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To think it's possible that being overweight could be genetic?

(109 Posts)
hooliodancer Tue 19-Sep-17 16:45:20

In the last few years I have started to look more and more like my late mum, to the point that I now look in the mirror and see her in my clothes, which is a bit disconcerting.

My body shape has changed radically since perimenopause started. I am now exactly the same shape and size as she was at my age.

The thing is, I exercise like a bastard (4 or 5 times a week), do Pilates, eat healthily 90% of the time, walk when I can. She ate quite badly (1970's diet if you see what I mean plus loads of chocolate bars) drove everywhere and went to one exercise class in her life (keep fit at the village hall in 1977 .She hated it.)

But at the same age we look exactly the same despite totally different lifestyles.

I have struggled with my weight (as she did) all my life. At key weight putting on times (puberty, giving up smoking , now menopause) my body seems to grab all the weight it can!

It makes me want to give up this constant struggle and just accept what I look like now. Despite all the exercise and the seeds and nuts and avocados I'm still a short fat person.

It feels like my body WANTS to be a size 14. I was size 10 until 4 years ago and I haven't changed what I eat or my exercise regime.

Is it all down to genetics?

Bloodybridget Tue 19-Sep-17 16:46:52

Well, if so, the genetic makeup of a vast percentage of the population has changed in the last 30 years . . .

oddexperience Tue 19-Sep-17 16:49:59

I think genetics definantly plus a role (your genetics could make you feel hungry differently) but ultimately it's the amount of calories in vs the amount of calories out. If you are the same as you did when you were younger an excersised the same you may not change so much? Seed, nuts and avocados are very fatty foods. Maybe switch out some of them with leafy greens? I'm sure there's science out there which looks at causes?

Gorgosparta Tue 19-Sep-17 16:51:31

Unless you have an under lying health related reason. No its not.

It may be that some of us find it easier to out on weight. Thay could be genetics. But even then its often not. Dhs family are slim. They say its genetics. But its not. They all eat healthy 95% of the time.even when they cake etc its small amounts. Buts their eating habits. They eat egat they want. But what they want to eat is a lot less then me and healthier.

There will be a reason you have put on weight. Usually because we are eating more than we think we are calorie wise.

BeautyQueenFromMars Tue 19-Sep-17 16:54:09

Yes, genetics absolutely do play a part. How do you explain slim people who eat crap, don't exercise and stay slim otherwise? And fat people who eat healthily, exercise regularly and stay/get fat?
My Mum's side of the family is prone to fatness. My Dad's side is prone to slenderness. Both sides love food and eat well. It isn't always about calories in vs calories burnt.

NeonFlower Tue 19-Sep-17 16:56:32

I keep pointing out to my dsis that she, me and my brother all have basically the same BMI and body shape, despite having completely different lifestyles. My DM has the same basic shape, but is the best dieter among us, so over the years has gained weight as a direct result.

Her parents had a different shape though.

SonicBoomBoom Tue 19-Sep-17 16:58:06

No, I think that genetics can determine where you carry the excess fat on your body, hence why people have similar shapes to their parents or siblings sometimes.

Portion sizes these days are much bigger than in our parents' days.

Gromance02 Tue 19-Sep-17 16:58:20

How do you explain slim people who eat crap, don't exercise and stay slim otherwise? And fat people who eat healthily, exercise regularly and stay/get fat? I think this is very rare. If you look at what people actually eat and how much exercise they actually do, you will see why people are the size they are.

vivaVasLagas Tue 19-Sep-17 16:58:29

"It isn't always about calories in vs calories burnt."

Of course people's metabolisms are different but you know what sized people always complain about this?

PollyFlint Tue 19-Sep-17 17:00:29

Yes, there are certainly genetic factors that affect the rate at which people lose or gain weight.

None of them, however, mean it's not possible for you to lose weight. Some people just have to work harder at it than others, but they are still capable of losing weight.

By the way, "nuts and seeds and avocados", while packed with vitamins, are also very high in calories. They are nutritious, but you won't lose weight by eating them regularly. A small handful of nuts is about 175 calories ... about the same as a Crunchie bar.

YodellingMama Tue 19-Sep-17 17:01:00

How do you explain slim people who eat crap, don't exercise and stay slim otherwise?

Portion size. My best friend lives off KFC and dairy milk. She is tiny. But she eats according to her appetite. She can leave half a burger when she's full, no bother.

Overweight people (I speak from experience) tend to have a poor gauge on their own appetite and eat for reasons other than hunger.

