Do Weight Loss DNA Tests Actually Work?

If you want to lose weight, the best DNA test will help you do that based on the way your own, individual body works.

The problem with most diets is that they assume we all have the same bodies, metabolisms, and genetic potential.

While a DNA diet alone won’t help you lose weight (you’ll need to put some effort in too), research has proven that eating a diet tailored specifically to your make-up can be a powerful aid to weight loss.

Read on to find out how you can use the latest discoveries in genetic science to help you drop the pounds.

Here’s the TL;DR…

  •  We know that your genes have a big impact on how your body processes food and distributes weight
  • DNA test results can arm you with the information you need to optimize weight loss (but the effort has to come from you)
  • Most DNA testing companies just give you your test results with not much actionable information
  • For the best chance of losing weight, choose a testing company that helps you with eating plans, recipes and food guides too

Note: Looking for DNA test results that will help you lose weight? Learn more about LifeDNA’s Nutrition Report.

How does your DNA affect weight loss?

Over the last decade, nutrigenomics has revealed a wealth of information about how DNA can impact weight loss.

We now know that there are many genes involved in how your body processes nutrients. Knowing which versions of those genes you carry can help you decide on the right diet for you.

For instance, if your overall genetic pattern suggests that your body has a higher tendency than average to store excess carbohydrates as fat, you could be better off eating more proteins and fats.

But how can a DNA test help with weight loss?

The best DNA tests today can reveal over one hundred of your genes. Many of these are involved in how your body processes the nutrients in your food.

You have inherited a mish-mash of genes from both your parents that govern how your body works.

Nutritional genomics—also known as nutrigenomics—is the science that studies the relationship between your genome (genes), what you eat and your health.

Nutrigenomics is uncovering more and more every year on how your DNA affects your weight, as well as your fitness. For instance, genetic variants impact the effect of saturated fat on your body, and the levels of hormones that regulate your appetite.

What is the best DNA test for weight loss?

Genetic testing for weight loss has huge potential to help a lot of people get to a healthy weight and stay there.

For that reason, multiple companies have sprung up to test your DNA so you can give yourself the best chance of reaching your ideal weight. But they’re all different, with their own advantages and disadvantages.

You need a DNA test that gives you actionable results: one that tells you exactly what to do, how to do it, and why. 

Science is moving so fast that you need a DNA test that gives you more than just a one-off reading: You need a test that automatically updates and builds on your results with the latest discoveries in nutrigenomics.

Take a look at our rundown of the biggest players on the genetic testing market to decide which one could hit the mark for you on your weight loss journey.

For an in-depth comparison of these DNA testing companies, see here and here.

LifeDNA

LifeDNA is more than just a genetic testing company. Our mission is to inspire people to unlock the power of their DNA so they can live healthier and more fulfilling lives.

That’s why if losing weight is your goal, our tests give you the best possible chance of success. Right now, we’re developing an app that will give you your personalized macronutrient breakdowns (carbohydrate/fat/protein ratios), meal plans, recipes, ingredients lists, and shopping lists, based on your own individual genetic fingerprint.

In a nutshell, this groundbreaking app will take all of the work out of grocery shopping and meal planning, by telling you exactly what you should be eating and how to put the right foods together in delicious meals.

And because we have  a database of 500,000 different restaurants across the US and Canada, you’ll get bespoke menus and personal meal recommendations that fit your DNA diet.

We analyze 24 genetic traits so you can discover which foods you should be eating more or less of, based on how your individual body works.

You’ll also get to maximise your fitness potential too: our reports examine 22 traits on your risk of injury, the best types of exercise to achieve your goals and more.

Advantages of LifeDNA 

  • LifeDNA’s ever-evolving library of genetic reports continues to grow week-on-week, responding to the latest research on the human genome and weight loss.
  • Reports are plain, simple, and actionable. You’ll instantly know how to change the way you eat to lose weight.
  • LifeDNA uses a proprietary algorithm powered by machine learning to ensure each report is the most accurate on the market. 
  • LifeDNA also provides an exclusive membership with benefits including 1-on-1 consultations, unlimited updates, genomics newsletters, and Facebook community.
  • Our platinum membership uses the latest discoveries in genetic science to give you up-to-the-minute information on how to eat, live and exercise according to your individual DNA. 

