Food freedom

How to find your set point weight

The fear of giving up control

Let’s address the elephant in the room shall we… giving up dieting is scary! We immediately think that the moment we give up all aspects of control, we’re going to eat copious amounts of chocolate forever, get fatter and fatter and either pop or die alone…

I get it 🙏🏽 I’ve been there…

We are so used to structure, control, routine and wanting something or someone outside of ourselves to tell us what to do that giving up dieting can send us into what feels like an anxiety sh*t storm!

But the ONLY way to build a relationship with your body, feel normal around food and find your body’s natural set point weight is to do the work that I teach:

  • Give up dieting, weighing yourself and your food
  • Unlearn your conditioning
  • Release limiting beliefs and embodying empowering ones
  • Practice intuitive eating
  • Explore new ways to comfort yourself alongside food
  • Expand your capacity to experience pleasure and abundance
  • Lots of body image work
  • Lots of self-love work
  • Taking daily action as the free, self loving version of you

When you fully devote yourself to this journey, your body will naturally find its set point weight.

What does set point weight mean?

Your body’s natural set point weight is the weight/size your body naturally wants to be – not what you want it to be…

It’s worth reminding you that your body wants to be healthy and to feel good so if you get out of the way and start trusting it, you will experience a sense of freedom, ease and grace as you and your body become a team.

Your set point weight naturally happens when you stop trying to control your weight, when you learn how to practice tuning into your body and following its guidance on what and how much to eat.

You will start craving exercise and salad when you stop making them feel like punishment.

FYI, your body is the wisest creation in the universe, it knows what it’s doing…! Even though we’ve been taught since birth that we can’t trust our own appetite.

Built-in thermostat

Your brain has a built-in regulator that regulates how much body fat you have. It’s helpful to see it as a thermostat in a room that is connected to the heating and air-conditioning system. When the room gets colder than the set temperature, the heater kicks in to take the temperature back up. When the room gets warmer, the aircon kicks in to bring it back down to the desired temperature.

This is what the regulator does in your brain with the amount of body fat you have. Your natural set point weight is entirely based on your genetics and your dieting history. Your brain will do everything it can to keep your body fat at a certain level.

What happens when you diet?

When you go on a diet you are fighting against your own biology. Even if you muster up enough “willpower” to ignore your body’s hunger signals for a long period of time, biology will eventually win.

It’s not only about the hunger… when your body sends signals to the part of your brain that regulates your body fat and tells it “hey we’re losing fat cells over here”, your brain will biologically change your hormones so that you are driven to eat… and the more you ignore that drive to eat, the more your biology will drive you to eat high-fat high sugar foods. Is this helping you to make sense of your behaviours now…? 🤯

What actually happens is:

  • Your leptin levels decrease – these are your satiety hormones – the feeling of being satisfied with what you’ve eaten.
  • Your ghrelin levels increase – these are your hunger hormones.

And because your biology only cares about your survival – and also hasn’t adapted to our modern way of living with an abundance of food available at our fingertips – it will overcompensate for the fat loss. It will think that you are experiencing a famine and so in order to protect your survival it will do these 2 things:

  • Drive you to go and find food NOW, especially high fat high sugar food because that will fill your fat stores back up easier.
  • When you do eat, it will store more fat than you had before in order to protect you from the next famine.

It also drives weight re-gain for up to a year after a period of restriction!

Can you see now why dieting is the best way to gain weight over time? 😱

The ONLY way to break this cycle of yo-yo dieting is to show your body that it can trust that there is always enough food around. This INCLUDES how you think. If you’re constantly thinking that you need to restrict, even if you don’t actually physically restrict, your biology will still react in exactly the same way as if you were physically restricting! Again, this is to protect you from an upcoming famine.

Only when your body knows there will always be enough food available and there is no threat of an impending restriction, will your body stop overcompensating (by driving you to eat and then storing extra fat reserves) and effortlessly fall back to its natural set point weight.

