Weight Loss & Your Genes

Wondering what your 23 and Me data indicates about your genetic susceptibility to gain weight?  I’ve dug into the research to see which genes are associated with obesity — along with specific life hacks that take into account your genetic variants.

We don’t all have the same genetic variants that cause weight gain. Thus, you need to optimize your weight loss plan for the genetic variants that you carry.

No snake-oil, no quick fixes – just science that you can apply to fit your genes

Start here:


Recent articles on Weight Loss and Your Genes:

SCD1 Stearic Acid weight loss SCD1: A lynchpin of metabolism - The SCD1 enzyme converts saturated fatty acids to unsaturated fats. Learn how your genes impact this enzyme, and how this relates to weight loss.
SIRTfoods diet: Sirtuins and turning on your skinny genes - The SIRTfood diet, made popular by Adele's recent weight loss, theoretically works by affecting your sirtuin gene expression. Learn about your SIRT genes and you genetic variants.
PPAR-Delta: Burning off the Fat - PPARδ is a key player in how and when your muscles burn fat for fuel. Genetic variants in the PPARD gene impact how well your muscles utilize fatty acids. These variants also impact how much of a fat-burning benefit you get from exercise.
DIY Genetic Weight Loss Report - This DIY genetics report shows you how your genetic raw data for weight-related genes are linked to your weight. We are all different, and a one-size-fits-all approach to weight loss does not work for everyone.
Detoxifying Phthalates:  Genes and Diet - Phthalates are a type of chemical used as plasticizers to make plastics more pliable. There has been a lot of research on the endocrine-disrupting effects of phthalates. Your genetic variants may impact whether phthalates are a problem for you.
Hacking your endocannabinoids for weight loss - Genetic variants in the endocannabinoid system are strongly linked to increased appetite and higher weight. Find out if you naturally have 'the munchies'. (Member's article)
Hacking your endocannabinoid system for weight loss - Genetic variants in the endocannabinoid system are strongly linked to increased appetite and higher weight. Find out if you naturally have 'the munchies'.
Weight Loss Topic Summary - Utilize our Weight Loss Topic Summary Reports with your 23andMe or AncestryDNA genetic data to see which articles may be most relevant to you. These summaries are attempting to distill the complex information down into just a few words. Please see the linked articles for details and complete references. (Member's article)
A Sweet Tooth Without Weight Gain: FGF21 Gene - The FGF21 gene codes for a hormone that is created in the liver and is important for appetite regulation. One variant is linked to increasing carbohydrate consumption - but without an increase in weight gain or diabetes. (Member's article)
Leptin Receptors: Genetics and Hunger - Do you wonder why other people don’t seem to struggle with wanting to eat more? Ever wished your body could just naturally know that it has had enough food and turn off the desire to eat? You might carry a genetic variant in the leptin receptor gene which is linked to not feeling as full or satisfied by your meal. (Member's article)
Digesting Carbohydrates: Amylase variants - Carbohydrate digestion begins in the mouth with an enzyme called amylase. Take a look into how the amylase enzyme works, genetic variants that impact your production of amylase, and solutions if you are low in amylase. (Member's article)
Weight Loss Genetics: Ghrelin - The hunger hormone, ghrelin, is important in appetite regulation and satiety. Learn how your genes interact with your diet when it comes to ghrelin levels. (Member's article)
Turning up the internal heat for weight loss- UCP1 genetic variants - The dream for overweight people: just turn up the internal heat and naturally burn off the extra fat.It turns out that genetically some people do have more active 'internal heat' and they actually are burning off more energy all the time.
BPA: How Your Genes Influence BPA Detoxification - BPA, a chemical found in some plastics, has been linked to a variety of health issues in people. Learn more about BPA and the research into genetic responses to this chemical.
Early to bed, early to rise – helps with weight loss and diabetes - Meal timing and light at night are modern issues that impact diabetes and obesity risk.
Circadian Rhythm: Weight Loss and Meal Timing - It isn't just what you eat, it is WHEN you eat. Learn how meal timing impact weight - and how your genes are important here.
Growing up ‘big boned’: MC4R gene and obesity - There are several key players in our body’s regulation of hunger, satiety, and energy expenditure. Leptin and ghrelin are two pivotal hormones involved in our desire to eat. Within that leptin pathway, another key regulator of our body weight is MC4R. (Member's article)
Hacking BDNF for weight loss - Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a fascinating growth hormone that performs many functions in our brain. Its involvement helps to support neurons and neuronal growth. In addition, it plays a role in long-term memory — and it also is important in obesity.
Weight Loss: Optimizing your diet based on your genes - Does the perfect diet exist? Most people want to lose weight to ‘get healthy’. Perhaps we are all looking at weight loss backward. Instead of losing weight to get healthy, we should get healthy and then naturally lose weight. Learn how to focus on finding your own genetically correct diet while optimizing your lifestyle to get healthy first.
How our genes shape our gut microbiome and our weight - Differences in our microbiome might shape how we gain weight. Several studies have come out recently showing that those who are overweight have a different gut microbiome composition than those who are lean. Here's a look at a few of the genes that play a role in determining which microbes inhabit the gut microbiome.
Emulsifiers in Processed Foods: Your genes and your microbiome - Emulsifiers, found in a lot of processed and packaged foods, can trigger an inflammatory response in the intestines based on whether you carry specific genetic variants.
DHEA and Your Weight - DHEA is a hormone that does a lot in the body - including influencing muscle mass and weight. This quick article examines just one aspect of DHEA: how it affects our weight. But the genetic variants included here also impact other impacts of DHEA in the body. (Member's article)
FTO: The ‘fatso’ gene & weight loss options - The FTO gene is nick-named the ‘fatso gene’ because of its association with obesity. This article digs into the current research on the FTO gene and then will give you some science-based options for controlling your weight if you carry the FTO genetic variant.
UCP2 Gene: Weight Loss Lifehacks - Turning up the heat on your metabolism is the job of UCP2. It plays a role in energy production, metabolism, and inflammation. Learn more about your UCP2 variants that can play a role in a higher BMI.
Weight Loss Genetics – MC4R Revisited - A revisit into the MC4R gene and its variants based on research. How does it affect circadian rhythm and time-restricted feeding?
Weight loss genetics – GNB3 C825T - There are lots of different genetic variants that add a little bit to your risk of being overweight. Learn more about the GNB3 variants and obesity risk.
Getting to the root cause – Obesity Virus? - There have been several interesting studies linking obesity to a viral infection, specifically an adenovirus.