It is both fascinating and disturbing how our genes and what the environment in utero did to influence our weight and health.
Each of us has a certain DNA code but epigenetics is the environmental influence on genes beyond what is encoded in the DNA. As an example, a mother has the ability to change what happens to her child in the womb by lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise.
A fascinating article in Science News: From Great Grandma to You discussed diet and chemical exposure during pregnancy and its effects on future generations.
One frequent question I hear from my clients is “Why ME?”
- Why do I always struggle with my weight and/or health?
- I eat more carefully and healthfully than my friends and yet struggle with my weight more than they do!
- I eat more for a few days and it takes me weeks to recover!
WHAT is going on here? It’s called genetics and epigenetics. Unfortunately your Mother did have ultimate control in the womb.
However, you have ultimate control NOW.
Stop blaming yourself for being heavier than others. Insulin resistance runs in families and can be determined by your father or mother’s weight and what type of diet your mother ate while pregnant.
Insulin resistance is real and more than challenging…but it can be managed. I had weight struggles in the younger years of my life and becoming an RD was part of trying to figure out how to manage it and help others do the same.
If you are insulin resistant and/or have a family that has weight issues you will have to be much more careful than others with the balance of what you eat, the bites you take, and being consistent with exercise and sleep.
Is it fair? Of course not but who said life was fair?
One day I had the realization that my genetics forced me to balance my food and lifestyle, and I have to wonder if I would have done that all on my own…which suddenly made me more grateful.
Make sure your meals are balanced, watch your bites, move your body daily, and make sure to schedule in enough sleep and rest. Good advice for anyone, but essential for those with challenged genetics.
You may not be grateful for your genetics regarding weight but then again it might have saved your life….