Why Decoding Your DNA Could Be The Intelligent Way To Lose Weight
Why Decoding Your DNA Could Be The Intelligent Way To Lose Weight

Why Decoding Your DNA Could Be The Intelligent Way To Lose Weight

Seasoned dieters will know from experience how tricky it can be to find a diet or exercise plan that works. But what if there was a way to customise your approach for supercharged results? That’s where genetic science comes in. An increasingly popular way to approach weight loss, experts say that DNA testing – a simple saliva swab – could help you become the healthiest version of yourself. Here’s what you need to know…

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So, how can your genes help you lose weight?

“Health can be confusing, with conflicting opinions and advice. Plus, we know there isn’t a one-diet-fits-all when it comes to losing weight. We are all unique, so we can’t expect one dietary approach to work for everyone. When it comes to weight loss, knowing how your body responds to certain foods – especially the macronutrients, i.e., protein, carbs and fat – can be invaluable. Our genes partly determine how we use different macronutrients for fuel. For example, some people efficiently utilise fat for energy and are less likely to store it as body fat, while others are the opposite. The same goes for carbs. Low carb diets have become increasingly popular in recent years. When done right, they are an effective approach to weight loss and health optimisation. But exactly how much should you reduce your carb intake by? For some people, a very low carb, ketogenic diet is optimal. Others are better suited to moderate amounts of low glycaemic carbs. The same goes for dietary fats. Some people are more likely to use fat for fuel, while others are more predisposed to storing it. Your genes can tell you all of this – and more.” – Kim Pearson, nutritionist 

How else can tailoring your diet to your genes optimise your health?

“Your DNA can also provide information about your body's ability to absorb and utilise certain micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals, which may suggest whether you need to supplement. All of this can be determined with a single saliva swab – this is all these tests require. At the same time, certain genetic variants can influence how your body reacts to certain foods, such as lactose and gluten. Knowing your predisposition to food sensitivities can help you tailor your diet for better health. Your DNA can also provide insights into appetite regulation and satiety cues, which can impact your eating behaviour.” – Daniel Herman, founder of Bio Synergy & nutritionist

What are some of the most common issues these tests reveal?

“One of the most common things I see with clients is people having a lightbulb moment as to why certain diets weren’t working for them. One client I recently saw was on a very low carb, high fat keto diet but she didn’t feel especially good on it, and while she lost weight initially, she plateaued after a while. Her friend had done the same diet and had great results, so she was frustrated. It turned out she was actually suited to a slightly lower fat diet. We lowered the amount of healthy fats in her diet and reintroduced moderate amounts of healthy carbs. She felt much better for it and she reached her goal weight without a struggle. It’s also common for clients to gain insights into their appetite and satiety. Some clients have struggled to lose weight and blame a lack of willpower, not understanding they are genetically predisposed to be hungrier than others, or less satisfied by the food they eat. You can then use this knowledge to perhaps set regular mealtimes, eat at the same time each day, increase protein at mealtimes, avoid snacking and fasting in the evening to better regulate appetite.” – Kim

When it comes to weight loss, knowing HOW YOUR BODY RESPONDS to certain foods can be INVALUABLE.

How can you interpret the results to create a personalised diet plan?

“DNA tests offer information about your genetic predispositions related to metabolism, appetite regulation and other factors that influence weight management. If, for example, your genes indicate a higher sensitivity to carbs, chances are you’ll benefit from focusing on more complex carbs over simple ones that spike blood sugar. Meanwhile, a variant on a gene called FOT (nicknamed the fat gene) can indicate a person might be more attracted to high-calorie foods. The good news is that the FOT gene responds well to exercise, meaning moving more could be a simple way to shift excess weight. My own personal journey is a good example of how DNA testing can be put into practice. After my second baby, I reached 13.5 stone and am only 5ft 2, which meant I was over my BMI for my height. DNA tests showed my detox pathways are sluggish, so I prioritised eating more cruciferous vegetables – think spinach, broccoli and cauliflower – to support detoxification. I did this diligently for a year and lost 3.5 stone, followed by a further 1.5 stone the following year. Another client came to me overweight – he was doing regular HIIT training to lose weight but was struggling. His DNA report came back saying endurance training would suit him better. When he switched to endurance training, the weight fell off. When you work with the body – rather than against it – amazing things happen.” – Vicky Godfrey, nutritional therapist and co-founder of DNAPal

How accurate are they?

