Talking with the Doc: Weight Loss, Genetics and You
There’s no denying that food and exercise are important to a weight loss plan, but you’ve probably heard that genetics play a part in how effective your body is at achieving those goals. And that’s true—but maybe not in the way you might think.
This has been discussed at length in the medicine world. According to Dr. McCarthy, there are a variety of lifestyle and environmental factors that have a major influence on how your genes express themselves. This is significant since much of what we experience on a daily basis in our stressful lives causes our genes to be expressed in unhealthy ways—especially when it comes to the body’s managing of metabolism and energy storage” he explains.
“There’s a saying in genetic medicine that the genes load the gun, but the environment pulls the trigger,” says Dr. McCarthy, our on-staff naturopathic doctor. “You might have a genetic predisposition, but those genes that are encoded need to be activated and brought to life. This process is often influenced by certain elements in our internal and external environments—like stress and toxicities which set us up for unhealthy genetic manifestations.”
How does it work? When the body is under situational stress, it goes into crisis mode and adjusts physiology to maximize the potential for survival. “It’s like a hurricane coming in,” says Dr. McCarthy. “In that instance, people are put into a high-pressure mode where they’re preparing for what could potentially be a long, drawn-out event where they might not have access to food or water. The body does a similar thing. Stress signals that the body is in an unsafe environment, and it shifts your metabolism to help your body hold on to fat stores and conserve energy, which can make you put weight on.”
"Stress signals that the body is in an unsafe environment, and it shifts your metabolism to help your body hold on to fat stores and conserve energy, which can make you put weight on.”
According to alternative practices, the symbolism of this act is found in the body creating padding to protect from life threatening influences in the environment. From a primal perspective, it’s a protective mechanism. With more fat stores, you appear bigger to other animals which may be advantageous; and further, your internal organs have more protection from physical trauma, and from extreme cold, not to mention a huge supply of stored energy to get you through a long period of scarcity. While genetics may predispose people to gaining weight, it helps to look at what the triggering event is, and what’s happening in the environment that causes people to express their genes in this way.
Part of healthy weight management is being able to manage your stress, handle your environment, feel safe, and be able to draw from a community of support. “Nutrition and exercise are definitely important,” Dr. McCarthy clarifies. “But you can’t discount why a person’s body is putting on weight in a way that’s resembling someone who is under stress and feeling threatened.”
While some weight gain is due to stress, other times it’s just good, old-fashioned indulgence—and it gets the best of us, especially during the holidays. With office parties and events, family gatherings and friendly potlucks, it’s hard not to partake in a baked good, or six, when there’s so many opportunities to consume, and those consumptions are linked to social events and activities.
And once you establish that pattern—even on the short term—it can be hard to break. That’s where supplements can come in handy. Not only can they help your body break those patterns, but they can give you the added support you need to lose weight, along with your new diet and exercise regimen.
One of the supplements Dr. McCarthy recommends is the Maximum Strength 3-in-1 Carb Blocker®, which can help mitigate the damage of stress eating (or holiday indulgence). “Carbs are a primary source of cellular energy, otherwise known as glucose, so when you consume them and you’re not active or working out, they get stored as fat,” says Dr. McCarthy. “The way our Carb Blocker® works is it features white kidney bean extract, which inhibits a portion of the amylase. Amylase is an enzyme that breaks down carbs so that you can absorb them. So, white kidney bean extract helps to reduce your absorption of carbs.*”
Dr. McCarthy points out that blocking carbs means you’ll also be blocking a major source of energy, so Maximum Strength 3-in-1 Carb Blocker® is formulated to help your body use other sources of energy*. “The formula includes the digestive enzymes lipase and protease, which break down proteins and fats to help you absorb their nutrients* ,” he says. “The idea is to enhance the absorption and utilization of other nutrients so the body doesn’t experience an energy crisis with the blocking of carbs.*” Still, he notes, the body will go through a process of adjusting to the new process it’s being introduced to.
