Until very recently, genetics were assumed to contribute significantly to weight gain and being thin or overweight. Your body weight was assumed to be 40-70% genetic and “predetermined.” It’s now being considered that only 10% of your body weight is genetically related. The majority of body weight comes from other factors that shift or change how we read our genes and if those genes will be expressed or read.
So, how do genetics affect weight? Well, it’s no longer sufficient to speak of genetics in terms of “our DNA”. Recent advances in technology have allowed researchers to re-tool how they conduct research, and gain a much deeper understanding of how the body works. This entirely new understanding of genetics is called epigenetics, and it refers to the components of the body, the bacteria on and in our body, and the things in our personal environments that all communicate with each other to allow us to read our DNA and to determine whether or not the genes for higher body weight are expressed in a person.
Yes, you read correctly: We communicate with our body’s bacteria, and this is a determinant of how heavy and how healthy we are. Good neighbors make for good weight.
This means it’s important to recognize that the genes that impact body weight do not directly cause obesity. Rather, genetic makeup influences the susceptibility to weight gain when the person lives in an environment that supports gaining weight. The influence of genes extends to weight-related behaviors as well. Food preferences, dietary patterns and exercise behaviors are all likely to be determined, in part, by genes and whether or not they get read. This means, get your bacteria and your environment in order, and you will naturally start to see your patterns move into place.
Yes, you read correctly again: Our bacteria do determine a significant amount of how we lead our daily lives.
To quote a geneticist, “Biology is not destiny.” While genes influence susceptibility to being overweight and have an influence on weight-related behaviors, the genes cannot be expressed unless the environment and bacteria support them.
Some of the things that are influencing this “genetic reading” to determine obesity are:
- Eating regularly-spaced meals with a variety of fruits and vegetables to support the right bacteria.
- Eating fruits and vegetables often and in adequate amounts supports the right bacteria.
- Adequate fiber (as a prebiotic, which feeds the healthy bacteria taken as a probiotic).
- Maintaining a balanced digestive system (appropriate bacteria, good fiber, fruit and vegetable intakes) to support the right bacteria.
- Reduced stress hormones from regular activity, less caffeine, alcohol and sugar.
- Adequate essential fatty acid, protein, vitamin and mineral intakes to support our physiology and our detox capabilities.
- The prevention of, elimination of, and continued excretion of toxic substances from our environment via adequate water, fiber, protein and nutrient intakes and regular sweating from saunas or exercise.
You can control your destiny! Follow these steps to create an environment that supports a healthy lifestyle and an ideal weight for you. Learn more about how SlimGenics STEP program focuses on individual needs, support and targeted supplementation built on the principles of Integrated Nutrition.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. SlimGenics® products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.