It’s that time of year again, the season of cookouts and pool parties and skin. Lots of skin. Summer is the most body-revealing season, after all. It’s no wonder, then, that summer weight loss is the goal of so many people.
Are you one of them? Do you drive yourself crazy with a summer weight loss goal — every summer — of trying to lose a fast 10 pounds to fit into that teensy weensy bikini? Or, if bikinis aren’t your thing, do you just want to look better in your one-piece bathing suit or favorite pair of shorts and a tank top? Do you think your body is not good enough to show off at the beach or cookout or zoo…or anywhere in the summer months, as long as you’re carrying any extra weight?
Hold on a second. Give yourself a break…a BIG break. Your body is good enough. You are perfect just the way you are. If you don’t fit somebody else’s idea of perfection, that’s their problem, not yours. Losing a quick 10 pounds isn’t going to heal damaged self-esteem, nor is it going to provide long-term summer weight loss success.
Summer Weight Loss: The Big Picture
That’s not to minimize your concern over that extra 10 pounds. But hating your extra fat, hating your appearance, does nothing to help you lose weight. Studies show guilt, shame, and stress elevate setpoint weight because they cause the release of fat-storing stress hormones. Self-acceptance and self-love keep those stress hormones at bay. These positive emotions about yourself and your body help lower your setpoint weight, especially when used in conjunction with the setpoint lowering principles in this article. This makes summer weight loss a positive, empowering experience.
But don’t expect to lose that weight in a couple of weeks. The only way you can lose a quick 10 pounds is by crash dieting, a practice that works only for short-term weight loss. If you have tried to lose 5 or 10 pounds for a summer weight loss event, you know how fragile this weight loss can be. After starving yourself for a couple weeks or a month, you hit your goal weight and attend the event. But you feel awful leading up to the event. It didn’t take long for you to gain all the weight back, either.
The same thing will happen if your summer weight loss goal is losing 10 pounds quickly this year. You’ll regain the weight. Before the end of summer, you’ll probably be back to where you started. All that starvation…that summer weight loss effort, wasted.
Here’s a question for you: Why waste all that time and effort, only to gain the weight back? Wouldn’t you like to try a better strategy, one that helps you keep the weight off long-term? This strategy is to lower your setpoint weight.
Lowering your Setpoint Weight: The Summer Weight Loss Secret You Can Count On
The setpoint weight is that level of fat your body thinks you should have, based on signals from your brain, your hormones, and your digestive system. You see, your body is an amazing, complex machine. Your brain, hormones, and digestive system continually talk to each other through various feedback loops to synchronize the activities that automatically maintain fat at a specified level. This is the setpoint weight.
Factors that Determine Setpoint Weight
There are three factors that determine setpoint weight: hormones, brain, and gut. Here is how each of them affects setpoint weight.
Your gut, organs, muscle tissue, and fat tissue are constantly communicating with your brain via hormones. For instance, these hormones talk about how much fuel they think you need to stabilize you at your setpoint weight. If they think you’re at risk of your body falling below your setpoint weight, they send chemical messages that drive your cravings and appetite up, and your daily calorie burn rate down.
When you eat high-quality calories, which trigger the release of fat-burning hormones, the messages are received properly. Your body burns fat and you either maintain your healthy weight, or you lose weight.
If you eat low-quality calories, your hormones cannot send or receive correct messages. They don’t know how much fat you need. But since their mission is to keep you alive, they err on the side of giving you too much fat rather than too little. This is called hormonal dysregulation, which elevates your setpoint weight.
The brain is also instrumental in controlling your metabolism. The hypothalamus, located in the center of the brain, is the control center for the metabolism. It is regulated largely by the hormones leptin and insulin.
When the brain is healthy, these signals are received correctly so that when calorie intake increases, you burn more calories. This balances your weight at your setpoint weight. However, if the hypothalamus is inflamed (neurological inflammation) these signals no longer work. Instead of trying to keep you naturally thin, your brain and hormones try to make you hold onto fat. This means neurological inflammation elevates the setpoint weight independent of any other factor.
Neurological inflammation isn’t a theory. Cutting-edge research is showing it could be one of the main causes of overweight and obesity.
Would it surprise you to learn bacteria living in your gut have a lot to do with whether you’re thin or overweight? It’s true. Studies show lean people have a higher number of a certain type of bacteria than heavy people, and vice versa. This strongly suggests a link between gut bacteria composition and setpoint weight. But…and this is important…the distribution of bacterial species in your gut is not something you’re born with. It is created by consuming low-quality foods and other factors.
How the Setpoint Weight Regulates Your Weight
With help from your hormones, brain, and gut, the body uses many methods to keep you at your setpoint weight. For instance, it stimulates and suppresses your appetite as needed. It also raises or lowers your metabolism.
Your setpoint weight varies by about 20 pounds, and your body defends it with every weapon in its arsenal. If you decide, for instance, to go on a crash diet to lose that 10 pounds, your body goes on emergency alert. Your cells depend upon a certain amount of nutrition, and if they are suddenly not getting it, they think you’re starving.
The hormones signal the brain that you’re not eating enough food. The hypothalamus in the brain directs various hormones to make you hungry, cold, weak, shaky. If these symptoms aren’t enough to make you eat more food, it slows your metabolism. At this point, it will take a lot of work to meet your summer weight loss goal.
