How Do Some People Never Gain Weight?


| 9 Comments
Have you ever been walking downtown or around campus and saw someone who seems to have the perfect body. No fat, just toned muscles. If you see someone like this and say you aren't at least the tiniest bit jealous of them then you're probably lying. We all strive for our definition of "the perfect body" and whether we achieve that by exercising, eating healthy, or doing both depends on that person. However, have you ever met someone who has the perfect body and just eats and eats without exercising regularly? If you have met someone like that, it's safe to say you you despise them a little bit. Not in a malicious way, just simply hating them for the fact that they were blessed with a perfect body. So, why and how did some people get so lucky? 

As some of you could have guessed, your genes play a very large role in your average weight. According to Professor Michael Cowley who works at a university in Australia, 60 to 70 percent of our weight is based from our genes. If you ask me, that's a pretty significant number. Although a majority of the types of genes that are involved in weight are still unknown to scientists, it is thought that this problem goes way back to our ancestors. In the past, there haven't been problems with too much food. As our society continues to advance and more and more food is easier to access, our genes haven't had time to catch up. So basically, our genes are still used to having less food and trying to store energy, while our body continues to consume what is considered a normal amount of food in today's world. Professor Cowley also talks about high kilojoule foods. Kilojoule's are just a way of measuring how much energy food has in it. As our society continues to evolve, we are being exposed to more and more of these foods which is good, but some people aren't as lucky and still have genes that aren't evolving as fast. 

According to another article, something known as set point plays a big factor. Our bodies naturally have a metabolic rate, which is how many calories it takes to do everyday activities. Logically, if you eat more calories than you're body needs, that rate will go up so our bodies can try to maintain an average weight. If you're one of those people I mentioned above that just doesn't seem to ever gain weight, then your body burns off those extra calories when you eat more than you need. This article also goes into talking more about genes playing a factor.

So there is definitely some evidence that weight gain isn't 100% in your control, yet eating right and exercising regularly is still important. Do you ever think genes won't play a factor in weight? If they stop playing a factor, how do you think that would happen? Can you think of any other reasons as to why some people seem to never gain weight? 
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Photo courtesy of livestrong.com

9 Comments

Although my sister and I have the same parents, our metabolisms are totally different. If we eat the same amount of calories in a day, I am bound to gain wait whereas she will stay the same. Its a curse, really, but she is blessed with my moms side of the families genes. I have my dads, where I have to be careful of how much I consume daily. I found this article pretty interesting. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130718142807.htm
It is about a certain gene linked to obesity, even when consuming a set amount of food. It could just be your body's way of breaking down food not solely how much you're eating.

Obesity is a very big issue in society today, particularly in the United States. The debate on a person's genes having different affects on obesity is very interesting because it may help us understand more factors that cause obesity. A team of researchers at UCLA recently did a study on mice and how different diets can have different affects on the DNA. In the study, the mice were first fed a healthy diet for the first eight weeks of their lives. After the first eight weeks, the mice were then fed a diet that was high in fat and high in sugar. The researcher concluded that the switch in the diets had a strong relationship to the heredity make of the mice. Additionally, the researchers used inbred mice which allowed them to examine their genes more thoroughly. With all of that being said, one can still not point a finger on what actually causes obesity because there are so many different factors that play into weight gain. Where you live, what you eat, how much you exercise, etc. are a few of the many things that contribute to weight gain. In reality, genes may contribute to your ability/inability to gain weight, but there are many other things that people can change in order to control their weight. For more on the study got to http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/genes-and-obesity-fast-food-isn-242332.aspx.

