If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ve likely been told this age-old advice — eat healthy and exercise. And while yes, both are important elements for weight loss, the truth is, losing weight just isn’t that simple.
If you’re consistent, you likely will begin to see your body — and the scale — begin to change. But often, a point will come where you’ll hit a plateau and suddenly nothing you do seems to make a difference — you might even start gaining some of that lost weight back, despite your efforts to keep it off.
Sound familiar? Rest assured, you’re not alone in your experience. There’s a reason so many have difficulty losing weight — especially when it comes to major weight loss. Keep reading to learn why this happens and what you can do to give your body the jumpstart it needs to get your weight goals back on track.
What is Set Point Theory?
Although your body fat percentages and weight may fluctuate to an extent, most people tend to stay within a certain weight window throughout their life, sometimes referred to as a person’s “set point.” This theory explains why your weight loss goals might seem out of reach, no matter how much effort you put in.
Essentially, set point theory is the idea that your body raises its defense to keep you from losing weight in order to maintain its weight within a preferred range. In theory this sounds great — your body is trying to protect you from experiencing starvation. But what happens when you actually want to lose the weight? Lasting weight loss requires a change in your body’s set point.
How to Change Your Set Point
Research from The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) has shown that people who undergo bariatric and metabolic surgery have seen significant improvement in metabolic disease, meaning, these procedures can play a part in long-lasting weight loss — but how?
Bariatric surgery, combined with a healthy diet, exercise, stress management and quality sleep, is thought to be your best option to help reset your set point. After undergoing bariatric surgery, patients experience vast hormonal changes. There are three hormones that play a large part in changes to a person’s post-bariatric set point — Ghrelin, GLP-1 and leptin.
Ghrelin, commonly known as “the hunger hormone”, along with GLP-1 and leptin, are all affected due to the changes in your gastrointestinal track post-surgery. As a result, you’ll start to see changes in your typical hunger levels and eating patterns. After bariatric surgery, you’ll begin to experience increased satiety and inhibited hunger, as well as inhibited gastric acid secretion — listening to your body’s new patterns will lead to resetting your set point, allowing you to get back on track with your weight loss goals.
Bariatric Surgery and Your Set Point
Weight loss procedures are designed to reduce the amount of food you consume as well as reduce the digestion and absorption of calories. If you’re considering bariatric surgery, your health care team can help you learn more about your best options for your lifestyle.
Bariatric surgery can help give your body the boost it needs to continue and maintain your weight loss goals. By improving your metabolism and reducing your set point, your body is more likely to help you as you work to keep the weight off.
The key to successful, lasting bariatric procedure results is to continue practicing healthy habits in order to keep your set point low.
Get the Answers You Need
Living with obesity can be difficult, but a healthier future is possible. If you’d like to know more about reducing your set point and bariatric procedures, our bariatric care team is available to help you navigate your options and learn more.