Warning: Discouraging Post

Okay, so after reading the title you proably think I’m doing poorly today – well, worry not, I’m doing GREAT! Got in a long workout (burned 660 cals), eating great, etc. This post isn’t about how I’m doing, but I wanted to talk about a disturbing article I read. Seriously, though, if you’re doing well on losing weight I might not read on. I half wish I hadn’t read the article.

First, here’s a link to the article: “Genes Take Charge, and Diets Fall by the Wayside”

To summarize, it’s basically saying that genetics have far more to do with your weight than your environment. Normally reading something like that wouldn’t bother me – anybody can say anything, it doesn’t make it true. However, this author cites a few studies that – I must admit – sounds fairly convincing. There is a huge adoption study that was done over many years in sweeden. There were something like 90 pairs of  identical twins separated at birth. The identical twins reared apart had the same weights as adults. Also:

“Stunkard ended up with 540 adults whose average age was 40. They had been adopted when they were very young – 55 percent had been adopted in the first month of life and 90 percent were adopted in the first year of life. His conclusions, published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 1986, were unequivocal. The adoptees were as fat as their biological parents, and how fat they were had no relation to how fat their adoptive parents were.”

The article also pointed out that it is just as hard for a naturally thin person to GAIN weight and keep it on. There was a study on prisoners done where they intentionally ate tons of calories to gain weight. When they stopped intentionally trying to gain weight, within months, they were back down to their original weights.

Okay, anyway, I just thought the article was disturbing. Maybe it really is much harder for me to lose weight than it is for some people b/c of my genetics? Hmm. Any thoughts?


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  1. #1 by Kim on November 15, 2008 - 5:53 pm

    Just putting this out there, in the nicest way possible. Please understand I am not meaning anything offensive ( I have been on the losing side too I understand that some things hurt )

    I think you would snack on less sweets if you added some fruits into your rotation. I am new to your site and spent some time today reviewing your menu’s for the past several weeks. I can see that you have a sweet tooth and I can relate. It seems like even on your “good” days, you cave to something sweet. This is something you have acknowledged. I noticed that while you do eat veggies and protein, you don’t often eat fruit. I think if you start adding in some Honey Crisp apples ( super fantastic and very sweet ), Red Pears ( also really juicy and sweet ) and maybe some other very sweet fruits, it might help your body stop craving sweets, or at least slow down its desire / craving.

    Best of luck 🙂 Kim.

  2. #2 by Tara on November 17, 2008 - 5:40 am

    That’s interesting, but if you look at your mother and grandmother even, they don’t even have quite as much trouble as you…so, yes, it could be genetics, but it is probably also your habits as well. I agree with the studies that it’s tougher for some people for sure, but not impossible in most cases, and definitely still influenced by food intake. However, I think genetics is one of the biggest factors, and I’ve always thought that– sort of depressing, just like you said.

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