The longer I'm a health coach for and the more I learn about the body, nutrition, workouts, genetics etc., the more I answer "It depends" to many questions regarding health.
There are SO many factors to consider. How's your mental state? Because what's happening in the brain is happening to every cell in your body.
What's happening with your nutrition? Because again what you're eating affects every cell in your body.
How are you moving? Are you sedentary, mildly active, training at the appropriate level OR overtraining? Important to know because exercise is medicine and not all of it is ideal for every person.
How I usually begin coaching clients is to help them get clear on the unwanted behaviours that are contributing to symptoms of weight retention and weight gain such as:
- Limiting alcohol and sugar intake
- Eating a predominantly whole foods diet
- Learning to eat intuitively
- Manage stress (this is a HUGE one!)
But what happens when you've done all of that and are still suffering with chronic weight gain and weight retention?
You're in that gym training hard, eating clean, keeping 'The Hulk' at bay everyday but you just can't seem to lose that frigging weight!
This is when your genetics can play a massive role in helping you heal.
There are 2 main things I look at when my clients do our Fit Genes Test to aid in understanding why they may be feeling sick, tired and 'unable' to lose weight.
1. SOD2 Gene: This gene looks at whether the mitochondria (Grade 9 science flash back? Sorry) is potentially being overloaded with oxidants during exercise. If you carry the at-risk variant chances are that's why you're dealing with chronic inflammation and poor recovery/injuries.
I personally carry the at-risk allele and in the past when I was doing HIIT training and not taking the appropriate supplements to support detoxification I was getting inured, holding water, GAINING weight and really getting frustrated with the lack of results despite my efforts in the gym and nutrition.
What you can do about it: Stop going to that group fitness class just because the music is dope and it's cheap. Get on a training program that focuses more on resistance and proper rest between sets.
Not sure how to create program with proper rest and resistance? Reach out anytime and I'd be happy to help!
Also, taking an antioxidant the day of training such as NAC can help your cells effectively keep cellular oxidation at bay and leave you feeling lean, tight, full of energy and happy with your efforts.
Side note: Vitamins C + E were shown to not support this action when athletes took on day of training. These would not be ideal sources of antioxidants to support cell detoxification post-exercise.
2. Methylation (MTR + MTRR + MTHFR): These genes are looking at your body's ability to repair - specifically detoxification, hormone regulation and DNA repair.
Many people carry the at-risk variants for these genes. This could mean that you're not great at cell repair (think gut health, hormonal health, anything heath! - your cells need to be able to effectively repair for great health.
It could also mean that you aren't great at clearing a waste product called homocysteine from your body. High homocysteine levels can be detected via a blood test. If high it could indicate that you are deficient in vitamins B12 and/or folate, and those nutrients are necessary for effectively clearing waste products and repairing the body.
Additionally, if you carry 2 out of the 5 at-risk markers we're looking at in these genes then you could have up to a 70% reduction in your ability to covert folate into its active form which means decreased methylation and decreased repair.
Think of this...If you're eating healthy and training regularly but you aren't detoxing, repairing and rebuilding efficiently then your body won't perform or look the way you may expect it to, right?
What you can do about it: Get on a practitioner quality B Complex Vitamin, daily (AOR, Xymogen, Metagenics, Douglas Labs etc.). Because your body may be sluggish at converting folate and B12 into their active forms it can leave you sluggish at cell detoxification repair.
Also bi-annual liver and gut detoxes will help to support proper methylation. Learn more about how you can do this at home here.
Before I did genetic testing all I knew was that I was sick all the time, tired all the time and was chronically inflamed, holding water and getting injured.
Now that I know what and how I need to eat, train and supplement nutraceuticals I am in the best shape of my life..at 36 years old! And even better than my competition days.
I'm all about supporting my clients to get in the best shape of their life via personalized nutrition and training programs based on their genetics.
Want to learn more about how you can lose weight, ditch chronic illness, gain energy and be in the best shape of your life? Just click here and let's get a conversation going!
In good health + happiness,
Cassandra Hope RHN + CPT
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