Why Diets Don’t Work: Finding the Right Food Plan For Your Genes

By on February 1, 2015
Your genes

You are what you eat—literally. The food choices you make every day either feed your body with amino acids, vitamins, and minerals or deplete it with toxins, excess sugars and hard-to-process fats. The science of nutrigenomics—the study of how foods can affect the way your genes are expressed—looks closely at this major influencer on our DNA for health and vitality.

But how do you know what foods will help you balance your body and feel your best? Most diets simply don’t work—or if they do, their results rarely last. So what’s the solution when you’re ready to shed those extra pounds, especially in the most troublesome areas of your body?

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Get personal. Understand that you are unique and that your body has its own specific profile with needs that are different to everyone else. Beyond body, blood, and genotypes, you need to make food choices that will naturally help shift your own metabolism into high gear. And this can only be determined when you gain insight into your own body’s biochemical and physiological balances. So what’s a chronic dieter to do?

1. Stop Fad Dieting!

Begin by ditching the concept that a fad diet is going to work. For example, the low-carb diet can actually lead to low levels of serotonin in some people (read: depression), and it turns out the famously beloved Mediterranean diet study was mistakenly conducted during Lent when everyone on the Greek island being studied had given up meat and dairy. Oops!

Instead of fad dieting, experiment with eating more of the foods that energize you on a cellular level, and stop binging on processed foods that drain your energy. Your body (and your genes) will thank you.

2. Know Your Environment.

Nutritional needs change according to your environment. A diet ideal for someone living near the Pacific Ocean may not be right for the hustle of New York City. Factors like heat, humidity, and light can affect your metabolism and nutrient requirements.

If you spend most of your day walking in a big city, you may need to refuel with nourishing, detoxifying foods that are high in B vitamins like many grains, meats, and vegetables. Conversely, if you’re more sedentary, you may want to eat foods with a lower glycemic index such as most vegetables or many nuts and legumes.

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3. Eat with the Seasons

Your body and metabolism take time to adjust to the changing seasons each year—and often need a little help.

Eat warming foods like soups and spicy dishes in the colder months, and cooling foods like watermelon, cucumber, and salads in the hotter months. This can help to balance your blood, metabolism and help your genes express in the right way!

It’s time to find a diet that works for you, not for your best friend, your neighbor, or even your sister. Understanding the foods that will naturally support balance and weight loss can transform not just the way you look, but the way you feel. So the next time you have an inclination to diet, consider digging a bit deeper than the most popular food fad du jour.

Because when you’re eating right for your unique physiological needs you’re eating to optimize your genes, which results in more energy to reach the goals that mean the most to you. So remember, the diet that will work is the one designed just for you.

Matt Riemann is an author, educator and leading expert in the field of personalized health. He trains doctors, health practitioners and fitness experts around the world. Along with an international team of scientists, researchers, and physicians, Matt developed ph360, the world’s first personal health tool based on scientific calculations of gene expression. Matt believes that, given the right tools for its assessment, the human body will provide all the information necessary for its optimal care and well being.


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Why Diets Don’t Work: Finding the Right Food Plan For Your Genes