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Do Your Genetics Make You Fat?

One of the most common excuses I hear for people being a certain way when it comes to their health is blaming their genes. Not the denim kind but the ones handed down through the family via your DNA. I often hear things like – I am genetically meant to be overweight, I’m not designed for running or I have a family history of diabetes so I’m bound to have it.

So how big a part do your genes play and can you overcome them?

A study known as the Danish Twins Study looked at 2872 sets of twins from the early 1900s till early 2000s and found that 15-30% of your lifespan is influenced by your genetics, the rest is your environment. Your DNA leaves you exposed to being a certain way but your lifestyle factors will determine how your DNA is expressed. The biggest thing your parents pass onto you is not their genetics but more importantly their beliefs and habits.

‘Your genetics leave you predisposed, not predestined’

 Obesity and diabetes has taken off in recent years and our gene pool hasn’t changed that much. However, there has been a great shift in our eating and physical activity patterns. It is not our genes being passed on but our unhealthy behaviours. A recent study from the University of Sydney has found that mutations to the MC4 receptor gene, the gene commonly associated with obesity, accounts only for 0.5 to 1 percent of obesity.

Take responsibility for your health and know you are the only one who can change it. No one is going to come along and change it for you. Your genetics may leave you prone to certain medical conditions, storing fat in certain places or being good at certain activities. The beauty of the human frame is its ability to change.

For instance you might be predisposed to storing fat in a certain part of your body – hips, stomach, chest but your lifestyle, in particular exercise and diet, will determine how much overall body fat you have. When we are talking diet it’s not about restricting yourself to the point you want to chew your own arm off. By eating good quality whole foods your body will get in touch with your natural hunger levels and you will begin to consume foods in the right portions.

Engage a health professional that is going to keep you on track with accountability and deliver a personalised solution to ensure your success. Join the 8 Week Better You Challenge today: Better Being 8 Weeks to a Better You Challenge.

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