Genetics is the answer to many questions about how a body looks and functions. Understanding your body’s genetic predisposition gives great insight into how to work with your body to reach your desired goals.
Have you heard people discuss their ability to lose or hold body fat based on their metabolism? This boils down to how their genetics respond to diet and exercise in terms of burning fat.
Your metabolism is made up of the chemical reactions that occur in the body when food is used to fuel daily bodily functions. From breathing to walking, the human body has a certain energy requirement, which is individual to each person. To understand metabolism and how it works, you can look at it from a genetic perspective.
Each person’s predisposition, or how their genes are inclined to act, tells a story about what the body is likely to do. For example, if your genes say you have a predisposition to having a below-average metabolism, it just means your resting metabolic rate (RMR) is lower than a person with a normal or above-average metabolism.
Resting metabolic rate (RMR) makes up 70% of daily calorie burn for people with a sedentary lifestyle. RMR is dependent on gender, body composition, size and age. You can influence your resting metabolic rate with nutrition and exercise. If you can manipulate how many calories are burned at rest per day, your body’s overall calorie consumption will determine how quickly body fat can be utilized for energy, resulting in more efficient weight loss.
First, it’s important to know an individual’s RMR. The most accurate way to get that number is to have it tested in a lab. If testing isn’t available, it’s possible to estimate that number using your basal metabolic rate information, or BMR. Tools like an InBody scan can give a great estimate for BMR, or you can find equations online to calculate it manually.
Why is your BMR important? It gives the base for how many calories your body burns at rest. This will help determine how many calories to eat based on what’s necessary to sustain your body in its current state. Based on your activity level, less or more calories will be burned each day. From there, you can work with your body to increase the calorie burn at rest to increase your overall daily calorie consumption.
How do we influence our genetic predisposition for metabolic rate?
Understanding the correlation between genetics and metabolism gives great insight into how to use body fat for fuel, increase resting metabolic rate and fuel the body for the greatest metabolic output. Depending on your predisposition, taking steps to increase your RMR will help sustain a leaner, healthier physique over time.
Do you know what your genes say about you and your metabolism?
About the Author
Coach Kati Epps is the founder of MyBody GX with a background in chemistry from Colorado State University, an ACE-certified personal trainer, health coach and nutrition specialist.