The set-point theory for weight management was developed in 1982 by nutritional researchers William Bennett and Joel Gurin. It may explain why repeated dieting does not produce successful long-term changes in body weight. In theory, each person has a built-in control system that acts as a thermostat for body fat. The ideal approach to weight loss would be to change the set-point rather than overpower it with weight-loss diets. These are 7 healthy ways to lose weight based on this theory.
Regular Physical Activity
A routine of regular physical activity seems to lower the set-point and is the most promising way to lose weight. When you are physically active, the body burns calories to convert into energy and you lose weight. As a general rule for healthy adults, include a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as brisk walking or swimming in your daily routine. Walking for one hour can burn from 200 to 400 calories depending on rate and body weight. Running for one hour burns 900 to 1,400 calories.
Don’t Starve Yourself
It is a false assumption that skipping meals or fasting will help you lose weight. Dieting research has shown that long-term caloric deprivation causes the body to lower its metabolic rate. As a result, calories are burned more slowly and eventually the body conserves remaining calories. Dieting actually becomes less effective and further weight loss is impossible.
Burn More Calories Than You Eat
The healthy way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you eat. The general recommendation is to create a deficit of 500 calories per day by eating less calories and increasing physical activity. Within a week, there should be a loss of one to two pounds. A basic rule is a daily intake of 1,050 to 1,200 calories and one hour of physical exercise.
What You Eat is as Important as How Much You Eat
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are nutritious and will make you feel full. Minimize the amount of starch, salt and added sugar in your diet. Replace processed foods with freshly prepared meals using fresh produce and whole-grains. Limit animal fat intake. Add fish, poultry and 95 percent lean meat to your diet. Remove the skin and added fat from poultry. Though it adds flavor and moisture, it is loaded with fat. Try new cooking techniques to keep skinless chicken breasts moist and flavorful.
Drink Plenty of Water Each Day
Drinking plenty of water daily is important for good health and replacement of fluid lost through breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. Drinking water between meals not only quenches thirst but will make you feel full. Feeling full, you will not be tempted to snack. There is no scientific evidence to support the thought that everyone needs to drink eight- 8 oz. glasses of water daily, but it is an easy rule to remember and good place to start.
When and How You Eat
Always eat three meals a day and avoid skipping meals. Make each meal count by monitoring the number of calories you are taking in and what is on the plate. Eat only from a plate while sitting down. You won’t be tempted to graze and end up eating more than you should. Try switching a dinner plate with a salad plate to help limit portion size. Avoid second or third helpings. Chew slowly; this tricks your brain and you will feel full sooner. Don’t eat right before going to bed. Limit snacks to one a day if necessary and make it a healthy one, such as fresh fruit or low-fat yogurt.
Losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight takes work and will power. A quick fix diet pill or crash, fad diets are not effective methods. Take one day at a time. Establish a healthy lifestyle and routine that will become your new normal. Avoid snacking in between meals and fast foods, if that was your eating pattern. It is hard work but “no pain and you will gain.”