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What is the Gene Smart Diet?


With the growing number of persons who are either obese or suffering from health related diseases, health and fitness has become a major concern. People are constantly trying new exercise or diet plans hoping to achieve a healthy mind and body.

One interesting diet is the Gene Smart diet authored by Dr. Floyd Chilton. It advocates the idea that the human genes are not only responsible for the humans' genetic make up but can also be utilized to aid weight loss. Too much reliance on processed food affects the genes as the body fails to absorb bioactives responsible for sending impulses to the genes to keep people healthy. Hence, if people eat the right kind of food, being healthy and losing weight will come naturally. The Gene Smart diet not only targets weight loss but also the prevention of chronic and inflammatory diseases. It promotes five principles: exercise more, reduce calorie intake, increase fiber, add omega 3 fatty acids in the diet and increase polyphenol consumption. Polyphenol is a type of antioxidant found in vegetables, legumes, fruits like berries, green tea and nuts and is known to regulate the metabolism. Fiber cleanses the body and omega 3 fatty acids lessen the chances of osteoporosis, hypertension and hormonal imbalance. Both enhance weight loss. People who decide to undergo this diet will go through three phases. The first phase is the Adaptive Response. This phase is the most challenging and begins with a soup fast. Calorie intake is reduced to 1,600 in a day and it lasts for about three weeks or until the ideal weight is gained. The second phase is the Preconditioning. The body is being prepared to the diet. There is an increase in the amount of exercise, polyphenols and omega 3 fatty acid intake. Chilton suggests taking omega 3 supplements. The calorie intake is increased to 1,800 a day. The third phase is Optimal Maintenance. It aims to keep the balance between the calorie intake and the calories the person burns in order to maintain the amount of weight loss. The Gene Smart diet does not prohibit any food. In fact, it provides a diet rich in nutrients and discourages consumption of unhealthy food. It only recommends the reduction of the amount of calorie intake and increase consumption of food rich in polyphenols, fiber and omega 3 fatty acids. It considers both health and fitness in setting up their dietary and fitness plans.

Health and fitness experts are not impressed with the diet. The connection between the human genes and weight loss has not yet been fully established. Studies in nutrigenomics or the study of genes and diet must be taken with caution. Each person possess a distinctive set of genes different from another person so what may be effective to one may not work for some one else. Experts consider the Gene Smart diet healthy but associate the weight loss to the regular exercise, reduction of the calorie intake and eating of healthy food and not to the gene expression. They also doubt the need to take omega 3 supplements since omega 3 can be obtained by eating fish. People should rely on healthy food to get nutrients instead of drinking any supplement.

There are numerous diet plans today. Each with a different approach on how to lose weight. Carefully studying a diet plan before trying it helps in knowing what diet plan will be effective without endangering one's health. Before starting any diet, consult a nutritionist or dietician. Each person's health needs vary from another. It is wise to ask an expert for not all diet plans are healthy and good for the body.

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