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Everything You Need to Know About DNA Tests for Weight-Loss and Diets

Destini Moody
Image - Best DNA tests for weight loss and diet

A new innovation is making the right diet for you easier to find. DNA testing has already been used by many people to help trace their ancestry, find their biological parents, and discover genetic dispositions to certain life-threatening diseases, but now the familiar spit-in-a-tube DNA sampling method has another purpose.

Experts in the world of diet, weight loss, and fitness are turning to DNA testing for a more accurate picture of your body’s disposition toward foods and fitness for better results. No more trial and error, no more failing a diet because it wasn’t the right one for you. With DNA testing for weight loss, you can tailor your exercise routine and diet to suit your body perfectly.

There are numerous companies that offer DNA testing, but not all of them will give you the right information you need for diet and weight loss planning. You have to look for ones that specifically test for these factors, or you'll waste your money and saliva. 

We've reviewed the top recommended DNA testing companies that specialize in fitness and weight loss tracking as well as ancestry:

Comparing The Top Brands
1
Living DNA
2
Toolbox Genomics
3
Vitagene
4
Orig3n
Reviews50 reviewsWrite ReviewWrite Review30 reviews
Best for
Targeted diet and exercise adjustments
Healthcare pros who want to aid their clients
Reporting on fitness, diet, and health
Those struggling with weight loss and appetite control
Price
$99
$159/kit + $37-$57 additional products
$29-$259
$149
Shipping
$9.95
N/A
Free
Free
Collection method
Cheek swab
Cheek swab
Cheek swab
Cheek swab
Results in
6 - 8 weeks
Within 6 weeks
4-6 weeks
4-6 weeks
Results delivery method
Email report
Online report
Online report
Online report
Type of report
Nutrition, exercise, recovery
Supplements, diet, lifestyle, exercise
Ancestry, diet, fitness, skin, supplements
Food sensitivity, nutrient metabolism, appetite, and cravings

Top 5 DNA Testing Kits for Weight Loss Planning

    1
    Living DNA
    50 Reviews
    - -
    Outlining specific nutrients your body needs
    • Best for - Targeted diet and exercise adjustments
    • Price - $99
    • Type of report - Nutrition, exercise, recovery
    Outlining specific nutrients your body needs

    Living DNA’s DNA Wellbeing kit includes a nutrition test that assesses how your genetic makeup impacts your body’s metabolism. It also outlines the specific nutrients your body needs. The best feature is the ability to indicate your risk for developing food sensitivities like celiac disease and lactose intolerance.

    I love that the fitness testing kit helps you determine what type of exercises will generate the best response from your body. If you’re trying to lose weight, this is invaluable information. 

    Read Living DNA Review

    PROS

    Affordable for the range of services
    Private data is protected
    Easy-to-follow testing instructions

    CONS

    Wait times are longer than most at 6-12 weeks
    UK-based reference population could affect test accuracy
    living-dna logo
    Living DNA
    Visit Site
    2
    Toolbox Genomics
    - -
    Toolbox Genomics Best DNA Tests for Weight Loss
    Everything you want to know in 1 test
    • Best for - Healthcare pros who want to aid their clients
    • Price - $159/kit + $37-$57 additional products
    • Type of report - Supplements, diet, lifestyle, exercise
    Everything you want to know in 1 test

    Toolbox Genomics is a DNA test for those who are serious about weight loss and their general health. These kits are usually sold to doctors and other health care professionals, so you can understand that Toolbox Genomics isn’t messing around. The kits are simple to use—a basic cheek swab is all you need to collect your DNA sample.

    From there, your DNA will be tested in order to help guide you through the major areas of health, including nutrition optimization, health enrichment (sleep habits, exercise suggestions, metabolism guides), weight management (macronutrient processing, genetic predisposition to weight gain, obesity, and unhealthy eating habits), and endurance performance (types of muscle fibers, any nutrient deficiencies present, ability to recover and susceptibility to injury).

    In other words, Toolbox Genomics gives you the full picture of your health based on your DNA, and then it gives you the reports and tools you need to live a better life for yourself.

    Read Toolbox Genomics Review

    PROS

    Professional, in-depth reporting features
    360-degree perspective on your health

    CONS

    Difficult to find information on the site
    No customer support information
    toolbox-genomics logo
    Toolbox Genomics
    3
    Vitagene
    Vitagene Best DNA Tests for Weight Loss
    All-inclusive DNA kit results
    • Best for - Reporting on fitness, diet, and health
    • Price - $29-$259
    • Type of report - Ancestry, diet, fitness, skin, supplements
    All-inclusive DNA kit results

    Vitagene is another popular DNA testing service that caters to those looking to lose weight or improve overall health. In addition to fast results, helpful and available customer service, and high customer satisfaction rates, people particularly like Vitagene because it offers a detailed report with involved analyses of each area of your life and how to optimize. For example, you’ll get a fitness regimen, vitamin supplement suggestions, and a meal plan to help you boost your health and fitness and live a better life. Take a look at what Vitagene has to offer.

