Have you ever noticed that the number on the scale is very difficult to change, no matter how hard you try to lose weight? Or maybe you lost a significant amount of weight in the past, and then as soon as you go “off” your diet, your weight jumps back to the original number, seemingly overnight? If this has happened to you, don’t worry you’re not alone. In fact, there is a scientific explanation for what’s happening – it’s called the weight set point. The set point is a weight range, usually within 5 or 10 pounds, that our bodies fight very hard to maintain. Think of your body like a thermostat. When we program our thermostat at home, the heat or air conditioner adjusts in order to maintain the temperature we have selected. If it becomes too hot, the air conditioner kicks in. If it becomes too cold, the heater will turn on until the desired temperature is reached. When it comes to our weight, our bodies act like a thermostat in order to keep our weight constant too.
Genetics affect on your set point
If you suffer from obesity, you know that it can be impossible to lose weight and keep it off. Why? The answer lies in your genetics, or DNA. Your body constantly tries to work against your efforts to lose weight in order to maintain a genetically pre-programmed weight set point. Chances are, you already know what your set point is – it’is the number you’re sick and tired of seeing on the scale, especially after you have worked tirelessly at eating less calories and exercising more. The truth is, the more you diet, the harder it can be to lose weight. When your body detects that you’re eating less calories, your stomach and intestines send signals to your brain to eat more, and you start to feel even more hungry. Your body also slows down its ability to burn calories as well. These two changes combined lead to a failure of sustainable weight loss as well as a life-long cycle of weight loss and regain.
How weight loss surgery changes your set point
How do you reverse this vicious cycle of yoyo dieting? The answer lies in bariatric surgery. By changing the anatomy of your gastrointestinal tract, bariatric surgery actually lowers your set point weight causing weight loss. The change in hormonal signals in your body allows you to experience less hunger, feel full faster and burn more calories. These changes, combined with a healthy diet and exercise, will enable you to see the number on the scale move in the right direction while you enjoy a happier and healthier life!
Read more about bariatric surgery procedures here.
At New Jersey Bariatric Center, we understand why losing weight and keeping it off isn’t easy, and we offer solutions to help patients achieve sustainable weight loss.
Read more about patients’ success stories here.