Updated on
February 26, 2024 by Moss Stern

5 Best DNA Tests for Diet and Fitness: Lose Weight in 2024

5 Best DNA Tests for Diet and Fitness: Lose Weight in 2024

Getting into shape can be a struggle, especially when a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. DNA tests for diet and fitness might be the key to unlocking your weight loss journey, helping you understand how your body responds to different foods and exercises. However, the challenge lies in finding a test that’s accurate, easy to use, and respects your privacy.

To help you with this, I tested multiple DNA kits and considered factors like the depth of nutritional insights, fitness advice, user experience, and data privacy. From this evaluation, I’ve identified the top five DNA tests that can guide you in losing weight effectively.

LivingDNA is the kit I would recommend for diet and fitness. It delivers personalized nutrition and fitness advice based on your unique genetic makeup, which can improve your weight loss efforts. Moreover, LivingDNA maintains high data privacy standards, ensuring your genetic information stays secure while you work towards achieving your fitness goals.

Start Your Health Journey

Short on time? Here are the best diet and fitness DNA tests

  1. Living DNA – Our top pick for diet and fitness; analyzes how your body responds to food and exercise based on your DNA, and provides optimized meal and fitness plans that suit your specific needs. 
  2. MyToolbox Genomics – Detailed reports on your biomarkers; offers meal, exercise, and supplement plans customized to your DNA. 
  3. SelfDecode – Very affordable if you upload data from tests already taken with another company and get detailed reports on your diet, fitness, and mental health. 
  4. EverlyWell – Get fast results (2-4 days); individual tests can give you insight into the best food and supplements for your specific needs. 
  5. InsideTracker – Learn all about your optimal diet and exercise regimen based on your habits and DNA results. 

See how each test compares

Our Best Diet and Fitness DNA Tests Kits Reviewed

1. Living DNA – Best Overall Wellness Report

  • Our #1 at-home diet and fitness DNA testing
  • Reports on vitamin response, food metabolism, and exercise
  • Actionable diet and exercise tips
  • Results in six to eight weeks

Price from$139.00
Our score9.4

One of the standout features of LivingDNA is the nutritional insights provided through their diet and fitness DNA test. This detailed analysis helps you understand how your body processes various nutrients, such as fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Based on your genetic predispositions, you’ll receive personalized dietary recommendations that align with your body’s specific needs, helping you make more informed choices about what to eat.

LivingDNA doesn’t just stop at dietary insights; they also offer fitness recommendations tailored to your DNA. By examining your genetic response to different types of exercise, they create customized workout plans. These plans are designed to help you reach your fitness goals efficiently, considering factors like your endurance, muscle strength, and recovery rate. This level of personalization can make your fitness journey more effective and enjoyable.

In an age where personal data security is crucial, LivingDNA takes privacy seriously. They adhere to robust security protocols to ensure that your genetic information is kept confidential and secure. You maintain ownership and control over your DNA data, with clear options to determine who can access it.

Test Diet & Fitness with Living DNA!

2. MyToolbox Genomics – Best for Detailed Reports

  • At-home diet and fitness DNA testing
  • Individualized diet strategies and meal plans
  • Tailor-made exercise strategies
  • Results in 4 weeks

Price from$99.00
Our score8

The DNA Test from MyToolbox Genomics covers 16 health predisposition traits by analyzing 1,000 genetic markers. The detailed results report provides personalized recommendations to help you overcome your predispositions for optimal dietary health and exercise performance.

Tailor-made nutrition, supplement, exercise, and workout plans are included in your report to help guide you towards a better and healthier lifestyle.

Access the free workout and meal planner, for useful exercise and nutrition tips that are aligned to your unique genetic makeup, helping you to achieve your personal goals.

Test Diet & Fitness with MyToolbox Genomics!

3. SelfDecode – Best for Ongoing Reports on Your Health

  • Upload raw data from other DNA tests
  • Ongoing and additional reports available
  • Easy-to-understand data
  • Results instant or within 6 to 8 weeks

Price from$99.00
Our score9

At SelfDecode, you can upload your raw DNA data from AncestryDNA, FamilyTreeDNA, and Courtagen, and receive your chosen reports instantly, saving you the usual waiting time of 6-8 weeks. When I tried it, I was impressed by how quick and easy the process was.

