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Myth Busters: Can Your Genes Make You Fat?

Posted on: by Women's Health
Myth Busters: Can Your Genes Make You Fat?

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Thanks mom and dad!

Like it or not, your physical make-up is largely determined by your parents’ DNA, the double helix that definitively spells out who you are. At least, that’s what you learnt in high-school biology.

Can Your Genes Make You Fat? 

Now, scientists reckon that while traits such as eye colour, height and bone structure aren’t flexible, others, including disease risk and life span, aren’t always set in stone. The food you eat, chemicals you ingest and stress you perceive not only help control your short-term health, but can also modify the way your DNA behaves – and then potentially transfers those tweaks to your children and grandchildren. It all hinges on a complex chemical code called the epigenome. Think of it as a super thin, snug wrapping around your DNA with the power to switch gene signals on or off.

Epigenetics, the study of that coating, shows that most genes are only a predisposition, not a fate; and while you can’t change your actual DNA, you can control (to a point) the way it acts. Want to escape your weight fate? Up your workouts and try high intensity interval training – it’s proven to max out your kilojoule-burning potential. And up your veg intake and limit your couch time – this’ll up your fat-storing potential.

Want to kickstart your own weight-loss journey for summer and beyond? Get our Lean Body Blitz 12-week meal and fitness plan to turbo-charge your slim-down!

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