Yes, you most certainly CAN attain your summer weight loss goal by slashing calories, but it is not pleasant and the weight loss is will only last short term. As soon as you stop dieting, the weight will come back, probably bringing a few extra pounds with it for extra insurance against future starvation. Crash dieting is counterproductive, as it elevates the setpoint weight. Crash dieting is not the only thing that raises setpoint weight, however.
Factors the Elevate Setpoint Weight, Destroying Summer Weight Loss Goals
There are several factors known to elevate setpoint weight. Here are the most common ones.
Low-Quality Diet: Eating a regular diet of heavily processed foods and fast foods is a major cause of an elevated setpoint weight. Processed and fast foods contain preservatives, additives, sugars, and chemicals that create a hormonal clog.
Excess Sugar Consumption: The average American consumes 152 pounds of sugar per year, which equals 6 cups per week. That far exceeds the American Heart Association recommendation of no more than 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 teaspoons for men. Sugar raises setpoint weight even when consumed within an acceptable calorie limit.
Sleep Deprivation: Many studies show that lack of sleep contributes to weight gain. The link between sleep deprivation and weight gain appears to be cortisol. Studies show sleep deprivation causes an increase in cortisol levels, a hormone that contributes to weight gain if it remains elevated for too long.
Chronic Stress: Everyone experiences stress. It is a part of life. But if stress goes on too long and becomes chronic, it elevates blood cortisol levels causing an elevated setpoint weight. This is because cortisol triggers a release of insulin, the fat-storage hormone.
How to Lower Your Setpoint Weight and Easily Achieve your Summer Weight Loss Goals
The factors listed above create a hormonal clog, which elevates setpoint weight and ruins your summer weight loss goals. The only way to lower setpoint weight is to clear the hormonal clog. One of the ways to do that is by consuming high-quality calories. How do you know the quality of a calorie? A quality of a calorie can be assessed based on four criteria:
- Satiety: How quickly the calories fill you up and how long they keep you full.
- Aggression: How likely the calories are to be stored as fat.
- Nutrition: How many nutrients — vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, etc — the calories provide.
- Efficiency: How many of the calories can be stored as body fat.
Satiety is how scientists measure how satisfying a food is. High-satiety foods, such as protein, fills you up fast and keeps you full for a long time. Low-satiety foods, such as potato chips, are not filling at all. You’d need to eat most of a bag to be full, and even then, it won’t last long. One of the biggest summer weight loss secrets is to eat more high-satiety foods. The more high-satiety foods you eat, the less room you’ll have for low-satiety foods. You’ll avoid hunger and overeating, effortlessly lowering your setpoint weight.
Calories are considered to be aggressive based on how quickly it floods your body with glucose. Constantly elevated glucose levels mean your body has to deposit the excess into your fat tissue. The more sugar and starch, and the less fiber, protein, and fat in a food, the more aggressive it is, and the more likely your body is to send it straight to your fat stores. This is not an ideal situation for summer weight loss.
A SANE diet emphasizes water-, fiber-, and protein-packed high-satiety foods, which means you’ll automatically eat fewer aggressive calories.
The more nutrients per calorie of food, the more hormonally healing it is and the more it will lower your setpoint weight. The fewer nutrients per calorie, the less hormonally healing it is, and the more it will elevate your setpoint weight.
Studies show those who eat more nutrient-dense foods have a lower level of body fat and inflammation than those who ate the same number of calories, but from foods that were not nutrient-dense. To maximize nutrition, simply select foods high in water, protein, and fiber.
The body varies greatly in its ability to store things you consume as body fat. Some things can’t be stored as body fat, and others are very efficiently stored as body fat. If you want to reduce your fat stores or avoid accumulating excess fat, you should eat food that your body is inEfficient at storing as body fat.
Fiber and water are 100% inEfficient. Your body cannot store it as body fat. Protein is inEfficient at being stored as body fat, meaning it is difficult for your body to store as fat. Carbohydrates and fat are efficiently stored as body fat.
The SANE Eating Plan for Summer Weight loss Success
The SANE eating plan is really quite simple. You don’t have to count calories or points or keep a food log. The goal is to eat so many SANE foods that you do not have room for inSANE foods. You’ll concentrate on consuming foods that are satiating, unAggressive at being stored as fat, nutritious, and inEfficient at being stored as fat. These foods contain water, fiber, and protein.
SANE Food Groups
The 4 SANE Food groups are non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense proteins, whole-food fats, and low fructose fruits.
A minimum of 10 servings per day
Examples: asparagus; broccoli; carrots; onions; romaine lettuce; spinach;
3-5 servings per day, 30-50 grams per meal
Examples: grass-fed beef; egg whites; nonfat Greek yogurt; salmon; cottage cheese; chicken
3-6 servings per day
Examples: coconut; cocoa/cacao; olives; almonds; avocado; flax seeds
0-3 servings per day
Examples: goji berries; oranges; lemons; strawberries; blueberries; grapefruit
The SANE eating plan is scientifically proven to fill you up fast and keep you full for a long time. You won’t be hungry or feel deprived. And all the while, your setpoint weight is being lowered. You will finally meet your summer weight loss goals, and this time, it will be permanent.
Next Step: Summer Weight Loss with SANE
Ready to finally break free from the yo-yo dieting rollercoaster by balancing your hormones and lowering your body’s setpoint weight?
Want to know the exact foods and serving sizes that are scientifically proven by over 1,300 peer-reviewed research studies to boost metabolism, burn fat and enjoy virtually effortless weight loss like a naturally thin person?
Download the free SANE metabolism boosting food list, cheat sheet and “Eat More, Burn More” weight loss program by.