The diet industry is great at selling the idea that you are indeed in control of your weight.

Dieting helps you lose weight most of the time but how to keep it off is a whole different ball game. And somehow you suck at it.

You know exactly how hard it is to keep the weigh off even though in the first weeks of dieting you lose more or less but almost always gain it back.

Your frustration is inevitable. It’s like your body is trying to fight to retain a certain weight, right?

Although you have been told billion times that you are responsible for your weight, have you ever wondered why is it so hard to keep your weight off? Why is it so much of a struggle for you?

What if you are not as much in control of your weight as you were told?

Instead of blaming yourself for failed attempts to keep the weight off listen to what I have to say about it.

There are clinical evidences that support the idea that our weight is at the very least not in our exclusive control in the long run.

Long run is the operative word here. Losing weight and keep it off for weeks or months is much easer than the long run for years or decades.

Controlling your weight in the long run is much more difficult.

 Why is that?

But rather we were born with a predisposition toward living with a certain weight range and a natural body shape and size that is easy to maintain.

As we were born with different heights, face or skin color, we were also born with different body shape and sizes that is natural for us.

Whether or not we are supposed to stay at a certain weight that is determined by the government, our weight is going to be what it is meant to be by default.

And some of us were born to grow bigger and some of us don’t.

Weight Set Point Theory

 Have you ever heard about the weight set point theory?

Wide variety of clinical studies and researches have found that the every one of us has a body set point weight, meaning where your body feels comfortable to be.

Can you remember how many times you become frustrated because after a few weeks of dieting you would stop losing weight or even start gaining it back even though you have been restricting your food intake? That’s an obvious sign that your body wants to maintain/retrain its natural weight.

Your appetite and metabolism will change when you are below your natural set point. It does not depend on how many times you have been on this road but the more you diet the sooner your body will slow down its metabolism to conserve energy using the calories you eat more effectively.

If you are under your natural set point and lose weight, your appetite will likely increase. Also since you have been restricting, binges and overeating it is almost inevitable.

The set point is individual. Weight charts are not a lot of help (the one you see hanging in your doctor’s office).

A woman with a small frame may have a set point range between 130-140 lbs but another woman same age, height might have a set point range between 110-120 lbs.

And their body will fight to maintain the set point within these different weight ranges even if they are the same height and age.

It is not an exact weight it is a range at which your body will be comfortable and not resist attempts to change.

Although through dieting and vigorous exercise you can temporarily alter your weight but over some period of time your body almost always return back to some “set point” weight.

How can you know what is your set point weight?

Your metabolism is a very intricate system and for example when you eat less than your body needs your brain gets a signal of starvation and will hold onto food and weight in order to maintain your set point.

On the other hand when you eat normally based on how much you body needs, your metabolism speeds up in an effort to keep your body at a set point that is comfortable for it.

Only when you eat normally without dieting, binging or overeating on a regular basis and wherever your body lands that’s your set point weight, where it is most healthful for you.

Hope this point of view gives a piece of mind and learning about this perspective helps you deal with control issues around your weight.

Accepting who you are can be difficult if your weight is not fitting to the one that is accepted culturally at this time. Thin privilege is a real thing. And once you experienced you don’t want to lose it.

Our society obsessed with thinness but you know more than anybody thinness only does not necessarily mean happiness, at least not in the long run.

And you can attract all those people who truly love you for your authentic self.

Here is a link to a TED talk from neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt who outlines the weight set point theory in an easily understandable way.

Hope this helps!

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Photo Credit: Julia Pinter

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