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Lose Weight Using DNA Insights: Joanna Soh Answers FAQs

8 Mins read

Joanna Soh and Shien Ping discuss how can you use your DNA insights to lose weight?

Health and fitness influencer Joanna Soh collaborated with Shien Ping, a nutritionist and health coach at CircleDNA to answer some of your burning questions. Since CircleDNA provides users with several diet and nutrition reports, we’re going to focus this article specifically on the diet, weight loss and food-related questions you’re dying to know the answers to. 

Joanna Soh explained, “I tweaked my diet and fitness habits based on the information about my genetic predispositions that CircleDNA provided me with to lose weight. I’ve been very happy with the results. I think more people should try this, and I’d recommend using your DNA insights to modify your diet and lifestyle.”

Shien Ping is a health coach with a masters in nutrition and a background in biotechnology. She has worked with a fitness coach and influencer Joanna Soh to answer these important questions centred around how to lose weight that came up during a recent Q&A. Below, and you’ll find some insightful answers from these diet, nutrition and fitness experts:

Q: “Can I Fight Against My Genetics if I Have Bad Genes and Struggle With Weight?”

A: Joanna Soh reveals that one of the burning questions from her fans is, “Can I fight against my genetics and change my DNA result if I change my lifestyle?”

CircleDNA’s health coach Shien Ping answers, “Your DNA is a combination of your mother and father’s DNA and anything you’re genetically at risk for can’t be altered. However, there is still hope even if you have ‘bad genes’. The risk or probability of developing issues you’re genetically prone to can be reduced.” 

This means you can adapt your lifestyle and environment to reduce your risk of inheriting genetic traits like low appetite control, and reduce your risk of genetic diseases such as obesity.

Joanna Soh adds, “Not all of us are blessed with good genes. Those of us who have ‘bad’ genes, however, can stay positive knowing their DNA isn’t a life sentence, nor is it able to 100% predict your life outcome. That’s why CircleDNA test results are such a valuable tool. The information allows you to tweak your diet, nutrition and fitness to fight against things of which you’re genetically at risk.”

Q: “Why Am I Not Losing Weight Even Though I’m Eating Healthy and Exercising Consistently?”

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A: Shien Ping acknowledges how frustrating it is to eat healthy and exercise often, but not see results. She explains that there are other factors that contribute to weight gain that not everyone understands: “Sleep and stress can affect your weight, because sleep and stress affect your metabolism. Stress also causes your body to release more cortisol, the stress hormone. This is what often causes cravings for junk food, and an unusually high appetite.”

Joanna Soh adds, “If you’re lacking sleep or your stress is high, don’t underestimate the effects this could have on your body and hormones and when your hormones are off-balance, it can lead to weight gain or makes it harder to lose weight you want, even if you’re eating right and exercising.” 

Be proactive about finding out what reduces your stress. Try yoga, weighted blankets, or meditation, for example.

Q: “What Should I Do if My CircleDNA Report Tells Me to Avoid Certain Foods?”

A: Fitness coach and influencer Joanna Soh says, avoiding certain foods to lose weight is a common question. People want to know if their DNA report states that they should avoid certain food, or they’re sensitive to a certain food, what exactly does that mean? Does it mean they can’t have that food at all?

Nutritionist and CircleDNA health coach Shien Ping answers, “If your CircleDNA diet report states that you have a higher sensitivity towards carbs, for example, it doesn’t mean you can’t have carbs at all. It just means that you should be careful about how many carbs you consume. Be a little more cautious when it comes to portions and amounts of carbs.”

In other words, you’re using your diet report from your DNA to tweak your diet to get better weight loss and wellness results. As Joanna Soh explains, “Your DNA report is not restricting you, it’s simply guiding you and educating you so that you can get better results. Having this information such as the diet and nutrition report from Circle DNA will help you take better care of your body.”

Since eating zero carbs is not sustainable, it’s not a good idea to restrict yourself in that way. It’s much better to just reduce carbs and modify your diet if your DNA report states a sensitivity to carbs.

Something more sustainable, however, would be eliminating lactose from your diet. If your DNA report states that you should avoid lactose, this is possible to do, since there are so many non-dairy alternatives available today.

There are medical blood tests to do with health and food allergies, and CircleDNA is not meant to replace those medical tests. It’s best to get your regular medical tests done in combination with CircleDNA genetic testing.

Q: “Can My DNA Test Advise Me if the Keto Diet is Right For Me?”

A: The Keto diet, a very popular diet, involves eating high fat and very low carbs. It definitely works for some people, but everyone is different. CircleDNA’s diet and nutrition reports can help guide you in terms of whether or not based on your genetics, the Keto diet might be right for you. Nutritionist and health coach Shien Ping explains, “When it comes to the Keto diet, it matters how sensitive you are to fats and carbs. Some people don’t lose weight on Keto because genetically, they have a higher sensitivity to fats, which means their body absorbs fat more than average. Keto therefore might not be right for them.” These people can actually gain weight on Keto, since the Keto diet involves a high-fat diet. 