With a subscription on either an annual or lifetime basis, you can access ongoing reports. The annual subscription comes with five reports included for free, and additional reports are offered at a discounted price. If you don’t have existing DNA, you can purchase a kit at an additional cost. I found this subscription model to be very flexible and accommodating to my needs.

SelfDecode offers a wide variety of reports that can help you understand your body and optimize your fitness and diet. This includes assessments of your risk for inflammatory conditions, nutritional profile, cancer risk, fitness levels, cardiovascular health, and more. It also offers mental health-related tests, including assessments of stress, mood, anxiety, and cognitive function. 

Get Started With SelfDecode

4. Everlywell – Best for Quick Results

  • At-home blood testing
  • Variety of affordable lifestyle tests
  • Test for food sensitivities
  • Results in 5-7 days

Price from$49.00
Our score8.5

Everlywell doesn’t provide DNA testing, instead offering a number of affordable lifestyle tests that check the levels of certain biomarkers in your blood sample. For example, the Metabolism test measures your levels of a number of hormones, which influence weight and energy.

By measuring biomarkers instead of analyzing DNA, it’s easy to monitor your progress with repeat testing. Everlywell has a membership program that greatly reduces the price of its lifestyle tests, for a monthly fee.

Your physician-reviewed results are delivered to your secure online account in 5 to 7 days, with a personalized report for each marker tested and what that means for you. Use the information in your report to help guide any lifestyle changes to improve your overall health and wellness.

Test Nutrition with Everlywell!

5. InsideTracker – Best for Reaching Your Optimal Nutrition Goals

  • Lab-based diet and fitness blood or DNA tests
  • DNA and blood insights add-on
  • Personalized nutrition and supplement reports
  • Custom online dashboard

Price from$49.00
Our score8

Choose from InsideTracker’s variety of lifestyle DNA tests, best suited to your goals. There is a choice of blood and DNA tests, but they currently only have a few at-home diet and fitness tests. Otherwise, your samples are collected at 2,000+ lab locations across the US or via a mobile phlebotomist.

Get even more out of your test by adding on DNA or blood insights, to determine all you need to know about enhancing performance, building muscle, raising metabolism, and more. Your personalized report includes a custom nutrition plan and supplement recommendations, so your body can get what it needs.

Test Diet & Fitness with InsideTracker!

At-home Diet and Fitness DNA Test Comparison Table

  Personalized Diet Plan Personalized Fitness Plan Food Sensitivity  Time to Results Starting Price
LivingDNA 6 to 8 weeks $139.00
MyToolbox Genomics 4 weeks $199.00
SelfDecode 6 to 8 weeks $397.00
Everlywell  5 to 7 days $159.00
InsideTracker 5 to 7 days for blood test or 4 to 6 weeks for DNA $49.00

How We Tested At-home Diet and Fitness Testing Kits

We evaluated several important factors to determine the best DNA tests for diet and fitness:

  1. Reliability: We conducted research on the genetic markers used to derive conclusions and recommendations. We ensured that reliable sources and peer-reviewed research supported the insights provided by the tests.
  2. Clarity: We assessed the clarity of the reports, focusing on whether the conclusions were presented in easy-to-understand language. Tests that offered detailed explanations ranked higher than those with basic reports.
  3. Actionability: We considered whether the tests provided practical and tangible recommendations to optimize your diet and fitness routines. Features like customized meal plans and exercise suggestions played a role in ranking the tests higher on our list.
  4. Relevance: We examined whether the tests analyzed a wide range of factors related to diet and fitness, ensuring they covered a comprehensive set of considerations.
  5. Support: We acknowledged the importance of having expert support available to help interpret the results of the DNA test. Whether through consultations or a helpful knowledge base, tests with robust support options were given higher consideration.

By considering these criteria, we identified the DNA tests that excelled in delivering reliable, clear, actionable, relevant, and well-supported insights for diet and fitness.

How Do You Read and Interpret the Results of Your At-Home Diet and Fitness DNA Test?

Upon finishing the analysis, you’ll get detailed reports containing various genetic data along with descriptions of the methods used to obtain this information. Experts use their knowledge to offer key insights into how your genetics influence your body’s response to diet and exercise, saving you the effort of interpreting the data on your own.

