Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Set Point Theory and your Weight

In the last couple days I have read a number of articles from the Health section of the New York Times that were written by author Gina Kolata of "Rethinking Thin" fame.

The first article dealt with the possibility of the human body having a weight set-point that is tightly regulated.

According to the article 'For the Overweight, Bad Advice by the Spoonful',

"Scientists now believe that each individual has a genetically determined weight range spanning perhaps 30 pounds".


Immediately after I read this I thought of all the examples of people who have gained (or lost) more than 30 pounds.

At the age of 24 I weighted 216 pounds. At the bodybuilding contest I did when I was 28 I weighed 168 pounds, and I currently weigh between 175-180 pounds. That is a range of 48 pounds.

And while it took an extreme amount of eating to get to 216 (I did this on purpose), I also spent most of my late twenties between the weight of 185 and 195 pounds. For the last two years I have weighed between 175-180 pounds, but use fasting to maintain this weight.

So what is my set point?

John Barban, the editor of Eat Stop Eat has another similar story. When I first met John he weighed over 240 pounds. This was the weight he was at for duration of his graduate work.

When he returned from the first year of his PhD, he weighed 187 pounds.

For the three to four years after that he weighed between 220 and 230 pounds. Since he started following Eat Stop Eat almost two years he has weighed around 205 pounds. So this is a range of over 50 pounds.

What is his set point?

The truth is, I beleive there is some validity to the set point theory, but I think it is very ignorant to suggest that this is purely biological (NOTE: this was not Gina Kolata's suggestion, but one that is prevalent).

Biologically, I can see how your lean mass could be relatively fixed. Your height is the best determinant of your lean mass. A 6 foot 8 human being is almost always going to have more lean mass that a person who is 5 foot 3, regardless of any weight training or even drug use.

As another example, an adult man who is 175 pounds at 10% body fat would be very unlikely to ever reach 215 pounds at 10% body fat. However, if that same adult man is who is 175 pounds at 10% could change his lifestyle dramatically enough he could become 215 pounds at 27% body fat.

So just by increasing fat mass, you could easily move outside of a 30 pounds set point.

Now here is where it gets interesting. In another article by Gina, she reported that scientists have shown that:

Every year, whether you are fat or thin, whether you lose weight or gain, 10 percent of your fat cells die. And every year, those cells that die are replaced with new fat cells. The result is that the total number of fat cells in the body remains the same, year after year throughout adulthood. Losing or gaining weight affects only the amount of fat stored in the cells, not the number of cells.


So based on this information I believe that drastic changes in lifestyle can cause drastic changes in weight and body composition. I can see how a set point of 30 pounds would and could apply to lean body mass, and I can also see how changing fat mass can completely blow this 30 pound limit out of the water!

The problem is that for most people, drastic changes in lifestyle are not possible and/or desired.

Your family, where you work, the foods you like, the friends you have, the activities you do, even the shows you watch on TV, all can effect how you eat, what you eat, when you eat and how active you are.

The bottom line is that even though at some point in our lives the amount of fat cells we have may become fixed, and our ability to drastically alter the way our body looks is limited by factors including genetics, height and lifestyle, we can all still get leaner and we can all still add muscle.

BP

Stumble Upon Toolbar

4 comments:

Dean said...

hello..can we exchange links?

http://nutrition-resource.blogspot.com

Thanks

Dean

billy said...

I like Gina Kolada. And getting caught in the rain. ;)

Anonymous said...

The best way to help lower your blood cholesterol level is to eat less saturated fat and cholesterol, control your weight and walk or do another physical activity for at least 30 minutes each day. Our plan is based on these simple steps:

Use up at least as many calories as you take in.
Be physically active.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week, if not all.
Eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods.
Eat a diet rich in vegetables and fruits.
Choose whole-grain, high-fiber foods.
Eat fish at least twice a week.
Eat less of the nutrient-poor foods.
Limit how much saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol you eat.
Choose lean meats and poultry without skin and prepare them without added saturated and trans fat.
Select fat-free, 1 percent fat and low-fat dairy products.
Cut back on foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to reduce trans fat in your diet.
Cut back on foods high in dietary cholesterol.
Cut back on beverages and foods with added sugars.
Choose and prepare foods with little or no salt.
If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation.
Follow the American Heart Association recommendations when you eat out.
Read the nutrition facts label and ingredients list.
Avoid use of and exposure to tobacco products.

THANK YOU Ameri Shape !

I want to THANK YOU for allowing me to try your program. You gave me HOPE at Losing Weight. Having Diabetes in my family and my brother just diagnosed with it…. I was on my way to possibly being next. I didn’t have a clue on how to help myself. No matter what I did I couldn’t Lose weight. I was getting larger and larger and very depressed and lethargic. I thought eating less would do it, but I was eating the wrong things together in turn it was like eating more food. How would I have known?

