Do you tend to “graze” or “snack” all day long? Or do you know someone else who has this tendency? Do you feel guilty about it or somehow think it is because you can’t control yourself? Have you ever wondered if it’s emotional eating?
This is not a matter of willpower, and it might not be emotional eating either. It is definitely not your fault and it could be in your genes.
What!? How can that be? Seriously?
Yes! It’s true. There is a gene variant that increases your likelihood of snacking. But don’t worry, there is also a solution. Read on…
The Science Behind Snacking
Melanocortins are appetite-regulating hormones and certain genetic variants in the melanocortin receptor 4 gene (MC4R) are associated with an increased tendency towards snacking.
The MC4R gene codes for a protein called melanocortin 4 receptor, which is mainly found in the hypothalamus of the brain, an area responsible for controlling appetite and satiety. This area of the brain is considered to host most of the energy-intake-regulation and disruption is linked to increased appetite and reduced energy expenditures. This is not a good combination for weight management.
Individuals with an elevated propensity of this genetic marker repeatedly crave snacking. And this behaviour has also been associated with an increased BMI. As such, weight loss strategies need to include hacks for the snack habit.
Recommendations for Snackers
If you learn that this is you (you can find out below how), don’t worry! There are strategies that will work for you.
What do I suggest? In this case, it is very important to turn to healthy snacks, as snacking behaviour is not likely to be completely eliminated due to this genetic variation.
Snacks that I love include veggies with hummus, seaweed snacks, unsweetened coconut yogurt with berries, or a handful of nuts. Even a little distraction with herbal teas, decaf coffee or Dandy Blend with unsweetened almond milk can be very helpful.
Are you interested in more strategies that you can use to elevate your health based on your genes? I conduct a full health and wellness profile based on your genes with a lab that uses the most accurate and modern technology available. Your DNA sample is destroyed after analysis and is never sold to a third party. And only the markers that can be influenced by your actions are measured. Some of the measurements I focus on include:
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Macronutrients and fitness strategies for weight management
- Heart Health
- Skin health
- Cannabis response
If you are interested in learning more about this type of testing and how it can improve your health outcomes, please book a free session with me here.
Certain genetic variants can tell you a lot about your predispositions and give you the insight on which diet and lifestyle strategies will work best for you. This method of personalizing your plan results in greater rates of success towards your health goals. I have found it to be a game-changer in creating the right focus for my own health and that of my clients!
The predisposition to snacking is just one of many markers that can be measured in your genes. And please note, I only test for markers that we can actually do something about. In other words, the expression of the markers I investigate can all be influenced by your behaviour or remedied by specific strategies.