Can your body and your brain learn what to expect and when what’s expected (e.g., food) is missing, conspire against you to get it back again?
Yes. Yes. A thousand times yes
Changes in leptin, gut hormones, and circulating nutrients sense the energy deficit and set off compensatory mechanisms that operate through the energy balance controls in the hypothalamus and brain stem and effect the cortex and limbic system as well.
Then there’s adaptive thermogenesis where metabolic compensation occurs to conserve energy. This also hinders weight loss.
There is also passive metabolic compensation whereby less energy is required to sustain basal metabolism, less energy is spent for physical activity, and less energy is dissipated as the thermic effect of food as you lose your unwanted weight.
What can you do when your body and brain are conspiring against you in these ways?
You can use psychology to lose weight. You heard right. You can “get yourself to do” (that’s the psychology we’re talking about) what you need to do in order to reduce your weight.
There is always cause for inertia and return to homeostatic balance. In the case of weight loss, you are returning the homeostatic balance to a bar you kept setting, inadvertently perhaps, higher and higher until you reached a weight that was no good for you in a lot of ways. You can’t fault your body and brain. They are just going along with you. They are restoring your weight to where they think you want it to be. They’ve learned from you.
Now it’s time to unlearn them. If you are trying to lose some weight and you want your brain and body to follow along, keep setting the bar lower and lower. Remember, though, there’s more than dieting and exercise needed for the weight-loss process. When you reset the bar, there are lots of readjustments you have to make to your psychology in order to realize your weight-loss goal.
If you need help getting yourself to make these psychological adjustments, please go to The Reading Room and the White Paper, both of which are in the left-hand column of this blog at MariasLastDiet.com. Or, if you want to have an actual book or an e-book to read through and refer to, check out the weight-loss books for women section on the right-hand side of this blog.
If you need more specific help, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll point you in the right direction.