Why is it so hard to lose weight? Hint: It’s not willpower.
Have you ever wondered why your best friend is 100 lbs soaking wet and eats pizza every second day for lunch while you struggle to lose just 5 lbs with hours put in at the gym and eating so much plain chicken breast you might puke? It’s not willpower and it’s not unfair.
It’s your weight ‘set point’. This set point is the weight where your body is happiest. It is when we diet for years trying to lower our natural weight that we have issues. When you are trying to lower your weight from where your body is happy, it’ll fight back. Your body will cling on to every calorie you give it and will go into starvation mode. This is why you might lose a little weight at first but it’s very challenging to keep it up and almost impossible to keep it off. When you are on a diet and start eating normally again your body gains weight quickly, and you’ll probably gain more back than you lost in the first place. This is because of your weight set point. Your body is trying to protect itself.
Long ago food was scarce and this set point was a lifesaver in times of famine, but since there is a McDonald’s on every corner, this survival tactic is a little passé. However, it’s a reality so we need to work with it.
This thing about set points is that even if yours is higher than you would like it, it is a healthy weight for you. We often think that skinny equals healthy but it just isn’t true for everyone.
Focusing on nutrition and health over calories and appearance will help you find your healthiest weight, more energy and some body love.
Fighting against the weight that your body wants to be at will only bring stress and a lot of disappointment. Let’s work with the bodies we are given and instead focus on building strength, gaining more energy and finding body confidence.
How can I identify my weight setpoint?
1. This weight is the weight you reach when you are eating normally.
2. If you never eat normally, if you are always on a diet, you might have no clue what your set point is.
3. To find your set point you must practice intuitive eating. This means without restricting any foods, eat when you are hungry and stop when you are comfortably full. You’d be amazed how few people are in touch with their hunger signals these days. Years of dieting have actually damaged our body-brain connections and we need to restore them to restore our control over our weight.
Once you’ve identified your weight set point you can begin to realize that you never have to diet again. This is because if you are listening to your body and eating ‘normally’ you will maintain your healthiest weight because your body will fight with all it’s might to keep you there.
Now let your body work it’s magic and ditch that diet!