“How will I know when I am at my natural weight?”
One of my clients asked me this recently, when I was explaining the pitfalls of dieting and how it can affect your ‘set point’.
Your ‘set point’ is the weight at which your body naturally finds itself when you are not dieting or trying to control your weight.
There are a number of factors that affect it – your age, hormones, and critically, your diet history. Ironically, what many people don’t realise is that weight cycling, aka yo-yo dieting, can push your set point up which is often why dieting actually increases your chances of weight GAIN over time!
It is normal to fluctuate around your set weight, most do by 5-10lb but those who diet find they fluctuate much more.
I certainly did. At my lowest weight, I had a BMI of 15 and was a good 2 stone lighter than I am now, at my natural weight. I also fluctuated the other way and reached – I was almost a stone and a half heavier than I am now at one point.
As you can imagine, that is a huge fluctuation and was reflective of my state of mind and diet mentality.
I must add that I didn’t find my set weight immediately after letting go of diets – it took some time to heal my relationship with food. But now I always stay within the same 5-7lb range.
You see, in answer to my client’s question, it is not until you have a healthy relationship with food (mentally and physically) that you will discover where your natural weight lies.
And this is the best place to be because fundamentally, it is where your body will fight to get you to. It is why people find it so hard to stick to a diet – our bodies will ALWAYS overcome our willpower.
Think of it like a rubber band – when it is relaxed, you are at your set point. Then as soon as you start to pull away from it, the resistance will constantly be there until it finally pings back.
You won’t win, not for long anyway.
Yet we call ourselves ‘failures’, think we are weak, and constantly beat ourselves up for it. Come on, admit it, it is a miserable existence.
But you have a choice – you can either constantly diet and battle against your set point finding yourself turning crazier and crazier in the process whilst pushing your natural set point higher and higher,
Or you can embrace your natural weight which at the end of the say is the healthiest place you can be psychologically and physically.
One last thing to add, you can’t ever guess or predict what your set point will be because the chances are it has changed somewhat (if only someone had explained that you first went to Slimming World….).
Years of restriction and control mean it is most likely higher than it would have been plus, age etc will be a factor.
The best thing to do is work on your relationship with food, work on persuing healthy behaviours and see where the scales take you.
If this makes sense and you like what I am saying, sign up for my Master Class ‘Transform your relationship with food’.