Category Archives: Weight Loss


Your Genes Could Determine How Well You Lose Weight

The results could one day create a genetic test that identifies people who need extra help.

Not everyone who changes their diet and exercise loses weight successfully
Not everyone who changes their diet and exercise loses weight successfully. – Image Source: Tuomas Marttila via Getty Images

When people take part in a weight loss program, some shed many pounds, while others don’t see the scale change at all. Now, early research suggests people’s genes may predict whether they will lose weight during a weight loss program.

In the study, the researchers analyzed information from 46 people who took part in an eight-week program that involved changes in diet, exercise and behavior, at a Veterans Affairs facility. The participants also submitted a DNA sample for a test (called Pathway Fit, from the DNA testing company Pathway Genomics) that analyzed 75 genetic markers already known to be linked with certain health conditions or with the body’s responses to diet and exercise.

Then, the researchers looked to see whether certain genetic markers could predict which participants had lost 5 percent or more of their body weight by the end of the program and which participants had either lost less than 1 percent of their body weight or gained weight. [The Best Way to Lose Weight Safely]

They found five genetic markers linked with weight loss, and then used these markers to create a mathematical model aimed at predicting weight loss among participants in their weight loss program. When they used the model to try to predict who would successfully lose weight, it was accurate 75 percent of the time.

“Patient weight loss following behavioral modification therapy really varies,” said study first author Cecilia Dalle Ore, a medical student at the University of California, San Diego. The findings suggest that people’s genes could potentially be used to predict their response to behavioral modification programs, said Dalle Ore, who presented the findings here last Sunday (May 22) at Digestive Disease Week, a scientific meeting focused on digestive diseases.

However, because the new study was small, the model still needs to be validated in future studies with more people, she said.

In the future, a genetic test might help doctors know which patients would be unlikely to do well in a weight loss program, said Dr. Amir Zarrinpar, a gastroenterologist at the University of California, San Diego, and senior a author of the study. [How to Get Started on a Weight Loss Program]

In these cases, doctors could try alternative approaches — instead of embarking on a standard weight loss program, they might try a more intense program first, which could involve meal replacements or weight loss drugs, Zarrinpar said.

“By validating these types of genetic tests and showing that they apply to a general population, we can try to improve patient weight loss treatments. For example, instead of waiting three months to see whether a patient is going to respond or not, you could use this kind of information to say, ‘OK, we know this patient’s likelihood of succeeding is going to be low. Let’s do something else instead,’” Zarrinpar said. “That’s what we’re going towards.”

The study was funded by Pathway Genomics, which markets a genetic test that claims to help people with their diet and fitness based on their genes.

This article appeared on : and written by Rachael Rettner


Here’s the best time of day to work out to lose weight

You’ve committed to squeezing in a workout between your commute and your desk job, but before you embark on this new regimen, you want to know: When’s the best time to exercise to ensure you’re getting the most out of it?

Research covered by Gretchen Reynolds in The New York Times suggests that working out early in the morning — before you’ve eaten breakfast — helps speed weight loss and boost energy levels by priming the body for an all-day fat burn.

The no-snooze payoff

Here's the best time of day to work out to lose weightOne of the reasons working out first thing in the morning helps us lose weight — or at least protects us from gaining it — is that it pushes the body to tap into its fat reserves for fuel, as opposed to simply “burning off” our most recent snack or meal.

In one recent study, 28 young, healthy men spent six weeks eating a hefty diet of 30% more calories and 50% more fat than they had been eating before. But while some of them spent the six weeks stuffing themselves and barely exercising, the others started working out every day. Of those who worked out, half did so first thing in the morning; the other half hit the gym (and did the same workout) after a high-carb breakfast. The fasting exercisers ate the same breakfast; they just did so after working out.

At the end of the volunteers’ month-and-a-half eating fest, the ones who hadn’t worked out at all had, unsurprisingly, packed on the weight — about 6 pounds each. The ones who had been exercising after breakfast gained weight, too, but only about half as much.

In comparison, the people who worked out daily but hit the gym before breakfast hadn’t gained any weight at all. They had been able to eat a lot of extra food — just as much as their fellow volunteers — without paying the price in additional pounds.

The study was small, short term, used a specific eating plan, and involved only men close to age 21, so it’s hard to extrapolate much from the results. And the fasting exercisers didn’t lose weight; they just didn’t gain weight. Still, the experiment provided some of the first evidence that “early morning exercise in the fasted state is more potent than an identical amount of exercise in the fed state,” the authors write.

Another smaller study helps point out why timing could be so important. In it, two groups of men ran on treadmills until they burned 400 calories (about the equivalent of a small meal, or three to four slices of toast). While one group ran on an empty stomach, the other ate a 400-calorie oatmeal breakfast about an hour before their workout.

All of the runners burned fat during their workouts and remained in a heightened fat-burning state after they had gotten off their treadmills. But both results were more intense for the runners who had skipped the oatmeal. In other words, exercising after a long period of not eating could be setting us up for a longer, more intense fat burn.

Set your clocks

Another component of the early-morning workout regimen can help with weight loss: daylight.

Aligning our internal clocks, or circadian rhythms, with the natural world helps give our metabolisms a boost. One recent study showed that people who basked in bright sunlight within two hours after waking tended to be thinner and better able to manage their weight than people who didn’t get any natural light, regardless of what they ate throughout the day.

So next time you think about hitting snooze, remember this: An early-morning workout might not just help you meet your fitness goals, but it could even give you more energy than those few extra minutes of shut-eye.

Article Source: Erin Brodwin –