DNA and Weight Loss

Jun 8, 2011 by

DISCLOSURE: Back in February, my client, Professional Nutrition Therapists of Dallas, under the careful attention of Carol Ireton-Jones and Donna Israel, conducted a DNA test on me to determine, based on my genetic makeup, what I have to do in order to lose weight.  This piece is going to reveal some very personal information about me, but I’m doing it so that those of you like me who have, as my friend Stacey E. R. Stakely of Montgomery  used to predict, have wound up with a tire around my waist can find some solid answers. (Ouch, that hurts.)  This post is designed to help you see, if you’re struggling with your weight, there are scientific answers and formulas that can be added to your lifestyle to hopefully turn things around.

My Weight Adventure Part Umpteen

On the 28th of February, Carol did a short DNA swab test of me.  She said it was going to check out my DNA, the fabric of life, and determine how my genetics and interactions with foods determined my weight. I took a stick with  some cotton on the end of it and wiped it around in my mouth for about 10 seconds.  We did two of them and then they were allowed to dry and put into a sterile bag for shipping.

In mid-March we received the information and sat down to talk about what I need to do.

The test was conducted through a system developed by Inherent Health, a CLIA-certified lab in Waltham, MA.

The Results 

Results present themselves in six categories based on genotype results and consumption and exercise required in order to burn fat in your body: 

  1. Carb Reducer-Moderate MET
  2. Fat Trimmer-High MET
  3. Fat Trimmer-Moderate MET
  4. Better Balancer-Moderate MET
  5. Better Balancer-High MET.

That’s only five.  Mine is a sixth–Carb Reducer-High MET.  Essentially, I have to cut my carbohydrates.  And, and this is a big and, I must have high-intensity workouts to make a difference.

This in part explains why I did so well with EA SPORTS Active the past two years.  It worked my butt off.

What I Need To Be Doing

In some ways it seems like common, clicheish sense.  Cut carbs. Whew.  Like I can turn on Dr. Phil, Oprah, and next year Catie Couric to figure that out.  Right?

Not so quick.

On page 5 of the report, there is a pie chart that shows if I want to lose weight, what the actual balance is for me when it comes to Carbs, Fat and Protein.  This formula isn’t the same for you necessarily unless you’re also a Carb Reducer-High MET.

According to my DNA test, my daily diet should be balanced this way:  45 percent carbs, 35 percent fat and 20 percent protein.

The report says that Carb Reducer-High METs are “prone to obesity and have difficulty with blood sugar regulation if their daily carbohydrate intake exceeds 49 percent of total calories.”   It goes on to say that carb reduction has been shown to optimize blood sugar regulation and reduce the risk of further weight gain.  If I keep high saturated and low monosaturated fats in my diet, my risk for weight gain and elevated blood sugar increases.  Essentially, I need to restrict my carb intake each day and shift the fat composition of my diet to monosaturated fats.

Top Tips For Me

  1. There is a listing of Glycemic Indexed carbs that show me which ones are bad and can cause high blood sugar and insulin levels.  High GI foods keep me from feeling full and worse, make me crave more.
  2. Read food labels and ensure in the list of ingredients that “whole grain” is one of the first few, not “enriched.”
  3. Include some protein with every meal and snack.
  4. Limit alcohol, fruit juice, caffeine consumption as these cause low blood sugar and leave me hungry and tired.
  5. Limit sweets following a nutritious meal high in protein and fiber to ensure I don’t overindulge or crave more sweets.
  6. Keep protein snacks handy so I don’t go craving a carb-loaded somepin somepin.
  7. Drink tons of water.
  8. Reduce my total daily consumption of calories.

You can learn more about this at InherentHealth.com, or by contacting PNT in Dallas.  They have a network of nutritionists throughout the world so your chances of finding one near you is pretty good.

I highly recommend this. It’s made me much more aware of what’s going on in my diet and after a day like yesterday where I weighed in with a four-lb increase, it’s good to be able to point my nose at the source of why that happened.

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Allens Green Beans and a Diet Update

Jun 7, 2011 by

Sorry for the break between posts.  Over on the Claxton Creative side of my life, things have been rolling.

