I’ve often wondered why it is that I struggle with certain aspects of my diet. I mean I’d say that I have a fairly ‘normal’ diet, in that I eat healthy most of the time, but there’s definitely room for improvement in the old snack department. However, whenever I think “right I’m going to make a conscious effort this week” I end up thinking about food ALL the time and literally never feel as though I’m full, which is crazy. It’s as if there isn’t an off button.
Then there’s my fitness. Why is it that I still find running so difficult? And how come I just can’t seem to shift fat from my thighs and backside, yet it slips off the boobs like great big dollops of melted ice cream?
And why do I feel so god damned moody and irritable? Is it my age? Should I blame it on hormones? Or do I need to just accept that I’m a right old moody cow!?!
Your DNA Has The Answers
Humans share 99.9% of the same DNA, which leaves just 0.1% of difference between one another. Crazy when you think about it! However, although that percentage may seem incredibly low, that 0.1% difference is what dictates such things as eye, hair and skin colour as well as a whole heap of other factors that make a huge impact on how you look, how you feel and how your body works. In fact your unique DNA is responsible for how you respond to certain types of dietary, exercise and lifestyle choices and if you could just get your hands on that info, then woah that’s some pretty powerful knowledge right!
VITL DNA health testing kits allow you just that. From just one simple at home cheek swab, you can get crucial insights into your unique genetic traits.
And guess what?
I’ve only gone and done a test myself so that you can see exactly what you get for your money – ‘cos well it’s good to know these things isn’t it!
Firstly, here’s what you’ll find out from your DNA test:
- Metabolic Rate – do you have a slow or fast metabolism?
- Caffeine – how fast does your body metabolise caffeine?
- Alcohol – are you sensitive to alcohol?
- Dietary Fat – does you body use it efficiently?
- Digestion – do you suffer with digestive problems, such as bloating or IBS?
- The Fat Gene – is this why you can’t lose weight?
- Fat v’s Muscle – do you struggle to gain muscle or lose weight easily?
- Vitamin D – are you getting enough?
- Vitamin B6 – what are your levels like?
- Vitamin B12 – is a low supply the reason for your lack of energy?
- Vitamin C – are you getting enough from your daily glass of orange juice?
- Iron – do you worry you’re not eating enough red meat?
- Folate – what are they, why do I need them, do I have enough?
- Omega 3 & 6 – how fast does your body metabolise these essential fatty acids?
That’s some comprehensive info right there and isn’t it just staggering that all of that can be found out from your spit!!!
So yeah the swab test… it does all feel a bit like an episode of Jeremy Kyle I’ll grant you, but just go with it and swab that sample stick round yer chops (obvs. follow the instructions properly). Send it off, wait for the results, then you’ll get an email asking you to fill out a short health questionnaire and verify your details. You can then log on and find exactly what’s going on and believe you me it is absolutely FASCINATING.
I’m not gonna bore you with every single teeny tiny detail of my results, ‘cos honestly why would you give a damn? But I will share some of the most interesting results and the actions I can take to ensure I’m being the healthiest, fittest version of me.
Can I Blame my DNA For Feeling Hungry All Of The Time?
I would give anything to have an excuse for my insatiable appetite trust me, so did my results give me the get out of jail free pass I so badly want…
Well yes and no as it happens, because according to my genetic code (that’s the MC4R gene for all you science geeks out there) I have what is considered to be a regular appetite (ha they should try living with me!) I’m unlikely to be an emotional eater, I’m less likely to binge eat and I’ve probably got a healthy BMI. However, my leptin receptor gene (LEPR) is a little bit slow on the uptake and unfortunately for me that’s the one that sorts out metabolic rate and snacking.
Ahhhhhh now we’re getting somewhere.
You see your metabolic rate is all about how quickly your body is able to release energy from the food you eat. The slower it is the harder it is to lose weight and you are more likely to store calories as fat instead of burning them up as energy. Based on my results, muggins here is more likely to have a slower metabolism.
