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Wanting to lose weight will obviously mean having some excess body fat that you want to lose? And with body fat being stored energy, removing an extra energy source by the way of reducing carbohydrates each day will improve your fat burning capabilities. However, complex carbohydrates can be useful, as they yield a higher amount of nutrients than simple carbohydrates, as well as having a higher fiber content. The higher fiber allows for slower digestion, and thus providing you with a fuller feeling and for longer, which could be a good option for weight control.
- Saturated Fats
Maintaining a healthy weight is vital for your health, with obesity increasing your risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke and joint problems. Saturated fats and weight loss can either have positive effect or and extremely detrimental one. Firstly, saturated fat is calorically dense with 9kcals/gram, but if consumed with even a modest amount of carbohydrates will reduce your fat burning capabilities. Secondly, if you significantly reduce your carbohydrates to less than 30 grams per day, it will allow the body to switch energy sources in a process called ketosis. Your body has 2 main energy sources that it can utilise and function from, which are either glucose or ketones, with ketones being produced when the body burns fat for energy. Fats also facilitate in the absorption then transportation of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, which all have important roles to play in the body.
- Unsaturated Fats
You must always be aware that all fats contain the same amount of calories at 9kcal/gram. And thus provide the body with a tremendous amount of energy in comparison to carbohydrates at 4kcals/gram. So in some instances reducing the amount of fats consumed in your diet each day, can prove effective in helping you to reduce weight.
However, your body has 2 main energy sources that it can utilise and function from, which are either glucose (sugar) or ketones (fat), with ketones being produced when the body burns fat for energy. To enable this to happen you will need to significantly reduce your carbohydrates to less than 30 grams per day, as this will allow the body to switch energy sources in a process called ketosis.
Fats also facilitate in the absorption then transportation of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, which all have important roles to play in the body.
There are different types of fat; saturated fat is derived from animal, dairy, palm and coconut, and can be recognised because it will remain solid at room temperature; whereas unsaturated fats, derived from plants, nuts and seeds, will remain liquid at room temperature. Unsaturated fats should make up the greater part of your total intake of fats as they have a more beneficial effect on your health. However, beware of the calorie content per gram, as it is generally the same for both saturated and unsaturated fats. With certain genetic profiles, it has been found that an increased intake of unsaturated fats can have a beneficial effect on body weight and health.
Protein is going to be the most important nutrient in helping you to lose weight and improve how you feel.
Incorporating more protein into your diet will enable you to increase your lean muscle, which is the key to improving your metabolic rate and unlocking your fat burning capabilities. Having extra protein with each meal will also reduce the hunger hormones and keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Proteins are the essential nutrients for the human body, as a fuel, proteins contain 4kcal/g, just like carbohydrates. However, unlike carbohydrates and fat, the body does not store protein; so it is important to eat a variety of dietary protein every day. Studies suggest that a high-protein diet may be more beneficial for weight loss and improvement of body composition. Certain genetic variants are associated with better utilisation of protein for muscle growth and fat distribution. Therefore by knowing your genetic variants you can better plan your diet and supplementation! Protein is very important in our diet as without it we would not be able to recover from exercise as we cannot build muscle without it and our muscles are what give us the ability to move our frame – the skeleton. Not only is protein essential for recovery and growth but it is also useful in regards to weight loss and a healthy lifestyle as it takes a longer time to digest/process than carbohydrates/fats which means it keeps us fuller for longer, helping to manage cravings. When protein is digested it also requires more energy to digest and break down as it is more complex in structure than carbohydrates/fats (up to about 30% of the calories in protein is believed to be used to break it down through digestion) meaning it is also the least likely to be stored as body fat.
- Sugar Response
Sugar is a generic name for the soluble carbohydrates that are sweet and found in the majority of foods, sugar is derived from multiple sources. Simple sugars are known as monosaccharides they include glucose and fructose. You can also get disaccharides and polysaccharides/oligosaccharides which are basically longer chains of sugars such as galactose and lactose (found in milk). Sugar offers us a quick fix of energy and can be utilised to some success by sports people who need energy fast, however often sugar has a negative effect on our weight and health. The extent of this negative effect is controlled by our genetic variations.
- Sweet Taste
Some genetics affect our taste preference, which may answer the question “are you a sweet or savoury person?” whilst this may not seem like an important aspect to concentrate on it can help you understand the type of foods you may crave. This section looks at SWEET!
- Bitter Taste
Some genetics affect our taste preference, which may answer the question “are you a sweet or savoury person?” whilst this may not seem like an important aspect to concentrate on it can help you understand the type of foods you may crave. This section looks at BITTER!
- Likelihood to Snack
Having an increased likelihood to snack will lead you to eat more than you actually need, be aware that this feeling is coming from your genes. If you feel hungry soon after eating it may be just your genes playing tricks, therefore knowing this you can better control your cravings.
- Metabolic Rate
The basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the rate of energy used by the body at rest. The release and use of energy in this state is sufficient to maintain vital organ function, respiration and repair. Basal metabolism is typically the largest component of our total energy expenditure (approximately 60%). BMR is individual and is affected by height, weight, age, gender and activity levels but it can also be affected by our genes.
- Fat Distribution
Where we store fat is highly important as it is important to general health, fat distributed across the torso is often looked upon as less favourable as it may have more impact on our health and wellness. Certain genetic variants are linked to the location of fat stored in the body and therefore it is important to know if genetics are impacting the distribution.
- Yo/Yo Diet Response
When it comes to obesity risk, successful weight management consists of two main components:
1) Initial weight loss,
2) and Weight maintenance
Some individuals find weight loss easy, but it’s the maintenance phase that is commonly the long-term challenge. Some genetic profiles are associated with a greater propensity for regaining weight after the reintroduction of increased calories. Many people will find themselves going through periods of weight loss and weight gain – more commonly referred to as the “yo-yo” diet. The yo-yo diet can cause some people to gain more weight on their next cycle due to their genes telling them to store weight. In times of famine, our bodies will hold onto any nutrients we take in, and will store them in fat cells. The energy in these fat cells is less obtainable by the body, so they stay there as reserves in case of other famines.
- Lactose Intolerance Risk
Whilst you are not genetically lactose intolerant, you may still be sensitive to lactose, this can occur due to age, an environment of low lactose intake and certain illnesses.
Lactose intolerance can occur both environmentally and genetically, the results from this only indicate a genetic predisposition. As we age however we often become worse at digesting lactose, those who have large breaks from dairy based foods can often cause a decrease in lactase (enzyme needed to break down lactose) in the gut which may also bring on symptoms of lactose intolerance when a dairy diet is restarted.
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