They call me all the time!
“We have a product for you to market. This mineral is proven to enhance weight loss.” “…just right for your business—it is a meal replacement and will help your weight loss clients succeed.”
Often perspective clients come for a consultation, and they tell me about gimmicks and promotions they have used to lose weight. Some are in place of real food, cut calories, and leave you hungry and somewhat malnourished. Others have a placebo effect where you end up eating less because you are taking some capsule. But none of this really works for long term and sustained weight loss. Some may even be causing damage to your health. So when one of my staff dieticians told me about a new field within nutrition that she is studying called nutrigenomics, I was a little skeptical. However, this is a top-notch dietician with training and credentials that are excellent, so I decided to check out this field and the product if offers.
The concept is this: Each person has tendencies, determined by his or her genes, that will help in weight loss. One of the problems with standard diets is that they give everyone the same food plan. Yet some people have a greater desire for sweet products (a sweet tooth) while other have convinced themselves that they have excessive sugar cravings. Some are lactose intolerant. Until now, even a good dietician would have to use trial and error to figure these things out and still sometimes, never get it entirely correct. When we test genes, we already know how to formulate a basic food plan. This allows the dietician and the client to be more focused from the beginning on the execution phase of the food and exercise plan.
Although the tests can be somewhat expensive, it is likely worth the expense because the test tells people how to make their diet compatible with their genes to achieve maximum weight loss.
A study presented at the 2010 meeting of the American Heart Association found women whose diets matched their genetic test results lost two to three times more weight than those whose diets were supposedly incompatible with their genes. These results sound promising, but some experts warn such tests are not yet ready for prime-time. Scientists are only beginning to uncover the genes involved in obesity and weight loss. Although Dr. Lee Kaplan, director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Weight Center in Boston, indicates we are still not one hundred percent able to analyze all this information, he still points out, “There’s no question there are genetic predispositions to obesity.”
The MyBio genetic test that I am now using, analyzes more than 120 genes and their effect on 35 areas of health and fitness. Some of these parameters include: influences on weight loss, alcohol, lactose, and caffeine tolerances, and factors that impact addiction and aging.
How does the test work?
The test is very simple. The client gives us a saliva sample which is then sent on to Europe for testing. When we receive the emailed results, we notify the client. Results will be best understood by setting up an hour session with Chavi Kramer, our dietician trained to explain the results. We can then begin working together to achieve both weight loss and fitness in the most efficient way possible.
Let me remind you — taking the test won’t lead to weight loss unless the results are put into a program and then executed. This means using the results to create an eating program that is still portion controlled. Many of the basic rules will always apply like eating a minimum of processed foods, eating at the proper intervals (starting with breakfast), hydrating properly and not eating very late at night. Exercise and activity will always be essential to overall health in addition to losing weight. Exercise helps you lose weight because of calorie burn, helps you metabolize certain foods better, and is extremely important in keeping your overall metabolism at a faster rate.
Real weight loss is difficult. We all know that people spend time, effort, and money on methods proven to fail. This test is not the magic pill or some cure-all to solve the overweight and obesity crises we find ourselves in. But now we hopefully have taken some of the guess-work out of the weight loss equation. As science develops, we may gain an even better understanding as to what helps each individual lose weight efficiently and permanently. Genetic testing for a weight loss program is another way to “add hours to your day, days to your year, and years to your life.”