profile, a high-protein diet won’t help you lose weight. Similarly, other genetic profiles may make you lose weight with a low-fat diet especially low saturated fat diet.
Furthermore, research shows that those with a specific genetic profile may predispose them to eat fried food thereby making them obese. Also, research shows that someone with a variant of the IRS1 gene is more successful at losing weight with a low-fat and high-carb diet as opposed to a high-fat and low-carb diet.
In addition, your genes aren’t the only thing controlling your weight. Indeed, your lifestyle and environment also significantly controls your weight. For example, very active people with an obesity genetic profile have 30 percent lower risk of being obese compared to those who aren’t active. Similarly, adults with an obesity genetic profile who are older are less likely to be obese. On the other hand, younger adults, with an obesity genetic profile, gorging on meals, with sugary drinks and being inactive, are likely to become obese.
Paradoxically, studies have shown that genetics can’t explain why some people lose weight on a low-carb diet like Atkins or why others succeed with a low-fat diet.
In fact, Stanford University Medical School researchers published a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. And, this study consisted of 609 overweight adults equally divided into a low-fat diet or a low-carb diet group. First of all, the low fat diet consisted of less oil, less fatty meats, full-fat dairy, and nuts. While the low-carb diet consisted of eating smaller portions of cereals, grains, rice, starchy vegetables, and legumes.
Moreover, the study lasted a year after which time one group lost 11.7 pounds while the other group lost 13.2 pounds – hardly a significant difference.
Meanwhile, other research indicated that the PPARG, ADRB2, and FABP2 genes metabolize either fats or carbohydrates. Therefore, each group had subgroup with genetic profile metabolizing fats and subgroup with a genetic profile metabolizing carbohydrates.
In fact, this more finely tuned analysis showed no significant weight change. In conclusion, neither genetic profile suited for metabolizing fat or genetic profile suited for metabolizing carbohydrates effect weight change.
In conclusion, though genetic profiles effects our weight, a combination of a healthy diet and exercise has the biggest impact on losing weight and body composition that is characterized by decreased fat and/or increased muscles.
Foods with strong aroma appear to have the potential to help lose weight. In fact, two studies describe two different ways of using aroma to achieve that goal.
Above all, people naturally eat smaller bites of food that isn’t very tasty or food that is not familiar. Therefore, we associate smaller bites with food having low flavor or taste.
In addition, research shows that people take smaller bites when food aroma is strong. Indeed, our unconscious self-regulating mind tells us that because the food has strong aroma, it must be rich with calories. As a consequence, we take smaller bites. In addition, the self-regulating mind subconsciously tells us to take fewer number of bites to feel satiated. As a result, we eat less which, in turn, helps with our weight.
On the other hand, when food has very little or no aroma, our unconscious self-regulating mind tells us the food doesn’t have too many calories. As a consequence, we take bigger bites. In addition, our subconscious mind tells us that since the food likely doesn’t have too many calories, it’s OK to take many bites. As a result, we likely eat more, which, in turn, causes us to put on weight.
In fact, a similar effect occurs with taste. For example, we eat small amounts with each “bite” of a very salty soup. And likely we won’t take too many such “bites” of the soup. On the other hand, if the soup isn’t salty, we eat larger amounts of the soup with each “bite”. And likely we take too many “bites” of the soup.
Incidentally, the “bite” size reduction with salty soup is about 5%. Similarly, the “bite” size is reduced by about 5% for foods with aroma.
Indeed, the key here is self-regulation. That you are consciously trying to not overeat. A similar thing happens, when you have a mouth-watering aromatic chocolate cake in front of you. No doubt, you would want to eat the biggest piece of mouth-watering cake. However, your self-regulating mind causes you to take a smaller piece. Then, eat that by further taking small bites while reducing the number of bites.
Or, if you have a low aromatic salad, you associate the low aromatic salad with fewer calories. Consequently, you not only take bigger bites of the salad but you take more of them.
On the other hand, this method does not work for someone whose eating habits are not self-regulated. In fact, you may be just the kind of a person, who, if they see a chocolate cake in front of you, you may eat not one slice, but even two or three slices. And if you have some very tasty and mouth-watering aromatic foods, you are tempted to take bigger bites and more of them.
In conclusion, the method works for anyone who has a self-regulating mind when it comes to food.
Meanwhile, a new study reports that breathing the strong aroma of indulging high-calorie foods for more than two minutes satisfies your taste buds and your stomach. And, this reduces the temptation to eat the high calorie indulging food.
So, the next time you come across the strong aroma of indulging food, wait for two minutes or more before deciding on taking a bite. Or if the strong aroma of indulging food doesn’t reach your nostrils, carry a nebulizer with you. And, take a whiff with a nebulizer that gives off the scent of strong aroma indulging food. After waiting for two or more minutes, your desire for the indulging food may disappear.
On the other hand, since non-indulging foods don’t give off as much aroma, they do not affect our rewards system so much. As a result they have less influence on what we eat.
In fact, studies done at a school cafeteria and a supermarket demonstrated these effects. In the study, participants were exposed to the aroma of indulging cookies for more than two minutes as well as lack of aroma from the non-indulging strawberries. As a result the purchases of cookies were lower than the purchases of strawberries. Indeed, the prolonged exposure to the indulging cookies induced pleasure in the brain’s reward system resulting in a diminished desire for the actual eating of the indulging cookies.
On the other hand, when exposure to the aroma of indulging cookies was less than 30 seconds, more cookies were purchased than the strawberries. So, next time you come across strong aromatic indulging foods, soak the aroma for two or more minutes before deciding on eating the indulging food.
Above all, olfactory fatigue is the common experience of losing sensitivity to smells after prolonged exposure. In fact, your body adapts to the smell. As a consequence, the effects of the smell weakens over time. And, eventually you won’t be able to recognize the smell. After prolonged exposure, olfactory fatigue allows your body to adapt to the smell so as not to overload your nervous system.
For example, smelling a cookie activates smells cells, located at the end of your nasal passage. As a result, the smell cells send chemical messages to the brain. And the brain interprets these messages before relaying them to the mouth. Indeed, this entire process is known as the olfactory referral.
Moreover, the olfactory referral happens with each breath exposing us to the smell. And, our bodies adapt to the smell with continued stimulation. As a consequence the effect of the smell weakens. In fact, our brains are programmed to tell us when smell changes. And not to tell us when things smell the same as they did a few minutes ago.
First of all, retronasal olfaction refers to acquiring smell related information through the back of the mouth. And, orthonasal olfaction refers to acquiring smell related information through the nostrils. In fact, both methods influence flavor. For example, food aroma such as vanilla causes something perceived as sweet, to taste sweeter. And, once you experience the smell of food along with its flavor, the two become associated; thus, smell influences taste and taste influences smell.
So when you smell food aroma for two or more minutes, you get the effect of having tasted it. And having tasted it satiates you. So the desire to actually eat it lessens.