And I can blame it on a hormone called leptin, as this particular hormone has the job of telling you when you’re full. If it’s not doing its job properly then yep you’ve guessed it, you just keep on eating.
It’s not all bad news though, because now I know this I can start doing something about it. Most importantly I need to think about what I’m eating and choose the foods that will help me feel fuller for longer. Things like: slow releasing carbs, such as oats (yes I can eat more flapjacks!!!), grains and sweet potatoes; nutrient dense protein sources, such as lean cuts of meat, tofu, nuts etc. and plenty of veggies – ‘cos well they’re good for EVERYTHING!
Thankfully I run three times a week and walk the kids to school everyday, so I’m managing to just about keep the BMI in check. But I have slacked off on the strength training recently, which according to my results will help boost metabolism, and I can feel my clothes starting to get tighter so I think it’s about time I got squatting again.
What Type Of Exercise Should I be Doing?
My exercise routine varies, but mainly it consists of running and walking with the odd bit of weights and strength training thrown in every now and again (when I can be bothered!) So you could say that I’m more active than most. But am I doing the right kind of exercises for my body and to get the results I would like to get?
Firstly I guess I need to ask myself the question ‘why do I work out?’ and I suppose the main reason is because I eat like a horse and something needs to balance out all that food! Then there’s also the fact I’d like to tone up a bit more, feel good about myself and it gives me a good old mental clear out too. According to my BMP2 (Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2) gene I am less likely to develop muscle in response to strength training and am therefore less likely to have reduced fat levels. This info actually really surprises me, because although I know I put on and store fat really easily, I also thought I was quite good at putting on muscle, especially on my arms and back as I’m always getting compliments about how muscular they look. I guess looks can be deceiving though, because sure they look good but my upper body strength isn’t particular good and press ups and the monkey bars are not my friend.
Now that I know this info I can start thinking about the ways in which I can shape my training programme so that it will hopefully then shape my body!
Humans are either equipped with slow or fast twitch muscle fibres and which set you have is determined by your genes. My gene suggests I have slow twitch muscle fibres and this means that although I can still build muscle if I do the right training and eat the right amount of calories, protein, and micronutrients, it will harder for me to gain that muscle than someone who has fast twitch muscle fibres.
Interestingly, people with slow-twitch muscle fibres are usually better at endurance activities (i.e. distance running) as they can sustain activity for longer. So apparently I’m better at long distance running… excuse me whilst I pass out in shock! Never in a million years would I have placed myself in this category so to discover this is mind blowing, and I know it all sounds a bit dramatic, but well its proper life changing stuff. I’ve always been a bit down on myself about not being good at those longer distances and I basically moaned my way round my first half marathon last year. But maybe I am better than I thought, maybe my body is fully capable of it after all and maybe I need to start believing in myself a whole heap more. I’m running the Disney Paris half marathon with a friend at the end of September and now that I know what I know I feel as if I’m going to approach it with a completely positive mindset. And that’s all down to finding out information about my DNA and genetic make up.
Can I Blame My Mood On My Genes?
I hold my hands up, I’m a moody so and so at times. But can I blame my genes for my mood swings or is that just a cop out?
The results from my DNA test show that I have low levels of vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron and folates all of which surprise surprise are related to energy levels and…mood.
And whilst yes my genes aren’t exactly helping, I should be able to assist these levels if I make a few tweaks to my diet and research what foods contain high levels of each of these nutrients. However, I’ll be honest I’m not so good at making sure I get everything I need in my food, call it laziness, lack of time, whatever… it’s not always top of my to do list. And if you’re the same then you’d be best off looking at taking daily supplements to help top up your diet. Within your DNA test results you will also receive a breakdown of the best supplements for you and they even have a personalised monthly supplement subscription plan to make life super simple.
To sum up, yep I’m a moody cow, but by the looks of things my genes have a lot to answer for… thanks mum 😉
Have I Got The Fat Gene?
