How the brain tries to keep you in balance
Your brain has a sophisticated weight regulation system which aims to balances the amount of food you’re eating with the amount of energy you’re using – and vice versa.
The reason for this is historical. Before food was so plentiful, periods of weight loss sent messages of starvation to the brain.
The body would then try its best to conserve the energy it had previously stored as fat. This was achieved by lowering the basic metabolic rate (the number of calories you burn while asleep as your body performs the basic functions that keep you alive).
Some scientists believe we all have a set weight range that our brain wants our body to remain in and that when we lose weight, our body may work to put it back on. This is called the Set Point Theory.
We all know people who seem able to stay more or less the same weight all their adult lives.
Other people’s systems keep them slim while young but allow them to slowly put on weight after middle age.
Anyone who is putting on weight because their system is struggling to stay in balance faces a tricky problem: If they suddenly diet, their body reacts by slowing down and burning less fat.
It may also change the way it absorbs nutrients and almost certainly hormones will be thrown out of balance, making them feel hungrier.
Levels of leptin – the hormone that makes you feel full – go down and they may have to eat more to feel full. Not only that, the level of the hormone ghrelin, the “hunger hormone”, goes up and their appetite may increase.
They’re now in the classic trap that causes yo-yo dieting!
One other thing that scientific research suggests is that people who restrict calories often think about food more often. Their sense of smell may be enhanced and as everyone knows, when food smells and tastes better we often eat more.
The good news is that losing weight and keeping it off is possible. Avoiding fad diets and losing weight slowly with your Slimpod can change your set point and give your body time to adjust to your new way of eating.