Tag: set point weight

Kiss rebound weight gain good-bey and find your set point weight with 4 steps

Kiss rebound weight gain good-bey and find your set point weight with 4 steps

Are you sick and tired of rebound weight gain?

Honestly, I don’t blame you. It truly sucks when you’ve put in blood, sweat and tears to lose weight, only to find yourself gaining back every last gram until you are back to square one. What’s worse, is that 9/10 times we gain back a little more than we lost in the first place!

My new clients often tell me that they are now at their heaviest, after years of dieting / restricting. They feel like they have failed at their health, like there simply is no hope for them. Can you relate to this?

Well, let me tell you a little secret my friend. You did not fail – diet culture has failed you (as it has done for countless other women). You see, dieting / restricting food does work temporarily – but it’s never a long term solution. 95% of those who lose weight on a diet end up gaining the weight back in less than 5 years…and most of those people gain back more than what they lost in the first place.

Why is it so easy to gain back everything that you've lost (plus some) after a diet?

Well, because dieting sucks. It messes up your relationship with food, resulting in cravings, food obsessions, emotional eating and bingeing (to name a few). The more we diet, the more “out of control” we feel around food, and the deeper we get stuck into the restrict-binge cycle.

Plus, according to the Set Point Theory, dieting raises your set point weight. This is your body’s “natural” weight – determined by factors such as genetics, age, gender, etc. It’s the weight that your body “wants” to be at, and that it fights to maintain.

The more you diet, the more you damage your metabolism. After each subsequent diet, your set point weight increases slightly (see the figure below)…

…which elegantly explains why rebound weight gain happens in the blink of an eye. Your body fights to get you to your new set point weight by increasing your desire to binge on high energy foods.

Essentially, this is a survival mechanism. Your body does not know the difference between a diet and a famine, and it’s doing everything it can to protect you against a future famine. 

Thankfully, you can break this cycle and find your healthiest, set point weight.

When you reach your set point, you will feel your best (both mentally and physically). Plus you will be able to maintain this weight WITHOUT needing to follow restrictive food rules, detoxes, or crazy diets.  

If you’ve been trapped in the diet-binge cycle, you may currently be above your set point (meaning that you will lose weight to get to your set point). If you’ve been restricting severely (without bingeing), you may currently be below your set point (meaning you would need to gain some weight to be healthy). What’s going to happen to your weight will depend on where you are coming from. But what matters most is that the yo-yo effect stops, so that you can work on accepting your “now” body and get on with your life.

P.S. If you feel trapped in the restrict-binge cycle, and you are ready to break free, you can book a complimentary Game-Plan call here. I’ll help you to come up with a strategy that will work for YOU – for free.

The 4 steps that you need to take to find your set point weight

STEP 1: Ditch those restrictive food & dieting rules.

I’m talking about cutting out carbs, eating only in a specific window, having lists of foods to avoid, etc. These rules keep you from listening to your body, and trigger black-and-white thinking: “I’ve already cheated, might as well go all in and restart tomorrow.” Plus they keep you stuck in a food scarcity mindset, which triggers overeating. 

I know it’s scary to let go. Maybe you worry that you will be out of control without these rules, that you will eat pizza and chocolate all day. In the Empowered Eating Academy, I help my clients to work through their food rules systematically – one at a time. We start by merely re-framing rules to make them more flexible.

And believe me, it is 100% possible to learn how to TRUST yourself to make good choices, without needing a dozen inflexible food rules. YOU get to choose what, when and how you eat. YOU have the power, and your body has more wisdom to guide you than you may realize.

STEP 2: Take a break from the scale. 

I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but here me out. The scale has several serious limitations – including the fact that it does not account for fluid shifts in the body, muscle mass, poop, water weight, etc. It naturally fluctuates from day-to-day, and this can falsely lead you to believe that you have gained / lost weight. When you step on the scale and see that the number is up, you may feel frustrated. This can easily lead you to self-sabotaging behaviours (such as emotional  / binge eating). 

Plus as long as you keep focusing on your body weight, you are essentially still dieting. The scale will influence your food choices and stop you from learning to self-regulate with food.

As your eating habits normalize, your weight will normalize too. You will feel / see the change – I promise. But jumping on the scale obsessively will only hinder the process.

STEP 3: Learn intuitive eating skills.

Intuitive eating is a non-diet approach that can teach you how to self-regulate with food. In other words, intuitive eating teaches you how to listen to – and respect – your body’s biological cues (hunger, fullness, satisfaction, etc.).

But listening to your body is not just about eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are full. It’s also about eating foods that satisfy you and leave you feeling your best. No matter how delicious a food is, it’s impossible to enjoy it fully if it leaves you feeling sluggish and bloated.

When you learn to listen to the wisdom of your body, your body will naturally gravitate towards it’s set point weight.

Step 4: Build permanent, lasting habits that support your health.

This last step can only happen once you have improved your relationship with food (through the previous 3 steps). That’s because it is virtually impossible to build healthy habits when you are struggling with constant cravings, obsessive food thoughts, and an urge to binge.

When you have a healthy relationship with food and your body, everything else comes easily; eating veggies, exercising, drinking enough water, portion control, etc.

In the Empowered Eating Academy, I help my clients to build a lifestyle that is flexible, fun and sustainable through permanent habit change – focusing on building just one habit at a time. 

The end result? An empowered women who naturally eats healthily, exercises AND feels wonderful about herself – WITHOUT needing to diet.

Ready to take bold action to improve your relationship with food?

Book a complimentary Game-Plan call with me, and I’ll help you to come up with a plan that will work for you. This call will also be an opportunity for you to join the Empowered Eating Academy, if you wish (no pressure!).

