Picture of genetics.

Your Best Weight Loss Strategy Is All in the Family

In All Health Watch, Diet and Nutrition, Featured Article

Anybody who’s tried to lose weight knows that it’s not a one-size-fits-all proposition.

A weight-loss strategy that works wonders for one person often fails miserably in others.

Why is this?

A study at Texas A&M University found that it may have to do with genetics.

Researchers discovered that individuals with similar genetics tend to have success with same diet that has worked for a sibling, a parent, or another close blood relative.[1] [2]

Dr. William Barrington was lead author of the new study. “You see such a wide response to diets,” he said. “We wanted to find out, in a controlled way, what was the effect of genetics.”

The Most Effective Diet? Your Genes Decide

The scientists used mice to test four diets:

  • American: High in saturated fat and refined carbs from corn.
  • Mediterranean: High in olive oil, wheat, supplemented with red wine extract.
  • Japanese: High in rice, seafood, supplemented with green tea extract.
  • Atkins: High in fat and protein, low in carbs.

A fifth diet, which served as a control, consisted of standard commercial animal feed.

The researchers used four different animal groups to test the diets. The genetic differences within each group were small, similar to immediate family members. The genetics between the groups would translate roughly the same as two unrelated people.

Scientists found that weight loss results varied greatly, based on genetics. Two genetic types did very well on the Atkins diet. But two others got fat.[3]

Three groups did well on a Japanese diet. But one got fat and showed signs of liver damage.

The Mediterranean diet was also a mixed bag. Some groups failed to lose weight, but they were otherwise healthy. Others gained weight.

As you might expect, the American diet caused the most weight gain. None of the groups lost weight while on it. Two of the groups became very obese and developed metabolic syndrome. Two other groups developed fatty liver.

The study was published in the journal Genetics.[4]

The results demonstrated that a diet that makes one individual lean and healthy can make another fat. “What we’re finding is that it depends very much on genetics,” said Barrington.

The lesson from the study is this…

If you are trying to lose weight, look at what has worked for blood relatives. A weight loss strategy that was effective for a family member is more likely to work for you as well.

Editor’s Note: Have you gained weight during the pandemic? You’re not alone. Americans have packed on an average of two pounds a month during the coronavirus crisis, according to a recently study.

Read our monthly journal Independent Healing to discover how to lose pandemic pounds without going hungry or giving up your favorite foods. Go HERE to find out more.


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[1] https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171130170236.htm

[2] http://time.com/magazine/us/4793878/june-5th-2017-vol-189-no-21-u-s/

[3] http://www.healthinformative.com/news-research/diet-success-may-depend-dna/

[4] http://www.genetics.org/content/early/2017/11/20/genetics.117.300536