In my previous blog post, I mentioned the importance of losing weight in a slow and steady manner to achieve your ideal body weight. As tempting and desirable as it is to lose weight quickly, more often than not, the end result is unfortunately weight gain rather than healthy weight loss of any lasting nature.
The same result typically occurs even when you follow traditional diet plans that restrict food quantities and/or food types over an extended period of time.
The Reason Why You Ultimately Gain Weight When You Try To Lose Weight Quickly
Here’s what actually happens. While you yourself are focused on achieving a particular weight by watching what you are eating (or not eating as the case might be), your body is purely programmed and focused on maintaining your survival. You may not think that losing that spare tyre you have been carrying around is a threat to your survival, and rightly so! It isn’t. However, your body actually does see it that way and here’s why …
When you lose weight quickly, or even when you restrict food quantities or food types over a longer period of time, your body automatically stops you from losing weight when you pass a certain point, i.e., a particular weight determined by your own body to be the lowest acceptable weight you can be before your survival is threatened. The problem is however that the particular weight determined by your body to be the lowest acceptable weight before your survival is threatened is usually a weight that is much more than what you want to weigh.
That certain point or certain weight is your ‘Set Point’ and while it varies from person to person, each and every one of us has a Set Point relating to our weight, whether we are dieting or not. So, regardless of which diet you are following and regardless of how much will power and determination you have to reach your ideal body weight, once your weight reaches and passes the lowest acceptable weight your body is programmed to maintain, your body automatically sets off all of these triggers to deliberately cause you to put weight back on.
This all relates back to when our ancestors had to hunt and gather food. Food was not always available back in those days so our ancestors’ bodies went into ‘famine mode’ and stored fat to live off for the times food was in short supply. Today, when we deliberately restrict our food intake or ‘starve’ ourselves while dieting, our bodies still go into ‘famine mode’ and store fat even though we have ample food available to us. In other words, our bodies still react the same.
The Automatic Survival Mechanism That Overrides Typical Weight Loss Plans
The main point to really take note of here is that this is a natural process that your body automatically triggers of its own accord – regardless of how much weight you want to lose or how determined you are to lose it.
Take a moment now to try this very brief exercise – it’s very brief because you won’t be able to sustain it. Try holding your breath for 10 minutes – it’s absolutely impossible because your body is designed and equipped with a range of automatic survival mechanisms, in this instance to breathe again after a very short period of time, for the sole purpose of keeping you alive. You cannot override these automatic survival mechanisms no matter how hard you try.
Likewise, your body has a powerful and automatic survival mechanism which overrides all of your efforts to lose weight once you pass your body’s particular Set Point as mentioned above. This is the very reason why you and anyone else who has followed traditional diet plans in the past have not able to sustain a diet for too long.
As you can see, it has nothing to do with which diet you are following, nor your determination to lose weight or how strong your will power is – it’s all about how your body works.
The fatal mistake dieters make as they go on and off their traditional weight loss plans over time is that, unbeknown to them, they are in fact raising their Set Point. What this does is cause their body to set off those automatic triggers to:
- stop you from losing weight, and
- cause you to deliberately regain the weight you lost (plus a little more)
much earlier and at a heavier weight than when the triggers were set off during previous dieting attempts. As you can see from the following illustration depicting the typical weight cycle most people experience, as you regain weight because you can no longer sustain your diet, your Set Point is re-set, but at a point higher than what you desire.
Lowering Your Set Point: The Key to Achieving And Maintaining Your Ideal Body Weight
The good news is that just as your Set Point can be raised, it can also be lowered so that you can:
- lose more weight than you have been able to in the past,
- achieve your ideal body weight, AND
- maintain it permanently and effortlessly
that is … once you know how to re-set your Set Point in the right direction.
So now that you know you have a Set Point relating to your weight and that your body automatically stops you from losing weight past that certain point when you’re following traditional diet plans, wouldn’t it make sense now to find out more about how your body works, i.e., how to determine your existing Set Point, what the triggers are and more importantly, how to lower your Set Point so that you can finally achieve your ideal body weight? I would say so!
That’s precisely where we’re going next so, stay tuned!
Until then, take care
Dedicated to improving your bottom line … as well as your waistline, your health and your lifestyle!