Weight Concerns: Is it Really a Concern?
If you’ve watched TV talk shows or read magazines in the past few years, you’ll notice a lot of experts and regular people “weighing” in on weight concerns. Obesity is a big issue today. Do you have weight concerns? Are you having trouble losing weight, and are you worried about health problems that could occur because of it? Are you confused by all the conflicting advice about how to lose weight?
You’re not alone. If you’re like most people, though, losing weight isn’t your problem. You’ve lost plenty of pounds many times. Keeping the weight off is your real problem; that one is always at the top of your list of weight concerns.
After all, you’ve fought weight loss wars for years, maybe decades. You’ve followed all the dieting advice. Eating in moderating. Cutting calories. Starving yourself. And exercising…oh, all those heart-thumping, sweat-dripping exercises you tried. Aerobics. Jazzercise. Running. Jogging. Zumba. Kickboxing, Tae Bo.
Oh, you always lost weight, but not nearly as much weight as you should have lost to justify all the effort you put into it. Then, as soon as you stopped dieting and exercising, all the weight you lost came back — and it brought an extra 10 pounds with it. All the excitement and satisfaction you had felt over your weight loss turned to disappointment, depression, shame, and guilt.
Weight concerns kept you dieting.
But you didn’t let these failures keep you from trying again. After all, you were committed to losing weight and being healthy. So you tried again…and again…and again…and again with the same results. Before you knew what was happening, you were a yo-yo dieter, and you didn’t know what to do about it.
These weight concerns have become worrisome. This extra weight is not good for your health. But you’ve run out of options. What should you do?
Well…you’ve come to the right place. We know your weight concerns, the challenges you face, and the confusion you feel. And we have the solution you’ve been searching for — a SANE Solution.
Weight concerns of a nation
It is understandable why you have these weight concerns. Obesity has reached epidemic proportions.
Consider the prevalence of obesity in the United States alone.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 39.8% (93.3 million) of U.S. adults are obese. Though being overweight can cause health problems, obesity significantly increases the risk of many diseases. Why? The excess body fat in obesity is associated with metabolic syndrome, which has been linked to many other conditions.
For instance, obesity is the main risk factor for type 2 diabetes. This is because obesity causes insulin resistance, which in most cases is the underlying cause of type 2 diabetes. Obesity is also associated with numerous other conditions, including the following:
- Heart disease
- Sleep apnea
- Gallbladder disease
- Certain types of cancer
Despite weight concerns, the weight problem has gotten worse.
Obesity and the health concerns it raises are not new. After all, experts and health officials have been raising alarms over the obesity epidemic for decades, cautioning against the health and financial problems obesity will cause individuals and nations if left unchecked.
And people listened.
Approximately 45% of Americans go on diets each ear. They spend billions of dollars on weight loss products and programs. Yet, the nation is getting bigger. It’s not that people don’t care. It’s not that people aren’t trying to lose weight. So what is happening?
Weight concerns? Don’t turn to the calorie-deficit model of weight loss
Could the answer be that the old weight loss methods don’t work? Yes, that is exactly what’s happening.
The calorie-deficit theory of weight loss, practiced since the mid-’60s, is incorrect. It has hurt and frustrated hundreds of millions of people. It has contributed to the obesity epidemic. Yet, experts keep pushing this theory as if it is the absolute law.
What is the truth, then? The truth is that your body is smarter than you think it is.
You’re not supposed to have weight concerns.
You see, the body is not like a scale in which calories in = calories out. This calorie-deficit theory of weight loss treats all calories the same, and it doesn’t matter from which foods they come. But, the truth is that the body metabolizes each macronutrient differently; each has a different effect on your body. And the body can adjust the metabolic burn of most biological processes depending on its needs.
Rather than being like a scale, then, the body is like a thermostat. It regulates your weight around your setpoint weight. Your setpoint weight is the number on the scale that your weight keep returning to no matter how little you eat or how much you exercise. It actually keeps you within 10 to 15 pounds of your setpoint weight. If you eat more than your body needs, your metabolism burns more calories. If you eat fewer calories than your body needs, your metabolism burns fewer calories. In addition, it regulates your hunger and satiety signals. In this way, it balances calorie intake with calories burned.
This is the way a properly functioning system works, and in this system, you would have no weight concerns. Your body takes care of everything for you. That’s the way your body was designed to work.
But when the system is broken, the setpoint weight becomes elevated. Your body now tries to keep you at that higher setpoint weight, and it doesn’t matter how many calories you cut or exercise away.
Setpoint weight: what it is and how it moderates weight concerns
Your brain, digestive system, and hormones talk to each other through various feedback loops to synchronize the activities that automatically keep you at a specified level of body fat, which is your setpoint weight.
If your setpoint weight is low, your hormones and brain are sending and receiving correct messages about your level of fat. You are at a healthy weight and probably have no weight concerns. If your setpoint weight is high — caused by hormonal dysregulation, neurological inflammation, and gut dysbiosis — your hormones and brain cannot send or receive proper signals. Your body doesn’t know how much fat you need, so it just gives you more fat. It is difficult or impossible for you to lose weight long-term because your body always tries to keep you close to your setpoint weight.
If you severely restrict calories, your body will fight you every step of the way. It thinks you’re starving, so it will do everything it can to keep you alive. Various hormones will make you hungry, cold, and weak. If you don’t start eating more food soon, it will slow even slow your metabolism.
