After going through multiple yo-yo weight loss cycles most people wonder what are they doing wrong. Is there a sure way to reduce weight long term? Most weight loss systems focus on short-term to give immediate results. Now you will hear for the first time what makes the weight loss stick long term:
1. Only short term weight loss controlled by calories: We have all been ingrained with the logic of “diet and exercise” that we take it for granted. But nobody told us that the ‘diet and exercise’ mantra works only in the short term. Scientists have found with experiments on rats that when they surgically remove or add fat, the rats regain the former weight in a few months. This indicates that we have a “set weight” that our system converges to. All the dieting we do cannot change our weight long term unless the “set weight” is changed. This is why in the long run we return to our set weight. We have been focusing on the wrong thing. Instead of focusing on our set weight, we have been focusing on Calories.
2. Long term weight loss controlled by “set weight”: Our set weight is like an inner thermostat that regulates our weight. Just like the thermostat regulates the temperature within a house. If we reduce calories intake it correspondingly reduces our metabolism so that we revert to our set weight. If we burn more calories then it increases our hunger. If we force ourselves to both burn more calories and eat less, our weight will go down in the short term. But the more it diverges from our set weight, the more pressure we feel. Eventually the set weight wins and we find ourselves where we started. But there is no need to feel discouraged. The set weight can be changed, and when we do that our weight automatically adjusts. Just like when we change the thermostat settings, the temperature of the home adjusts accordingly. The trick is to focus on the set weight and next three bullets show us how.
3. Set weight depends on quality rather than quantity of calories: What we eat is more important than how much we eat. This is because the food we eat has an impact on our hormones and these in turn control how much we eat and our set weight:
- The number one enemy that drives our set weight is sugar. If we want to reduce our set weight we must abstain from all foods that have added sugar and are over processed.
- In addition we must avoid fried foods and glazed foods as these results in chemical reactions in food known as “Glycation”. The results of these reactions are chemicals that gum up our system and cause our set point weight to rise.
- We must also avoid foods that we are allergic to as this cause an inflammatory response in our body that also impacts our set weight.
- Another problem area is meat, fish, and dairy that comes from grain fed source or if hormones are used in its production. Such food alters our internal hormone balance or causes inflammation in our body. The net result of this is that our set weight inches higher.
4. Stress is the biggest driver of set weight: Stress has a big impact on our internal hormones and these in turn drive our set weight. This is why going hungry is never a good idea if you want long-term weight loss. This actually increases the set point weight and causes long-term weight gain. Yoga, breathing exercises (Pranayama), and meditation are the best tools we have to control stress. If we do these on a regular and sustained basis, our set weight reduces and eventually we find that fat in our body melts away. Our weight reduces in a healthy manner that is sustained long term.
5. Sleep is important for weight loss: It is important to get 7 to 10 hours of restful sleep. Lack of sleep upsets our internal hormonal balance and causes our set weight to rise. If you are concerned about your weight then you must make sure that your are getting at least 7 hours of restful sleep each night.
The message for long term weight loss is different from the one for short term weight loss. It is important to understand the distinction. For short term weight loss diet and exercise are key. For long term weight loss quality of food, stress reduction, and enough sleep are important. Once we know what to focus on the rest should be easy!