Something I’m sure most of us would like to know… do I have the dreaded fat gene? Because god knows I’d love to blame it on something!
The gene in question is the FTO gene and I’ve got news for you… everybody has it.
However, how much it affects your weight depends entirely on which variant of the gene you have. The type I have puts me in the likely to have a moderately high risk of obesity category, but again it’s not just your genes that influence this. Basically if I sat around on my backside all day scoffing multipacks of doughnuts then yeah I’m more likely to turn into a ten tonne Tessie than someone who has a different variation of the gene. Thankfully I’ve already got the good sense to know that I need to keep active in order to help kick my slow and sluggish metabolism into gear and in order for me to still enjoy eating cakes and drinking Prosecco!
No one can blame the fat gene on their lifestyle choices. Yes if you got dealt a bad hand it’s going to make life a little harder for you, but if you know this information through taking a DNA test it helps equip you with the knowledge to do something about it. And really the rules are pretty much the same for everyone, regardless of your body make up – eat a balanced diet and keep active. It’s honestly that simple.
Please Tell Me I Can Still Drink Coffee and Alcohol?
You might as well shoot me now if I can’t have either of things, as whilst I am by no means a slave to either of them, I do bloody love them and I’d be gutted if I found out my body wasn’t too keen.
First up alcohol…
The genes ALDH2 & ADH1B determine how quickly alcohol is processed in the body and thank the lordy lord that I am unlikely to be sensitive to alcohol. Which on the one hand means I can’t blame my hangovers on my genetic make up, but does mean I am fine drinking in the manner that I am used to – RESULT!
Now onto caffeine.
I’ve suspected that I might be sensitive to caffeine for a while now as there can be times when I feel jittery if I’ve had one coffee too many. So I wasn’t overly surprised when my results came back saying that I have slow caffeine metabolism. What this means is that I should really only be having 2 or 3 cups a day tops and definitely not after 3pm, otherwise I’ll suffer the consequences!
The genes associated with caffeine metabolism are ADORA2A and DRD2 and not only do they control how quickly your process caffeine but also how much of a buzz you’ll get from it. My results tell me that I am likely to feel the effects of caffeine for longer and this would explain why I can sometimes feel twitchy, anxious and generally not good if I’ve had too much. It is something I am definitely going to monitor more closely now, because I really don’t like the racing heart and out of control feeling that too much caffeine gives me.
Of course it’s important to remember that coffee isn’t the only caffeine culprit – caffeine is also found in chocolate, tea and cola. And although it only takes around about 5 minutes for caffeine to be absorbed into the blood, it can remain present for up to 10 hours!
Another thing I must try and do is drink more water – I am so terrible at this and always harping on at my kids to drink more so I really do need to take a leaf out of my own book. Caffeine is a diuretic which basically means it makes you wee, and when you wee you naturally lose water; water that your need to replace. Drinking water will also help flush the caffeine out of your system quicker, so if you suspect you have overdosed a little then fill up that water bottle and get drinking.
As you can see, there is so much information that comes back from a DNA test and I’ve only touched on the elements that need improvements. There were also lots of other results that came back as perfectly healthy and need no action. The results are incredibly in depth and you can read as much or as little as you want of them. The report includes thorough scientific explanations if you want them, but they are also explained in simple layman’s terms with actionable advice to help you fully understand how your body works and what you can do to help it. I was truly fascinated by my results and feel as though I have come away with some really useful information, that I wouldn’t otherwise have known. A great product, efficient service, and something I would recommend everyone try out.
How Do You Fancy Getting Your Mitts On A VITL DNA Health and Nutrition Testing Kit?
VITL are currently selling these kits for HALF PRICE!
Plus you can another £10 off of this price if you quote my unique Discount Code – BECKYDNA at the checkout.
If you’re ready to get some answers to those niggly health questions head on over to https://bit.ly/2luSPkq and get ready to find out what you’re dealing with!
**Product and results were supplied by VITL for my review. All opinions are my own and reflect my experience of using this service.