Millions of people want to lose weight. With two-thirds of the U.S. population being overweight or obese, it makes sense that people often ask, “Can a DNA test help with weight loss?”
To answer the question, “Can a DNA test help with weight loss?” Yes. It can - if you use it.
Let me explain.
Like the majority of the people in the United States, according to the Body Mass Index (BMI) chart, I am overweight. That’s why when I heard that there are apps that can analyze my DNA for information about weight management, I was instantly interested.
Again, like many people in the U.S. and world - I love yummy foods (a bit too much at times), and once I hit 35 years old - my skinny self started to pack on the pounds.
I’ve done it all - calorie counting, keto, intermittent fasting, etc. etc. I work out nearly every day HARD.
Unfortunately, the draw towards Texas Roadhouse and Carrabas is simply too hard to resist and well, there goes all that work. But I digress…
The point of the above spiel is that weight management is a struggle and with the results from the Weight Loss App on Sequencing.com, I found out why and gained much more insight into the reasons I went from eating whatever I wanted to look at a brownie and gaining 5 pounds of body fat.
Last year, I received genetic test results from the DNA testing company 23andMe because that was really trendy to do for the holiday season. I already knew what my ethnicity was, but it was fun to confirm it.
What’s so great about the 23andMe genetic testing I had was that I can use the data to learn even more about myself on Sequencing.com - like the genetics related to my body weight.
Read about how I downloaded my DNA data from 23andMe and uploaded it to Sequencing.com.
Since I already had my DNA data file uploaded and saved in my account, I was able to go to the Weight Loss App and just select the file to have it analyzed. It only took about 3 or 4 minutes for the results and I played the Rubix cube game on the page while I waited.
Play it - it’s really cool how it works online
When the results were ready for me to review, I was able to see all of the categories in the report first:
- Exercise Benefits
- Weight Profile
- Muscle Building
All of these categories are broken down into the following information:
- Aerobic Performance
- Difficulty in Losing Weight
- Exercise Benefits for Lowering Cholesterol
- Fat Overconsumption
- Low Protein Intake Risk
- Low-Carb Diet Effectiveness
- Mediterranean Diet Effectiveness
- Muscle Response to Resistance Training
- Overall Fitness Benefits
- Polyunsaturated Fats Increased Benefits
- Satiety Impairment
- Sweet Tooth
- Carb Overconsumption
- Exercise Aversion
- Exercise Benefits for Maximal Oxygen Uptake Response
- Fat Taste Perception
- Lean Body Mass Potential
- Low Resting Metabolic Rate
- Low-Fat Diet Effectiveness
- Monounsaturated Fats Increased Benefits
- Muscle Strength Loss
- Overweight Potential
- Risk from Saturated Fats
- Slow Muscle Repair
- Starch Metabolism
- Trans Fats Sensitivity
I won’t cover everything above to show you how useful this report is to lose weight. I’ll just cover the most important ones.
Oh, that’s great news! It is true that when I count calories, I lose weight. I’m also more likely to skip healthy eating for the sake of getting to eat what I want and remain under my calories for the day. Healthy eating is important though especially as I get older, which is why I have let go of calorie counting and concentrate on eating healthy foods. Weight loss is extremely slow though.
Yes, this is true and now I know my genetic makeup influences it. I really don’t ever feel full. I often refer to my stomach as a bottomless pit. Apparently, that is just something that has to do with my body, and well it’s the reason dieting is really a way of life for me, or I would just continue eating until I’m sick all the time.
Oh, so that’s why I crave McDonald’s sometimes when I’m dieting. It’s the fat that I’m craving. When I’m trying to lose weight, I’ll sometimes incorporate the calories for a McDonald’s Happy Meal just so I can get that fat into my craving body.
Yowzers - that isn’t good. When I saw this, I couldn’t believe it. I’ve been skinny all my life - how in the world could I be at risk of being overweight or face obesity? Due to my shock at this result, I turned to Dr. Brendan Colby for information.