Over the past two months I’ve been on a downward trend in weight loss.  Today marked three weeks since the last time I was in to see Carol Ireton-Jones of Professional Nutrition Therapists to talk about me, and to talk about their Website.

Bad News

Well, the downward trend stopped today.  I gained almost four pounds in the last three weeks.  Crap.

I think I can attribute that to a couple of things: Being on the road and traveling and eating at restaurants too much.  Though when I’ve been out eating on the road, I’ve tried to behave.

I’ve found myself eating later dinners, and well within the two hours before I go to bed realm.  (A no no.)

And when I haven’t been sitting in the car driving to and or from Alabama to Dallas, I’ve been at a desk or table working on something for my client, Digheon Healthcare, Inc.

Now that it’s hot outside, I have no desire to take a 10-minute break in the middle of the day and walk around the apartment complex.  It’s 96 degrees outside right now, plus there are bad air warnings, etc.

Before leaving today, Carol asked me what I’m going to do differently over the next two weeks.

Change of Plans

1)  A few weeks ago at The Dollar Tree, I bought some pills that are said to help burn fat and bring about weight loss.  Now that I’m up four lbs, those are going in the trash.

2) My friend, John Taylor, who I admire for taking some pretty significant steps to begin fighting his own weight battle, noted that the diagnosis for me includes, “More green beans.”  While in Alabama the past three trips, in staying at his parents’ house, Karen Taylor has been serving up some great and delicious green beans, which from Weight Watchers‘ days, you can “eat as many of them as you want and it doesn’t count.”  Except that Carol wisely pointed out today that each serving is about 50 to 60 calories, so if I’m on an 1,800-calorie a day mission, three, four, five servings of green beans are between 250 and 300 calories all unto themselves.  Throw in a few bread crumbs, a nice healthy piece of meat, and pretty soon, I’m at 1,800 and didn’t even realize it.

But John is right.  Green beans are definitely in my forecast.

Karen has a great recipe, too.  You get a couple big cans of Allens Italian Cut Green Beans and wash them off, put in a pot, cover with water and let them cook a couple hours trying to drain as much water as possible.  When they’re done, a purely subjective point, you add a tablespoon of Canola Oil (Go Omega 3s) and salt and pepper to taste, and watch it on the salt.

3) I’ve got to find a way to get some exercise in.  Unfortunately, after returning from my first trip to Alabama, I discovered that the Wii died.  No EA Sports Active right now, and that’s aggravating.

4) I’ve got to stop the later in the day meals.

5) I’ve been trying to keep my protein levels up so that I can keep a balanced blood sugar level.  I must keep doing that, but while I’ve been snacking on honey roasted peanuts (high in sodium) they have been helping with the blood sugar.  Only problem is, like with green beans, 1/4th a cup is 170 calories, so five or six of those a day in between meals and I’ve added almost 1,000 calories right there because let’s face it, you can’t just eat one handful.  (Hang on, I need to go get a second handful…..) Okay, gotta stop that.

6)  I’ve pretty much eliminated sweet tea from my diet.  It needs to stay gone.  And I don’t drink alcohol and it’s been 10 years and two months now since I had my last Coke, Pepsi or carbonated beverage.

7) Carol gave me a list of practical diet points and suggestions today.  Funny, there was no mention of a biscuit from Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr. or the breakfast I had this morning at Cracker Barrel with Ron Rose with two eggs, hashbrown casserole and a biscuit or two.  Okay, two.  Only one had gravy.

But on the list were things like Cheerios for breakfast, and I asked and got approval for Steel Cut Oatmeal.  (You can watch me and the girls making it here.) Lunch I can have a whole 3 oz of some sort of lean meat, which seems like almost wishing you were going to have some meat.  I probably could eat 3 oz in a bite.  And then healthy snacks along the way through out the day to keep my blood sugar happy.  PNT is coming with a recommended list of suggested healthy meals that are practical.  I’ll let you know when they’re available over on their site.

8 ) If you remember the Violent Femmes, “I forget what eight was for!”

