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Changing Lives Through DNA Genetic Testing
The AGS Blog & Press Releases

Want to Lose Weight. What’s Your Effort Score?

[fa icon="calendar"] Feb 27, 2018 1:37:07 PM / by Kelly Harkins

Kelly Harkins

Health-Awareness-and-Effort-Score5.jpgFor those of you who have purchased an AGS Premium Health & Wellness Genetic test or those who are undecided on which test to buy (Premium or Lite), here is one thing to know. One major difference between the Premium and Lite Genetic Tests is the proprietary AGS Health Awareness and Effort Score that is exclusively available in the Premium report only.

What is the Health Awareness and Effort Score?

When viewing your Premium Test results, Your AGS Health Awareness and Effort Score is a number rating between 1 to 10. A score of 1 means a low level of awareness and effort is required to stay healthy, 10 means a high level of effort and awareness is required to stay fit. This is calculated by examining SNPs in your DNA that have been associated with weight gain including BMI, waist circumference, and body fat percentage. These DNA base pairs represent various tendencies such as overeating, lower metabolic rates, cravings for sweet foods, and other behaviors that can lead to weight management issues. Being aware of your genetic tendencies will allow you to understand the level of effort you need to give to achieve your health and fitness goals.

What does my score mean? 

A term we use often that is helpful when explaining the meaning of your score is 'Dietary Genetic Flexibility'. Dietary Genetic Flexibility is defined as how much leeway an individual has when it comes to eating based on genetics. For example, a higher score means less flexibility one would have for success when deviating away from what is best for their genetic make-up. A lower score means you have greater flexibility, but to be wary as well. The lower number may encourage worse habits and behaviors of good health and ultimately lead to less than desired results.
If your score is high, it does not mean you are doomed to be obese. This tendency implies you may need to be extremely conscious of healthy eating(low Dietary Genetic Flexibility) and exert more effort to maintain healthy weight or to lose weight. Keep in mind that this tendency can be overcome with lifestyle and behavioral changes using your individualized nutritional tips and recommendations from your AGS Premium Health & Wellness Genetic report. Adhering to the right diet and exercise recommendations according to your DNA, should help keep you on track and help you to achieve optimal health and wellness. 

If your score is moderate, this means with the amount of effort and energy you put towards overall well-being, you will see equal results. This tendency implies you may need more than normal awareness of healthy eating and habits, and may have to exert some effort to maintain a healthy weight or to lose weight --  but it does not need to be front-and-center in your thinking all the time. On average, most Americans fall into this range. 

If your score is low, it implies it is easier for you to maintain a healthy weight and/or to lose weight. Because of this, you may enjoy greater Dietary Genetic Flexibility in regards to diet, nutrition, and exercise. Nevertheless, if your daily caloric intake exceeds your energy expenditure for that day you may still experience weight gain and other health issues. These individuals should still be health-conscience because having too much flexibility can encourage bad habits and behaviors. 

AGS Health Awareness and Effort Score: Genetic, Environmental, and Behavior Choices

Achieving optimal health takes dedication, time and energy for everyone; but understanding how you are different than the next person is hugely helpful when setting goals that are truly achievable. Genetics surely plays a role but we all know we cannot change our genes. So what can be done and why should you care what your genes are saying?

The answer is simple. It is true, your genes are set before you were born and will not change. The good news is that the other components in the 'health' equation are adjustable. We know that 30% is Genetic (won't change), and another 30% is Environmental, and the remaining 40% is Behavior Choices, which we wrote about in a blog last year. This means, after considering your genetic predispositions, your environment and behavior are the two areas that should be evaluated and where changes can be implemented. This is why the AGS Health Awareness and Effort Score was created.

How can the AGS Health Awareness and Effort Score help me?

The AGS Premium Health & Wellness Genetic test evaluates many genes that play a role in how one responds to certain influences while making recommendations for macronutrients (daily percentage of fats, carbs, and proteins), exercise (percentage of power vs. endurance), vitamin supplements, and identifies behavior tendencies. These recommendations are based on your unique genes, and as such they suggest changes to behaviors and/or environment to help you gain better health. Understanding the meaning of a certain gene variation, for example eating a full meal and not ever feeling full, is great information to be aware of. While the test identifies your gene variation, without changing the environment and behavior associated with the gene variation you won't fully overcome the genetic tendency/predisposition and see the results you were hoping for or expecting.

Examples of behavioral changes and suggestions that are found in the Premium report would be:
  • Changing the size of your portions
  • Adapting the amount of time you spend eating
  • Adding more water to your meals to encourage more fullness and proper digestion
  • Reducing alcohol with meals
  • Addressing food cravings
  • All of which are changes to behavior and environment based on knowing the genetic variation which can be used together to reach the best end-result for you

Bottom Line: How to use an effort score to my advantage?

To best optimize a health and wellness plan, improve on, or create the right plan from scratch, understanding the importance of genetics should be considered from the start. This is why one-size-does-not-fit-all when it comes to diet and exercise. According to research, genetics do play a role, but they cannot be the sole factor to help determine success.
Most studies don't take into account the "effort" portion of the equation. Knowing your AGS Health Awareness and Effort Score AND understanding the level of energy required to change behaviors and/or environmental factors is needed to help someone reach their full health potential. 
Please hear this, these lifestyle changes are not easy, so make sure that you have enough support from friends and loved ones to create lasting change. Consider a consultation with a professional like an AGS Genetic Specialist or Dietitian to address your nutrition habits, emotional eating behaviors, and to set barriers and goals. Making a nutrition plan is a great start, but only in keeping your AGS Health Awareness and Effort Score in mind will you increase the chances at meeting your goals and expectations.
Interested in taking your health to the next level. Click the button below. For those considering the Premium test, an AGS Health Awareness and Effort Score offers a simple number that is easily understood, and represents a level of energy required in order to reach the best end-result. As always, stay positive. Remember that this is a journey, after all, and it will be full of peaks and valleys.
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Topics: Motivation, Genetic Testing 101

Kelly Harkins

Written by Kelly Harkins

Kelly Harkins has 20 years corporate experience and is known for her elegant approach to all aspects of the creative process. She has developed a reputation for delivering smart, clean visual solutions, and has the ability to 'get it done'.

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