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This article will help you know the truth about biology and body fat and learn how to lose fat when your genes are working against you.

There are things that you are thrilled to inherit from your parents, like property, jewelry or social status. But what about inheriting their struggle with obesity? Are you fated to take that on, too?

There is no denying that heredity plays a major role in how difficult it will be for you to lose fat. You inherited a body type, a predetermined number of fat cells, a metabolic rate and body chemistry just as you inherited your eye color and hair color.

But believing that you are destined to be overweight for life because you have inherited “fat genes” is the most disempowering and self-defeating attitude you could ever adopt.

Can your genes really make you fat?

Yes. Genes play a role in obesity. If your parents are obese, you are more likely to be, too. One gene, called FTO, has been found to have the biggest influence for obesity “runs in the family”. Scientists found that people with certain differences in FTO have a 20% to 30% higher chance of obesity.

How do these genes make you look fat?

FTO has two variants, one associated with greater risk of weight gain (A) and one associated with lower risk of weight gain (T). People who inherit two A variants (one from their mother and one from their father) are 70 percent more likely to become obese than those with two T variants. Even those who inherit one A and one T variants have a higher weight than those with two T variants.

If obesity runs in your family, can you still avoid it?

Here is the good news: Even if you have fat genes, you can still lose weight by leading a healthier lifestyle. Research shows that regular exercise, healthy eating and certain lifestyle changes can deactivate the genes that cause you to store fat. (You don’t need to run marathons, do triathlons, or spend every waking hour in the gym to overcome your fat genes).

What are the factors other than genetics which can make you look fat?

If you are having trouble losing weight and don’t always blame your parents for it. Family history alone doesn’t seem to be enough to make you overweight. Other than genetics, obesity usually results from a combination of factors including: family lifestyle habits, sedentary lifestyle, overeating, unhealthy diet, alcohol, medical problems and lack of sleep.

How to turn off your fat genes?

1. The first step is to build commitment to yourself that you will take informed decisions about your health and leads a healthy lifestyle. To combat with your fat genes, such commitment is needed - “Ek baar jo maine commitment kar di, fir main apne aap ki bhi nahi sunta”.

2. Being active for about 60 minutes a day is all it takes to directly minimize the effects of "fat genes." This means that you can counteract the effects of your fat genes by engaging in non-structured exercise such as simply walking, cycling or even skipping the elevator and walking the stairs instead.

3. Eat little bit less.  Cut calories. Lopping off 500 to 1000 calories a day can help you lose 1 to 2 kg in 15 days.

4. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits. Perfect your protein intake. Avoid sugar rich foods. Avoid empty calories. Avoid foods high in saturated fat. Avoid alcohol.

5. Join a gym and start training. Strength training is the best way to lose fat and sculpt your body.  From an efficiency standpoint, no other type of exercise can give you better and fast results than strength training.

DNA is NOT destiny. When it comes to fitness, we are not slaves to our fat genes after all.

The only way you will stay fit permanently is to accept total responsibility for yourself and acknowledge the fact that you have the power to change; regardless what genetics has given you to work with.
Stop blaming. Take action. Eat healthy. Start working out. Stay hydrated and make sure you get at least 8 hours of good quality sleep daily.

Do you know the biggest problem in nutrition and fat loss science today?

It's the fact that the field is confusing as hell. Hence, I present a solution of this massive problem.

I write articles for fitness enthusiasts, professionals, dietitians, nutritionists, doctors and trainers. These articles are 100% scientific but written in in very simple words (easy to understand language).

So if you are interested in improving your fitness using evidence based methods, then stay connected with me on facebook.

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Written by Sapna Vyas Patel , PhD in Nutrition Science and Dietetics
Sapna writes simple, easy to understand articles that are based on pure scientific evidence. She is one of the most popular fitness professionals in India and is followed on social media by fitness enthusiasts, nutritionists, dieticians, doctors, trainers, and professionals.

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