Just how much control do we have over our weight? If you’ve been following weight loss science for a while, you may think “not much.” Two or three decades ago, there came on the weight loss scene a finding that many found discouraging:
that our bodies have a “set point,” a weight that our bodies will fight to maintain. In general, the term means we inherit our body type genetically. For example, because my heritage is German, I and others in my family seem pre-destined to be thick and sturdy, like my ancestors.
Scientists determined that weight set point is managed by the body’s metabolism, which sets a ratio of lean body mass to fat that fluctuates within a 10-pound range. We could also refer to this as the metabolic set point, because our bodies will adjust their metabolism to stay consistent with their genetic programming. Yes, that means what it sounds like. When we reduce our caloric intake, our bodies adjust our metabolism, slow it down, to hold a current weight, give or take about 10 pounds.
The good news – the weight set point can be modified!
Researchers in the field of nutritional genomics have been looking at the effect of nutrition on genes. They have learned that weight set point isn’t fixed, but, in fact, can be changed as the result of a change of environment.
result of a change of environment. Changing your environment, primarily by adjusting your nutrition and exercise, can reset certain genes – the ones that govern metabolism and weight. By taking charge of your health, balancing hormones through better nutrition, making healthy dietary choices, and letting go of stress, you create changes in metabolism that result in positive changes in your genes. And yes, this can improve your chances of weight loss. It can also prevent disease and help you feel better and achieve optimal health!
Rebalance your HORMONES
- Lay a good nutritional foundation for hormone production each day with:
- Multivitamin with minerals
- Vitamin D3
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Favourable research results also indicates the benefits of taking pre- and probiotics to fight metabolic syndrome and weight gain
- Eat foods rich in phytoestro gens each day: nuts and flaxseed oil, legumes, fruits, and vegetables
- Avoid xenoestrogens found in plastics (such as plastic water bottles) – drink filtered water from glass containers instead
- Choose beauty products that do not contain xenoestrogens. Use shampoo, conditioner, body lotions, and other products whose labels declare them to be xenoestrogen free, such as WomenSense® Clean Body Care line.
Rebalance your NUTRITION
- Start each day with 25 g of healthy protein.
- Incorporate healthy protein and healthy fats into each meal (such as avocado, organic butter, olive oil, lean meats, eggs, and nuts).
- Consume a quantity and variety of fruits and vegetables.
Rebalance your STRESS
- Make scheduled quiet time away from noise and electronics.
- Combat stress by supporting the gut microbiome with probiotics, and the adrenal glands with supplements that contain natural herbal adaptogens (AdrenaSense®)
- Spend time with friends and family
- Practise gratitude
Rebalance for WEIGHT LOSS and MAINTENANCE
- Adhere to a basic plan that includes walking or exercising daily, avoid refined and fast foods, and reduce your intake of sugar and other refined carbohydrates.
- Avoid chemicals, pesticides, and pollutants found in plastics, especially bottled water. Choose glass containers for food consumption and storage.
- Find and maintain consistency. According to new data taken from an ongoing US cancer-prevention study for older Americans, regular walking, even if minimal, was tied to a lower death risk (American Journal of Preventive Medicine, online journal, Oct 19, 2017). Yes, walking is enough – if you do it regularly!
It’s also free and it doesn’t require any skill or equipment, except a good pair of walking shoes. Plus, walking with a friend has great social benefits too, and it can be a big help in sticking with an exercise plan.
I share with my patients every day that your set point can be reset!
Others have done it, and so can you. Daily choices and decisions to balance nutrition, exercise, and reduce stress really will make a difference. So, create your plan and stay consistent – it will pay off not just in maintaining a healthy weight, but in experiencing more energy, better sleep, improved mood, and higher self-esteem.