Skip To Main Content

COVID-19 Updates and Resources. Learn More

It's Not Just a Matter of Raw Willpower

The Willpower Myth

The myth: Successful weight loss is simply a matter of willpower.
The reality: Like hair color, you inherit your metabolism, and metabolic characteristics vary greatly among individuals. Some of the best demonstrations that genes control metabolism involve research on identical twins. When many sets of twins were given the same reduced-calorie diet, all of them lost weight. However the amount of weight loss (and fat loss) varied widely across the whole group. And guess what? The individuals within each pair of identical twins lost very similar amounts of weight. That means that people with the same genes respond to energy restriction in the same way, but people with a different genetic makeup (in this case the different pairs of twins) have a wide range of responses, some losing easily and others very slowly1. The same similarity of response within each pair of twins and wide variation across the sets of twins occurred when they were put on an exercise program that burned 1,000 calories a day2. So don’t be frustrated if someone else is losing weight faster than you. If, despite doing everything right, you’re experiencing snaillike progress, you can blame some of it on your great-grandparents!

References:

1. C. Bouchard, A. Tremblay, J. P. Despres, A. Nadeau, P. J. Lupien, G. Theriault, et al., “The Response to Long-Term Overfeeding in Identical Twins,” The New England Journal of Medicine 322 (1990), 1477–1482.
2. C. Bouchard, A. Tremblay, J. P. Despres, G. Theriault, A. Nadeau, P. J. Lupien, et al., “The Response to Exercise with Constant Energy Intake in Identical Twins,” Obesity Research 2 (1994), 400–410.

Try Keto – The Atkins® Way

Atkins keto plans are more flexible and more personalized to provide a long-term plan for reaching your goals. Our free tools can help you even further.

Get Started

Learn More AboutArticles

How To Make Low Carb Crockpot Recipes this Winter

Less time spent cooking this winter means more time to yourself.

Lire la suite »

Low Carb Mother's Day Brunch Ideas & Recipes

For all the work they do, it seems crazy that mothers only get one day a year.

Lire la suite »

National Pomegranate Month

There are plenty of reasons to eat pomegranate.

Lire la suite »

Low Carb Halloween Recipes & Recipe Ideas

Halloween is scary—especially when you’re on a low carb diet and surrounded by candy with nowhere to escape.

Lire la suite »

This site uses essential cookies to function. It also uses non-essential cookies for marketing and advertising. For more information please see ourPrivacy Policy.

This site uses essential cookies to function. It also uses non-essential cookies for marketing and advertising. For more information please see ourPrivacy Policy.

Close button