Well here we are again, back at Carol’s Corner. We had a beautiful spring day here, but back in the 30’s tomorrow. It was nice while it lasted. Today’s outfit was all about spring. Love, love, the color. I had bought these pants when they were on sale along with another pair in a peachy color. Was just waiting for the right day to wear this. It’s what I like to call a happy outfit.

Love when I can wear this FitBit band and this beautiful ring that is handmade by a wonderful jewelry artisan.

I highly recommend that anyone who has a FiBit, invest in a few of these BandCuffs so your band is secure. Taking one when we go to my daughter’s this Sunday to see if it will work on her FitBit charge , which she almost lost today , and giving two of the narrow black ones to my other daughter in Pa. Saves a lot of trouble down the road. They have proven to be a good and necessary investment.

So for tonight’s subject, I am going to talk about something that one of my group member’s mentioned to me earlier today, and that is about what they call your bodies set point and how exercise is needed so your body won’t try to return to it’s set point. For this I am using an article by Steve Edwards titled ” Five Simple Steps To Reprogram Your Weight”. I found this on the site of another blogger, Joyce Cherrier of Maui, Hawaii. How I wished I had money to go back there. I had a dream vacation there back in 2010, from money my mom gave my sister’s and I , like a living inheritance. Spent a total of 12 nights on three different islands. It was the trip of a lifetime. Well I digress, back to business.

He starts out by stating that your body resists change, even when it’s good for you. They’ve come up with all kinds of words and phrases to describe this survival trait, some of which are, “survival mode, starvation mode, periodizational training( never heard of this one), plateau-ing, and set point. Set point is what we will be discussing. Set point is the term used to explain why our bodies impede our results whenever we get close to our target weight.

“Set Point” is not a real medical term, so it’s meaning is often misused or misunderstood. A common “definition” found on the internet states “Set point is the weight range in which your body is programmed to weigh and will fight to maintain that weight”. While this is accurate in a sense, it is misleading in the use of the word “programmed”. This insinuates that you have no control over the programmer, which is in fact, YOU.

They than exacerbate it further with the following, ” Everyone has a set point, and just like you have no control over how tall you will be , or what color your eyes and hair will be, you also have no control over what your set point will be. Your body is biologically and genetically determined to weigh within a certain weight range.” While some of this may be true, it’s fatalistic and sounds as if you’re doomed to live a life that’s predetermined. You have a lot more control over your weight than the color of your eyes. No one would ever be successful in losing weight if we were so doomed.

What the creators of the term” set point” have done is to combine the word homeostasis with the fact that there are different body types. Homeostasis is your body’s desire to stay regulated under certain conditions. Since it ‘s a point your body likes to maintain, it is, in a way , a set point. Except that it is changeable, body type is not. However, how your body looks, no matter the type, is easily altered. If that weren’t true , bodybuilding would be a sport with only one body type , but it’s not. (This author must be a body builder since he referenced something else I didn’t quote).

So how do we change our set point? Well our author says since ” set point” isn’t a real term, but more of a myth, it shouldn’t be too difficult since we change myths all the time.

Step1: Change whatever you are currently doing. If you don’t believe your set point can change, try the experiment from the film “Super Size Me” and super size all your meals at McDonald’s for the next month. Most of you can visualize what is going to happen. If you overeat like crazy, you are going to gain weight. By understanding this one thing, you have already busted the myth of the set point. You can gain weight, so you really don’t have a set point as defined.

But you probably don’t want to gain weight; you probably want to lose. So let’s take a look at how this works. Your body likes wherever it is right now. Even if that means you are sick or overweight or out of shape, your body tries to hang onto this state, because your body thinks change is bad. It’s a survival mechanism that kicks in, no matter how unhealthy, we’re all still alive, and all change has some risk associated with it. But we have the ability to offset our reactionary state. When we understand something is good for us , we can force our reactionary body into doing something it doesn’t want to. The easiest step of all, is to simply change what you are currently doing.

So do something differently than you are currently doing. You’ve got to force change in your life , or else your body will revert to it’s state of homeostasis. Maybe that change is as simple as adding more to your workout each day than you are currently doing, or maybe it’s just cutting back a little bit on the number of calories you consume in a day, or maybe it’s both. But when something stops working, that’s the time to change things up. ( The ideas in this paragraph are my ideas).

Step 2: Clean up your life. Step one is easy; this one takes more work. Nothing you can do will change your life more than changing your lifestyle to a healthier one. Eat less junk, get plenty of exercise, stay hydrated, eat more whole foods. It doesn’t sound all that hard , but we know it is, or no one would be even reading my blog or what this author is saying.

