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Role of Genetics and Heredity Obesity


I have some friends who tell me that their obesity is simply due to their genetics. Is this true?

Because each person is born with a unique genetic composition, losing bodyfat and keeping it off can be more challenging for some people than others.

Your genes can influence how quickly you feel full when eating, how physically active you are prone to be, and your metabolic rate, for example. As a result, some people may be genetically more vulnerable to gaining weight and certain environmental triggers can make these people more susceptible to becoming obese.

So what percentage of the population is obese because of genetics? Some scientists claim that most obesity cases are influenced by genetics, some claim that the influence is negligible, and many believe that the right explanation rests between the two views.

Some scientists believe that certain inherited genes don’t necessarily make individuals obese, they merely give them a predisposition for becoming obese, but it is the learned or acquired behaviours of overeating and inactivity that cause the weight gain.

While science shows that heredity is linked to obesity, it is impossible to pinpoint the degree of correlation. There is little debate, however, over the genetic determination of body shape. Some people are more likely to put weight on their hips and thighs, and this is harder to lose than belly fat.

‘Obesity runs in my family, and it is impossible for me to lose weight’ is a classic excuse for not trying to lose weight, and it can be a convenient way of blaming others for an individual’s state.

Obesity tends to run in some families, suggesting a genetic link. But families also share diet and lifestyle habits that contribute to obesity. There seems to be a greater chance that people are heavy because of conditioned behaviours they learned from their family, than because of genetics.

People can still succeed with fat loss despite a genetic predisposition to gain weight, although it may take more work and patience, and perhaps medical intervention.

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Going Overboard With Cheat Meals


Staying on a diet too long tends to slow down your metabolism. Cycling your calories or having planned cheat meals are great way to kick-start your metabolism and give your body some nutrients that might be missing from the daily diet. It also gives the mind a break from the rigours of a precontest diet. But binge eating makes it very difficult to get in all the nutrients you need to support muscle retention and fat loss, because such large quantities of fat and sugar will make eating multiple meals per day very difficult.


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Eating Junk Food To Increase Calories


There is a reason why it is called junk. The calories are of the lowest quality and filled with fat and sugar. High-fat foods tend to blunt your appetite for hours and you stop eating on schedule and fail to keep a steady flow of aminos heading into your muscles. In order to maximise absorption for optimal mass gain, you need to eat smaller and more frequent meals of quality calories. Five thousand calories in one sitting does not equal 5,000 calories spread throughout the day.

Never eat too much junk food when trying to add muscle mass, because extra fat will be gained. Some junk foods is allowable once a week, but remember “You are what you eat”. So eat healthy, nutritious, low-fat bodybuilding foods.


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Should Calorie Intake Be Increased If Adding Size?


Is it true that as I add size I should continue to increase my calories to keep from losing the muscle I’ve earned?

Technically yes, but I hear this argument all the time from gym goers who are fat and looking to justify their calorie consumption. The key words in this question are “add” and “size”. You need to identify what the added size will be. More often than not the added size is fat accumulated in the name of “bulking up” after which some gym goers continue to add more calories to maintain that new “size”, thus compounding the problem. Timing your nutrition is infinitely more important than the total number of calories you consume in a day.


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Should I Still Have Carbs Before My Workouts If I’m Trying To Get Lean?


It is better to have the energy to get through the workout with a high level of intensity than have a bad workout because you are carb depleted. If getting lean is your main concern, try going without and see how you do. If your body continues to change, then great – you are one of the lucky ones. However, if you find you are not getting leaner, your body’s likely suffering an energy deficit during workouts so that you cannot train hard enough. The general recommendation is to eat 20-40 grams of slow digesting carbs 30-60 minutes pre-workout. You can start there and see how that plan goes. Just don’t be too rigid one way or the other.