Genes in action: How to lose weight effectively?

Sabina Muminović Last updated: 27 October 2023

Overweight and obesity are not only compromising people’s quality of life; they are also serious health problems. Reduce your waistline with the help of your unique genetic predispositions!


Weight loss – your way

Every magazine, every health and well-being website is full of advice on how to conquer your weight. Many believe that the latest diet trend will be “the one” for them, but ultimately, they’re always disappointed: they either don’t work, or they make them stressed and unhappy. Not to mention that the majority of us gain back every single gram we’ve lost – and then some.

Increased waistline might be an indicator of excess abdominal fat, a severe health risk which might increase your chances of developing obesity-related health conditions and diabetes.

Necessary things to lose weight: fruit, exercise, measure weight and body proportions

Same goal, different predispositions

Meet Lisa and Anna. One is a mother of two, the other a businesswoman. Since their teenage years, they’ve had trouble taking off weight, trying diet after diet without much success. None of them is very active, and it’s easy to blame a busy lifestyle for neglecting physical activity.

But recently their doctor warned them about the health risks of accumulation of fat around their waist, which is strongly linked to diabetes and heart diseases. And when their bloodwork showed increase triglycerides on top, Anna and Lisa became concerned for their health, and decide the time of excuses is past.

They did a DNA test that revealed their genetic predispositions for traits relevant to weight loss through nutrition and physical exercise. These are their most relevant genetic predispositions revealed by a DNA test:

Comparison of DNA results of two women with same age, weight and BMI

From nutrition …

Different genetic predispositions mean that Lisa and Anna’s bodies respond differently to nutrition and physical exercise. This uniqueness is expressed in different ways that will lead them to their goal.

Lisa has a high tendency for insatiability, but there is a trick she can use to control it – a glass of water before meals will fill her stomach, and she will satisfy her appetite sooner. It is vital that her diet includes plenty of quality carbohydrates. Because she responds to carbs favourably, she can choose from a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain cereals.

Anna can control her portion size easier. Her unfavourable response to carbohydrates means that she has to be more selective with her sources of fibre. She should focus on high-quality complex carbs (vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes), and not forget about proteins and quality fats.

Berries, green leafy vegetables, and walnuts will help Anna control her genetically predisposed high inflammation. To that end, she should also eliminate, as much as possible, the intake of processed food. Such products are usually high in trans fats and sugar and contribute to weight gain, increased triglycerides and inflammation, so Lisa should take note of this advice as well.

Woman eating a salad

… to physical activity

Having a rare fat-burning gene, Lisa should focus her weight-loss efforts on endurance training, which is even more beneficial for her due to low inflammation sensitivity. Regular physical exercise will not only help her reduce weight and waist circumference, but will also help lower her elevated triglycerides.

Anna’s genetic roll of the dice did not give her the advantage of a fat-burning gene, which means that she will benefit more from proper nutrition than going all-in on.

But since physical activity is a vital component of healthy living, Anna should not neglect it. Relaxing physical activities such as yoga, hiking, biking, pilates, can help her manage all three important areas: weight, inflammation, and triglycerides.

If you’re eager for another example of genes in action, discover how genes helped Jack and Tom prepare for their first 10-kilometre run!

Forget fad diets. Listen to your genes!

To reach your weight goals, you need to stop listening to that perfectly fit fitness trainer promoting the newest weight-loss trend and start listening to your body. The best diet is the one that takes into account your personal needs and characteristics.

No quiz or personal trainer can tell you what a DNA test can: how your body responds to certain nutrients and physical activity, how prone you are to obesity, and even if you are more likely to regain the weight you lost. There is much more information your DNA can reveal about your body that is vital for your wellbeing and longevity.

Your genes reveal bits of information that come together to help you create a diet and workout plan, which will help you win a war on waist and improve your long-term health!

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