Joanna Soh advises that if you are going to try a diet such as Keto, “Give your body time to adapt to the new diet.” In other words, don’t expect results after only 2 weeks. Your body needs time to adjust to the new diet. If you are consistent for weeks and you don’t see the results you expected, it could be a sign this diet simply doesn’t work with your body type. Or, your genetics and your specific food sensitivities prevent you from achieving the optimal results from this diet.

Q: “How Can I Control My Food Cravings When My DNA Report Says I Have Low Appetite Control?”

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A: As a fitness and wellness coach, Joanna Soh gets this question a lot: “I struggle to control my food cravings, especially when I am stressed out. How can I control it when my DNA test report says that I have low appetite control?”

Shien Ping explains, “One of the factors that influences your appetite control is your genetics. If your DNA report states that you are likely to have low appetite control. This often means you’re still hungry after a full meal. Try to eat very balanced meals with healthy carbs, protein and healthy fats. These types of balanced meals leave you feeling more full and more satisfied, and less likely to crave snacks later. Some people find that if they eat a restrictive meal such as protein with no carbs or fats, they don’t feel satisfied, and they crave snacks afterwards.”

Even if your DNA report states that you are likely to have low appetite control, you can find ways to control it. Your free consultation with a health coach (which comes with your CircleDNA report) can help guide you on some more methods of controlling appetite.

Q: “Does Your Ethnicity Play a Part in What Your Optimal Diet Should Be?”

A: One of CircleDNA’s reports is on your ancestry, but does this report have anything to do with your optimal diet? Shien Ping explains, “Certain ethnicities can have certain gene mutations that increase their risk for certain conditions. Although there is somewhat of a relationship between ethnicity and optimal diet, CircleDNA does not segregate dietary reports based on ethnicity.”

Joanna Soh, however, points out that 90 – 95% of Asians are lactose intolerant. She explains, “Lactose intolerance is an example of a dietary report that relates to one’s ethnicity.” 

Q: “What Exactly are Food Sensitivities?”

A: One of the many things CircleDNA reports on is your food sensitivities. With CircleDNA, you won’t get a full list of all your food sensitivities, but you will get some insight. This is one of the burning questions posed to Joanna Soh, “What exactly are food sensitivities? Are they allergies, or what does it mean to be sensitive to a food?” 

Shien Ping responds, “Food sensitivities can mean different things for different foods. In your CircleDNA diet report, for example, you’ll find out if you’re likely to be sensitive to carbs, fats, alcohol, salt, and many other potential sensitivities. To find out more about what it means to be sensitive to these foods, I’d suggest using the complementary health consultation that comes with your CircleDNA report.” 

The health consultant provided by CircleDNA is an expert who can go over your CircleDNA report with you, and provide you with more information about what your specific food sensitivities mean and why. Some food sensitivities do need to be taken more seriously than others, and your free consultation with an expert can help you go through this important information.

Q: “Should I Adjust My Diet or Food Portions as I Get Older?”

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A: One of the burning questions posed to Joanna Soh and Shien Ping is, “Can I continue eating the same diet as I get older and hit my 50s and 60s, or should I adjust my diet as I get older?”

Shien Ping says, “Look at what your current diet is at your current age. If, for example, you’re currently eating a lot of processed foods, fast food or unhealthy food, you’ll definitely want to become more cautious of these unhealthy eating habits as you get older. Otherwise, you run the risk of developing things like heart disease, obesity, and even a severely impacted metabolism. If, however, your current diet is balanced and healthy, as you get older you won’t need to worry about adjusting your diet or eating habits.” In other words, if you’re already eating healthy, keep doing exactly that. If you’re currently eating unhealthy, then yes, you should definitely adjust your diet as you become older for your preventative health.

“Your metabolism slows down as you get older.” – Joanna Soh

Joanna Soh points out, “It’s common for younger people in their 20s to be able to eat whatever they want and still have a high metabolism, still be slim, and suddenly in their 30s they have to be a lot more careful with what they eat. Many people notice that if they’re eating the same way in their 30s and 40s as they were in their 20s, they start to gain weight. This is largely because of the fact that your metabolism slows down as you get older. You also can start to lose muscle mass as you get older.” She adds, “If regular exercise and strength training is part of your routine from a young age, and you continue this habit as you get older, you will be able to keep your metabolism higher and keep your muscle mass as you get older.”

As you get older, you can keep your physique from your 20s, it just requires extra effort to maintain it. You won’t be able to eat the same way you could when your metabolism was extra high in your 20s, and you’ll have to exercise more to maintain your goals. If you’re genetically at risk for low muscle mass or obesity, for example, you’ll have to be even more cautious as you get older. 


If you want to learn more about what your optimal diet is based on your DNA, order your CircleDNA testing kit here.

Erica Gordon
19 posts

About author
Erica majored in Psychology at UBC and has since founded The Babe Report and followed her passion for writing and journalism, with a focus on health and travel writing.
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