Why are you not losing weight?
Did you know that 95% of the people who
try to lose weight regain it in 2 to 5 years1?
Most of us think that weight gain happens because of the junk food that we eat. But, this may not be the only reason.
Do you know about the set point theory?
Scientists hit upon an answer to explain for this unwanted weight gain – the “set point” theory. And, it goes beyond just our eating habits. According to this theory, our body decides how much we should weigh and fixes this weight as a “set point”. This happens without us even realising it.
This is how the system works
Our stomach does more than just digest food. It also releases chemical messengers called hormones. These hormones travel through the blood and affect parts of the brain. Depending on the different hormones it receives, the brain decides the set point of weight for the body and sends the message to the rest of the body to stick to it. The rest of the body does everything to reach the set point weight and works hard to stay there.
In some of us, these messages may get mixed up,
making the set point higher and causing weight gain.1
Set points do not let our diets work
At the start of a diet, some weight is lost and we feel lighter. But, as times passes, this feeling goes away as we stop losing weight. And even worse, the weighing scale starts going up instead of down. This is called as the “yo-yo effect”.1,2
The “yo-yo” effect happens because, when we diet, the body thinks that it is starving. So, it releases hormones. These hormones make us feel hungrier and cause our muscles to burn less energy. This makes our shed kilos come back as our body tries to get back to the set point weight.1,2
This is why, most of us, face a ‘no-win’ situation when it comes to controlling weight.
The good news is that it is in our hands to reset the set point
Set point is hard to change but not impossible. Hard work and determination can go a long way in resetting the set point. The key here is to not lose hope and keep persevering in your weight loss journey.
You can change your set point by adopting a healthy lifestyle and following it for a long time.1 Eating a well-balanced diet and exercising moderately will help you keep your body in its natural weight range. Doing crash diets and very intense exercises can leave you “yo-yo”ing between weights.
In case these methods don’t work for you, you may benefit from weight loss options like bariatric surgery.
Bariatric surgery works by lowering the “set point”. It makes the person feel less hungry, fuller, and also makes the person choose healthier foods. It also tells the muscles to burn more fat.3
Consult your doctor to find out whether this surgery is an option for you.
Before starting any weight loss methods, take our health assessor tool to know your health and the best option to control your kilos.
Disclaimer: Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider.
1. Kaplan LM, Seeley RJ, Harris JL. Weight can be reliably controlled by voluntarily adjusting energy balance through diet and exercise. The Metabolic Applied Research Strategy Initiative Series. Bariatric Times. 2012;Suppl C:C5-C7
2. What Are Weight Cycling and Yo-Yo Dieting? [internet] WebMD. [cited 2015 Nov 26] Available from: http://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/weight-cycling
3. Kaplan LM, Seeley RJ, Harris JL. Bariatric surgery induces weight loss primarily by mechanical restriction and nutrient malabsorption. The Metabolic Applied Research Strategy Initiative Series. Bariatric Times. 2012;Suppl C:C8-C11