Disadvantages of LifeDNA

  • We don’t provide ancestry information.
  • We only ship initial testing kits to the US and Canada (but you can upload your genetic data from other providers).
  • We don’t provide information on cancer risk.

VitaGene

VitaGene’s results are laid out in a clear, simple, and colorful way. Their reports give you guidelines on how many calories you need a day, as well as protein and other macronutrients.

Your report will recommend a diet high in specific micronutrients too, like zinc, magnesium, monounsaturated fats, fiber, and polyunsaturated fats. You can click on each of these to see why you need that specific amount, based on your DNA.

You’ll also get food lists, where you can expand or contract each food type to show examples of particular foods. 

Advantages of VitaGene

  • Food sensitivity testing
  • Ancestry and health information too
  • One-off payment with a lot of options to choose from
  • Option to delete your information

Disadvantages of VitaGene

  • No AI or machine learning
  • No subscription option
  • History of data breach
  • Results can take a long time to arrive

DNAFit

To help you tailor your diet to shed weight, DNAFit gives you your carbohydrate and fat sensitivity on a sliding scale ranging from ‘very low’ to ‘very high’.

Their report will also tell you how well your body processes carbohydrates, factoring in how likely you are to gain weight or develop insulin resistance from a high carbohydrate intake.

You can also see how they came to that conclusion, with a breakdown of the specific genes they analysed to arrive at that result.

DNAFit will also recommend what proportion of your calories should come from saturated fat and refined carbohydrates, and what your total daily glycaemic load should be. If you’ve never heard of glycaemic load, the report explains what it is and gives examples of foods that keep it to a minimum.

Advantages of DNAfit

  • You can get reports on both your health and fitness potential
  • You can upload your 23andme raw data, for a fee
  • A one-off coaching session comes with the price
  • There is a money-back guarantee (subject to terms and conditions). 
  • There are no ongoing subscription fees as they don’t offer membership

Disadvantages of DNAfit

  • You can’t upload your raw DNA data to use through other companies
  • Sometimes the health recommendations are generic
  • The cost of the premium CircleDNA report with ‘whole exome sequencing’ is high ($629)
  • Some customers report long wait times 

Genopalate

Genopalate is all about nutrition. They sample your DNA and give you a breakdown of what you should be eating based on your genes.

They also give you recipes and supplement recommendations.

The report includes an infographic showing your metabolic health based on where you stand for your weight, BMI, waist measurement and waist to hip ratio. 

There’s also a ‘nutrient spotlight’ which shows FDA recommended levels of nutrients and highlights what you need more or less of, based on your DNA. 

Advantages of Genopalate

  • Great for foodies
  • Hundreds of recipes on their website
  • Pdf printout with all the information you need
  • Own line of supplements

Disadvantages of Genopalate

  • Simple genomic testing that doesn’t employ AI or machine learning
  • Nutrition and food information only
  • Supplements are expensive
  • Customer service team is difficult to reach
  • No food lists, shopping lists or meal plans

How effective are DNA weight loss kits?

Of course, the ultimate question is ‘do weight loss DNA tests really work?’
And the answer is yes. Because they help you tailor your diet to give yourself the best chance of losing weight, based on your DNA.

Then, the rest is up to you!

That’s why you need a DNA test that comes with more than just your results and a few one-size-fits-all recipes. 

To lose weight, you need as much support as you can get. Look for a DNA test that includes meal plans, ingredients lists, and recipes tailored to your own personal genetic makeup and weight loss goals.

LifeDNA has all that covered, plus an interactive guide covering all of North America to help you eat out, giving you the best meal options based on your DNA.

Final Thoughts

Learning about your DNA won’t automatically shift your excess weight. What you do with that information definitely can, though.

We now have proof that when it comes to losing weight, we’re all wired a bit differently. 

If you’ve been struggling to drop the pounds, try shaping your diet to fit the way you were designed to eat.

Note: Looking for DNA test results that will help you lose weight? Learn more about LifeDNA’s Nutrition report here