“DNA tests are 99.8% accurate. However, it’s important to have realistic expectations about what these tests can and cannot provide in terms of weight loss guidance. Genetic variations are just one piece of the puzzle, and sometimes food intolerances or other symptoms can be as a result of diet, lifestyle or environmental reasons. While DNA tests can provide interesting – and often invaluable – insights, you may want to take them at face value. For example, you may find your genetic test results indicate you don’t have the variant for gluten sensitivity, although you often experience bloating or skin issues after eating gluten. In this case, the cause could actually be leaky gut, which can be improved by working with a training nutritional therapist to heal your gut. Still, understanding your genetics helps to rule out celiac disease and point towards gut issues instead.” – Vicky  

Who would benefit from DNA testing?

“Our clients are intelligent, educated women who have a good basic understanding of what healthy food looks like. They aren’t ordering takeaway pizza five nights a week and wondering why they can’t lose weight. Often their weight struggles require a more comprehensive solution than simply ‘eat less and move more’. Many of our clients who have yo-yo dieted in the past really notice the difference when they start eating in alignment with what makes sense for them genetically. They see results quickly and they’ll often report that losing weight doesn’t feel like a battle, like it has done in the past. There’s a sense of ‘this feels right for my body’.” – Kim 

Some people are GENETICALLY PREDISPOSED to be HUNGRIER than others, or LESS SATISFIED by the food they eat.

How to find a reputable test?

“The first thing to research is the quality and accuracy of the testing – look for a service that uses validated and reputable methods for analysis. Also make sure the test is backed by scientific research and conducted by a reputable company that adheres to industry standards and regulations. Ensure you’re choosing a comprehensive test that analyses a wide variety of genes. Don’t be afraid to ask customer services how they validate the research and advice they give you, and steer clear of a company that uses AI for advice. Look for a DNA test that provides clear, easy-to-understand reports that are accessible and provide actionable insights without complex scientific jargon. For example, at DNAPal, we use a colour coding system that uses a traffic light system to make it clear what should be priority.” – Vicky 

How much should you expect to pay?

“Cheap tests are cheap for a reason. You can buy an inexpensive test but it’s unlikely to provide a complete picture of your genetics. You’ll likely end up with snippets of interesting information, but no idea of how to take practical steps that will result in weight loss. You can also pay for a comprehensive test that provides you with information on more of your genes, but no understanding of how to take strategic action as a result. Expect to pay around £800 for a quality test, and remember this test is for life, and will provide insights that last a lifetime. Also look out for a test that offers a consultation with a nutritionist to give you a clear plan of how to translate your results into everyday diet and lifestyle habits.” – Kim 

What final advice would you give to someone considering DNA testing for weight loss?

“If you’re sceptical about DNA testing, that’s a good thing. Given the popularity of DNA testing, companies are springing up, with less reputable providers selling expensive tests that simply don’t test enough genes to provide a complete picture. One client shared with me a test she had done at a cosmetic clinic prior to seeing us that had charged her £1,500. The test only looked at ten genes, meaning it lacked vital information. You also need to ensure you’re picking a provider that’s transparent about how they use your data. Ideally, a lab would work with codes, rather than a client’s full name, to protect your identity.” – Kim  

“DNA testing can be a fantastic tool if you’re struggling to lose weight, but it’s important to have realistic expectations. At the end of the day, you must be willing to put in the work and follow the advice given if you want to see real results.” – Vicky 

For more information visit Bio-Synergy.uk and DNAPal.me. You can also book a consultation and DNA test with Kim at Kim-Pearson.com, which includes a DNA testing kit, a follow-up consultation with a nutritionist and a personalised report with tailored recommendations.


DISCLAIMER: Features published by SheerLuxe are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your GP or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programme.

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