A snow storm outside requires a pink background for my store bought daffodil plant. I can switch out backgrounds easily as a photographer.
What I didn't know I could switch was my “set' weight. I didn't even know there was such a term until this past year when I began reading widely about the issues which make maintaining a significant weight loss so difficult and for almost 95% of folks, impossible.
Recently, I read an article about weight loss programs, all of which are nationally known. The point was that their business model is actually based on “repeat” dieters, not ones who keep their weight off.
As a lifetime WW member I pay them nothing unless I buy one of their food products which I rarely do.
None of these programs make money from folks who keep their weight off. You don't have to be a CEO of a business to realize that emphasis in a business is going to be on those who add revenue not those who have a free ride.
Do I think the folks behind these programs are 100% cynically driven to benefit from the likelihood that 95% of their current members are going to need to sign-up again in their life when they have regained their lost weight?
No. If you follow these programs to the letter for the rest of your life, you'll maintain your weight. The problem is following a specific program gets harder and harder to do as the statistics bear out.
Till this past year, I thought it was simply a willpower, discipline issue. How to keep my head in the game. I simply had to summon up the focus and strategies to make sure I wasn't one of the 95% to regain lost weight.
But, now, after 5 years of maintaining with that theory and now a 6th year filled with reading and listening to folks write about this subject, I'm thinking it is less a psychological issue and more a physiological one.
Those of us who have rollercoaster dieted during our lives, and particularly, starting in childhood, have according to some leading researchers a “set” weight in our physiological profile and it is much higher weight than our goal weight or a weight that would be considered healthy for us.
Certainly higher than any goal weight from any program. If I understand correctly, our bodies perceive our weight loss as a threat to survival rather than the healthy choice that our minds do.
The drift to regain weight is not just a psychological one, it is a physiological one as well. We are at odds with our own bodies in our thinner state.
Our bodies wanting us to regain what the body perceives as the right weight. Some of the researchers suggest that the body even goes so far as to increase hunger following a weight loss. That which may have sated your hunger while losing weight, will slowly not satisfy you as you try to maintain it.
I think these national programs may know this as well, as I think they know what obesity researchers know: the likelihood of regaining weight loss is the norm. Keeping it off, while possible, is a single digit statistic.
Obesity researchers have mused that they have a better chance of turning that statistic around by educating children and their parents than developing a model to turn the statistics around in adults at present.
So, the question becomes can you change your “set” weight to a lower one so the struggle to maintain a weight loss is not a tug or war between our minds and body?
I'm in the process of finding out, if I believe the program I'm on, it's main purpose is to try and “reset” that weight lower. And, although, I am already at goal weight and have been for six years, the effort to maintain it was increasing which is why I decided to try something different than the new WW program.
Until I began to put some of these research facts together, I didn't realize that my future, eating the same types of foods and portions, might increase my struggle to maintain my weight.
So, with this program (Dr. Ludwig “Always Hungry”) its main purpose is to try and reset that “set” weight downward so the maintenance life is not such a white knuckle ride.
Yes, I've lost several pounds but to me the revelation has been the freedom from the cravings and conspiring to balance the snacks with the healthy meals all in some porportional balance.
It takes a lot of mental focus to do that day after day, week after week when your body seems to be urging you to gamble.
Right now, midway through the fourth week, it is already calmer in my house. I can navigate the day with more space for other things.
I feel saner about food. Honest to God. There's no other way to say it. If this lasts, I have to say that even if my set weight isn't “reset”, I feel better able to be successful.
Stay tuned. I've lost power due to the storm and that usually means I feel all snack food is justified!
Also, because of power loss I can't link to research articles but if you look at “related posts” you might find some.