I think because our society focuses so much on body image, many people forget that genes have a lot to do with our metabolisms and ultimately losing weight. Like you said, a lot of it is in our control - what we eat, how much we exercise, etc. - but it's important that people understand the details behind our metabolisms. For example, I know I have a fast metabolism, so I would have to keep that in mind if I was trying to lose weight; over exercising and under eating is very dangerous! Here's an article from Oprah.com revealing "Ten Truths About Metabolism" : http://www.oprah.com/omagazine/Ten-Truths-About-Metabolism_1/1

I loved how you ended your article with questions- it really involves the audience. I agree with what you had to say in regards to weight being controlled mainly by genes. I have one friend whose waist is OUT OF THIS WORLD skinny and yet she eats like crazy! So now that I have an explanation, maybe I'll loathe her less haha. I've also heard of one situation where a girl was born simply unable to gain weight. Her body had little to no fat and appeared almost skeletal. I figured this would intrigue you considering it has much to do with your topic! Here is the article...

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/texas-woman-gain-weight-bullied/story?id=17228529

I found this post very interesting because I have very good genes in my family. My family is one that can really eat and yet we are all still thin. Many of my friends complain that it is not fair to eat whatever and not gain weight. I always thought my metabolism was just very fast which is the reason why I do not have to watch what I eat. There is a study being done which has thin people taking in almost double the normal amount of calories in a 24 hour period. After researchers plan on figuring out how many calories were burned based off their body fat that was measured before consuming the food. They are hoping that this study will show how each person reacts differently and if food choices actually matter. If you want to find out more about the study here is the link.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/jul/17/food-metabolism-calories-obesity-diet

Although genes play a humongous part in our body weight, the destiny of your body type is in your own hands. If someone is very dedicated to working out and eating healthy, they may accomplish the body type they desire regardless of what they are supposed to look like. That being said, it applies to extreme cases. Most of the time, people can simply live their lives in hopes they are doing their best. Someone once told me, people are built the way they are built, there's not much you can do about it but embrace it. Surely, there are people out there that are "skinny fat", as you mentioned, visually slender and fit, but on the inside, their organs and muscles are not active or thriving on the right foods. In my opinion, it is much more satisfying to take care of yourself than cross your fingers and hope that you have the right body type. Here's something else I found interesting in terms of body types: http://teemajor.com/teemajorsblog/3-male-female-body-types-explained

I'm pretty sure everyone can relate to your opening paragraph. There's always those people who are sticks and they will eat more than anyone else around. I really liked how you included that it is important to exercise and eat healthy regularly. I don't think people who don't gain that weight realize that they're still not "healthy", they're just thin. Here's an article on why even if someone has a fast metabolism, they're still hurting themselves if they're getting less exercise because they don't think it's necessary.

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/vitamins-minerals/5-reasons-why-thin-people-have-to-exercise-too.html#b

I am glad to know I'm not alone in the category of genes having an impact on your ability to gain weight. I have always been able to eat whatever I want and not have to worry because of my fast metabolism due to my moms side of the family. I used to think it was a good thing until I realized how hard it is for me to gain weight. Many of my friends are the same height as me and we all have different body types, all similar to our family. It's frustrating to see others seem to have it easy but I've also seen people change their body immensely due to hard work so that shows while it may take a lot more work, anything can be done. I'm trying different things to help and this has helped me extend this reseach and find an article giving some of the reasoning behind why some people can eat anything and not gain weight.

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/why-can-some-people-eat-anything-they-want-and-never-gain-a-pound/#axzz2iEAGbV6D

I am glad to know I'm not alone in the category of genes having an impact on your ability to gain weight. I have always been able to eat whatever I want and not have to worry because of my fast metabolism due to my moms side of the family. I used to think it was a good thing until I realized how hard it is for me to gain weight. Many of my friends are the same height as me and we all have different body types, all similar to our family. It's frustrating to see others seem to have it easy but I've also seen people change their body immensely due to hard work so that shows while it may take a lot more work, anything can be done. I'm trying different things to help and this has helped me extend this reseach and find an article giving some of the reasoning behind why some people can eat anything and not gain weight.

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/why-can-some-people-eat-anything-they-want-and-never-gain-a-pound/#axzz2iEAGbV6D

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