The majority of genes that have been found associated with weight appear to impact people as they age, so the impact of these genes may not be seen until a person is in their 30s. There are definitely genes involved in weight gain earlier in life (some that even impact young children) but these are rarer. For example, there are changes in the MC4R gene that can cause obesity in young children but changes in MC4R are a rare cause of obesity. The more common genetic changes impact a person’s weight as they age. This is part of the concept of ‘the selfish gene’ (which I have a section about in my book). The goal of a gene is to get passed on to the next generation so for hundreds of thousands of years of human evolution, genes were really only optimized to get a person into their 30s. By then, the person would have likely had children and the children were at an age where they could fend for themselves. After a person’s 30s, genes had decreasing motivation for maintaining a vibrant, healthy person (since copies of the person’s genes had already been passed down to the next generation so what do the genes really care at that point?). This is why it’s important for us to learn what path our genes are putting us on, because we can’t rely on our genes to keep us healthy throughout life as they do when we are younger. We can beat up our bodies when we are younger and our bodies bounce back but in our 30s and beyond, we can depend less and less on that equilibrium being implicit and automatic and instead we have to take control. This means understanding what path our genes are putting us on and then implementing personalized (genetically-tailored) changes to our lifestyle to counteract that path (if it’s something we don’t want to accept, such as if our genes are putting us on a path to significant weight gain or if our genes are putting us on a path towards a disease).
Isn’t that so fascinating!? Now I know I have a genetic predisposition to being overweight. That doesn’t mean that I’m going to allow it to happen, but it feels good to know the struggle is for a reason.
So far, we’ve looked at the DNA results that show why weight management is difficult. Now, let’s dive into how we can use the genome information to lose weight.
Learn more about weight loss through DNA testing .
Specific parts of the report can be used to help testers achieve their weight loss goals. They are how a DNA test can help with weight loss.
What’s interesting is that it says I’m genetically predisposed to better health with this type of weight-loss diet. While we know this in general, it’s interesting to see that my genotype falls in line with this sort of diet weight-loss plan.
My workouts consist of running as fast as I can and rowing on a rowing machine as fast as I can and then strength training at OrangeTheory Fitness. I’ve always enjoyed running and now I know why - I can do it because I probably have the higher lung capability that this report suggests. The exercise intensity also matters and that’s what OrangeTheory Fitness focuses on - trying to get at least 12 minutes in the orange or red zones - above 84% of your target heart rate. According to this information, it seems that I have the right exercise plan to manage my weight effectively.
Saturated fats are the unhealthy ones you usually consume when you’re eating foods like hot wings, cheese fries, etc. The good news is that I’m not sensitive to it in a way that hurts my health significantly. Does that mean I can continue to eat them with no consequences? No. It just means that I don’t have risk alleles for it and that means that I don’t have to feel so bad when I mess up on my healthy eating.
Yes, it’s true. I do enjoy snacking, especially in the afternoon and before bed. This does have a lot to do with the weight gain I’ve experienced. Swapping out healthier choices for that snacking instead of depriving myself is something I should really incorporate into my diet plan.
The nutrition advice in each of the results can be used to create a personalized nutrition plan. It can also be reviewed by a nutritionist or registered dietitian to help devise a meal plan.
Learn more about DNA testing for weight loss diets .
This result says that low-fat diets don’t affect my ability to lose weight. Basically, the keto diet isn’t any more effective than the Atkins diet. In fact, the Atkins diet is not any more effective either.
Knowing how your body reacts to fats and carbohydrates is important because it can help you identify a type of diet that will help you manage your weight most effectively.
Learn more about the most important question, does DNA work for weight loss?
Genomics is the study of genes, and because of it, we are able to gain valuable information that can help us lower our risk for obesity-related conditions such as heart disease.
If you’ve been working on your health and fitness but feel you’re just not doing what you need to do to achieve a healthy weight, consider ordering the Weight Loss analysis from Sequencing.com. The app looks at the genetic markers that have to do with weight and exercise, so you can change your habits in a way that will help you take more control of your body. Knowledge is power after all, right?
All you need is to upload your DNA data to Sequencing.com or order a DNA kit to send in a sample. The DNA test kit includes everything you need to swab your cheek and send that into our lab for analysis. Our weight loss DNA test isn’t just for use with our weight loss apps, the data you receive from it can be used on any of our apps. You’ll be able to see your results online and use the data with any of our apps that analyze it for common gene variants for that specific topic.
Health and wellness can be yours and Sequencing.com can help.