Friday, December 15

Can Being Overweight Be Inherited?

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How many times do you hear overweight people say things like, “I’m only this way because I’m big boned” or “both of my parents are big so it’s in my genes” or even “all of the women/men in my family are overweight”.

 So now the question is, if other members of your family are overweight and have always been, does it mean that you might have inherited the “fat” gene and are predisposed to being overweight yourself? Is there anything that can be done about it, or are you doomed to be overweight for the rest of your life?

There are some facts that must be considered before you assign blame for your weight problem to your family tree. Genetics do decide what the shape of you body will be as well as determining your height and possible risks to your health. If there is a history of obesity in your family, you may have a higher potential for it, but it does not mean that you are doomed to a life of plumpness.

The fact is, even though you may have inherited a higher concentration of fat cells from your family gene pool, it is the bad habits that you inherit from them that will contribute more to your weight than your genes.

Here are the facts about what makes you overweight that you must know to help you break the family tradition of living with that extra padding.

For openers, the food choices that you make play a very important role in whether or not you will become overweight. Not knowing what a proper portion size is during mealtime will also hurt your weight. If as a kid growing up, your parents always went back for seconds during meals, you probably will have inherited that habit as well. If your parents always ate high calorie snacks at night while watching TV, well, you get the picture.

Another downfall to losing the weight gain battle is physical inactivity. While just being physically inactive does not add extra fat by itself, most overweight people are inactive and that means you will burn less calories throughout the day. When an inactive person eats even a normal amount of food daily which is usually still more than they need, they are more likely to store the extra calories as fat.

Your age plays a part in your weight also. When people age, they typically become less active. Also, after age 30 or so, an inactive person will lose around ½ to 1 pound of muscle tissue per year. This makes your metabolism slow down being that muscle is active tissue and the more you have, the higher your metabolism, the less you have, the lower your metabolism. This will account for weight gain.

Most overweight people are not that way because of the genes they inherited, but because of the bad habits they inherited as well as ones they developed on their own. According to the American Medical Association, less than 2% of all obesity can be directly attributed to any kind of metabolic disorder or hormone imbalance.

The bottom line is all of the excuses in the world for being overweight won’t take one pound of fat off of you. The whole thing comes down to modifying your lifestyle to one that is conducive to proper weight control. That means eating less than you’ve been used to eating and being more physically active than you’re used to being.

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