It is really no news that exercise and healthy eating allow us to feel better about ourselves and help us maintain a healthy weight. For many however, this seems to be easier said than done. Often blamed on our genes, it seems we cannot fight what mother nature intended us to look like. We were wrong all along…
Where it is true that genetic makeup can contribute to weight gain, this is mostly so when our physical activity declines. This is not the case however for those who are genetically inclined to be of average weight; these individuals will not necessarily gain weight when their physical activity is reduced.
A new study has proven how physical activity can and will help modify the so called “fat gene” also known as the FTO gene.
Researchers from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, the University of Copenhagen and other institutions conducted a meta-analysis examining 60 past genetic studies to see if physical activity could mitigate the effects a genetic predisposition to weight gain.
Over 200,400 adults were screened for 2.5 million genetic variations, of which about 3/4 were physically active. They also looked at body mass index, and hip to waist ratio to establish if participants were overweight. By doing so, they established that those with the FTO gene who were physically active, were able to counteract the weight gain by 30% by increasing their physical activity. They also discovered that it is not a single gene that may cause obesity, but that there are hundreds of variants of genes that may.
It is clear that we can diet and reduce our food intake, as well as eliminate those foods we know will contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle, but most individuals do not want to deprive themselves of the things they like. This is why we have to train our brains to healthier alternatives.
As we begin to see results following the hard work we put in, both with making better choices and moving more, we rarely go back to making bad choices for an extended period. Sure, we can have that burger or ice cream from time to time, but it will be considered a treat and not a habit.
Certain nutritional supplements can be added to our daily routine to help make a difference in our efforts. For instance, fish oils, and caralluma have both been proven to support a healthy lifestyle, as well as help maintain and manage weight goals.
Our genes don’t have to define us but our daily food choices will. Sometimes it is as simple as swapping one food item for another, like a whole wheat or chic pea pasta instead of regular pasta. For more easy food swap ideas read here. Other times it can be as easy as adding a cup or two of tea to your daily routine. You can find out more about the health benefits of tea for your health here.
Although the mechanism connecting the FTO gene to weight gain continues to be researched, it is certainly encouraging to know that we don’t have to be defined by our genes. And, it is definitely an encouragement in knowing that we can do something about our weight and that leading a healthy lifestyle and making the right choices, will, overtime, support a healthy weight loss journey.
Live well! Live healthy! Enjoy the Journey.
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