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Why Do Some People Never Get Fat?

July 19, 2017 / Weight Loss
Why Do Some People Never Get Fat?

When we look at research related to weight loss and weight gain it’s clear that there is a very high intra-individual variability both with gaining and loss body fat. One reason for that variance is different genetics.

If we look at one of the most fascinating studies back from 1990 by Dr. Claude Bouchard http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/… we can see to which extent genetics can play a role.

In the study they took 12 pair of identical twins. The participants were male with average age of 21.

First off they determined how many calories each person needed to eat to maintain weight. The researchers overfed each person by 1000 kcal / day for 84 days.

Every participant in the study gained fat but what are fascinating are the large differences between the pairs of twins. Within the pairs there wasn’t much difference.

But between the pairs the weight gain ranged from 9 pounds (4.3 kg) to 29 pounds (13 kg) despite the fact that all subjects were gives the same calorie surplus. Some pairs were just able to effortlessly “burn off” the excess calories.

Not only did pairs differ in weight gain but also in the distribution of body fat gained. This marker also was quite similar between the twins.

If one twin gained 15 lbs around the midsection, the other usually gained about the same amount of weight in the same place. However, between the pairs again there were big differences.

What we can draw from this study is that genetics do indeed play a role, and some people are born with more “resistance” toward overfeeding. Some people will have an easier time gaining a six pack as their fat distribution might favor less storage in the midsection.

One of the main contributors to some people being able to “burn it off” could be a higher set point for NEAT for those individuals when they were overfed.

Even though I say genetics play a huge role in how you look and distribute/lose fat around the body, this shouldn’t deter you from losing hope and giving up on your fitness goals.

Everyone is on their own journey and we all have different starting points. Comparing yourself to others will only certify failure and mental anguish. Focus on your own journey.

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About the author:
Wilfred Paul is an Exercise Physiologist, PT & Weight Loss Consultant with a passion for helping people actualize their health & fitness goals. He is also a content writer for Forbes, Medical Daily & The Independent UK. 
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Wilfred Paul
Wilfred Paul is an exercise physiologist, pt & weight loss consultant with a passion for helping people actualize their health & fitness goals. he is also a content writer for forbes, medical daily & the independent uk.

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