Friday, March 30, 2012

And This I discovered via self-experimentation, anyway... :) A revisit of my DNA Test for "optimal diet" for my genetic type...and how you can use tracking to figure out what's best for you!

Those of you who have read me since the early days of this second weight loss blog of mine--the first one being Once Upon a Diet, where I spent time learning and trying to get my act together--will remember the Inherent Health DNA test that I took to help me with my journey.

It gave me some dire, but interesting info. Yes, I am genetically a high fat absorber and a fat hoarder. I have to exercise harder than the average person to burn fat. I am simply disposed to pack it on and keep it on. I gots some o' dem dere fatz geenz.

They then suggested I trim fat and use a diet similar to the low-fat model the government and many dietitians suggest. 65% carbs, 15% fat.

I had done that type of diet multiple times in the past with registered dietitians and using magazine low-fat diet menus, and really, never could do well on them.

I decided to go back to worked on my journey. Reducing carbs. I went to a dietitian who decided with my medical issues, reducing starches would be best to one serving a day, no more. I thrived, lost better than ever. I noticed in my SparkPeople tracking that I did best--weight loss wise--when my ratio was in the ranges where carbs were no more than 40% and fat was no more than 40%. Just observing the feedback on Sparkpeople. I mentioned that on this blog, how "Zone" type ratios seemed to be happy-making for my weight loss. If I kept my carbs to 80 to 100, I lost better and appetite was really low. My main temptation to not keeping that low is I adore fruit. :-)

I experimented with upping my starches again, for other health reasons, and this was not beneficial to the weight loss, I can tell you. Cravings came back hard.

I'm  back to working this week that plan of no more than 1 starch serving a day, and using fruit and veggies for my carbs. I am not dong LOW carb by the standards of Atkins type low-carbers, as my carbs can easily reach 150. Ideally, I'd like to keep them more in the 80 to 120 range. Ideally.

The reason I originally lowered my carbs in this journey in 2010 was due to my insulin resistance/prediabetes/Metabolic Syndrome. It seemed the best way to approach that condition from what I'd read.

I remember going to Inherent Health's FB wall and leaving a message that while they may advise me to do Fat Trimming type High Carb dieting, my weight loss went better with Carb Reducer type levels. So, sorry, I had to do it my way. But I'm glad to be armed with the reality of my DNA strikes against me.

So, all that preface to say that today, in the mail. I got  a letter from Inherent Health. And it states that while the DNA doesn't change--and no, I won't go into epigenetics, heh--their recommendations based on an expanded study they undertook that reveals"newly discovered correlations"  that show the optimal diet for my genetic type is not what they originally recommended. I should not trim fat.

They now recommend I follow the CARB REDUCER diet.

My reaction after reading the letter?

"No sh*t, Sherlock."

Well, I'm glad their expanded study and correlations back up what I learned on my own. They do emphasize it's for LONG TERM success at weight loss. Well, shoot. Ain't that what we're all after? Not short term, not razzle-dazzle lose a lot in 2 weeks. I want to lose it LONG TERM.

Now, to just apply it. Get back to that "Zoneish" whole foods way of eating --the 33-33-33 or 40-30-30--that worked well in 2010 and 2011 when I hit that sweet spot.

You can track your food for a few weeks/months and figure this out without any genetic tests. What works best with your body. Look at the feedback on SparkPeople...see which weeks fat just melted off. You may do better with more carbs or more fat or more protein or this ratio or that ratio. You can investigate it with diligent tracking.

BONUS: With detailed tracking, you'll also find where you fall short in your meal plans, as I learned from the SP nutrition tracker that I often fell short of zinc, copper, magnesium, potassium, iron, and folic acid, partly cause I was doing low calories and part because I can't eat a host of foods (allergies and sensitivities). I knew I had to supplement. And felt way better. :D

I will add that I had tried South Beach and Atkins first phases in the past, and felt like crap. (Lost loads of fluid weight the first weeks, which is always a boost, but felt like crap on very few carbs, hence my not doing low carb now, meaning induction type, 60 grams or fewer.)

I paid for a test. And I'm glad. But I also did the tracking, observation, measuring, pondering. I guess I did my own self-study. :D

I've been having about 120 carbs daily this week. And Tanita-San just put me back in the decade I had dipped into but not stayed in:  179.8

It's nice to have affirmaton. But hey, I knew what I's always application and consistency that are the keys to making the "I know" work.

All of you who have many dieting experiences behind you have a store of self-knowledge. If you don't remember or never tracked, try it. Learn. Apply.

This is a VERY stressful time in our household (again), so applying is a challenge, but is necessary. Life always has stressful times. We need to deal with those without a host of excuses. I don't want to make excuses. I want in control. :D

Reducing carbs makes it a little easier for ME.

Happy Friday.

Be well...


Jo said...

I would love to have that DNA test, and think I'll look into it. I tried tracking with SP once and found it too tedious. That was waay back at the beginning. Now it might be easier, and worth it as well, since I am smarter about my body and nutrition. And it might be fun, if tedious.

Congrats on the new decade! I know how great it feels to finally get under that 1 and zero!

Angela Pea said...

Hey Mir!

Sorry for the stressful times at home, and I hope it all works out.

That's interesting about the DNA testing. I didn't know such a thing existed strictly for supporting weight loss efforts! Like Jo, I think I need to look into it. I've been doing all the 'right' things for the past many months, eating well and exercising like nobody's business, but I haven't lost an ounce. Frustrating beyond measure.

Have a peaceful weekend.

Karen Butler Ogle said...

I'm so glad you shared that. I didn't know about DNA tests being available for weight issues. I pretty much already know what I have to do to lose my weight, I just need to make myself stick to the plan. Low carbing does make me feel bad at first. It has been a rough day. No energy but after a few days I will be back to myself and will probably be more energetic than normal. I just got to get out of the addiction mode right now. Hang in there, Mir and thanks for sharing.

Karen said...

I had read at Marks daily apple ( primal) that a carb range of 50-100 generally works for weight loss and a range of 100-150 may work for weight maintenance. Above 150 carbs a day and the gain may start. I'm sue it could vary with exercise,etc

I've found that to be true for me in maintenance and it is helpful to have myfitnesspal to look at the data.

Good job on figuring out what works for your body.

Louise Dawson said...

Hi, just wanted to say well done!! Im new to this blog but you seem to have done really really well - very motivating for someone like me who has rather a lot to loose!

If you could, I would appreciate you following my new blog - its going to be an online journal of my weight loss - and i would really appreciate tips and advice from someone who's already done it!

great blog though, I will definatley be back xxx

Louise Dawson said...

Nanette said...

Now... I won't really be able to do a DNA test any time soon. But the low starch thing resonates SO MUCH with me. Since basically cutting out grains I'm feeling much better and the scale wavers between less extreme numbers.

It's so cool what you've learned about yourself along the way here. Really, every time I read your stuff it inspires me to keep going (on those discouraged days). that I CAN reach that 170-180lbs. Lovely. :) Thank you.

Val said...

Wanna be SparkFriends???
(I don't track calories on SP, but blog & utilize SparkTeams for inspiration/motivation) I've made many what I consider to be REAL friends...