According to Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of ‘’Eat to Live,” a slow metabolism is not as negative as we were lead to believe. He says :
“inheriting a slow metabolic rate with a tendency to gain weight is not a flaw or defect but rather a genetic gift that can be taken advantage of. How is this possible? A slower metabolism is associated with longer life span in all species of animal. It can be speculated that if one lived sixty thousand or just a few hundred years ago, a slower metabolic rate might have increased our survival opportunity, since getting sufficient calories was difficult. For example, the majority of pilgrims that arrived on our shores on the Mayflower died that first winter. They could not make or find enough food to eat, so only those with the genetic gift of a slow metabolic rate survived.”
He goes on to say :
“As you can see, it is not always bad to have a slow metabolic rate. It can be good. Sure, it is bad in today’s environment of relentless eating and when consuming a high-calorie, low nutrient diet…However, if correct food choices are made to maintain a normal weight, the individual with a slower metabolism may age more slowly. “
Yay! Finally good news for those of us who have a slow metabolism. That means no more blaming our bodies for our inability to lose weight. While it’s true that genetics play a small part on how we store fat and gain weight --it is a small factor and not the defining reason for obesity. In his book ‘Eat to Live,’ Dr. Fuhrman steers away from blaming all medical problems on solely genetics. As he points out, you can’t change your genes but you can change the daily habits that causes one to face many health problems.
For some who hide behind overweight parents and diabetic uncles as their excuse for not changing, this may be bad news. However, for me, this is great news. Coming from a diabetic family myself, it’s good to know that I don’t have to inherit their maladies. I remember when I was young my sister told me: ‘Face it, it’s only a matter of time before we become diabetics ourselves.’ Although, I wasn’t sure what I should do at the time to avoid that reality, I also resented that statement. The idea that I had no control over what happened to my body was infuriating.
However, my interpretation of Dr. Fuhrman’s statement means that whatever genetics was passed on to me, like a slow metabolism, could be used for the good.