The problem is we interfere ALL. THE. TIME. because we are all so fat phobic. We are petrified of gaining weight or staying the same size because of what we make “fat” mean. So therefore we spend a lifetime trying to manipulate our bodies to look a certain way or be a certain size. And we wonder why we can’t do it! That’s why what I teach is SO crucial if you want to feel normal around food and effortlessly stay the same weight. A weight that you will be able to be happy with if you decide to embark on this food and body freedom journey with my support.

Do a brainstorm on the word fat and I guarantee you’ll write down words such as:

  • lazy
  • unhealthy
  • unfit
  • undesirable
  • unattractive
  • etc

I want you to challenge those. Is it really true that if you’re considered fat – by the way what does that even mean…?! When is the word fat appropriate to use…?! What imaginary line has someone got to cross in order to be classified as fat… – where was I… is it really true that if you’re considered fat then you’re automatically lazy, unhealthy, unfit, undesirable and unattractive?

If you were born on a desert island with no media and social conditioning, you wouldn’t even know what the word fat and thin meant. 🙃

As a reminder, truth is something that is true for all people all of the time, like gravity or the law of attraction – it’s physics. Anything else, no matter how true it feels, is not the truth, it’s simply a belief. And the word belief has the word lie in it…

You literally get to choose what you want to believe. If you choose to believe things that empower you to live your best life, full of freedom, liberation and bursting with self-love, then why wouldn’t you…?

What happens when you “overeat”?

I’ve used the word “overeat” in quotes because that’s the language that you will most likely use often but I don’t think it is helpful language. Saying that you have “overeaten” indicates that there is an imaginary line of some sort that isn’t ok and you’ve crossed that. There is a negative judgment there and this causes guilt to creep in.

But I will use the word “overeat” in this context so that it makes sense for you but in an ideal world, I would swap the word “overeat” to “eaten past physical and emotional satisfaction.”

Ok then so… we know what happens when we are constantly flittering between dieting and binging, as I have just explained above. But what happens when we have proven to our body that there is indeed enough to eat and that it can trust you and your environment to be nourished (including no mental restriction) and then we go and “overeat”?

Well, your body still wants to remain at its ideal set point weight so it will do everything in its power to do so. Such as increase your metabolism, send you signals to move more, decrease hunger hormones and raise satiety hormones.

That’s how those people who have never dieted before and eat what they want, stay the same size their whole lives. Because if these people are at their set point weight, their body doesn’t want to get bigger. Or smaller. The same goes for you too.

Again, it comes down to trusting your body to do whatever it wants to do. As I’ve said previously, your genetics is the biggest factor that determines your set point weight and after that, your dieting history. If you’ve been dieting (and binging) for many years, your set point weight may have risen due to your body wanting to protect you from the constant restriction and impending restriction (thinking about dieting) Your body sees restriction as a famine…aka – literally there is no food to eat and you might die.

Now I know that you’re most likely panicking because you’re thinking that you’ve caused your set point weight to be higher than it was due to all of the dieting and binging you’ve done… Don’t panic my love… 🤗

There is no point whatsoever in trying to figure out if your chronic dieting has caused your set point weight to rise. So take a deep breath, know that you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be in this messy and magical journey called life and from this moment on, choose to work with your body, not against it.

Can your set point weight change?

Before I go into how you can find your set point weight, I would like to address this question. “can you set point weight change?”

Apart from what I’ve previously discussed – that chronic dieting can possibly raise your set point weight – there are some factors that can have an effect on your set point weight.

Ageing women

As women, as we age our hormones change, and that may cause our bodies to slowly change over time. There is no point in fighting this or wishing it didn’t happen. It is all part of nature and it is supposed to happen. 😉 All we can do is accept and embrace any changes, visit our body image and self-love toolbox daily and continue to build and deepen our relationship with our bodies. Alongside everything I am going to share with you in a moment when I get into “How to find your set point.”

Weight training

If you develop a love for fitness and/or weight training, your natural set point weight can change slightly because you will build more muscle tissue. Muscle weighs heavier than the same volume of fat.

