Are Diets Tailored to Your DNA Worth the Effort?

Last Updated on September 19, 2018 by Michael Brockbank

Our genes are responsible for a slew of physical and mental traits. But can they also predict who will lose weight on which diet? Overall, the evidence points to, no. In a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, it doesn’t look like DNA testing is a guarantee for weight loss.

Everyone is looking for a shortcut. Although DNA testing can deliver quite a bit of information about a person, intently focusing on what foods to eat seems more like a gimmick than an absolute truth.

DNA Gimmicks Abound

What ever happened to good ol’ diets where you would scoop out your breakfast from a grapefruit and stay away from cupcakes at night? Today, we have companies who claim DNA helix tests can show you which diet works best.

It sounds more like a way to make a quick $100 than anything. And if someone loses weight, all the better. Unfortunately, this really doesn’t prove much in terms of DNA testing being a success.

How Diet Affects Actual Health and Fitness

Your diet impacts you as a whole. After all, you are what you eat. However, people require different levels of nutrition depending on physical and mental needs.

In reality, a DNA test isn’t going to prove conclusive if you’re capable of doing an intense physical workout while on a restrictive low-carb diet. In fact, I know several people personally who wipe themselves out to the point of going into hypoglycemic shock. I am one of them.

A DNA test isn’t going to know how active you are and often how your body is going to react to certain foods. While there may be some correlations between the structure of your genes and how you handle specific foods, it’s not really a good method for gauging how you eat.

On the contrary, in a recent study, there really wasn’t conclusive evidence to support DNA testing as part of a nutritious breakfast.

Will a DNA Diet Actually Work?

The problem with something like a DNA test for discovering the perfect diet is that anything it points to has potential to work. It’s not really a shot in the dark if someone has the mindset that a specific plan or exercise will benefit them more than something else. It’s called, “the placebo effect.”

Let’s say you pay the $100 for a test and it comes out that you should be on the Paleo diet. With this belief in hand, you put in the full effort of that particular diet plan. When you lose the weight, you praise the test as being valid.

But in the long run, almost anything you put full faith into believing is beneficial to drive success. It’s the confidence behind the practice that is the biggest contributor.

If you’re confident in something, you’re less likely to sabotage the effort and more likely to see it through. It’s one of the reasons why professionals focus on getting rid of self-doubt. It creates focus and builds structure in any activity.

It’s all about creating the solid belief the diet plan is going to work for you. The kicker is that a belief like this will make virtually any type of diet plan work for you.

It’s a similar practice to giving someone sugar pills to “make them feel better.” The individual thinks it’s “medicine” and convinces him or herself the pills are doing something more than just adding glucose to their bodies.

What is the Best Diet?

Best Diet Plan

The best diet plan is one that is tailored for you, there is no doubt. But I’m not convinced, and neither are actual scientists, that a DNA test shows you which is better.

For some people, the Paleo diet has worked wonders. For others, it’s all about being vegan. In the long run, it’s all about what drives your motivation. It’s the determination to keep your body from over-consuming various foods.

Benefits of Tailoring a Diet

I don’t believe in overly restrictive diets. For me, they simply do not work. This isn’t because I am prone to gain weight while eating healthy. It’s because of my overall mindset. I don’t like them, thus I don’t put in the actual effort to make sure they work.

However, tailoring a diet for your specific physical and emotional needs has great potential.

Learning Exactly What Works for You

While humans all have a similar physiology, there are specific differences that impact how we lose weight. Some will have an over-active metabolism while others will struggle. Learning what works best for you helps reinforce your own health and fitness.

If you’re getting overly tired after an intense workout, try adding a snack of good carbs or sugars. For me, a Nutrigrain bar prevents my blood sugar from going too low while at the gym.

You need to discover what it is your body needs. Unfortunately, this requires a bit of trial and error. A DNA test isn’t going to show you what or when to eat.

Improving Your Mental Aspect

The most important aspect of tailoring a diet for yourself is the mentality of the experience. If you don’t think the Adkins diet will work, chances are it won’t. It’s like I mentioned before, it’s all about believing and having faith in a plan.

Stress Foods

If you’re too stressed about your diet and actually feel frustrated, there is a much stronger chance you will give up. The end result is believing a diet failed you when actually you failed yourself.

This is the biggest reason I don’t have faith in hardcore diet plans. I don’t like the idea of giving up some of my favorite foods. Instead, I take more of a “Buddhist” approach – everything in moderation.

If you monitor your intake and stick to realistic portions, you can eat just about anything and lose weight. Well, as long as you make sure your body is getting the proper nutrition it needs to operate efficiently…something that a DNA test does not deliver.

Is Physical Fitness Better than Dieting?

I know it’s possible for people to lose weight without exercising. I’ve done it myself. However, there is so much more behind actual fitness in conjunction with a proper diet of foods.

For one thing, physical activity strengthens the body while improving your cardiovascular system. You don’t have to look like a body builder, but there are a lot of practical benefits for putting in the effort to exercise a bit more.

Find What Works Best For You

The bottom line is you need to find what works best for you. Paying $100 for a DNA test to show you a diet plan you can already do yourself is a waste, in my opinion. After all, it’s all about motivation and determination to succeed. It’s something we all have as long as we’re capable of tapping it.[template id=”3591″]

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Michael Brockbank

Since 2015, Michael has put in the effort to lose more than 80 pounds by gamifying fitness and eating proper portion sizes. He conducts extensive research into various health and fitness products to provide the best answers possible according to his own experience and knowledge.

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