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. Your genomes can tell researchers this, and in turn, they can tell you which foods are helpful to you for trimming down and which ones are actually preventing 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 process varies depending on the service provider of your choice, but they’re all pretty simple. You’ll provide a saliva sample (by either spitting in the test tube provided or swabbing the inside of your cheek—nothing invasive), mail in your sample, and wait for the results. This usually takes a few weeks to arrive. Various companies will track different areas, but in general, DNA testing will register as many as 32 different genetic markers, including areas that affect weight loss, nutrition, allergies, food sensitivities, and overall fitness.
The results can tell you if your body is predisposed to certain foods, quantities, and combinations, and the reports will provide you with food recommendations, menu plans, and meal ideas based on your DNA results. 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?
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. So, you might have decided to go on the Atkins Diet, but your body type might need more simple carbs that come from fruits which are limited in that diet plan. 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. 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. That’s why it’s a good idea to do a DNA test before you start planning your diet. Before you choose a plan, see what your body has to say about it.
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. Some people swear by HIIT (high-intensity interval training) while others will do nothing but weight lifting to stay fit. 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. Discover what your genes have to say about these important areas so that you can take the necessary precautions for staying healthy and living longer.
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.