I didn’t believe I’d ever lose weight eating all the food I did on the menus. Especially since I had to modify the menus to the foods I have available to me at a lower income, I thought for sure this wouldn’t work. To my surprise within the first 4 days I lost 5 lbs. and inches. This new way of eating is so stimulating to me. I have energy!!! I’m not Lethargic!!! I am able to exercise!!! The simple stretching techniques are simple enough that the routine has become an every day routine for me….increasing reps as I’m able.

I’ve been eating this new way now for 14 days and I’ve gone from 223 lbs. to 208 (15 lbs.) as of today. I’ve lost 3 inches in my chest & waist, 6 inches on my Hips & Thighs, 1 inch on my wrist & bicep. You’ve been truly heaven sent to me and I thank God for your website and the chance you’ve taken with allowing me to try this program. I’ve told so many people about this way of living and your website and emails. I love getting the words of encouragement, recipes, and interesting articles. Thank you for sponsoring me! I truly appreciate you. Thanks again for making a LIFE CHANGING difference in my life!

I never want to go back to my old habits.

- Julie Wittmann
Ameri Shape——-It Works !

I was diagnosed with high blood sugar and high blood pressure, and I searched the internet to learn all I could do to make both levels go down. I came across this site, and just let me say I have have followed the diet plan, used the advice of my coach, learned about an alternative life style, and have had a great deal of fun using the site extensively. My blood sugar is completely normal without medication, I have lost 20 pounds rather quickly, my blood pressure is no longer high at all, and I am learning how to live a healthy life without the need for any medication. We are what we eat, and thanks to this simple, accurate diet plan and the advice on this site, I have more energy than I have ever had and my life is good again.

Thank you sooooooo much Ameri Shape

- Tina B.

I Love The Ameri Shape Program!!

Am following the eating plan, except that I eat zone bars at midmorning & midafternoon breaks at work. I’m walking 1 mile each morning, using weight machines (chest, shoulders, back, legs & abs) 3 mornings (MWF)per week, and walking 2 miles each evening. Use heart rate monitor to stay in aerobic zone and even have to jog a bit now. I will be adding free weights and changing my routine to M,T,Th,F next week working abs 4 days, chest, shoulder, back 2 days, arms& legs 2 days. Plan to add yoga next month. My blood pressure is now normal, cholesterol down from 267 to 168, glycohemoglobin from 11 to 5.5. On only one med now. Have lost 33 pounds since diagnosis in December have decided my body will arrive at it’s best weight by December.

Love this Ameri shape program!!!

- Suzanne

It Works!

…..Hey Ameri Shape by the way, 2 more lbs. last week!!!! Fasting blood sugars are normal or near normal EVERYDAY. I can’t believe how simple and easy this is for me. Tell the person that developed this program, he’s almost a God! I’m so glad I found this website, I believe it’s going to save me from having to go on diabetes meds as long as I keep eating this way and exercising. Trust me even Weight Watchers didn’t work for me………

- Corinne

In 1 months time

So from March 28th of this year to April 28th, yesterday; I faithfully stayed on the diabetic diet that Dr. Rubin had sent to me AND I mean faithfully. Every Monday, Wednesday & Friday I went to my loca gym and I must say it’s paid off thus far. Cuz umm well it’s Tues now, [I work nite shift, so following this diet was even harder], but Monday I got weighted & measured AND…………………DRUM ROLL: I’ve lost 12 inches & 14 1/2 pounds!!!

- Carolyn

Thank You

I will never be able to thank you enough for developing and maintaining this nutritional plan. On January 1, I weighed 217 lbs (I’m 5 ft tall) and would have been entirely happy if the only two foods on earth were chocolate and Pepsi. Within less than a week of starting this program, I had absolutely no dependence on either. I’ve lost 37 lbs and will be celebrating by playing in one of my favorite tennis tournaments in June. I stopped considering your program a diet a couple of months ago. It is and will continue to be a part of my life.

- Sheila Willis

Oh my gawd!

Thank you Ameri Shape for the newsletter and support. I have noticed a considerable change in mood, energy and zest for life! I’m not hungry all the time, and I don’t have to take afternoon naps, as before starting this new approach to eating. I jump out of bed mornings, ready to start the day. I even get up earlier. So thanks to you and the support team for introducing me to a much better life.

- Bernadette

Amost There !

Thank you Ameri Shape for your response. I have been very pleased to participate in this program. I have completely changed my lifestyle. My eating habits are better and much healthier and I have incorporated daily physical activity. I have successfully lost 1/2 (25 lb.) of my targeted weight. I plan to continue with all of my lifestyle changes. The online program provided is absolutely wonderful and served as my daily motivation to complete the challenge. With sincere thanks..Peggy.

