Break Through your Set Point
How to Finally Lose the Weight You Want and Keep It OffBook - 2007
How many times have you gone on a diet and lost a few pounds, only to hit, once again, that dreaded plateau? Many people manage to lose the first 10, 15, or 20 pounds of the weight they want to shed. Then, no matter how hard they work, they can't seem to nudge the number on the scale farther down, and often they end up gaining back the weight they lost. Finally, there is a healthy, permanent weight-loss solution that will get you off the frustrating yo-yo that often accompanies most fad diets.
Dr. George L. Blackburn is the associate director of the Division of Nutrition at Harvard Medical School and directs the Center for the Study of Nutrition Medicine, which investigates complex issues in nutrition and health. Based on three decades of his research and clinical practice, Break Through Your Set Point offers an exciting and effective program that will give you specific tools to help you get out of your rut and prevent those extra pounds from coming back.
Your set point, or typical body weight, is determined by your genes and your environment. Many modern lifestyle habits--including getting too little sleep and eating on the run--have conspired to raise many people's set points to unhealthily high levels. According to Dr. Blackburn's theory, if you set a reasonable goal to lose about 10 percent of your initial body weight, then hold steady at your new weight without regaining any pounds for at least six months, you can reset your body's set point. And once you've reset your set point, you can repeat the cycle to lose even more weight.
The body's innate tendency to protect itself against starvation explains why the body resists losing weight after a certain point. Dr. Blackburn explains the science behind the set-point theory and helps you devise a plan that works for you. With his unique, multi-faceted approach, Dr. Blackburn shows that hitting your set point is not a dead end but the first step in losing weight the right way. This book will help you overcome your weight-loss plateau once and for all.
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My studies were the first to discover that most people can change their body weight by only 15 to 20 pounds at a time. I demonstrated that this modest loss will improve health, helping people to recover from weight-related problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Think of your weight as being like a rubber band. If you stretch it gradually, there’s a certain amount of give. But if you stretch it too hard or too fast, it can bounce right back or even snap. The faster and more drastically you try to lose weight, the more your body will want to return to its set point by regaining any lost weight (and sometimes more).
Remember, there’s no rush: the more you can embrace the easy-does-it approach, the more likely you’ll be to succeed over the long term. It took years to gain the weight, and it will take time to get to your target weight.
The main reason sleep is so vital to resetting your set point stems from a growing body of research showing a close link between duration of sleep and body weight. Research shows that middle-aged adults who sleep less than eight hours a night are more likely to be overweight. The less sleep you get, the more likely you are to be overweight.
One of the main reasons people regain weight is that they think only the initial weight-loss phase requires discipline, structure, and planning. Not true! That’s why it’s so important to select an eating and activity plan that is fun, realistic, and sustainable for the rest of your life.
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