Top-tier diet and fitness reports offer practical advice tailored to your unique genetic profile. This advice can cover dietary suggestions, such as which foods to add or avoid, and other lifestyle adjustments aimed at enhancing your health and wellness.

Understanding the Science

DNA tests for diet and fitness examine your genetic makeup to offer insights into how your body may respond to different foods and exercise routines. They concentrate on genes associated with metabolism, nutrient absorption, and physical activity response. Methods like polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or next-generation sequencing are used to analyze these genes. The outcomes provide tailored recommendations to improve your diet and exercise regimes. However, it’s important to remember that genetics are just one part of a larger health framework, which also includes lifestyle and environmental influences.

Key Genes to Look For

When selecting a DNA test for diet and fitness, it’s helpful to know which genes are often studied and why they are important. Here are some key genes to look out for:

  1. FTO: Known as the “obesity gene,” variations in this gene can influence how well your body metabolizes fats and carbohydrates.
  2. APOE: This gene plays a significant role in lipid metabolism and can indicate how well your body processes cholesterol. Different versions of APOE can suggest a predisposition for higher or lower LDL cholesterol levels.
  3. ACTN3: Sometimes called the “sprint gene,” this gene can offer insights into your potential for fast-twitch muscle fiber development, which is crucial for activities requiring speed and power.
  4. PPAR-α: This gene influences fatty acid metabolism and could provide information on how efficiently you burn fat during exercise.
  5. MTHFR: This gene is involved in folate metabolism and can impact how well your body processes vitamins, specifically B-vitamins.
  6. TAS2R38: This gene can affect your perception of bitterness in foods, which can influence your preference for vegetables and other nutrient-rich foods.

How Does At-Home Diet and Fitness DNA Testing Work?

Collecting your DNA sample at home is simple, with most providers – including Living DNA – requiring a small amount of saliva or cheek swab. 

The best diet and fitness DNA tests include pre-paid packaging so you can drop your samples directly in the mail. Once the lab receives your sample, your DNA is carefully analyzed to reveal your diet and fitness traits.

What Will Diet and Fitness DNA Test Results Tell Me?

Your results are usually processed within six weeks of the lab receiving your sample. As Everlywell and InsideTracker test for biomarkers in blood, results are issued in just five to seven days. Your report is delivered to a secure online account and you’ll be emailed when they become available.

Depending on which test you choose, your results may show how your body processes certain nutrients and how it responds to different types of exercise. In most cases, along with these conclusions, are tailor-made insights on how you can optimize your diet and exercise regimes, based on your DNA.

Genetic Markers for Nutrient Absorption

Understanding how your body absorbs and utilizes nutrients can be a game-changer for your diet. Here are some key genes involved:

  1. SLC30A2: This gene is involved in zinc absorption, essential for immune function and wound healing.
  2. VDR: This gene influences Vitamin D receptor activity, affecting calcium absorption and bone health.
  3. SLC22A4: This gene plays a role in the absorption of carnitine, which is vital for energy metabolism.

Exercise Genotypes and Physical Performance

Your genetic makeup can influence how you respond to different types of physical activity. Knowing these genes can tailor your workout plans:

  1. IL-6: A gene that affects inflammation and muscle repair, important for recovery after exercise.
  2. NOS3: This gene is associated with blood flow and oxygenation in the muscles during exercise.
  3. ACE: Known for its role in blood pressure regulation, this gene can influence stamina and endurance levels.

Understanding Food Intolerances and Sensitivities

Some people have genetic predispositions to certain food intolerances or sensitivities. Key genes in this category include:

  1. LCT: This gene determines lactase production, affecting your ability to digest lactose in dairy products.
  2. HLA-DQ: This gene is linked to gluten sensitivity and celiac disease.
  3. ALDH2: This gene affects alcohol metabolism and could indicate a higher risk of alcohol flush reaction.

How to Read Your Report

Once you receive your DNA test results, interpreting the data can be challenging. Key metrics and terms you might encounter include:

  1. SNP (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism): These are variations at a single position in a DNA sequence. They are the most common type of genetic variation.
  2. Genotype: Your specific version of a gene. Your report will often indicate whether your genotype puts you at higher, average, or lower risk for specific traits.
  3. Allele Frequency: Indicates how common an allele (gene variant) is in a particular population. It helps contextualize your results.
  4. Confidence Level: Indicates the degree of scientific consensus or evidence backing the test’s findings. Look for confidence levels to gauge the reliability of your results.