- Peggy

WEIGHT FALLS OFF!!! Lost 30 lbs!!!!

“I was thrilled to find out that there really IS such a thing as ‘the weight just falls off’. This isn’t a diet, it’s a way of living that just make sense. I lost 30 lbs and was never hungry. I’m found renewed energy, slept better and woke up feeling refreshed.

I would recommend Ameri Shape to anyone!”

- Kerry

Motivated For Success

Hi Everyone, It has been great doing the weight loss program with you. I’ve lost 11lbs. so far and plan to continue until I reach my goal of 10 more. You have so many good tips and recipes to follow. However, I won’t be able to weigh out at any store on April 3rd as I’ll be travelling. I wish to thank you for your support and will continue to check in with your web-site for follow-up programmes. This has made me much more aware of reading labels.

Thanks again Ameri Shape.
Ann Phillip

- Ann

Body Challenger

Just want to thank you Ameri Shape from the bottom of my heart for such an indepth and all-inclusive weight loss/health plan. My question is, will you carry this program on your web-site after the challenge is over? I can only hope and pray!! I got a late start, and I have 50% body fat, and need to loose 100 lbs.
Thanks again for your help AMERI SHAPE.
KIT NEWELL

-

KUDOS AMERI SHAPE

Just wanted to add more KUDOS! to you for sharing this Ameri Shape diet: I went to the doctor this morning and my total cholesterol dropped from 258 to 171. My LDL cholesterol dropped from 175 to 83. My HDL raised from 48 to 55. This program is changing my life!

- Bill

Great Job !

Just want to say how much I’m enjoying the Ameri shape programme.I’m following it as closely as possible and going slowly but surely.I also feel much better.I just have to do my exercise more regularly. You have so much information it’s unbelievable.Anyway, I have six others doing it so we have our own little support group and we love it. Thank you very much. It’s amazing how many people have signed up. Great job AMERI SHAPE!!

- Ann

Revolutionary Program—Ameri Shape

I just want to thank you AMERI SHAPE for this wonderful plan! I can just feel health “oozing” from me! I have energy, my skin is clear, and I am losing fat like crazy! This meal plan is revolutionary to me! I have tried everything under the sun, but this understanding I now have of maintaining my blood suga! r levels is so awesome that I tell everyone about it! I can’t ever imagine going back to my old bad habits! Thank you for making this available to me, and free of charge at that! Keep up the good work AMERI SHAPE!

Sincerely, Diane Baxter

- Diane

Thanks AMERI SHAPE

HI, I WANTED TO THANK YOU AMERI SHAPE FOR THE BOOKLET !!!!!!! I AM GOING TO TAKE IT WITH ME TO MY DOCTORS APPT. MONDAY,, I BELIEVE MY DOCTOR WILL LET ME FOLLOW THIS PLAN, IT SEEMS TO BE ALOT LIKE MINE ANYWAY I JUST HAVE LIMITS ON CARBS. AND INCREASED PROTEIN YOUR PLAN SOUNDS A LOT EASIER TO LIVE WITH ON A CONTINUING BASIS THAN THE ADKINS . SO THANK YOU VERY MUCH AND I WILL LET YOU KNOW THE OUTCOME OF MY DOC. VISIT.

- ALISA

Anonymous said...

Amerishape helped me!

I was having a problem with my spouse.

He loves pizza........



You've identified your weight-loss goals. You've declared them to others. You've talked the talk, and now you're walking the walk by exercising regularly and making healthy changes to your diet. Your efforts are starting pay off. You've lost some pounds, feel energized, and are committed to staying the course.

Why then, does your loved one not seem as excited about your self-improvement as you? Maybe he or she is always trying to persuade you to skip a workout, or always suggests pizza. Is your partner subtly sabotaging you on your journey to total health?

If you feel this might be the case, ask yourself why. It doesn't mean that the person doesn't care about you. It could be that he or she is feeling insecure and threatened at the prospect of your transformation for the better. Your partner might be worried that if you lose weight and get healthy, you'll leave and find someone better. More likely than not, this person has no idea that he or she is undermining your resolve.

Sit down together and assure him or her of your love and then talk about what's going on. Give examples of behavior he or she's exhibited that has sabotaged you in the past. Keep reassuring this person of his or her value and importance in your life.



Once this person clearly understands the affect they are having, maybe they'll be able to be a supporter and not a saboteur. In the end, they wants what best for you. They just may not know how to best go about it.



Yours in Health and Fitness,

Cindy Jackson

Thank You Amerishape