Let’s face it, we’ve all been there. Trying to get bikini body ready for Summer, losing a few kg’s to fit into that dress and overall just wanting to look and feel good for you! So you put yourself on a diet, tell yourself no more chocolate, no more junk food and start exercisng – though most of the time it doesn’t work – even when it does you eventually put on the weight you lost.
Yo-yo dieting as it’s called is really harmful to our health, but sometimes when it feels like nothing is working it’s what we turn to. International No Diet Day aims to raise awareness of the dangers of yo-you dieting. To help us better understand this and create smarter and healthier ways of losing unwanted weight, we had a chat to Adelaide Nutritionist Jan Marie and co-founder of myDNA Dr Lior Rauchberger on how DNA can help determine the best regime for every individual.
Nutritionist Jan Macfarlane / Nutrition with Jan Marie
Jan, what exactly are the health risks involved with yo-yo dieting?
Yo-yo dieting can cause several concerns, metabolic and cardiovascular risk factors, as blood sugars and lipids can be affected through the phases of possible binge eating or eating poorly. Microbiome is also affected from poor eating and is now understood to be an integral player in our health. Times of extreme restriction can also pose a concern and lead to possible deficiencies. Negative psychological impacts of yo-yo dieting are also far from healthy, a healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body.
What is the best way to maintain a healthy lifestyle?
The healthiest approach really is to adapt a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle that works for the individual. Making it a way of life, sustainable and enjoyable. The best form of meal planning takes a few key aspects to consider and differs from person to person, family needs, budget, lifestyle/cooking skills, free time, dislikes and likes.
Are there any specific foods that will work for the average person?
Yes! A general average to aim for is a predominately plant based intake: vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, good quality cold pressed oils, small amounts of fresh quality proteins (animal proteins should ideally be organic, grass fed, fish from clean sustainable sources and low mercury options) and diversify diversify diversify! We tend to get a little stuck on our same old same olds and be creatures of habit, restricting or overall nutrient profile. Pre planning the week ahead and online grocery delivery is a great strategy for busy people and families. Have it delivered on a weekend so you can pre wash fruit, pre chop your vegetables and salad items to help save time during the working week.
What about exercise?
Daily movement for at least 30-60minutes a day is most ideal for health. Any form of movement is going to be better then none, but getting your heart rate up and building a sweat is best. Strengthening muscles is also important for spinal and bone health along with giving us great metabolic advantages. Have limited time or can’t afford a class or gym, no problem – chuck some music on and dance (jump) around the house till you are panting and sweaty (this is my personal favourite). Do some strength exercises like lunges, while waiting for dinner to cook in the kitchen or squats in front of your favourite show.
To find out exactly what your body needs and requires, myDNA is a simple swap test using genetics to inform individuals of the best kind of food and exercise required for them specifically! For more on this, we spoke to co-founder and Dr Lior Rauchberger.
How does the DNA Swab work?
The test only requires a small sample of your DNA, which is collected by brushing the inside of your cheek a few times with the testing kit. Once the test is returned to the laboratory via the reply-paid envelope, the scientists analyse the DNA and compile an easy to understand report. The report provides a set of actionable recommendations for diet and exercise based on the person’s unique genetic code
How does the test distinguish the different way each individual should eat/exercise?
Depending on the unique genetic results, different recommendations can be made. For example, those who have one variant of the FTO (otherwise known as the ‘fat gene’), won’t feel full after eating and studies have shown that they will lose more weight on a diet higher in protein. The analysis of DNA, combined with peer reviewed studies on gene variants give the ability to make recommendations on diet and exercise.
Why do different people (an average person) require different methods of eating & working out?
When it comes to exercise, having an understanding of your genes is important. If your genetics put you at more risk of an injury or give you a slower recovery, then it is recommended to stretch more than others and to plan your recovery days accordingly. Other people may have a predisposition to power types of exercises, while others may be more suited to endurance. Having an understanding of your DNA means that you can implement a training routine that will help you achieve your goals more quickly and efficiently.
Where can you get this test taken?
The test can either be done at a pharmacy or at home, by ordering a testing kit online. Testing kits purchased online come with a reply-paid envelope, so they can be sent back to the laboratory for analysis. In South Australia, the testing kits are available from National Pharmacies. You can order online or find your closest pharmacy here.