It has been over 4 years since I originally wrote about the "Set Point Theory" and weight loss. I've actually written about this pretty extensively - even recently. The premise of the "Set Point Theory" is that we all have an upper and lower limit when it comes to a healthy weight range. When it comes to weight loss, the lower limit is the one that is most important, because as an individual loses weight and once they drop below that lower weight range, their metabolisms begin to slow.
Regardless of how healthy or unhealthy our weight is currently at, if we lose weight too quickly or too far beyond our "lower limit," our bodies seem to kick into survival mode, almost as if it thinks we are dying, and slows metabolism down to preserve weight as much as possible. Alarm bells sound when weight drops quickly, and our primary focus seems to be to prevent as much body wasting as possible.
A fantastic article in the New York Times was released just the other day detailing the incredible weight loss, and unfortunate rebound for the contestants of the show the Biggest Loser.
“The key point is that you can be on TV, you can lose enormous amounts of weight, you can go on for six years, but you can’t get away from a basic biological reality,” said Dr. Schwartz, who was not involved in the study. “As long as you are below your initial weight, your body is going to try to get you back.”
As the article points out, and something that I discuss with my clients on a consistent basis, is that if weight loss is your goal, then effective Coaching and tracking is essential for long-term, sustainable weight loss.
Sure, like a general fitness program, or a dietary guideline program, results usually come pretty quick and easy. I don't mean to discount the effectiveness of any diet or workout program, but nearly anything can and will work when you are first starting out. If you are overweight, just getting moving and eating a bit healthier can lead to some pretty immediate change.
I see it all the time, individuals who sell a workout plan or a diet plan that is a cookie cutter option that initially may work for most - but doesn't necessarily work for everyone, or may not deliver the results you want over time.
In my opinion, and a problem that usually occurs with most individuals, is that changes begin to slow, and then where are you left? The allure of just purchasing a workout program or diet plan from someone can initially seem like a "cheap" option, and sure, you may even see results. But then what happens when your weight loss or fitness level starts to plateau? Is the person you purchased your diet plan from there to help guide you through that plateau? Do they have options or tools to help you tweak things to continue the progress?
I know, this sounds like one biased blog, and clearly I have my own interests in mind when I am offering my help to others. But at the same time I have been around the health and fitness industry for some time now, and have seen the failed attempts at succeeding time and time again.
Diet plans aren't realistic if you can't stick to them. There is a reason why you weren't consistent. There was a reason why your weight plateaued. There is a reason why although you may lose weight initially, it just keeps coming back on. I teach habits that are effective long-term. My goal is to help those make effective lifestyle choices to be consistent over time, rather than just look good in 6 weeks and re-gain the weight.
So, if this sounds like you - someone who has tried to lose weight in the past only to hit a plateau or lose all momentum and gain your weight back, give my Nutritional Coaching try. I promise you I will work hard to help you make long-lasting, effective weight loss a reality.