9) Carol said if I’m going to have a salad, some how I’m supposed to eat it with about a tablespoon of a very lite dressing.  I told her that’s not even enough to get the salad wet.  To which she said, if it’s just plain ole lettuce, I might as well not bother.  I should be getting something with lots of Romaine in it because Iceburg Lettuce isn’t going to help.

10) I’ve got to keep trudging along and not get discouraged by the uptick.

What are somethings you might recommend?

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EA SPORTS Active 2–Put away the nunchucks

Dec 17, 2010 by

One of my searchers today was looking for the answer to this very simple question: Do you need nunchucks to use the new EA SPORTS Active 2 for the Nintendo Wii.

The answer:  No.  You do not need a nunchuk.

In fact, there are several times during a workout when the trainer will tell you you don’t even need the Wiimote.

In the first two iterations of EA SPORTS Active, you had to have the nunchuck plugged in to even begin a workout.

Since they’ve added a new leg band and an arm band that do cool things like monitor heart rate and talk to the console, things are much different.

You can still do what we did when we wanted to make the resistance band a little tougher on the muscles and use a set of hand-held weights with safety handles on them, but it’s been nice working out with the product and not having to worry about that wire going to the left when you’re doing things like crunches, etc.

Thanks for the question.

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#EASActive workout today: 248.9 calories burned! DAY 2 workout

Aug 15, 2010 by

Okay, I missed two days of the plan, but I got up this morning after a night of about 8.5 hours of sleep and knew what needed to be done:  Get Day 2 of the EA SPORTS Active upper body workout in.

According to the program, I was expected to burn 211.3 calories today.  I went well beyond that with 248.9. (And this was on the “easy” setting!)

I’m now feeling better than I did when I awoke.  There’s till time to shave, shower and get to church on time.

Maybe I should listen to Katrina and the Waves on the way to church ‘cos right now I really do feel like I’m walking on sunshine, baby, and it sure does feel good.

Did you work out yet today?  What’s stopping you if you haven’t?  Come on.  You’ll feel a ton better, and maybe a ton lighter, too!

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EA SPORTS ACTIVE: I’m still a FAT ASS, but it’s not your fault; It’s MINE

Aug 11, 2010 by

I have one of the best weight loss products I’ve ever used: It’s called EA SPORTS Active.  More than a year ago, I set out to lose 150 pounds.


Sure, I can give you a list of reasons why that is the case: Child custody battle, change of job, separation from my wife, starting a new business, working around the clock here on the computer.   Those are some very hefty problems.

But the problem isn’t those things, the problem is ME.

On countless mornings, (well, I suppose I could add them up,) I thought about working out.  But then the phone started ringing, or I just didn’t feel like getting sweaty. Or, or, or.


So, today is a new day and I’ve tried to start all over again.  I went to church Sunday for the first time in many weeks.  I’ve got things turning around in my life.  I’ve set up boundaries to protect me from mean or unnecessary intrusions.

I started out on a low intensity workout today.  I also skipped in-line skating.  (I’ve never really been able to do that without the trainer getting frustrated with me.)


I really don’t.  Who do you know who does?

But I am, and I have to stop looking in the mirror and saying, “Everything looks proportional.”  It’s not, Donny.  You’re FAT.

Last night I had grilled chicken, steamed brown rice and green beans for dinner.  I ate more than two hours before bed.  I don’t feel weighed down and lethargic today.  I went to bed at 10 p.m and was up at 7 a.m.


I’ve asked for this before.  But I need it more than ever.  I weigh more now than I did last year when I first began EA SPORTS Active.  And you need to know, it’s not their fault.  When I was actively using the product, I dropped 45 lbs.  Diverticulitus and all the other stuff that’s happened over the past year just caused me to eat, eat and eat.  Even when I wasn’t hungry.

I’ve got to get my weight down.  It’s killing me.  LITERALLY.

Please, let’s re-establish a support network for each other.  Let’s tell each other what he had to eat today.  Post your menu or calorie consumption in the comments and we’ll all know whose being good and who needs some talking to.  That’s accountability.  That’s what I need most from you, and what I offer you, as well.

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