Have you been on a diet or weight loss program only to reach a plateau? This point of stagnation where suddenly it seems you can’t lose any more weight can be a confidence breaker, but perhaps you can take consolation that it is a common problem for many.
But why does it happen?
The particular weight or range of specific weights that your body seems adamant to cling to despite your efforts is known as a body weight set point. Our body is a marvel. For example, when something is wrong, our body strengthens its defence mechanism to prevent it from falling ill or further deterioration. Apparently, it’s the same when it comes to weight loss.
This auto-regulation kicks in around our body’s weight set point to adjust to sudden changes and maintain balance. This need to maintain, what is known as, homeostasis is what keeps us balanced. When it comes to losing weight, our body is better equipped for protection from starvation than sudden weight gain.
Almost 85 percent of women find it hardest to lose weight from the lower abdominal area, the hips and thighs. The reason for this predicament is that women are predisposed to store fat in these areas to aid the body during pregnancy.
The commonly suggested solutions to address these troubled spots include adopting a calorie-deficit diet, avoiding fattening food and adding cardio and strength training into your exercise programs. Still, the results often vary, and not everyone achieves their goals.
Hormones play a crucial role in our daily wellbeing. They affect a series of processes in our body from reproduction to metabolism and even to our mood. Hormones like leptin, ghrelin and insulin control your body’s metabolism, and they respond to changes in your body weight.
High levels of testosterone are generally associated with lower levels of body fat. Stress levels are also crucial in weight loss, and they can impact hormones like cortisol. To achieve a successful weight loss and rest your body weight set point, a balance needs to be achieved among these hormones.
Losing weight and breaking that body weight set point barrier is a process that takes effort in every aspect of your daily lives. From what you eat to what kind of exercises you partake and most importantly, how you carry yourself through the day – maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep your stress in check. But the efforts will be all worth it when you look in the mirror or the weighing scale, and you realise that you’ve fulfilled your goals. Stay strong.