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I had my genes tested for weight loss.


When I heard that Sarasota's ARCPoint Labs now offers GxSlim, a test that analyzes how certain genes affect your ability to lose weight, I was all for it.

The test itself took all of 10 seconds. A technician at the ARCPoint office on Fruitville Road performed a simple cheek swab. I waited about two weeks to get the results. And I started to worry. How would I respond to this information? What if the results were discouraging? Was I going to have to obsess over every bite of food or step of exercise, frustrated that I could never achieve my ideal weight?

The results, which can be accessed via an interactive website, add up to about 50 pages dense with scientific data, with each gene labeled by its name, basic function and "rating." In just a moment's scan of my report summary, I saw it: Regarding genes DRB2 and LPL, "Fat loss response to cardio: low." A little voice inside my head screamed, "So basically you're saying I shouldn't even bother with exercise?"

So for me, arguably the most important part of this process was the counseling session with a reassuring health expert who guided me through each result and explained how I can work with my genes to customize weight loss. For instance, my "low" response to cardio means I should focus on longer, lower-intensity workouts--which means I now beat myself up less when I have a slow jogging day, and I take more joy in long walks.

Other genes indicated I have "slightly enhanced" protein utilization and a tendency for low levels of vitamins B6 and B12, both important in weight loss. Overall, my "weight loss ability with diet and exercise" was rated "below average." But the counselor assured me that this just meant losing weight will take a little more time, which had the effect of adjusting my expectations. Now I don't look for instantaneous weight loss. I know I have to be patient, and I know it's not my fault--it's my genes.

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Title Annotation:HEALTH QUEST
Author:Wallace, Hannah
Publication:Sarasota Magazine
Date:Jun 1, 2016
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