Is There a Connection between Genes and Weight Loss? - THE FIT MUM FORMULA

Is There a Connection between Genes and Weight Loss?

You may have wondered if the reason you can’t lose weight is because of the connection between genes and weight loss.

Maybe you’ve been blaming your body shape on the genes you inherited from your, also, over weight, parents?

This theory can also be applied to normal and underweight people of course. If there is a connection, it will apply to both weight loss, weight gain, and everything in between.


Jeans for Genes day is this Friday 23rd September, a day where people where jeans to work or school, and raise money to help people with genetic disorders.

I’m not a doctor, or a scientist, I’m a weight loss coach to Mums. So That’s why I’m not going to even try to understand the complexities of genetic diseases.

Rather I want to try and explain the connection between genes and weight loss.


The Fat Gene

There IS a gene, called the FTO gene otherwise dubbed the ‘obesity gene’. People with two faulty copies of the gene (you can have non, one, or two) weighed an average of 7 pounds more than those without them.

The FTO gene influences weight gain in two possible ways:

Firstly it increases hunger, so you eat more. This obviously leads to weight gain.

Secondly, it decreases the amount of energy we burn at rest.


However this has been touted at the main culprit, there are many other genes in your body that all play a part. For example you may carry the FTO gene but also carry a gene that gives you a ‘genetically’ fast metabolism, which would mean you burn energy more easily.


Why Genes Don’t Matter (much)

genes and weight loss

With regards to the FTO gene, if it’s a large appetite that’s proving a problem, this is still in your control. Eat foods high in filling and sustaining protein and fibre like meat, fish, vegetables and legumes such as kidney beans and chickpeas.

Here’s the big part – did you know that all genes can be switched ON or OFF?

This is why a person may or may not get a disease. They may carry the gene for diabetes, or cancer, or whatever else, but unless the gene in question is turned ON, they won’t develop the illness.


I carry the FTO gene! But I’m not overweight at all.


What Turns Genes On Or Off?


While so many factors can be classed as ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy’, in a nutshell a ‘healthy’ lifestyle keeps the bad genes switched off and the good turned on. Contrarily, a life full of unhealthy food and drink, stress, pollution and other environmental toxins, little to no exercise and deficiencies in key nutrients can turn unwanted genes on.


Good Bugs & Weight

Another area which could affect body weight is gut bacteria. Quite simply, too much of the bad guys, and not enough of the good guys, means you’ll absorb many more calories, and have a larger appetite, and more cravings, than someone who has a healthy ‘microbiome’, as your gut house is called.

Again, totally fixable – eat bug friendly foods like fruit and veg, legumes and protein and limit gut unfriendly foods like processed and inflammatory sugars and fats. And take a decent probiotic, daily, every day. And eat live, cultured and fermented foods like sauerkraut and live yoghurt.


Big Bones

Think you were born with big bones? Maybe you were –

people have larger skeletons, or smaller skeletons, but that’s not the same as muscle or fat weight!

If you’ve got a larger skeleton that also means you need more flesh to cover it, in other words you may still look quite slim even with a higher amount of body fat and muscle.

And a higher weight means you’ve got a faster resting metabolism than someone naturally smaller built. So you’re going to have higher calorie needs and won’t put on excess weight so easily.

I wrote an email about big bones a while back, you can read it here:

big bones

What can you do?

The good news is that you have a lot more control over your body weight and health than you think.

Maybe you didn’t get the ‘right’ genes, maybe you need to improve your gut bug balance but most of all you can stop blaming your parents for your inability to lose weight.

They might have instilled some bad habits while you were growing up. But you’re an adult now, you can create your own, healthier habits!


To learn more about Jeans for Genes day and how you can donate to help people with life altering genetic disorders (that are way more important than what you look like in your jeans), visit


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