This One’s Not a Gimmick

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Tape measure squeezing scales to form waist
13 Dec 2016

They call me all the time!  We have a product I think you would like to market.  This mineral is “proven” to enhance weight loss.  Would you like to market this protein powder to your training clients?  We have a product that is just right for your business—it is a meal replacement and will help your weight loss clients succeed.  And then there are the potential clients who come in to talk about our weight loss programs.  They tell me about every gimmick and promotion you can think of in order to lose weight.  None of them really work.  Some are in place of real food and they cut calories but leave you hungry and deprived and often somewhat malnourished.  Some have a pronounced placebo effect where you end up eating less because you are taking some capsule.  But none of this really works for long term and sustained weight loss.  Some may even be causing damage to your health.  So when one of my staff dieticians told me about a new field within nutrition that she is studying called nutrigenomics, I was a little skeptical.  However, Chavi Kramer is a top-notch dietician with training and credentials that are excellent, so I decided to check out this field and the product if offers.

In this field, the concept is this; there are many genes which help determine the best method of weight loss for each of us.  One of the problems with standard diets is that they give everyone the same food plan.  Each person has tendencies, determined by genes that will help them lose weight better with more carbs, more protein, or more fats.  Some people have a greater desire for sweet products (a sweet tooth) while other have convinced themselves that they have excessive sugar cravings.  Some are lactose intolerant.  Until now, a good dietician would have to use a lot of trial and error to figure these things out and sometimes, we never get it entirely correct.  When we test genes, we already know how to formulate a basic food plan.  This allows the dietician and the client to be more focused from the beginning on the execution phase of the food and exercise plan. 

Those who want to lose weight can now take these genetic tests. Although the tests can be somewhat expensive, it is likely worth the expense because the test tells people how to make their diet compatible with their genes to achieve maximum weight loss.

A study presented at the 2010 meeting of the American Heart Association found women whose diets matched their genetic test results lost two to three times more weight than those whose diets were supposedly incompatible with their genes.  Those results sound promising, but some experts warn such tests are not yet ready for prime time. Scientists are only beginning to uncover the genes involved in obesity and weight loss. Although Dr. Lee Kaplan, director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Weight Center in Boston, indicates we are still not one hundred percent able to analyze all this information, he still points out, “There’s no question there are genetic predispositions to obesity,” Kaplan said.

In the MyBio genetic test that I am now using, 38 different genes are analyzed looking for 120 different factors.  Among the things we are looking for are factors that influence weight loss; alcohol, lactose and caffeine metabolisms, and factors that affect addiction and aging.

The test is very simple as the client simply gives us a saliva sample.  The test is then sent on to Europe for testing.  When we receive the emailed results, we forward them to you.  But it is best to set up an hour session with Chavi Kramer in order to best understand the results.  After the results are understood, we will be in a better position to help you achieve both weight loss and fitness in the most efficient way possible. 

Even with this testing, good habits have to be put into practice.  Taking the test won’t lead to weight loss unless the results are put into a program and then executed.  It means using the results to create an eating program that is still portion controlled.  One can’t eat as much they want and lose weight even on food better tolerated by the body.  Many of the basic rules will always apply like eating a minimum of processed foods, eating at the proper intervals (starting with breakfast), hydrating properly and not eating very late at night.  Exercise and activity will always be essential to overall health in addition to losing weight.  Remember that exercise not only helps you lose weight because of some calorie burn, but it does help you metabolize certain foods better, and is extremely important in keeping your overall metabolism at a faster rate.

All of us fully understand how difficult real weight loss is.  After all, we all know how many people spend too much time, effort and definitely money on methods proven to fail. With the 97% failure rate that they have, I have always questioned why so many engage in a practice so doomed to failure. 

This test is not the magic pill or some panacea to solve the overweight and obesity crises we find ourselves in.  It still takes hard work and it is still helpful to have the assistance of nutrition and exercise professionals, at least when getting started.  But now we hopefully have taken some of the guesswork out of the weight loss equation and as this science develops more and more, we might get even smarter in understanding what helps each individual lose weight efficiently and permanently.  Genetic testing for a weight loss program is another way to “add hours to your day, days to your year, and years to your life.” 


Alan Freishtat is an A.C.E. CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER and a BEHAVIORAL CHANGE and WELLNESS COACH with over 19 years of professional experience. Alan is the creator and director of the “10 Weeks to Health” program for weight loss. He is available for private coaching sessions, consultations, assessments and personalized workout programs both in his office and by telephone and skype. Alan also lectures and gives seminars and workshops. He can be reached at 02-651-8502 or 050-555-7175, or by email at Check out the his web site – US Line: 516-568-5027.

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.