The last piece of this three-pronged formulation is enhancing the functionality of glucose metabolism so the body is able to use the energy it has available to it*. Says Dr. McCarthy, “Basically, we help to enhance energy utilization with chromium picolinate, which is a mineral that research has shown to be important to the activity of insulin receptors.*
The next supplement you should consider taking on your weight loss journey is Garcinia HCA Fat Reduction Diet. Why? ”It addresses weight management by inhibiting a fat-building enzyme.*
You might be surprised to learn that Garcinia is actually a tree fruit, often used in Indian dishes as a spice. “Traditionally, Garcinia was used to increase the satiating character of meals, and then it became of interest to the supplement world for obvious reasons,” he shares. “Once scientists investigated it, they discovered its fat-blocking activity.*”
“Traditionally, Garcinia was used to increase the satiating character of meals, and then it became of interest to the supplement world for obvious reasons. Once scientists investigated it, they discovered its fat-blocking activity.*”
When you consume food, the nutrients get broken down and eventually converted to citrate, which is used to power an energy cycle that feeds into building fat. “Think of it like having too much energy,” Dr. McCarthy says. “Like eating a candy bar—that’s like having 15 gallons of gas in the car, but if you already have a half-full tank and you put in the bar, it’ll overflow. That overflow gets packaged up and turned into fat, and that packaging scenario is where Garcinia comes in—it helps prevent glucose from going into that packing facility.*”
The last supplement Dr. McCarthy recommends is one that works on various metabolic pathways to induce weight loss with minimal effort,* but don’t get too excited—he still recommends you use that gym membership you just signed up for. “Remember, we’re talking about a lifestyle shift,” he advises. “These are tools to kickstart efforts and get into the mode of doing, and then transition into that lifestyle. These things can help level out the hill more and more, and help you push through more and more, and then suddenly, you’ve got momentum.” And that’s the ultimate goal of supplementation. When you see results, have energy and feel focused, you gain the willpower to keep going and realize your goals.
One of the more powerful supplements that can help set you on that path is Stored-Fat Belly Burner™, which focuses on those problem areas we all love – the waist, hips and belly.* As a special promotion, take 10% OFF your bottle of Stored-Fat Belly Burner™ with code: SFBB10. Valid until 2/23/2019.
“This formulation is built on the power of Sinetrol®, which is a proprietary blend of polyphenol citrus extracts derived from foods in the Mediterranean,” says Dr. McCarthy. “It’s a combination of extracts from sweet orange, blood orange, grapefruit and guarana, which is a berry that has an energizing effect on the body.*”
But what’s most exciting about this formula is how the combination works together to affect your body.* Notes Dr. McCarthy, “The combination has been studied for its ability to burn fat in the waist, belly and hips—basically, the midsection of the body is where the weight loss is predominantly experienced when using Sinetrol® which amplifies lipolysis, or the breakdown of stored fat.*
“And the nutrients come together to inhibit an enzyme that’s involved in the first step on a long list of intracellular reactions that increase cAMP,*” he continues. “The end result is that higher cAMP levels leads to a bigger triglyceride breakdown.*” As he puts it, adding cAMP is like revving your engine.* By increasing it, you’re increasing the rate of fat burning in those cells in that specific space in your body.*
Meanwhile, the citrus fruit peels offer antioxidants that contribute to fat burning —much the way the polyphenols in green tea do.* The complementary nature of these ingredients add to the overall effect of Sinetrol®.*
“It’s been noted through research that individuals who experience metabolic issues tend to have lower cAMP production,” says Dr. McCarthy. “In this case, boosting cAMP production aids in helping the body do something it’s not used to doing: breaking fat down and using it for energy.*”
Dr. McCarthy says weight gain can begin with environmental influences driving genetic expression which can effect enzymes that are encoded by these genes to function in an unhealthy way effectively initiating changes in metabolism which can make it difficult for the body to burn fat (or it becomes easier to store fat.) “All these mechanisms exist on a cellular level, and they’re being influenced by our environments, both internally in the emotions and subjective feelings we have, and externally in the toxic sleep deprived world that we live in,” he explains. But with dedication, hard work and the right supplementation, you can create a new foundation for a healthy lifestyle.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.