Are you fated to be fat? Being overweight is caused by many factors. These factors include how much food you eat, environmental factors, how active you are, and your genes. It has been proven that not just one type of gene but many different genes are linked with being overweight and even with being obese. However, that just means that you may be predisposed to be overweight, not that you necessarily will be.
How much of one's weight is caused by genetics?
There are over 400 genes that have been identified as playing a role in weight gain and loss. These genes are pretty common and are found in around 85% of the population. These genes play a role in weight gain or loss by affecting:
- Fat distribution
Often, the genes that result in weight gain are called "thrifty genes." This is because they can be traced back to our ancestors. It was important in times past that people survive off of stored body fat for periods. This is why these specific genes are so common.
However, in more recent times, the population of obese people in the United States has been rising. Genetic reasons alone do not explain people who are overweight or obese. While knowing whether or not your genes play a role in your weight loss, it is also essential to learn about external forces that may be promoting weight gain.
How to lose genetic fat
The treatment for being overweight or obese is the same regardless of whether or not you have genes associated with obesity. However, knowing that you have certain predispositions can be helpful to you as you attempt to lose weight or treat obesity. These predispositions are:
- Larger hunger urges
- Greater ability to intake calories
- Lessened ability to feel full or satisfied after eating
- Greater likelihood that you will feel out of control while eating
- More significant chance you will be sedentary
- Greater likelihood you will store food energy as fat
To lose weight, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you start by:
- Making the decision. While it can seem daunting and difficult at first, specifically if you know you are predisposed to be overweight, the first step in weight loss is committing to lose weight. Promise to yourself that you can do it and stick to it. You may even want to create a written contract for yourself that you can refer to in your more challenging moments.
- Understand your current status. Talk to your doctor and let them know you want to start losing weight. Together, you can evaluate your current weight and any risk factors you may have to contend with. On your own, you can also think about your life and what may prevent you from losing weight. Think about your daily schedule, travel plans, and identify any time you regularly feel out of control with your eating habits.
- Set specific and pragmatic goals. It is best to break down the results that you want from your weight loss. If you are trying to lose weight to help reduce your blood pressure, make your goal to lose a certain amount of weight and to get your blood pressure down to a certain level. Know that everyday, small efforts can do wonders. Set your goals to be easy to attain, specific, and adjustable if you do not reach them.
- Take stock of the support systems you have access to. Connect with family, friends, or support groups near you to help you on your journey. Connecting with others who may be on a similar quest or whom you can exercise with can be critical as you try to shift your life.
- Monitor your progress. Identify markers of your progress and continuously keep checking in with them. If you have achieved the goal you started with earlier than expected, you may want to add a new goal.
People with genes predisposing them to sustained weight gain can look into different treatments while identifying specific lifestyle changes, goals, and markers on their goals. For example, treatments could involve taking a weight loss medication or undergoing certain weight-loss surgeries. These medications and surgeries should always be performed under the advisement of your healthcare provider and in combination with healthy lifestyle choices.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Healthy Weight, Nutrition, and Physical Activity."
Harvard Medical Publishing: "Why people become overweight."
Mayo Clinic News Network: "Mayo Clinic Q and A: Genetics and weight."
Obesity Medicine Association: "Obesity and Genetics: Nature and Nurture."
Top Can You Be Genetically Fat Related Articles
30 Ways to Lose Weight NaturallyOne can lose weight naturally and safely, but it is important to adhere to a strict diet plan, exercise regime, and lifestyle modifications. It’s normal for anyone trying to lose weight to want to lose weight very quickly, which is often an unrealistic goal. It is important to set realistic goals and achieve healthy weight loss. Healthy weight loss is losing weight gradually and steadily (around one to two pounds per week).
Childhood ObesityFast-food consumption and lack of exercise are just a couple of causes of childhood obesity. Health effects of childhood obesity include type 2 diabetes, heart attack, stroke, high cholesterol, asthma, sleep apnea, gallstones, fatty liver disease, GERD, depression, and eating disorders.
Childhood Obesity QuizChildhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions. Take the Childhood Obesity Quiz to test your knowledge of the facts and causes of overweight and obese kids and teens.
Best Diet Tips SlideshowLearn to lose weight in a realistic way that works. Find healthy weight loss by eating right, sleeping more, understanding portion sizes. Learn how to set reasonable diet standards.
Diet and Weight Loss: Reasons You're Not Losing Belly FatIf you're trying to lose belly fat but can't, there's probably a reason.
Does Eating Every 3 Hours Help You Lose Weight?Eating 3 hours a day is meant to help your metabolism stay active and burn more energy. Your body uses some of the energy you get from food to digest.
How to Lose Weight Fast? Four Simple StepsAggressive efforts to lose weight faster can damage your joints and reduce your muscle mass. Here are four simple steps—which if followed religiously—can help you lose weight fast and at the same time help you achieve sustained weight loss too.
Is Being Overweight the New Normal Weight?Being overweight or obese is when someone has enough excess fat to be considered unhealthy. Being overweight is not the new normal and it is not healthy.
Obesity and OverweightObesity is the state of being well above one's normal weight. A person has traditionally been considered to be obese if they are more than 20% over their ideal weight. That ideal weight must take into account the person's height, age, sex, and build.
The 10 Best Diet Plans For Weight LossDiet means a reduction in calorie intake. For the optimal management of overweight and obese patients, a combination of diet, exercise, and behavioral modifications may be helpful. Weight loss is directly related to the difference between the individual’s energy intake and energy expenditure.
Surprising Causes of Weight GainThere are many reasons for sudden weight gain when there are no changes in diet or exercise. Learn to identify the cause of your sudden weight gain.
Weight Loss Challenges: Why Can't I Lose Weight?Finding it difficult to lose weight? It’s a hard thing to do, and there are some surprising reasons you may not be losing weight as quickly as you hope. From sleep cycles to calorie counts, health food fakers to prescription drugs, learn many of the stumbling blocks that can prevent you from reaching your health goals.
Weight Loss QuizAre you trying to lose weight? Take this quiz to see what you can add to routine to get on the right track for results!
Weight Loss Surgery QuizWhat happens after weight loss surgery? What should you eat? Take this quiz to learn about bariatric surgery. Are you a candidate?
What Are the Most Effective Tips in Weight Loss?If you want to lose weight, you may have been told to count calories. The most effective tips for weight loss include eating well, exercising regularly, and altering your lifestyle to achieve your goals.
What Should I Do if My Child Is Overweight?Overweight children may be at risk for a variety of health problems. Reach out to your child's pediatrician if they are overweight or obese for help developing a diet and weight loss plan.