Genetic Testing, Obesity and Dieting

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How genetic markers play a role in our diets

Learning what your genetic markers are can help you understand what weight and diet issues you may have. One of the things you can learn by having Pathway Genomics identify your genetic markers is to predict what problems you may have, and identify areas you need to be deliberate about your consumption of food.

Brett and I continue our conversation about food related issues and behaviors that we began in the previous podcast. In this week’s show we examine actions an individual can take when they have genetic predispositions or markers for insulin deficiency, obesity, and sugar cravings. As we talk about culturally learned patterns of eating and habituation, we offer some suggestions about how to adjust your thinking and change your behaviors with regard to the food you eat.

A suggestion I make repeatedly in these podcasts is that people must become aware of their reflexive behaviors for satisfying the “hunger perception” craving that we all have. People must learn to pre- plan in their choice of readily available foods in the home. If you are a snacker, and or have the snacking gene, you need to plan to have healthy or non-damaging snacks at home, for times when those cravings hit you.

We also discuss the adaptive habituation of exercise. For some, exercise is not really about losing weight it is about being able to resist insulin processing problems (Insulin Resistance and Hypo-Glycemia). If you are a “snacker” by genetic predisposition (you would know by getting your genetic testing from Pathway Genomics), then you would clearly understand that snacking causes weight gain. If you do not have the gene for losing weight and normalizing your weight by exercising, then you can expect that regular aerobic exercise will help your cardiac health and assist in burning calories, but won’t contribute to weight loss. Expectations are everything in weight loss. Making a plan based on your genetic map gives you a direct path to weight control and avoids frustration with behaviors that will not lead to YOUR weight loss, even if it will in others. If you know things like this, you can train yourself in terms of food buying, food preparation, and finally, food consumption. You can exercise for weight loss and cardiac health, or just for cardiac health and leave weight loss to eating the right food for you and avoiding the foods that will slow you down. Knowing your genetics will allow you to make the best choice for you, and extend your life and health long term.

Obesity is a critical health issue which also impacts self-esteem, and social relationships. If you can avoid being obese you should for so many reasons. If you already suffer from obesity, you will want to focus on behaviors that can help, and on information that can teach you about the choices you can make to maximize your quality of life and fight obesity in the most adaptive way possible.