    Read Vitagene Review

    PROS

    One of the least expensive kits around
    Upload your pre-existing DNA test
    In-depth reports

    CONS

    Some advice is obvious
    No international shipping
    vitagene logo
    Vitagene
    4
    InsideTracker
    • Best for - Personalized guidance in diet improvement
    • Price - $119-$589
    • Type of report - Metabolism, weight control, athletic performance

    InsideTracker has six different testing kits to choose from, so you only pay for the one that gives you the results you want. The website also makes it simple to compare prices. As a performance dietitian, I particularly appreciate the results that give insight into strength, endurance, and how efficiently your body uses oxygen. Without DNA testing, these are things you have to figure out via trial and error—while your weight goals suffer. 

    The most exciting feature of InsideTracker is the app that helps you track the goals recommended from your results. It even provides recipes for meals high in the nutrients your body needs, complete with text and email reminders. 

    Read InsideTracker Review

    PROS

    Cites peer-reviewed science
    Range of kit options makes testing personalization simple
    Includes goal tracking

    CONS

    Costly compared to similar products
    Amount of information provided may be overwhelming
    insidetracker logo
    InsideTracker
    5
    Gene Food
    • Best for - Individualized nutrition seekers
    • Price - $79.99
    • Type of report - Diet type, heart disease risk, sugar metabolism, lactose intolerance

    If you’ve done genealogy testing before, you can upload that raw DNA data to Gene Food. Your genetic markers classify you into one of 20 diet types, ranging from pescatarian and Mediterranean to the more obscure pegan and Wayoan. You’re then given a comprehensive nutrition plan within that diet type. 

    With fully HIPAA compliant and SSL-encrypted software, Gene Food commits to keeping your data private. It also pledges never to sell your genetic information.

    Read Gene Food Review

    PROS

    Notable commitment to data security
    Results in as little as five minutes
    Detailed and easy-to-understand nutrition recommendations

    CONS

    Expensive if you don’t have existing raw data
    Recommendations don’t consider food preferences or religious restrictions
    gene-food logo
    Gene Food
    Orig3n Best DNA Tests for Weight Loss and Fitness
    360-degree self-analysis through your DNA scope
    • Best for - Those struggling with weight loss and appetite control
    • Price - $149
    • Type of report - Food sensitivity, nutrient metabolism, appetite, and cravings
    360-degree self-analysis through your DNA scope

    Orig3n sets itself apart with one feature: detecting your food preferences. By testing for certain genes, Orig3n can detect aversion to basic tastes like bitterness, as well as specific foods like cilantro. 

    Orig3n provides weight management information that, as a dietitian, I wish all of my clients had at their fingertips. The Nutrition DNA kit uses your genetic makeup to assess whether or not your body has a natural ability to keep weight off versus put it on. It even reveals your likelihood of feeling full after a meal. And if you’re interested in how your metabolism might affect your fitness goals, the Fitness DNA kit is worth a look.

    Read Orig3n Review

    PROS

    Includes unique food aversion test
    Cheek swab testing is quick and easy
    Free app for accessible results

    CONS

    No raw DNA data upload option
    Test kits only available to United States citizens
    7
    DNAfit
    • Best for - Active individuals looking for diet structure
    • Price - $199.20 for health kit; $151.20 for diet kit
    • Type of report - Food and caffeine sensitivity, athletic performance, stress, and sleep responses

    DNAfit is like having a dietitian and geneticist in your pocket. The Health Fit and Diet Fit results include a personalized meal planner that factors in your genetic variables. It even helps you build a shopping list. Basically, DNAfit makes the meal planning part of weight loss seamless. 

    My athletes would love the Health Fit test, as it determines how vulnerable you are to sports-related injuries. Finally, DNAfit tests how your body deals with the lesser-known enemies of weight loss: stress and sleep deprivation. 

    Read DNAfit Review

    PROS

    Includes 3-month access to online meal and fitness planner
    Free shipping for UK and US citizens
    Discounted cost with existing genealogy data

    CONS

    Recommendations may be less specific than with other providers
    No access to raw DNA data
    8
    EasyDNA
    EasyDNA Test
    • Best for - Personalized diet and exercise advice with resources
    • Price - $139-$349
    • Type of report - Metabolism, food sensitivities, exercise response

    EasyDNA’s Diet and Healthy Weight DNA test assesses if a clash between your lifestyle and your genes is preventing weight loss. Results take 30-45 days, but it’s worth the wait when you get back a detailed 70-page exercise and eating plan. 