Looking forward to hearing from you very soon,

Marna (RD, MSc)

How to stop yo-yo dieting and find your healthy balance

How to stop yo-yo dieting and find your healthy balance

Have you ever lost weight on a diet, only to end up spiraling out of control & gaining it all back…plus some?

If the answer is “yes” – then I’m guessing you feel pretty frustrated, ashamed, and generally angry with yourself. Deep down, you might even feel like you’ve failed at your health….especially if this cycle has repeated itself multiple times.

See, I know this because I’ve been there too. I’ve also worked with hundreds of women who have been through the exact same thing.

 So here’s what I want you to know, right off the bat: you did not fail at your health. Dieting has failed you – miserably. And this is the sad truth for billions of women.

Truth is, dieting simply does not work long-term, for several reasons:

  • It seriously damages your metabolism. This is why it becomes harder and harder to lose weight and keep it off with each subsequent diet.
  • It alters your neurobiology – leading to more cravings, food obsessions, and feelings of powerlessness around food (AKA the food scarcity mindset).
  • It messes up your relationship with food, and your ability to trust your own body. It’s no surprise that women who struggle with overeating, binge or emotional eating almost always have a history of restrictive dieting.

Now, I don’t want you to feel bad about your dieting history, or to focus on the damage that it might have done. Instead, start asking yourself: “how can I end the food and body struggles for good?”

And I’m about to give you four powerful steps that you can take ASAP, so that you be FREE from weight cycling and yo-yo dieting, and so that you can start making lasting progress with your health goals.

P.S. these steps form an important part of the Empowered Eating Academy. If you are interested in learning more, you can book a complimentary Game Plan call with me here.

The four essential steps you need to take to break the diet-binge cycle:

STEP 1: Get rid of the food scarcity mindset that drives overeating.

A history of limited access to food, whether due to actual food scarcity (e.g. famine) or voluntary restriction (e.g. dieting), is the number one driving force behind the urge to binge. This is because your body is incredibly intelligent – by overeating, you are only trying to “stock up” before the next famine / diet starts.

The food scarcity mindset is characterized by obsessive food thoughts; cravings; emotional eating; overeating & binge eating. These behaviors are driven by complex biological and psychological mechanisms that are intended to protect you from starvation. As such, no amount of willpower can withstand the urge to overeat when you have a food scarcity mindset.

The only way to get rid of this mindset, is to consistently and intentionally nourish your body with regular, balanced & satisfying meals. By doing this, you are rebuilding trust with your body – one meal at a time. You are essentially proving to your body that food will be available whenever you need it, so there is no need to overeat.

STEP 2: Relearn healthy self-regulation with food.

Have you ever noticed how babies cry when they are hungry, and stop feeding when they are full? Or how kids tend to eat more on some days, and less on other days? Maybe you even have a friend or family member who has the ability to leave delicious food on their plate, simply because they are satisfied?

This is called self-regulation, and it’s a skill that we have all been born with. The trouble is, we lose touch with this skill as we let diets / food rules dictate our intake. We become so disconnected from our body’s cues, that we forget what hunger & fullness feel like. We ignore our hunger, then eat way past comfortable fullness; or we eat for reasons completely unrelated to hunger on a daily basis.

The good news is that you can relearn this powerful skill. You don’t need a calorie counter or food scale to tell you how much to eat; you just need to learn to listen to your own body again.

Start by bringing conscious awareness to your hunger / fullness levels before meals, half-way through and after. Start noticing what comfortable hunger / fullness feels like for you. Once you feel more confident about your ability to identify your cues, you can start to make a few gentle changes. For example, you might decide to add an extra mid-afternoon snack of you notice that you are ravenous by the time dinner rolls by.

STEP 3: Reflect and learn from negative food experiences.

One of the reasons why it can be so tricky to stop overeating / bingeing, is because there are typically multiple factors that feed the fire. These include emotions & stress, sleep, self-care habits, and body image – to name a few. Identifying your unique triggers is crucial, as it will allow you to address the problem holistically and to find a permanent solution.

Start by reflecting after you’ve had a negative food experience, such as a binge. Think back a few hours, and try to identify the chain of events that led up to the binge.

For example:

I slept badly –> I skipped breakfast; my boss shouted at me at work –> I felt disappointed in myself –> I didn’t take time to enjoy my lunch –> I got home feeling deflated –> I saw cookies on the counter –> I binged.

After doing this a few times, you will have a better idea of what your roadblocks are. We can then address these one by one.

STEP 4: Rebuild healthy eating and exercising habits that are flexible and that do not consume your life.

This step has got to come last, because it’s virtually impossible to build permanent healthy habits when you have an unhealthy relationship with food. But on the flip side, lifestyle change becomes SO MUCH EASIER when you are free from obsessive food thoughts, cravings, and the urge to eat everything in sight.

When my clients reach this stage, we start the exciting process of building permanent healthy habits that support their goals. Here’s what I recommend:

Visualize what habits your healthiest version of self might have, and then create a step-wise action plan to tackle these habits one at a time. Focus on what you want to eat more of, rather than on what you want to cut down on. This way, you are avoiding that food scarcity mindset that triggers overeating.

The beauty of this approach, is that it requires minimal willpower. Plus when you treat habit building like a game with different levels of difficulty, it can be super fun and totally achievable.

Need some help implementing these steps?

If you are tired of struggling on your own, and you want to speed up your healing journey – then I would highly recommend that you consider getting professional support.

I would love to invite you to jump on a complimentary Game Plan call with me, so that I can help you to come up with a real solution that will work for you. 

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Marna Oettle, RD & Food Freedom Expert