87. Why regain weight?

Ask any one who has been struggling to lose weight. He will say that it is difficult to lose weight but it is more difficult to keep it off! Why?

A person’s body has a set number of fat cells. This is determined either at birth or infancy. This number of cells remains constant (or may increase) throughout the person’s life. It can never ever be decreased.

“Set Point Theory” states that a person’s body is programmed to be in a certain weight range and the body will “fight tooth and nail” to remain in that range. During dieting a parson’s weight reduces visibly. But it always comes back–no matter how little he eats and how hard he works out in a gym. The body tries to retain its natural weight.

During serious dieting, the body learns to use efficiently the few calories available for its various functions. The body temperature may fall down and metabolism slowed down. When the body gets more calories than what it needs, it speeds up metabolism and even maintains higher body temperature, in an effort to burn off the extra calories.

It is possible to lose weight only be decreasing the size of the fat cells and not by decreasing their number. The brain always wants to trigger the body, to return the fat cells, to their original size. This means that the weight lost will be regained slowly and steadily.

There is no way of testing to find out a person’s set point. The best way to find it out is to eat normally and exercise moderately and regularly. Long years of futile dieting will throw the metabolism out of gear and it may take up to a year for the system to be restored and the body to return to its normal weight range.

Learning to accept the Set Theory will put an end to the vicious cycles of dieting with its “yoyo” effect. If we learn to accept people as they are, irrespective of their size, height and colour, the world will be a much better place to live in. People will be more relaxed, friendly and in better moods.

After all, being thin is not necessarily the same as being happy!

Visalakshi Ramani


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