I only lost the weight and kept it off once I got a handle on this.

sporadicrains Tue 19-Sep-17 17:01:31

Apparently you are either an ectomorph, mesomorph or endomorph skeletal/muscular shape, which will affect what you look like - and that is probably going to be inherited.

rubybleu Tue 19-Sep-17 17:03:54

The thing is though, skinny people who eat crap tend to still eat less calories. They have a lower "full" signal so whilst they maintain they're "stuffed", they get full earlier.

Myself, my sister and an old flatmate would claim at various times "oh I eat crap, I'm just skinny" (and I mean skinny - BMIs of 18 ish) but getting married and getting accidentally used to bigger portions has put paid to my theory for myself. My sister has gone on anxiety/depression medication that has increased her appetite & her weight. My old slightly disordered flatmate who used to exist on chocolate bars has also gained some weight after her life calmed down & she married.

I took up fasting once my BMI cracked 20 and it has reset my hunger signals.

I really think there's a genetic component to weight. My other sister has been fat her whole life and as a kid had a noticeably bigger appetite than us. She turned out to have PCOS as an adult & once she got that under control she slimmed down to a BMI of 25 ish.

BarbieGirl84 Tue 19-Sep-17 17:04:59

I think a small amount is, but mostly it's lifestyle.

Portion size and not moving much

formerbabe Tue 19-Sep-17 17:05:06

Most of the women in my family are overweight. I am overweight. The only time my bmi was in the normal range was when I was in my early twenties and ate one meal a day and exercised like a demon. I was always hungry. Even on one meal a day, I was a normal weight and curvy rather than skinny.

PollyFlint Tue 19-Sep-17 17:07:04

"It isn't always about calories in vs calories burnt."

Except it is. Even if you have a slow metabolism, it is absolutely still about calories in vs calories burnt. I speak as someone who is currently overweight.

If you burn calories at a slower rate than the next person, you need to eat fewer calories than they do and be more active than they are, but you still need to create the same calorie deficit. It's the same equation with different numbers, that's all.

MargaretCavendish Tue 19-Sep-17 17:07:21

I think your appetite, and to a lesser extent metabolism, are in part products of both how you were fed as a child and of your genetics,. Where you carry weight is absolutely genetic. I started getting a tummy when I put on weight in my late 20s - previously it had all gone straight to my bum and thighs and I'd kept a small waist even as I got bigger. Semi-interestingly, all the women in my mum's family have had this shift in their shapes (all complete pears who turned into apples) and everyone else assumed it was a change post-pregnancy - turns out as the only one not to have children by 28 it happened to me, too! Anyway, what I've noticed is it makes me look like my mum even though we're actually very different heights and weights.

BarbieGirl84 Tue 19-Sep-17 17:07:41

I think it's because larger people underestimate how much slimmer people move

YodellingMama Tue 19-Sep-17 17:11:10

People also massively overestimate how much exercise is crucial to weight loss. Health, yes. Weight loss no.

I lost 4 stone without doing a single jot of exercise and none of the consistently slim people I know do any either.

BarbieGirl84 Tue 19-Sep-17 17:12:17

I dont do formal exercise, but I cant keep still. I struggle to sit through a tv show without moving around

OllyBJolly Tue 19-Sep-17 17:12:32

1970's diet

So no snacking, less sugar, no takeaways and a strict three meals a day? Seriously - look at a group photo of 70s adults and a group photo of adults today. Today's will depict the majority of people being overweight.

Body shape will be inherited (DD1 is the same shape as my exMIL) but you have a lot of control over your size.

Out2pasture Tue 19-Sep-17 17:20:06

I believe there is more to obesity and weight gain. That in X many years researchers will find the real issue and future generations will laugh at our current simplistic view.

guilty100 Tue 19-Sep-17 17:23:38

I am overweight, but I don't think it's genetics. I think we have become accustomed to eating far more calories than we actually need. The amounts that you have to eat to lose significant amounts of weight (2lbs a week) are tiny.

CardsforKittens Tue 19-Sep-17 17:28:02

I'm probably not the best example, because most of my weight gain of several stone was caused by medication, but I lost (most of) it through exercise. Improving my diet never seemed to make much difference. I'm quite curious about how different hormones affect things like weight gain and body shape, e.g. different levels of estrogen at different life stages; thyroid function, insulin resistance, cortisol levels etc. Some of those things might be genetic and they're all been associated with weight gain and other health issues.

MoosicalDaisy Tue 19-Sep-17 17:28:34

PP's have said it's not down to genetics at all, sorry but it is in part! I would be an acceptable weight if I didn't have huge boobs and flipping cankles!

OP try different foods - some people lose weight if they include pasta/bread in their diet. Don't eat the same amount of calories each day else your body will come to expect it and hang onto that fat.

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