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Fighting against your body's set point

Amy changed her body's set point and never looked back. Click on the photo to read more about her.

"I feel stuck, please help!"

If losing body fat wasn’t hard enough, we’re also battling against what we call our bodyfat "set point”.

The set point is largely controlled by the hormone leptin. Leptin responds to changes in the size of the fat cells. Think of leptin as the thermostat for your fat cells.

The body fat set point is triggered by the size of the individual fat cells. As the cells start to shrink during an energy deficit (diet), the fat cells reduce their secretion of leptin.

This reduces metabolic rate (slows calorie expenditure), which increases hunger. Remember hunger is an emotion. And once hunger kicks in, we eat in proximity.

Hunger is your body’s way of telling you, you need to eat. If you’re going to eat, then it’s a good idea to have meals ready to eat that are based around your goals rather than your emotions. If you’re not prepared, then this is where the to-ing and froing with weight loss starts to happen.

It goes the other way in a calorie surplus. The secretion of leptin goes up, hunger comes down (appetite goes) and this drives the body back towards its set point. Therefore, you’re treading water when it comes to diets and losing weight. If you go from one extreme (under eating) to another (over eating) then you’re making it very easy for the body to go back to that set point over and over and wreak havoc with your hormones.

Nicolette changed her body's set point and never looked back. Click on the photo to read more about her.

Think of Sue that works in the accounts department. She tells you she is on this 6-week shred program at the local gym in preparation for her holiday to get bikini ready.

She celebrates in the office and tells everyone how much she has lost already, and that her diet is the best and that “it works you know”.

Truth is, she simply lost the weight quickly from being in a massive energy deficit (likely from starving and over-training). She then goes on holiday and basically eats and drinks whatever (as a reward) and comes back with all the weight she lost and then some.

She’s basically eaten her way back towards her set point. What a waste of time.🤷🏻‍♂️

Kirsty Jackson changed her body's set point and never looked back. Click on the photo to read more about her.

This is why getting in shape for a holiday is a terrible idea. You’re just not going to be able to maintain the same discipline or be in an environment to make the right food choices and why would you? You’re on holiday. Leptin secretion is low (from the dieting) and now hunger is at an all-time high, and the only thing available to eat to satisfy the emotion is high calorie foods and alcohol...

This is why education is key. What needs to happen is a level of cognitive restraint which should be progressively taught throughout the program.

Yes, you can change your body's set point and still enjoy your life. The key is to keep to a certain level of compliance and adherence and plan your moments of enjoyment without going overboard. Too much balance will send you right back to your set point, but the right amount will produce massive results. Be educated enough to know the difference. :)

Dave 👍

PS: Read my trainer profile here.

Jenna Evans changed her body's set point and never looked back. Click on the photo to read more about her.

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