Genetics Can Affect Weight Loss

Time: 5:24 Added: 5/11/2011
Views: 3938

Nutrition and fitness expert JJ Virgin discusses your genes role in weight loss. What you inherited from your parents may help determine the best way for you to lose weight. JJ tells you how you can find out.

Contributor(s): Virgin, JJ CNS, CHFI
Tags: diet, food, weight loss, exercise, genetics, genetic history

Scott: Talk a little more about the genetic potion of things, does that mean that 'oh, there's nothing I can do about it, came from mom and dad, so this is how I am.'

JJ Virgin: It's not my fault. So you know what the best part about this is, if that was the point, there'd be no reason to test genetics; you'd want to keep it a deep dark secret. Because, what would be the point if you can't fix it. But genes load the gun. I love that saying, 'environment fires it, you know, pulls the trigger' and just because you have the genetic propensity towards obesity or a sweet tooth, does not mean that you then have to let that be your destiny. 

When you know that you have a genetic propensity towards a larger appetite or decrease (inaudible[00:40]), there's specific steps that you can do to fix that. We do know people with snips in the FDO gene tend to be seven pounds heavier than the other persons, the average persons that don't have it. But if they exercise, it levels the plain field. 

So the cool thing about genes and this is in everyday I've been reading, to delay the study on genetics again with everything from taste to appetite to snacking behavior to exercise. Why some people, you know, you can take 400 people and have them exercise. Some people have great response, some people have no response. What's up with that? It turns out that from your genes, you may respond better to aerobic style exercise, you may respond better to resistance exercise, you may not really respond much to either one of them. Doesn't let you off the hook with exercise. But someone who really needs a lot of exercise for weight loss, I'm going to push them more. Someone who, it's not really going to impact them, I'm going to have them do the minimum, right? So that they'll have it for health, they'll have it for longevity, they'll have it for stress reduction but they won't have, you know crazy, unrealistic expectations from exercise. 

There are some people that if they don't do a lot of exercise, it's never going to work for them. So, it allows you to really pin point the exact right type of diet, exact right type of exercise and what eating behavior traits are going to take that person down. Because for weight loss, when you look at it, so much of the things we always thought were will power like, somebody' who's got a sweet tooth, I'm adopted, my adopted mom has a crazy sweet tooth, I mean it's ridiculous, has stuff stashed all over the house. She's got ice cream and candy. I don't have a sweet tooth, so she's like, 'have dessert and I'm like, I don't want dessert, I don't like dessert', you know, I 'd rather have a piece of sour dough bread, that's more my dessert. 

And the cool thing too, is the diet part of it. Stanford did a study last year where they found that when people followed a diet based on their genotype, which is based on a variety of genetic variations, they lost two and a half times the weight and two fold in their waist circumference than those who didn't. So you can see, that would make a big difference. I mean, who wants to sit there and go on the wrong diet. I think it's something you should be born to find out your diet genotype and thats just how you live, 'cuz it's not just maximizing weight loss, it's maximizing optimal gene expression, reducing inflammation, extending your longevity, all of that. 

Scott: How do we find out, what sort of things do we have to do to find out if that's the instance for us?

JJ Virgin: I know someone who said, 'well isn't there a quiz?' I go, 'there's not a quiz', geez I wish that was going to be the case, we could do a quiz to figure out, you're 140 right now, we're looking at a 140 different genes, I'm sure next year we'll go, 'we were only looking for 140 genes . Right now, it's a simple little 'spit test' that can tell you the right type of diet for you. It tells you how well you respond to [moofahs] and [poofahs] mono and polyunsaturated fats. Some people if they eat more mono and saturated fats, they lose more weight. Some people, it doesn't make any difference whatsoever.

It can tell you again, if you have decreased satiety, increased appetite, a sweet tooth, if you're a super taster, a bitter taster. On my show, on my T-L-C Freaky Eater Show, we get a lot of the super tasters that don't like anything and they get stuck on a mono food group, right? 

And again it will tell you your exercise and that's such a cool thing, so really, we keep talking about personalizing health and yet everybody goes on the same diet. That's not personalization, right, you know? 

Scott: Mm-hmm.

JJ Virgin: So it really allows you to perfectly customize your health, and then optimize gene expression and then you see what you have to fix in terms of how much someone's damaged their metabolism, right?  Because weight loss is going to be both, what's going on with your genetics, what's going on with your epi-genetics, what did your mom do that she passed on to you, which genes did she flip on, which epi-genetics are flipped on, so when it comes to you, you've got a problem, like, maybe she's created a poor methalation scenario and now you've got that and that can actually impact your ability to lose weight, pretty interesting, besides all the other problems, poor methalation causes in terms of detox and heart health. But then you've to look at all those areas of weight loss resistance too. So it all factors in, which is why, we've got such a massive obesity epidemic because people are again going to the simple model and ignoring all of this and when it doesn't work, people think that this is just normal for me, I'm supposed to be overweight, I'm supposed to be obese and they give up, they have no hope.
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