Your environment and lifestyle

Consider comparing these 2 different environments and lifestyles:

  • A 43 year old mum of 3 who works in a chocolate factory. She loves to eat the free chocolate available at work and her only form of movement is to walk from her car to the factory.
  • A 24 year old single personal trainer who loves to exercise regulary. She lives with a health-conscious friend who does all the food shopping.

Each environment and lifestyle is considerably different. But each person is considerably different too. 😊

There is a reason why one person is working in a chocolate factory and the other loves to exercise. It’s who they have chosen to be in this lifetime and their upbringing, genetics, conditioning and life experiences will of had a huge effect on their life choices.

That’s why you should never compare yourself to anyone else. Because you are you and they are them. And you’re not supposed to be them, you’re supposed to be YOU! 🥰

So as you read the following “how to find your set point weight” this applies to everyone in any environment and lifestyle.

How to find your set point

Most of you might not have a bloody clue what your natural set point weight is as you may have been dieting from such a young age, you have never allowed your body to settle naturally without restricting or binging. And that’s ok. 💖 Because if you’re serious about feeling normal around food, actually liking your body, effortlessly maintaining your weight and loving yourself then you’re going to find out what your set point weight is by doing the inner work to get there.

It’s worth reminding you that your body doesn’t want to yo-yo up and down. It wants to stay within its set point. Studies show that being “overweight” for your whole life is much healthier and better for you than continually losing and gaining weight over the course of your life.

There is one sentence that I’ll say that practically sums up how to find and stay at your natural set point weight and that is:

Your job is to take care of yourself and your body will be whatever it wants to be.

So my next question to you is (bonus points for journaling this out):

“What does it look like for you if you were to take care of yourself?”

For me, it’s nourishing myself physically, emotionally and spiritually.

For everyone, it’s connecting to the body and checking in with it to see what it wants and needs. Sometimes that will be cake, sometimes more sleep, sometimes a run. Your body will let you know what it needs in each moment and your job, as the soul living in your body is to listen to the feedback it is giving you. When you’ve heard the feedback, it’s still up to you what you do with that feedback, there is no right or wrong… you get to choose.

For example, your body may be telling you “Hey I’m hungry!” and you can either choose to listen and go eat something or you can choose to ignore it and not eat. The same goes for when your body is telling you “Hey, I’ve had enough now I’m full”. You get to decide whether or not you listen and stop eating or whether you choose to continue eating because you want to enjoy the taste longer. The choice is always yours.

When you can live that way – making choices based on how you feel in the moment with no judgementthat’s when you find and stay at your natural set point weight. That’s when eating becomes easy breezy.

When your body trusts that it is going to get enough consistent nourishment without any impending restrictions, it can relax and work optimally. Your metabolism will be fired up, your digestion will be working optimally. And when you get to this stage, you’ll naturally be pulled toward nourishing yourself in ways that you once saw as diet behaviours – such as eating vegetables and fruits, wanting to move your body, not having any desire to eat past physical and emotional satisfaction, etc.

And that’s when you look back with peace gratitude and self-acknowledgement and think “Wow… I’m SO glad I took that scary leap and invested my time, energy and money into this journey to food and body freedom.”

I will end this how I started by recapping…

The ONLY way to feel normal around food and find your body’s natural set point weight is to do the inner work that is:

  • Give up dieting, weighing yourself and your food
  • Unlearn your conditioning of diet culture and how women’s bodies are suposed to look
  • Release limiting beliefs and embodying empowering ones
  • Practice intuitive eating
  • Explore new ways to comfort yourself alongside food
  • Expand your capacity to experience pleasure and abundance
  • Lots of body image work
  • Lots of self-love work
  • Taking daily action as the free, self loving version of you

When you fully devote yourself to this journey, your body will naturally find and stay at its set point weight. For help with achieving this, reach out to me so we can discuss the different options to work together. You deserve this. I love you. 💓

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