Why Genes Might Be the Key to Weight Loss

If you've buddied up with a friend for a weight-loss challenge and your results were less stellar than hers, your genes may be to blame.
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If you've buddied up with a friend for a weight-loss challenge and your results were less stellar than hers, your genes may be to blame.

If you've buddied up with a friend for a weight-loss challenge and your results were less stellar than hers, your genes may be to blame.

Current dietary guidelines are based on the assumption that people respond similarly to the same diets; however, new study findings presented at 2016 The Allied Genetics Conference found that how your body responds to your diet may depend on your genetic makeup.

Scientists from Texas A&M University looked at the effects of common diets including high-fat/low-carb, Western, Japanese and Mediterranean diets and noticed remarkable differences across subjects.

“Our work has shown that individuals can have highly diverse health effects from the same diet,” says researcher William Barrington, PhD. “In some cases, the same diet can be healthy for one individual and unhealthy for another.”

While the studies were conducted on mice, the results could change the way human diets are recommended in the future. According to Barrington, next steps include identifying the genes involved. He and his team hope to design genetic tests that can predict optimal eating patterns, making it easier to eat in line with your health goals.

In the meantime, consider whether your current diet leaves you feeling vibrant and healthy. If you are gaining weight or feeling sluggish, it may be time to reevaluate your diet with the help of a registered dietitian or nutritionist.

See also 5 Secrets to Win at Weight Loss.