To perform at your best, you need to be well-fueled for classes, rehearsals, and performance. Coming from the best medical research, your results display in order of priority and empower you to make better food choices to not only support your active dance life now, but your nutrition for life beyond dance too. While your active dance life will likely override any undesirable effects documented for these genes, understanding how your body works is the first step in our education process. You’ll walk away understanding how to fuel your body to match your unique genetic makeup.
Appetite and Weight
The FTO Gene
The FTO gene is directly linked to appetite and has the strongest relationship with body size and risk of obesity. This is caused by its effect on your food preferences, snacking habits and the feeling of being full in your brain’s control center (the hypothalamus area).
Your active dance lifestyle protects you from many documented negative effects of the FTO gene. You can use this information to help make more optimized choices about fueling your body for dance, and they can also be beneficial to you beyond your dance years.
The PPARG Gene
Active people should not be afraid of fat, it is necessary for a healthy and strong body. By drinking more water and limiting foods containing sugar, you are creating an efficient machine that will efficiently burn fat stores for energy, while preserving the rest for your body’s everyday functions.
The PPARG gene is called the ‘thrifty’ gene as it facilitates the fat storage process to save fats for future energy needs. Your body has certain nutrient requirements to sustain your energy levels, so when you eat more than you need, the excess calories are stored as body fat.
The food we eat is either stored as fat or burned for energy. As dancers, we need healthy fats in our bodies to burn for energy; what we don’t want is inflammatory, sugary foods that make us rely on glucose for fuel, and ultimately leave us hungry and tired.
Our fat stores are designed for energy. They allow us to maintain our muscle mass. A dancer should not be afraid of fat. It is a necessity for a healthy and strong body.
Body Size & Weight Regain
The MTIF3 Gene
The MTIF3 gene has been linked to increased body size, which is measured as Body Mass Index, and to weight regain after dieting. The MTIF3 gene is involved in the production of energy inside the powerhouses of the cells (called mitochondria). To keep functioning, our cells need energy-rich molecules derived from food. Cells with higher energy requirements have a higher number of mitochondria.
Your active lifestyle as a dancer protects you from a lot of the documented undesirable effects of the MTIF3 gene. It’s unnecessary for dancers to diet and restrict calories because they need tremendous energy and strength to dance at their peak. A lot of these insights can help you make more optimized choices about fueling your body for dance and can also be beneficial to you beyond your dance years.
Fat Burning & Weight
The ADIPOQ Gene
The ADIPOQ gene produces a hormone called adiponectin that is involved in fat-burning and helps to control energy levels. Lower levels of adiponectin are associated with a higher amount of fat around the abdominal area, and is linked to obesity and other obesity-related conditions.
Your active lifestyle as a dancer protects you from a lot of the documented undesirable effects of the ADIPOQ gene. Dancers need all the energy and strength they can get, so a restrictive diet can inhibit performance. Fueling the body is important so these insights can help inform your nutrition choices and can also be beneficial to you beyond your dance years.
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