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, genes that control how much body fat is lost by aerobic or cardio exercises include ADRB2 and LPL. 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, the genetic profile determined how much weight was lost.
The gene Insulin Receptor Substrate 1 (IRS1) is associated with 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 their insulin resistance was lower, 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 is associated with 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 the fat content in the diet affected how much weight was lost. 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 on a low-calorie diet that was higher in fat, lost less weight if they had an unfavorable genetic profile.
For example, people with a specific genetic profile benefit from a high protein diet, lose more weight, have reduced craving for food, and have a 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 weight isn’t solely controlled by your genes. Indeed, your weight is significantly affected by your lifestyle and your environment. For example, people with an obesity genetic profile have 30 percent lower risk of being obese if they are very active 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, in this study, 609 overweight adults were randomly selected to go on either a low-fat or a low-carb diet. 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 are involved in fat and carbohydrate metabolism. Therefore, each of the two groups were further divided into two subgroups each depending on their fat and carbohydrate genetic profiles.
In fact, this more finely tuned analysis showed that there was no significant weight change even if their genetic profiles matched up with their low-fat or low-carb diets. In conclusion, weight change is not effected by whether the body has genetic profiles designed for metabolizing fats or carbohydrates.
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.