Is Body Weight Genetically Predetermined?


Achieving weight loss is simple. You might say well, “I don’t agree, I have tried almost every diet method out there and I’m still overweight – what are you talking about?” I said it was simple, I didn’t say it was easy. Although many people can lose weight by dieting, very few can keep it off.

Most people that have been unsuccessful with dieting give up out of frustration. They begin to believe that they were destined to be overweight. They think that their weight condition is a product of their genes – they were born that way, and nothing can be done to change it. This is not true. Well it’s partly true. According to studies only 25% – 33% of our weight has been genetically predetermined; (1) the rest is a product of our lifestyle. That’s right, lifestyle.

Your body’s fat content is made up of the total number of fat cells and the size of these cells. A person of average size has between 30 – 35 billion fat cells. The number of fat cells grows from birth to adulthood. At a point between adolescence and adulthood the number of cells stops increasing. From that point on you are stuck with that same number of cells. But you can control the amount of fat stored in those cells. The bottom line is this: Eating more calories than you burn increases the size of your fat cells. It’s that simple.

One reason why some people have more body fat than others is they have a higher number of fat cells. That doesn’t mean however that they are destined to be fat. Remember the majority of body weight is a product of lifestyle. These people have to do a little more work to achieve and maintain weight loss.

Have you ever noticed certain famous professional athletes or Olympic gold medalists ten to twenty years after retirement? Some look like they haven’t aged a bit while others are difficult to recognize because of the weight they have put on. The point is that these athletes have let themselves go. They stopped doing what they were doing when they were fit, lean and muscular. They began living excessive lifestyles and acquired poor habits. They strayed from their plan.

Benjamin Franklin said that to be a successful in life you need a goal. Then you have to create a plan of action to reach that goal. And finally, you need enough determination and persistence to overcome obstacles and setbacks on the journey towards your goal. This advice is timeless and also holds true for weight loss. You can do it. Many others like just like you have done it and are doing it. Good luck in your success.

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