    You’ll also discover whether or not you have the genes that encourage weight loss (like your friends who can eat junk non-stop and not gain weight). The NutriFit Health & Fitness DNA Testing also includes a 28-day diet plan with 60 recipes for foods best suited for your genes.

    Read EasyDNA Review

    PROS

    Six-week diet report that would be costly from other sources
    Comprehensive gut microbiome information
    Personalized fitness plan

    CONS

    Requires multiple cheek swabs for each report
    Pricey depending on chosen options
    easydna logo
    EasyDNA
    9
    SelfDecode
    • Best for - Health pros and individuals
    • Price - $196 for kit
    • Type of report - Chronic disease risk, mental health, hunger hormones

    Unlike other providers on this list, SelfDecode is a subscription service that continuously updates your data based on the latest science. It’s also the only company that uses artificial intelligence in its testing. According to the website, this makes it the most accurate DNA testing kit. 

    The DNA Wellness report’s focus is on disease risk rather than weight management, but it does assess if you have genetically low leptin levels, unlike other DNA tests. Leptin is the hormone that tells your brain you’re full, so if levels are low, you could be overeating without knowing it. So, this test can add valuable clarity to your hunger cues.

    Read SelfDecode Review

    PROS

    More detailed health advice than competitors
    Offers a 30-day money-back guarantee
    Employs IT providers to monitor data for optimal security

    CONS

    Only accessible through annual subscription
    Extra cost for additional reports
    selfdecode logo
    SelfDecode
Frequently Asked Questions
Do DNA tests work for weight loss?+-

DNA tests don't directly help with weight loss, though there are new DNA tests on the market that give you insight into your own unique metabolism and eating habits. These tests can help you get a better view of your body's chemistry, which in turn can help you take a more successful approach to dieting.

How does DNA affect weight loss?+-

Your DNA contains key information that can determine your body's metabolism, including how you burn calories and store fat.

What is the DNA diet plan?+-

DNA diet plans use genetics to help you understand your body's relationship to food. By understanding your metabolism, eating habits, and physiology, you can then construct a diet that best optimizes your own metabolism.

What does a diet and fitness DNA test tell you?+-

The best DNA tests for health can tell you what specific nutrients you need, whether you have lactose intolerance or a predisposition to certain food allergies, what exercises are most effective for your body, and how difficult it may be to lose weight or gain muscle compared to others.

How accurate are diet and fitness DNA tests?+-

From my experience, diet and fitness DNA tests vary in accuracy. It really depends on how many biomarkers your chosen test sends to the lab, how many DNA testing companies your data is sent to, and how much population data is available to compare your genetic information against.

How much does a diet and fitness DNA test cost?+-

The price of testing kits depends on the comprehensiveness of the testing, how fast you want your results, and the type of test results you wish to receive. Keep in mind, the best DNA test for health isn’t always the most expensive. Nutrition and exercise genetic testing will typically cost you around $100-$1,000.

What sample is needed for diet and fitness DNA testing?+-

The easiest and most common sample needed is a cheek swab, which is relatively quick and painless. Some companies may ask for one or more samples of your saliva. However, other companies require a blood sample for certain results and will prompt you to travel to a lab for this

Do genetics affect weight?+-

Recent research indicates that genetics do play a major role in weight management. Certain ethnicities may be more prone to chronic diseases like insulin resistance, which can make weight loss harder. Genes also play a role in factors such as differences in appetite and body fat distribution.

Can DNA Testing Help You Lose Weight?

While choosing a diet plan based on your genetic makeup may seem somewhat too futuristic to be real, it’s really not a major stretch of the imagination to consider there being a genetic tie to weight gain. After all, obesity has already been proven to have genetic variants. So, these tests just take things one step further, exploring your body type and your genetic makeup to determine what your triggers are.

How Does DNA Testing Work for Weight Loss?

The main concept behind DNA testing for weight loss is that your body responds differently to various stimulants (specifically food and exercise) than someone else’s body. For example, your body might start conserving fat when it hits a certain caloric deficiency, storing fat after eating less saturated fat, or needing more carbs after doing certain exercises than someone else. 

Researchers can tell you which foods to trim down and which ones actually prevent weight loss, how much of each sort of food your body needs to reach the optimal BMI, and even which exercises will benefit you the most.

The results can tell you if your body is predisposed to certain foods, quantities, and combinations, and the reports will provide you with food and fitness recommendations, menu plans, and meal ideas based on your DNA results and as many as 32 different genetic markers. The suggestions are made up of foods that will help you lose weight because of the way your body in particular responds to those foods.

Should You Take a DNA Test Before Planning a Diet and Why?

You’re unique, and your genetic makeup is different than anyone else’s too. So, it’s logical that the way your body reacts to foods and fitness will differ from the reactions of your friend or neighbor. If you are considering which diet is right for you, it’s a good idea to take a DNA test beforehand. The test results can help you determine power foods that you’ll want to stock up on as well as which foods to avoid. 

