06 Feb Does Your Genetics Play A Role In Weight Loss?
Does Your Genetics Play A Role In Weight Loss?
In the past, I will be the first to say that I have looked down on people who have used genetics as their excuse to why they can’t lose weight. Lets face it, I wasn’t dealt the genetic code that allowed me to have movie star looks and yet I still wound up marrying the most gorgeous and talented woman on the planet.
The idea that your body’s make up sets you up in a scenario that means you cannot lose weight, to me, sounded like a cop out. More often than not I would find that these same people also never tracked what they ate and rarely involved themselves in regular activity.
It is in recent times that I have become to understand that there are vast differences in peoples genetics that do make them have a better or worse ability to lose weight and it is these differences that I want to discuss in this article.
There are many schools of thought on this topic and they range from the above scenario where a person says they have tried every single diet and never lost a gram, to the opposite end of the spectrum where the scream-at-you, “No Pain, No Gain” trainer says that genetics plays no role at all and it all comes down to how hard you are willing to work.
Clearly the correct answer lies somewhere between these two extremes.
It is hard to argue that genetics doesn’t play a role in your ability to lose weight to some extent, as recent studies have shown that some people who have a Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis or “NEAT” level, which is very high are more able to maintain or lose body weight than those who have very low NEAT levels.
NEAT is basically the energy that we expend for everything we do that isn’t sleeping, eating or intentional exercise such as going to the gym or running. It ranges from the energy expended walking to the bus stop, typing on your computer at work, doing the gardening and fidgeting. This last one, fidgeting, should be noted as it was found that those people who had a very high NEAT would fidget a large amount per day, contributing to a much higher energy requirement for their body to maintain weight.
There are also other genetic based factors that we cannot control when it comes to our weight management. Just look around on any given day and its easy to see that people vary greatly in how they appear. There are those that are tall or short, thick or thin, have a pear or apple shaped body, carry more fat around a certain part of their body and have high or low levels of muscle. Even from the small list of features above you can see that there are many variables that make up the reasons why you might be in a more or less favourable environment to lose or gain weight when compared to another individual.
Here is the punch line though…
Me sitting here and debating with you to what extent your body’s make up plays in your ability to lose weight or not is pointless.
Because at the end of the day you have to deal with the reality of what you have been handed.
If you have been given the genetic make up that means, all other factors equal, you burn 200 calories less per day than the average male or female, then that sucks. That means that if you want to lose weight, or more importantly you want to lose body fat, then you either have to eat fewer calories each day or you have to be in a fat loss phase for longer.
This sobering fact can be hard to hear and is the very reason why so many people give up on their weight loss journey.
If you are currently overweight, the way I see it, you have two options after reading this article.
You can either push on and work hard and understand that it will take you 1 week/1 month/1 year longer to reach your goals as well as having an incredibly high level of patience in your resolve to keep going (when others around you are making progress) and achieve your goals in your own time.
You can focus on those uncontrollable factors and continue to debate with me (and everyone else around you) why you can’t lose weight, all while using a victim mentality. And you know what, you would be completely justified in doing so. This life is hard enough as it is without being dealt a bad hand in your genetics. However, this second option will not get you any closer to the goals you set yourself, the dreams you put on a vision board, and may prevent you from seeing your kids grow up, get married and have grandchildren that you can have ride on your knee.
It is my sincere hope that you choose the first option. If you have been putting in the work, hopefully understanding that there may be factors that are out of your control will ease your frustration when you may not be seeing the results you thought you deserve. Keep going and never give up on your goals. The joy of knowing you achieved your goals when you had to work harder than everyone else is so much more satisfying.
It would mean soo much to me if you could share this with someone you care about as you never know what positive effect it may have for them on their journey.
I hope you have a wonderful day!