What is a set weight point?
New studies have discovered that your body wants to keep you at your highest weight. This is called the Set-Point, and it’s the reason why sustained weight loss is so difficult to achieve.Your body resists weight loss and views it as a problem. Following weight loss, your body makes physiological changes to restore body weight back up to your highest weight, or “Set-Point.” In response to weight loss, your body lowers your metabolic rate to make it easier to regain the weight. It also lowers levels of a peptide called GLP-1,that specifically regulates when you feel full. Lower levels of GLP-1 increase hunger hormones, leading to increased cravings and appetite.
So am I stuck at this weight for good?
Finally, I have some good news for you - you’re not stuck at this weight for good. It’s possible to ‘reset’ your set point. You can’t change your genetics, but you can change your environment, which can help you reach your goal weight.
At my clinic we prescribe GLP-1 medications because research shows that, when combined with coaching, they are the safest and most effective option for long-term weight loss. Because losing weight is not about willpower alone. Learn more about my weight loss program here.
How do I adjust my set point?
Here are a few key ways to hit the ‘reset’ button on your set point:
1. Getting Better Sleep- A lack of sleep is usually a cause and consequence of stress. This results in a release of cortisol in the body, which increases our desire for fast-acting foods like sugar and carbohydrates to help us escape the stressful situation.
Ghrelin (the hunger hormone) also increases when we’re tired, stressed and sleep deprived, as our bodies seek the fuel to keep going. This hormone also increases with continued weight loss, making it more difficult to pass our "set point."
Leptin (the fullness hormone) To make matters worse, leptin (the fullness hormone) levels fall with fatigue, stress and sleep deprivation, meaning we’re more likely to overeat.
2. Managing Your Stress Levels - Stress Management with moderate exercise and meditation. If you’re familiar with stress, you’re likely also struggling with maintaining a healthy weight or, at the very least, achieving your weight loss goals. Stress and weight gain are strongly linked, and it’s not just down to your psychology.
3. Optimizing Your Energy Levels - Energy optimization with vitamin and mineral replacement. We all know vitamins and minerals are essential for our health, but we rarely stop to think about why or whether we’re getting enough.
4. Choosing the Right Foods - Choosing the right foods is the biggest contributor on our weight. Choosing foods high in protein, fiber and fat help increase leptin levels and decrease ghrelin levels. Controlling these hunger hormones with the foods you chose is the most effective way to pass your "set point."
5. Taking Care of Your Gut - It’s also worth noting that your gut health has a huge impact on how easy (or not) you find it to shed those extra pounds. Choosing whole, non-processed foods not only helps with maintaining satiety, but they also help contribute to a healthy gut microbiome, leading to an improved metabolism.
6. Getting In Touch With A Weight Loss Specialist - Weight loss is not just based off of one factor, it often involves your metabolism and hormones. Sometimes food and exercise is not enough. If you are ready to start your weight loss journey, a weight loss program or metabolic reset might be what you need. Find out how to eat for your body and metabolism through a custom dietary plan with appropriate prescriptions, supplementation and counseling with Dr. Nancy will help you reach your goal. Learn more here.
The good news is your weight plateau isn’t just because you’re not “trying hard enough”! Your biology is holding you back - the good news is you can make tweaks to your lifestyle to overcome your set point weight and reach your goals.
Dr. Nancy Rahnama, MD, ABOM, ABIM, is a medical doctor board certified by both the American Board of Obesity Medicine and the American Board of Internal Medicine. Her specialty is Clinical Nutrition, that is, the use of nutrition by a medical doctor to diagnose and treat disease. Dr. Rahnama has helped thousands of people achieve their goals of weight loss, gut health, improved mood and sleep, and managing chronic disease.