picture of a DNA double helix in black and white color. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

If you’re familiar with the Set Point Theory, it’s likely due to the research you’ve conducted on your own body composition. This theory suggests that every person has a unique internal “thermostat” responsible for the regulation of our weight and fat-to-muscle ratio. While there is considerable evidence to support this theory, it’s equally important to understand the role that individual genetics plays in the body weight equation. 

Read this blog to learn more about the connections between body weight and genetics, and see how they can be optimized to benefit your health. For additional information about science-based weight loss approaches, please contact us at QuickHIT Fitness Labs in Green Bay today!

What Is The Set Point Theory?

The Set Point Theory is one primary factor of influence in determining one’s preferred weight range, but this scale can often differ from the body composition standards that your doctor recommends. If you’re struggling to maintain weight loss and desire a long-term effective solution to a healthier body size, understanding the role of DNA and environmental influences can help you determine the best course of action to losing weight and keeping it off for good. 

We’ve discussed the science of body weight ranges in previous blogs, so if you’re not clear on the subject after reading the introduction to this article, please see one of our other posts to take a closer look at the Set Point Theory

For the purposes of this blog, we’ll address the interconnectedness of body weight ranges, the Set Point Theory, and epigenetics. 

What Is Epigenetics? 

Simply put, epigenetics is the study of how genes can turn themselves “on” or “off” without mutating permanent DNA structures. 

Almost everyone has a general understanding of DNA, the protein structures in our cells’ nuclei that control the expression of our physical traits and that influence many internal processes. Epigenetics is derived from this same theory, but it goes a bit further as it studies ongoing changes in DNA structure due to modification of gene expression rather than mutations that occur within the genetic code (genome) itself. 

Traditional genetic studies look only at the existing material in an individual’s genome and the changes that occur on a structural level, whereas epigenetics considers the role that external factors and personal habits play in the way these seemingly static traits are physically and visually expressed. If DNA is focused on our body’s internal environment, epigenetics is concerned with the way that our actual environment influences physiological responses. 

The Set Point Theory, Body Weight Ranges, & Epigenetics

Since every individual has a unique range of preferred body composition standards, no two journeys to weight loss will look precisely the same. What is common across the board, however, is that the Set Point Theory can make maintaining weight loss especially difficult as the body tries to regain a state of equilibrium and comfortability. For this reason, a large percentage of overweight or obese individuals find themselves unable to stay in accordance with their doctor’s recommended guidelines for BMI, fat-to-muscle ratio, and ideal baseline weight. 

Here’s where epigenetics comes into play. Despite its name, the weight ranges established by the body’s Set Point Theory is not truly set in stone; rather, this spectrum can be manipulated and changed (for better or worse) based on the habits and environmental influences around us. This is because the stimuli received by our body — and by extension, our DNA — causes genes to assess the way that they are currently expressing (i.e. “showing”) their traits and to determine if these expressions are advantageous or detrimental to one’s well being. 

In other words, if the expression of a given “off” gene is deemed to be more effective for survival, reproduction, and ultimate evolutionary success, then this gene will be turned “on” and expressed in a manifest way, rather than a repressed or diminished manner. Although more is left to be discovered about the exact processes underlying epigenetics, there is considerable evidence to suggest that the Set Point Theory can be positively modified to accommodate an individual’s true weight range needs for optimal health. 

Using Genes To Your Advantage

So how can you adjust your lifestyle to not only lose weight, but also to keep the weight off? It starts with the habits you practice on a daily basis. While it goes without saying that a healthy exercise routine is important for overall wellness, not everyone is aware that this sort of physical activity regimen can also modify gene expression for the better. 

One of the best ways to sustain weight loss and maintain its effects for the long term is by getting involved with a regular exercise routine. Participating in resistance training is especially beneficial for epigenetic enhancement, as weight-bearing exercise has shown to increase lean body mass, speed up metabolism, support weight loss efforts, and reduce risk of osteoporosis by stimulating the production of healthy bone tissue. 

Turn The Right Genes “On”  To Keep The Weight Off

If you have struggled to maintain your weight loss despite your best efforts, and you believe that your set-point body weight may be a contributing factor, consider an alternative approach that incorporates natural epigenetic modification. Your jeans size might feel permanent at the moment, but once you realize that the very fabric of our DNA can be altered to suit our needs, you’ll be more motivated than ever to finally reach that goal weight and take charge of your life as the healthiest and best version of yourself.

Contact QuickHIT Fitness Labs in Green Bay today to learn more about our innovative machine-based method of exercise and see for yourself just how impactful your healthy habits can be, inside and out!