By consulting your genetic makeup, you can choose a diet plan that is more beneficial for you instead of just basing it on what looks good for the average person. 

Can DNA Testing Help for Fitness?

Since your DNA sequencing holds loads of information about you including your genetic disposition toward diseases, sleep patterns, and tribal origins, it’s not surprising that researchers are finding the information you need to understand which foods are best for your body too.

What’s more, DNA testing is being used to determine which exercise routines will yield the most results for you as well. The truth is your body will respond to the right workout routine for it, and not respond as well to the wrong one. So, using your genetic map, you can determine which exercises will get your body moving so that you can maximize that gym time and sculpt your body the way you want to.

DNA & Your Health

DNA testing isn’t just about finding your roots or choosing the right diet for you. In fact, it's a positive idea if you have questions about your health in general. While looking at your genomes under a microscope, researchers can find important information regarding your health that can help with making healthier decisions and even life-altering choices. 

For example, 23andMe has an in-depth package that tests for genetic health risks, signs that you are a carrier of debilitating diseases such as Celiac or Parkinson's, and even your propensity to lose your hair earlier. 

DNA testing is not a foolproof way to lose weight. There's still significant research to be done in order to fully maximize this type of diet planning, and even with the most accurate results, at the end of the day, you will still have to practice self-control and discipline if you really want to lose weight and get fit. Using DNA testing for weight loss can help guide you in the right direction and help you understand why certain diets just aren’t working for you. 

How can a DNA weight loss test help you?   

Everyone’s DNA is different. Thus, it makes sense that everyone’s diet should be also. DNA weight loss testing can help give individualized insight into the effects of certain foods, nutrients, and exercise on your body and weight.  

As a dietitian, the reason I always schedule follow-ups with clients is that these genetic variations exist. Nutrition counseling requires a level of trial and error and, if my initial advice isn’t showing results, we have to try other options. 

With DNA testing, you can skip the trial and error in favor of a quicker journey to success.

What a DNA Test for Weight Loss Can Tell You

The Best DNA Health Test has yet to be crowned. However, if you know what to look for in a test, you’ll be able to shut out the conflicting health advice presented in the media. Instead, you’ll have recommendations that work specifically for you. 

DNA tests can reveal your level of risk for certain food sensitivities, how your body processes caffeine, the best diet type for weight loss goals, and—incredibly—whether your genes make you susceptible to gaining unwanted weight.

You can even find out if your exercise routine is conducive to weight loss. We dietitians marvel at how genetic markers can provide such information.

Why take a DNA test for weight loss?

In an age of social media, almost everyone claims to be an expert on diet and exercise. This makes it difficult for the average person to navigate recommendations. 

Just because something worked like a charm for Ally on Instagram doesn’t mean it will work for you, and it could leave you feeling discouraged and defeated when it doesn’t. 

Taking a DNA test for weight loss can give you definitive guidelines to help you lose weight once and for all, for a relatively affordable investment and with minimal effort. 

What to look for in the best DNA test for weight loss

Cost

A DNA health test could run you anywhere from $100 to $1,000. It depends on what you’re looking for! Many companies allow you to customize the tests run on your sample, so you only pay for the results you want. Others have a base cost for the DNA kit with an add-on price for other specific tests you may want. 

Our review can help you determine which of the tests that reflect your personal goals are also within your budget.

Accuracy

Without being a geneticist, there’s no concrete way to tell if your test is accurate. FDA approval is a good sign. Accuracy is also boosted when companies use a worldwide pool of genetic data, rather than a local pool. 

Look for companies that reinforce their testing approach with reference to peer-reviewed scientific research. Just know that no scientific test is ever 100% accurate. However, this doesn’t mean valuable information can’t be drawn from the results. 

Privacy

Having your genetic data floating around cyberspace is about as vulnerable as you can get. So, it’s important to know your data is protected. Choose a company that uses security measures to protect your data, such as encrypted software and HIPAA-compliant data collection. Also, look for confirmation on the website that the company will not sell or share your data with third parties. 

Speed

On average, results become available four weeks after sending in your sample. Some companies can take as long as 12 weeks, but it may depend on the complexity of your selected tests. Remember, all DNA testing companies are testing thousands of samples at a time with only one or two labs. 

For faster results, choose a company like Gene Food that promises some test results within five minutes. Orig3n also offers an app that allows you to access your results from your phone, rather than waiting for your mail. 

Destini Moody
Destini is a Registered Dietician with a Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics and Nutritional Sciences. Having spent 4+ years working with professional athletes, she is now a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics and a Licensed Dietitian in the State of Florida. When she’s not writing for Top10.com, Destini runs her own successful nutrition blog and mentors budding nutrition professionals. She has also offered her expertise to articles in Food Network, Men’s Journal, and Outside Magazine.