Struggling To Lose Weight? Your Genes Might Be To Blame
Is your body type nearly identical to one of your parents? Or is your sister one of those people who can eat just about anything without gaining a pound? Many people focused on diet and exercise routines wonder whether or not obesity and weight loss are inherited.
It turns out that weight gain and genetics are strongly linked together.
The Balance Of Calories
If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you’ve probably tried counting calories. Calories in food give our bodies energy in the form of heat. Our bodies can “burn” calories and then use them to function. Different types of food have different calories. To put it simply, if you consume more calories than you burn, you’ll gain weight.
Our genetic makeup controls the balance of calories that our body stores and the calories that are burned. Other factors come into play, including the number of calories your body can burn while you rest and your level of physical activity.
Extra calories in your body get stored as fat inside specified cells. These cells are enlarged or your body will simply produce more of them. This is why you may see your waistline expanding.
Today, many are looking to lose weight and balance calorie intake with exercise.
The influence your DNA has over your weight gain typically varies from individual to individual. Over 400 various genes have been identified as causes of weight gain. Luckily, only a few of those genes seem to have any serious role in obesity and weight gain.
Genes can encourage the causes of obesity in a variety of ways by affecting various factors. These may include your sense of fullness, the distribution of fat in your body, metabolism, and even your need to eat as a way to cope with stressors in life.
Genetics are responsible for around 25%-80% of an individual’s predisposition to obesity or weight gain. Understanding how the DNA you inherited from your parents affects your weight can be crucial for those fighting a weight battle.
How Much Do Genes Contribute To Weight Gain Or Loss
Genes are probably not a major factor in your weight if you can easily lose weight with a diet and exercise program. There are a few ways to discern if your genes are likely to have contributed to your obesity.
For example, if you’ve been overweight for the majority of your life, your genes are probably playing a big role in your weight. Additional factors include if both of your parents are obese, or if you try to lose weight with physical activity and diet but don’t see any results.
Our genes have played a major role in how humans have managed to survive and adapt for so long. In the past, our ancestors needed to rely on stored body fat in order to make it through difficult times.
Thrifty genes is a term used to describe this evolutionary adaptation. Now that we have regular access to food, thrifty genes tend to be a little less useful than they once were. In fact, our thrifty genes may be what’s causing those extra pounds to stay on.
It’s important to mention that thrifty genes aren’t the only factor at play. Since the 1970s, the United States has seen a rise in obesity. This rise is certainly due to more than just genetics. Many factors, such as working long hours in front of a computer and fast food consumption, help contribute to the rise in obesity today.
The kinds of foods we consume are also a major contributor to obesity. Today, we are accustomed to large portions and more high-calorie foods.
This kind of high-calorie food is accessible everywhere, which makes temptation more likely. From sports stadiums to movie theatres, tasty snacks like hotdogs, hamburgers, and nachos are contributing to obesity.
Some of these meals will contain up to 2,000 calories, which is the entire daily amount needed on average.
The lifestyles of many Americans also contribute to weight gain. 100 years ago, physical labor was more common as a profession and with the development of the internet, a lot of jobs can be done in front of a computer screen. The longer you sit without movement, the more your body will notice.
In addition to the average work situation, people drive to most places. All of this contributes to people living a less active lifestyle.
Stress also plays a role alongside genetic makeup in weight gain. Not getting enough sleep is linked to weight gain, and if you’re suffering from anxiety, you’re probably not having the most peaceful nights.
Stress can also motivate people to turn towards food for comfort instead of exercise.