A reader asked:
“You give a perspective that is very different than all that I have heard in the past. Just to clarify, is a person really not able to change their set point for weight? Also, what if a person’s set point seems to have changed (based on age, other factors), are you saying that there is nothing to do? Thanks!”
I know, this perspective is very, very different…
For most people, no, they won’t be able to change their set point for weight. That’s where the statistic of diets only working for about 5% of the population comes in. Most people will gain back all the weight they lost — and then gain on top of that — within 5 years of dieting.
To answer your last question, the thing with set point is that unless a person is truly eating intuitively and moving their body consistently, a person often doesn’t know what their set point is. So the best we can do is take care of our bodies by eating intuitively and moving our bodies, and trust that our bodies will reach the weight they are meant to reach.
I hope this clears it up a bit.
My expectation of you — and I hope you’ll join me in this — is not to blindly just accept what I’m saying as fact about weight. I understand that it’s a totally different paradigm to one we’ve heard our entire lives. Rather, I’m trying to plant the seed to help you view weight and eating from a different perspective. So the next time you hear of someone who claims they have the answer to permanent weight loss, to start to question it: how long have people managed to keep the weightoff while on that diet? Is the diet even healthy or does it promote unhealthy habits under the guise of “weight loss = health”? Also, at times you may get frustrated with your current weight / the weight of your loved ones, to question what is available that is healthy and sustainable to change it?
If you’d like more focused help with strategically learning to eat intuitively, I have a course for that: http://towardsahealthybalance.com/product/mind-over-munchies-self-study-course/