You work out five times a week, you follow your diet, and it seems you are doing everything to see results but … you don’t. Many months later and you still have these extra kilos that are holding on for dear life.

This can be frustrating to the point where you just give up. “I have fat genes; I can’t do anything about it.” Genetics can often be considered an excuse for a person’s lack of results, but thankfully things are not quite so clear-cut.

A recent US study has found that the amount and quality of food a person consumes and not their genetics will lead to weight loss. That means that no matter your DNA or your diet, you will lose weight if you consume good, quality food in correct amounts.

This clinical trial randomly attributed either a healthy low carb diet or a healthy low fat diet to 609 overweight adults, no matter their genetic makeup.

Participants who ate the most vegetables and consumed the fewest processed foods, sugary drinks and unhealthy fats shed the most kilograms. Gene analysis identified variations linked with how the body processes fats or carbohydrates but the overall weight loss averaged around 5kg to 6kg in 12 months regardless of genes, insulin levels or diet type. What seemed to really make a difference, though, was healthy eating.

“We eat to fill our stomach and, if that’s with vegetables, we tend to lose weight, whereas if it’s with chocolate or French fries, flushed down with a soda, we gain weight” – Prof. Lennert Veerman

Simple as that.

This study proves that no matter your DNA, losing weight is possible AND you don’t have to find a genetics-specific diet as long as you’re calorie deficient (but not too much!).  Dieting is not the best solution because it is short term. Sure, starving yourself will eventually make you lose weight, but you’ll also lose energy and potentially end up binging on your cheat days. Instead, it’s better to find new, healthier habits to work on in the long term.

All in all, it is true that it’s harder for some people to lose weight than others, and this is indeed due to genetics. However, it is more likely that your genes influence your lifestyle and food choices, not your weight itself. Your genes may give you a harder time when it comes to controlling cravings or feeling full, but weight loss is still possible as long as you eat a good amount of healthy foods and exercise regularly. So if you’re trying to lose weight and not seeing results, don’t give up just yet!

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