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Could cracking your DNA code hold the key to weight loss?

August 18th 2014 / Ayesha Muttucumaru Google+ Ayesha Muttucumaru

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Meet the future of health and fitness – a series of DNA tailored programmes that take bespoke workout routines and diet plans to the next level

Could your DNA be holding you back from achieving your weight loss goals? It may sound like a plot out of X-Men, but tapping into your genetic code could define which exercises you should be doing, which ones you should be avoiding and the foods you should and shouldn’t be eating.

With the ‘one size fits all’ approach to diet, fitness and wellbeing producing a mixed bag of results for the masses, this new wave of bespoke workout routines, diet plans and anti-ageing regimes provides a refreshingly tailor-made approach to losing weight and long-term health that takes the guesswork out of healthy living.

The science behind it is fascinating and follows the findings in a new study on 191 obese individuals. It revealed that those who ate a DNA-matched diet lost 33% more weight than those who followed an unmatched diet.

An exciting concept that involves DNA testing, labs, genes and identifying your predisposition to certain exercises, foods and even the rate that you’re ageing, the face of health and fitness could be in for a major shake-up in the not-to-distant future.

We spoke to the people behind three of these DNA focused programmes to find out more about their background, the science behind them and whether they could potentially be the best ways to lose weight for good. Here’s what we found out...

The Pure Package DNA Programme

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A bespoke food delivery service and eating plan created in conjunction with DNAFit Life Sciences, this particular programme has been created to reflect not only each person’s specific relationship with food, but also their metabolism and exercise capabilities as dictated by their personal DNA make up.

The test itself involves analysing a swab containing a DNA sample and reveals how the body metabolises protein, carbohydrates and fats to create a profile to outline its optimum diet, exercise plan, nutrient overview and food sensitivities.

Founder of The Pure Package Jennifer Irvine says, “We have always known that there is a link between genetics and diet; now at last the guessing is taken away and we can continue to help our clients manage their weight healthily.”

Avi Lasarow, CEO of DNAFit Life Sciences adds, “The offering of tailor made food based on your DNAFit profile is a clear pathway to the next level of eating right for your body. The latest research clearly shows that a diet matched to your genetic profile can help you lose more weight.”

With a DNA report and a day food programme starting at £689 for 10 days and £245 for the DNA Diet test alone, it certainly isn’t cheap. However, we have to wonder that if we were able to tap into our default genetic setting sooner, could the current epidemic of obesity could have been avoided in the first place?

MORE GLOSS: The obesity debate – how did we get so fat?

The Sha VIP Complete DNA Programme at Grace Belgravia

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Created in collaboration with world-renowned expert in the field of DNA testing Dr Gloria Sabater, the wellbeing retreat now offers the opportunity to book in for a comprehensive personalised DNA programme to target anti-ageing, health and wellbeing.

According to Dr Sabater, “From a simple saliva sample and blood test, your genome profile is analysed against all existing markers that help to determine factors such as weight, the detoxification of our body, the health of our skin, and even how well our bodies respond to particular types of exercise.”

The treatment plan that follows depends on the type of test you opt for and its findings. Katie Greenhall, Wellbeing Manager at Grace says, “Depending on which test you have a number of different factors are looked at: the Complete Test report consists of nine chapters pertaining to summary, weight control, detoxification, cardiovascular health, physical fitness, mental fitness, bone health, skin health and dental health; whereas the WEIGHgen contains only the summary and weight control chapters. Each chapter gives an interpretation of the genetic profile in question and then gives a number of lifestyle recommendations in line with the findings. This could include advice with regard to activity levels, nutrition and supplementation.”

For an even more intensive look at your inner workings, the next level’s the Telemore Test. As Dr Sabater explains, “The Telemore Test, based on how well your chromosomes are protected during DNA repair and degradation, establishes the rate at which you are ageing and is used to help predict premature development of certain age-related diseases. These results, once identified and analysed, will provide vital information as to your make up and how best to manage your body’s personal needs, slowing the ageing process via the fully-integrated approach that Grace is best known for.”

A test that’s even more far-reaching in its implications, this particular programme will set you back £3,500 for the Complete package or £4,300 with Telemore Testing. The WEIGHTgen Package though, which specifically targets weight control costs from £1,340. Expensive it is, but with the guessing and trial and error taken out of weight loss, perhaps it’s worth the investment...

The Matt Roberts Shape Programme

Created to ensure clients get the most out of their workouts, this fitness programme was devised to help identify the best exercise to lose weight in the optimum amount of time, reduce the risk of injury and make the most out of workouts. An intelligent concept created between celebrity personal trainer Matt Roberts and DNAFit, its focus is to devise a fitness programme specifically based on a person’s genetic profile.

The first step involves a mouth swab after which a DNA test is undertaken to identify the person’s propensity towards certain exercises, the danger of injury and their optimum recovery time by testing 30 genes and genetic variants in four categories: power and endurance, tendon pathology, recovery and diet.

According to Matt Roberts, “Matt Roberts Shape will revolutionise training by helping us draft a genetic roadmap to better fitness and wellbeing. What this will give us is evidence-based data of how bodies respond to training. It’s the fitness equivalent of cracking the DNA code.

“Whether it’s to lose weight, perform better or prevent injury, I predict DNA gym training will become the standard across the fitness industry. We’re proud Matt Robert’s gyms will be the first to offer this ground-breaking service.”

Avi Lasarow, founder of DNAFit adds, “It spells the end to training in vain. You can’t change your genes but you can change your exercise. People will now be able to train smart and make the most of their time in the gym, confident they have a workout that works for them!”

The test also pinpoints the best diet plan for the individual as well as to make the most suitable healthy eating recommendations to accompany their fitness regime with.

A cheaper alternative to the first two options, the package can be bought online for £249. Could this mark the start of a new approach to exercise, health and nutrition? For those who are putting the work in at the gym and are frustrated at constantly not seeing results, perhaps this could bring some much-needed respite to their particular fitness predicament.

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