My journey began after a visit to the Palace Henri Chenot Spa in Merano, Italy. After a top-to-toe analysis that comprised allergy and energy testing, along with a full body scan, I was surprised by one of the results in particular. My metabolism was apparently very fast. What? If I have such a quick metabolism, why had I gained so much weight? Of course my tendency towards emotional eating had something to do with it, but there must be more to it than that.
DNA test and food plan
Dr Chenot advised I get my DNA tested. Traditionally, the type of test I would need was previously only used by athletes to determine how best to eat and train, but it has slowly become more mainstream as people look for answers to help improve their health. I signed up with healthy food delivery service Pure Package, which offers not only DNA testing carried out by DNAFit, but also devises a food plan specific to your own genetic make-up – this can really help you see how you translate your results into actual meals, while keeping them balanced and healthy.
The DNA test analyses the way your body metabolises proteins, carbohydrates and fats. My results were eye-opening, and able to answer my weight-gain question, as well as the poor digestion, bloating and exhaustion I had been suffering from. I have a gene variant that makes me sensitive to sugars and refined carbohydrates – my go-to comfort food. I hate to cook, so would often come home and eat a few crumpets, pieces of toast or a bowl of cereal for dinner. My body’s high sensitivity means I assimilate sugar more quickly, drawing out more energy (calories) than others. Historically, this would have been great if I spent days working a manual job outdoors, but since I sit at a desk for most of the day, it’s not very useful to me.
I also discovered that I could keep fit and healthy and manage my weight with low-impact exercise. Having always thought I had to exercise hard and for long periods of time to make a difference to my body, this was a relief. I now knew I could relax a little and just eat according to my genes. Cue my Pure Package deliveries.
The food plan
The meals were generously sized portions, and packed full of the right things for me. Fish, because I need more omega oils than the recommended daily intake, along with an abundance of antioxidant-rich cruciferous vegetables – those belonging to the mustard family of plants, such as broccoli, kale and turnips – as one of my detox genes, GSTM1, doesn’t produce the detoxing enzymes coded for by the gene. I’m not alone either – 50 per cent of us have this trait. However, if I stick to eating cruciferous vegetables three times a week, their protective properties will help ward off DNA damage that can ultimately contribute to the development of diseases like cancer. There were carbs too, but the right kind, in smaller quantities, so I didn’t feel deprived. By the end of my first week, I felt re-energised, less bloated, and my skin looked great, too.
Prices start from £245 for a DNAFit DNA test without food and £689.50 for the DNA test, a phone consultation and a 10-day Pure Package programme
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