How Accurate are Diet and Fitness DNA Tests?

Although most diet and fitness DNA tests are generally reliable, there are various factors that can impact their accuracy. The quality of the DNA or blood sample you provide is crucial. If you fail to adequately swab or follow the instructions for finger-prick blood collection, your sample might lack sufficient genetic material or become contaminated.

Moreover, the accuracy of the results is influenced by scientific research. Conclusions are drawn from reputable studies, but the strength of correlations can vary, and some genetic markers are better understood than others. Consequently, relying solely on a single genetic marker is insufficient to fully understand a specific trait. The most comprehensive DNA tests analyze multiple markers to provide a more complete perspective.

Lastly, it’s important to recognize that your genes do not determine your destiny. While a genetic test may indicate a predisposition or trait, your lifestyle choices and environment often have a more significant impact, especially regarding fitness and dietary factors.

How Much Does a Diet and Fitness DNA Test Cost?

Diet and fitness DNA tests vary by provider, but most range between $50 and $200, depending on how extensive your results report is. When choosing a DNA test, the price shouldn’t be the deciding factor. Take a look at what you get from the test to determine the best value.

Some tests only analyze the genetic influence on nutrition and diet, which may be sufficient if you’re interested in eating better. Others will also look at markers that may determine how your body will respond to exercise. This information can prove useful if you’re interested in maximizing performance.

The most comprehensive tests will offer additional insights, such as food sensitivities and recovery reports, as well as personalized meal and exercise plans to kickstart your new healthy regime.

FAQs

What is a diet and fitness DNA Test?

Diet and fitness tests assess your DNA, screening for genetic markers that have been linked to nutrition and fitness traits.

This genetic information is used to draw conclusions on the best foods and exercises for your unique makeup, which may help you reach your health and wellness goals faster.

What sample is needed for diet and fitness DNA testing?

Most at-home diet and fitness DNA tests use a saliva sample, obtained from a simple cheek swab. Ins some cases, such as when analyzing biomarkers instead of genes – testing is performed using a finger-prick blood sample.

Does genetics affect weight?

Yes, to a certain degree. Research has shown a genetic link to a number of traits, such as metabolism and the tendency to store fat, but it isn’t the whole story. The strength of genetic influence on weight varies between individuals; for some people, genes account for as little as 25% of the predisposition to be overweight, while for others it could be as high as 80%.

Plus, your genes can also influence which weight-loss strategies – including types of diet and workout – may work best for you.

Environmental and lifestyle choices also play a key role in weight, so a diet and fitness DNA test can provide you with useful tips on what changes you can make to be healthier in general.

Can DNA testing tell me my optimal diet and workout regimes?

Most DNA tests will provide actionable insights in your results reports, for example, what food you should include in your diet, any vitamin deficiencies, and what exercises are best suited to your genetic makeup. This information provides a great start on your journey to a healthier lifestyle

Some companies offer customized diet and fitness plans, which have been guided by your generic predispositions. This makes it super easy to start eating better and maximizing your performance in the gym.

What can’t DNA tell us about diet and fitness?

By analyzing known genetic markers, DNA tests can tell us if we are predisposed to certain traits related to nutrition and fitness, such as vitamin metabolism, macronutrient breakdown, and strength and recovery response.

However, correlation does not equal causation. Just because a certain gene has been linked to a particular trait, it’s not a guarantee you’ll exhibit that trait if you have the gene, especially since lifestyle plays such a big role.

What a DNA test can do, is to help you to make better choices by giving you an indication of what foods and exercises are likely to work better with your body.

They are no substitute for advice from a trained professional and no major lifestyle changes shouldn’t be made without first consulting with your doctor.

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About Author
Moss Stern
Moss Stern
Writer

Moss Stern is a professional writer, amateur musician, voracious fiction reader, recreational bicyclist, cutthroat Scrabble player, and gleeful health and science nerd. He resides in the vicinity of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Moss Stern is a professional writer, amateur musician, voracious fiction reader, recreational bicyclist, cutthroat Scrabble player, and gleeful health and science nerd. He resides in the vicinity of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.