This is why weight loss slows down so much after a couple of weeks on a diet. If you’ve often felt your body was fighting against you, it was! But it gets worse. Crash dieting itself elevates your setpoint weight, which is why you tend to gain a bit more weight than you lost once you go off the diet.
It’s not that traditional calorie-counting diets don’t work. They do work short term. However, the only way to keep the weight off after such a diet is to continue eating a reduced number of calories. Plus, you have to keep eating fewer and fewer calories with each subsequent year to maintain that weight loss. It is completely unsustainable.
Factors that elevate setpoint weight
There are a few factors known to elevated setpoint weight.
Processed foods/fast foods: Heavily processed foods contain sweeteners, trans fats, artificial colorings, preservatives, and other chemicals that harm the hormones and damage the blood-brain barrier, leading to neurological inflammation. Consuming these foods once in a while is not harmful, but a steady diet of processed foods elevates setpoint weight.
Sugars and starchy carbs: Overconsumption of sugars and starchy carbs can also raise setpoint weight. This is because these foods trigger the release of cortisol and insulin, both of which elevate setpoint weight. This is true even if you’re sticking to a restricted-calorie diet plan, meaning these foods cause weight gain even when you’re watching your calories.
Prolonged exercise: Exercise that increases your heart rate for an extended period of time can also elevate your setpoint weight because it triggers the release of cortisol, the stress hormone. Elevated cortisol levels cause weight gain, especially in the stomach region.
Exposure to environmental toxins: Air pollution, household cleaning products, pesticides on plants, and other toxins can all elevate setpoint weight.
Chronic stress: We live in a very stressful society, and studies show it is doing more than making us emotionally and sometimes physically ill. It is also making us heavier. Chronic stress, you see, triggers chronically elevated cortisol levels causing weight gain.
Sleep Deprivation: Studies show few people get the amount of sleep they need, and it’s helping to cause a weight problems for many. Like chronic stress, sleep deprivation causes increased cortisol levels.
How to lower setpoint weight and eliminate weight concerns
There are many steps you can take to lower your setpoint weight, and they are not that difficult to do. Here are a few of them.
Start with a high-quality diet.
A high-quality diet will heal your hormones, enabling them to send and receive proper signals. This will eventually lower your setpoint weight, allowing you to burn calories like a naturally thin person.
A high-quality diet emphasizes whole foods and minimizes processed foods. Whole foods contain the nutrients your body needs to heal your hormones. Giving your body adequate nourishment makes it feel comfortable burning fat.
There are 3 food groups that you should always eat together at the same meal, if possible. They are non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense proteins, and whole-food fats.
Have at least 10 servings per day.
The fiber in non-starchy veggies expands in your stomach, filling you up fast and keeping you full for a long time. This prevents overeating.
3-5 servings per day, 30-55 grams per meal.
It is not only difficult for your body to turn protein into fat, but it also takes more calories for your body to digest protein than any other macronutrient. This makes increasing your protein intake a great way to rev up your metabolism and burn fat. Protein also sends signals to your short- and long-term satiety hormones, so it fills you up fast and keeps you full longer than other foods.
3-6 servings per day.
Whole-food fats — such as olives, flax seeds, and nuts — are also very filling. An added benefit to eating whole-food fats is that when you replace starchy carbs and sugars with whole-food fats, your body soon finds out it prefers burning fat for fuel. Before long, it starts burning your fat stores.
If you have a craving for something sweet, you can also enjoy 0-3 servings of low-fructose fruits per day.
Perform eccentric exercises
Eccentric exercises focus on the lower part of the exercise. For instance, if you are performing a dumbbell curl, bringing the dumbbell close to your chest is the concentric part of the movement. Lowering it away from your body is the concentric part of the exercise. To make any exercise an eccentric one, slowly perform the eccentric part of the movement for 10 seconds, repeating it 6 times.
Eccentric exercises activate all your muscle fibers, which has a powerful metabolic effect. It heals your hormones and lowers your setpoint weight. Because eccentric exercises are so intense, you should do them only for 10-20 minutes per week.
Though it may seem difficult to find ways to de-stress, it is not as hard as you may think. Here are some easy, enjoyable ways to relax your stress away and lower your setpoint weight.
- Practice yoga
- Go out to a movie with friends
- Practice deep breathing exercises
- Take a leisurely stroll in the park
- Walk your dog
- Watch a marathon of your favorite sitcom TV shows
- Spend time every week doing something you love
Get enough shut-eye
There are also many ways you can get more sleep than you’re getting now. Here are a few ways to get more quality sleep.
- Take melatonin.
- Darken your bedroom, making sure no light seeps through.
- Turn off your computer and smartphone an hour before bedtime.
- Go to bed at the same time every night.
- Drink chamomile tea before bed.
- Practice progressive muscle relaxation before sleep.
Avoid environmental toxins
It is impossible to totally avoid environmental toxins. However, there is much you can do to reduce your exposure to them. Here are a few tips you might want to consider.
- Purchase and consume organic foods
- Vacuum your carpet frequently
- Avoid air fresheners and dryer sheets
- Use natural cleaning products
- Take off your shoes before entering the house to avoid tracking in toxins from the street.
If you follow these tips, you’ll find your weight concerns disappearing!
Next step: End weight concerns with SANE
Ready to finally break free from the yo-yo dieting rollercoaster by balancing your hormones and lowering your body’s setpoint weight?
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