Jeans Don’t Fit Everyone The Same, Neither Do Diets

Have you ever made a poor decision about what to eat when you knew better? I have, and I still do sometimes. I know that I should eat whole grains, fruit, vegetables, and protein. I’ve read books on nutrition and watched as the number on the scale changed based on what I ate. I know what to do, yet, I’m human and make imperfect choices. I like to disguise my calcium as cheesecake and my carbs as graham cracker crust. When I want two scoops of ice cream of different flavors I justify it by saying, why choose just one when I can have both! Really, it’s not that I don’t like salad, it’s that I would prefer a cheeseburger. But I know better; I do.

To understand my choices better, I researched why we choose foods that aren’t good for our bodies when we know better?

One source came up over and over in my research. GenoVive, which takes an innovative approach to weight loss and weight management. Their research found a link between genetics and behavior. Which means, they contend an individual’s genetic make-up can impact his/her behavior. According to the research, “Your genes help determine how easy or difficult you may find following a program of healthy eating and exercise.”

Sounds simple: I like fried chicken more than grilled chicken, because of my genetics, right? To understand better, I took a closer look at the research.

“Individual differences in eating behavior result from a complex interaction of factors including genetics, past experience, and the present environment. One example is the FTO gene, which influences the activity of an important hunger signaling hormone known as ghrelin” the research showed.

In other words, food choices are based on experiences and genes. But what is this FTO gene? Based on the research, it is a gene with “certain variants… [are]… widely recognized as being strongly associated with a risk for being overweight.”

To understand your specific variant of the FTO gene, you’ll need to take a DNA test. Fortunately, there are a variety of places that do this, however not all of them test for the same genes. Make sure your DNA test covers the FTO gene. GenoVive’s DNA tests are available through health care providers, and can be done with a simple cheek swab.

Does that mean we’re all doomed to strive to make healthy choices when the genes are stacked against us? No, of course not. The research reports “you can always take steps to maintain healthy eating behaviors, no matter what your genetic predispositions are. Knowing your genetic tendencies can help you choose the best strategies for you.”

So, keep your chin up. Your choices are still yours to make, although they’re influenced by a number of factors. Regardless of your genes and past experiences, you can still make healthy decisions and feed your body the nutrients it wants.

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