Genetic Factors

It has now been proven that a predisposition to obesity can be inherited. There are people who naturally have lower basal metabolic rates than the average population and get fatter faster than others. For an overweight person, being a "good" food processor is a major problem. His or her body handles its energy balance very economically and not only burns fewer calories when doing nothing, but also prefers to build up fat reserves. What has ensured the survival of our ancestors becomes a challenge in today's times of abundance and the permanent availability of food.

The slim type, the so-called "bad" food processor, on the other hand, burns up to 400 more calories per day. He or she converts excess calories not primarily into fat, but into heat.

It is also genetically determined to which metabolism group we belong. One can be a protein type, a carbohydrate type or a mixed type, wherein the mixed type may also have a tendency toward the protein or carbohydrate type.

About 2.5 million years ago, people lived as nomads who ate hunted game, fish and wild fruits and berries. Food supply was not always abundant and so the body as a kind of survival strategy learned to convert excess calories into fat deposits for times of need. Their metabolism was primarly protein oriented according to their diet. Life was difficult, people walked up to 20 kilometers (12 miles) a day to obtain food, and therefore built endurance muscles that burned a lot of fat.

From apes to the Neanderthal to the fat man

From nomad to farmer

About 10,000 years ago, people gradually put down roots. They settled as farmers and cultivated grain and vegetables. For the first time, people could eat year round because the grain was durable and there was enough food even in winter. Over thousands of years the metabolism of some of these people changed from the protein-rich diet of the nomads to the carbohydrate-rich diet of the farmers. The work in the fields was difficult and therefore the farmer had a muscle build geared to strength, which required many carbohydrates for energy.

Unhealthy because of fast food and lack of exercise

In the last 100 years, the diet and lifestyle of today's civilized society has changed dramatically. No longer do game, fish, grains or vegetables function as main components of our diet, but rather fast food, desserts and refined products. Instead of walking 20 kilometers (12 miles) a day or performing heavy labor in the fields, we sit at our desks all day long. And this also leads to so-called civilization diseases such as high blood pressure, obesity, increased blood lipids, cardiovascular diseases and much more.

Nature needs time

Our metabolism cannot adapt to this modern food surplus in such a short time. Nature is oriented toward the long term and so even today about one third of all humans have the protein metabolism of the nomads and just as many the carbohydrate metabolism of the farmers. The remaining third has a mixed metabolism of the protein and carbohydrate type.

The problem is that we cannot change our genetically obsolete metabolism. This leaves us with only one choice: Adapt our eating habits and lifestyle to the type of metabolism to which we belong.