Nearly everyone who was hip to the pop music scene in 2007 can recall the will.i.am song, “I Got it From My Mama.” The lyrics, objectifying as they may be, actually say a lot about how genetics determine what we look like. Tall or short, freckled or tanned, brown- or blue-eyed – these traits all come from your parents. Even your bra size is determined way before you come into the world.
Knowing this, it makes sense that some people who struggle to lose weight, despite eating healthy and exercising, suspect that mom or dad could be to blame. As it turns out, they might be right. Just as genetics affect your height, shoe size, and the color of your skin, research shows that for those who can’t seem to drop those extra pounds, the number on the scale might already be coded in their DNA.
What’s the link between genetics and weight loss?
When it comes to weight loss, genetic factors get a lot of flack: “His dad is built that way.” “The whole family is big-boned.” “She gets her double chin from her mom.” If you’re someone who thinks a person’s weight is tied to a lack of personal restraint, these statements may sound more like excuses than fact.
However, if you consider all of the genetically based elements we have no control over, it make sense. There are a variety of different body types, whether you end up tall and lanky or short and thick. There’s also the predisposition to carry weight in certain areas on the body, like the stomach or hips. On top of this, some people have an easier time building muscle than others. From just looking at these factors, it’s easy to see that someone with an undesirable combination of genes will fight a harder weight-loss battle than a person who’s already hit the genetic jackpot.
If this is hard to wrap your head around, don’t worry. Researchers are still trying to understand the genetics of obesity, too. While a lot is still unknown, they do know this: Even if you carry the dreaded “fat” genes, it doesn’t mean you’re doomed for a life of being overweight. Really, genetics only account for about 50-70 percent of how much you weigh. If you do the math, that’s not so bad, right?
It depends. While everyone is different, someone who is genetically predisposed to obesity is probably going to have a harder time losing weight with diet and exercise alone. Not to mention, he or she will find it harder to pass on the dessert menu, thanks to a resistance to the hunger-suppressing hormone leptin. So, is there any relief for those hardwired to crave a chocolate fudge lava cake after dinner? Actually, there is.
Yes, you can lose the weight and keep it off for good!
Now hear this: You are not at the mercy of your genetics when it comes to weight loss. While the genes passed down from mom and dad will always have an influence on the way you look, they don’t have to control it.
At Viva Wellness, we often get people who come to us frustrated with their inability to lose weight and blame genetics for their body issues. That’s why we offer medical weight loss therapy. With a combination of diet, exercise and prescription appetite suppressants, 90 percent of the patients on our programs reach their weight loss goals and become happier and healthier. We’d love to help you get the same results.
Give us a call to schedule your consultation today. You’ll be glad you did.