This is a roundabout step, because it won’t necessarily change you weight, and hence your set point, but it will change your inside. It’s the most important step, because your body will get healthier and it will run better. Eating good foods changes the way your body metabolizes, especially when you add more exercise.( For me, I find exercise to be extremely important) . Your metabolic process is what the entire set point issue is about. When you change your body’s foundation for the better, it will more easily accept future changes.

Step 3: Zigzag your diet. Now this is interesting. To lose weight , you generally need to eat less. But while randomly eating less can be effective, the best strategy you can use is to zigzag your calories.

Don’t confuse zigzag dieting with yo-yo dieting; they are completely different. Zigzagging means to eat more on different days in order to keep your body’s metabolism working at your body’s set point while you are under-or -over feeding it. It works both ways-you can zigzag down and zigzag up.

Your goal is that your overall calorie expenditure is either down or up. Most of you want to lose weight , so let’s use down. For this we will use the example of a person who weighs 200 pounds and wants to get down to 150. At the 200 weight your body wants to eat around 3,000 calories to maintain it’s current set point or weight. So you want to lose weight as quickly as is safe and are willing to starve yourself to do it, so you’re willing to eat 1,200 calories a day. If you do, however your body thinks you are starving, and over time begins to lower it’s metabolism. There is some lag time in your bodies ability to react, so you may lose a lot of weight in a week or two at this calorie level, but then it will slow down. Furthermore, your slower metabolism will negatively affect your bodies ability to work out hard, especially the fitter you become.

Instead , eat between 2,500 and 3,000 calories 2 or 3 days a week , and 1,200 on the others. This way your body doesn’t have time to react , resulting in negative calorie days that force your body to use more efficiently it’s stored body fat as fuel for energy. ( Of course depending on what your actual weight is, you will have to play around with these numbers). While your caloric consumption is a few thousand calories more than if you were eating less, your higher metabolic rate allows you to work out harder, exert more energy, and burn more calories. Over time, the calorie burning will increase beyond what you could hope to achieve just be eating less.

As you lose weight, your upper-end caloric consumption can drop. But be careful because your body composition is changing. With more muscle and less fat, your caloric needs increase, even as you are losing weight. There is no exact scale to use for this, but a muscular 150 pound person can burn more calories than an overweight 200 pound person. (I tried to use a nicer term than the author did). So never drop your high-calorie days too much.

Step 4: Eat more! Assuming you have followed the above steps you will reach a point you will need to eat more to continually lose weight. The reason is that a 1,200- calorie-a- day diet isn’t enough to feed a highly active person of any weight. If you’re small, 1,200 calories may be fine during periods of inactivity, but an hour of intense exercise burns at least 500 calories and an active body can’t live long( at least in a fit state) on 700 calories a day-it’s starvation mode central. Adding calories is the number one piece of advice to get off of a plateau,especially if you are at the end of your weight loss program.

This concept throws a wrench into the concept of the whole set point theory, because if your bodies “set point” is, supposedly 160 pounds, is it 160 pounds at a 15% body fat or at 30%? The difference in how these two bodies will look couldn’t be starker. It’s like the difference between Gabrielle Reese and Roseanne Barr. How you look is far more related to your body composition than your actual weight. We’ll have to see if anyone besides me had to google Gabrielle Reese to see who she was. Leave me a comment if you are one of those people like me.

Step 5: Periodize your diet. Well I am certainly learning some new terms and concepts here. So this means eat for what you do. Food is fuel, and you don’t put gas in the car when it’s sitting in the driveway. It’s much the same with your diet. You need far less food when you are sitting all day then when you aren’t.

Periodizational dieting, is basically planning your diet around your activities with your goals in mind. Much the way you do with your workouts. For example, Beachbody exercise programs are all programs, meaning you do certain exercises and workouts over a given amount of time, usually 4-12 weeks. Then you’re “done, ” at which point you re-evaluate your goals and do something different. That is exactly how your diet should work.

For example, each of the above four steps could be a “period” of dieting. Each time you change what you were doing before, you go through a period of adjustment as your body resets it’s set point to reflect your new lifestyle. Once it’s reset, you again change what you are doing until you get your body at the point where you want it. At this point, your set point becomes your friend because due to homeostasis , your body wants to maintain where it’s currently at.

This has certainly been interesting. Keep in mind that an example was used at a certain weight and you might have to play around with the numbers for your own particular case. I found another link you might want to read. What I read looked interesting also. Here it is. It’s titled”Tear Down The “Wall”-Lower Your Set Point”. I think you will also find this to be useful.

Let me know how you like some of these topics and anything else you would like to see. I value your feedback, either positive or negative. Stay strong, stay motivated, and get up and move, as Leslie would say, ” walk, walk, walk, walk” . Till next time, God Bless.




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