Is Being Fat Your Fault?

by : Jude Wright

Why is it that some people can eat whatever they want, never exercise and still look slim and trim? Then, there is the rest of us who have to watch every crumb we put in our mouths, have to exercise daily and still never reach the weight we want? It's not fair, is it?

Most people who struggle with their weight have their ancestors to blame. Their ancestors are the ones who passed on their 'fat' genes. (Thanks, Grandma!) They can lose weight but they have to work harder at it.

Overweight people are historically looked upon as lazy and gluttonous. In reality, they don't necessarily eat more than thinner people; they just have family genes working against them. Research has shown this to be true.

In studies with identical twins who were raised apart, researchers found that both twins gained approximately the same amount of weight regardless of what they ate or how much - or little - they exercised.

Is Being Fat Your Fault?

Hispanics, Native Americans and African Americans seem to gain weight more easily than other ethenic groups.

Although research is just beginning to discover how our genes work to make us fat, scientists believe that a few different fat genes could have survived from past generations who had to struggle through times of starvation. Those genes allowed them to eat and store calories when food was plentiful. When food was harder to find, the genes helped people burn fewer calories so they could survive by using their stored fat.

You may have inherited your fat genes, but you may also have inherited your cravings, your appetite and your metabolism. Here are a few ways to beat your fat genes:

  • Look to your appetite. Paying attention to whether you are 'really' hungry or not can help you get a handle on your food intake. When you are eating, it takes your brain a while to catch up to the signal that your stomach sends out that it's full. Savor your food. Eat more slowly so that your stomach's signal more closely meets your brain's.
  • Eat more fiber. Eating foods that contain more fiber will depress your appetite and keep your insulin levels more even. Your insulin levels normally rise quickly after a meal but soluble fiber keeps these levels lower.
  • Forget crash diets. When you try to drastically cut calories and perform grueling exercise routines, your fat cells mount a defensive. Instead, slow down and take smaller steps to change your eating and exercise habits.

Go ahead and blame your ancestors for your chunky body. But don't think that there is nothing that you can do about it. Eat healthier foods and get adequate exercise to win over the fat genes.