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Losing weight...
How to Set Your Brain's 'Fat Thermostat' at a Healthy Level


Have you ever watched someone who looks healthy and
slender indulge in a slice of chocolate cake and wondered
how they stay thin & avoid the hassle of trying to lose weight?
Part of the reason is that we all have
a set-point in our brains that normally keeps our body fat
and weight from varying by much. For slender folks, their
set-point is at a low level~ that is, unless they do
something to cause their brain to change its weight control

That is what happened when I stopped smoking. After being
slender all my life, I quit cigarettes and gained almost 25
pounds! I had unknowingly triggered a reaction that changed
a weight control mechanism in my brain. My body began
making fat out of everything I ate, where it formerly
eliminated excess calories. (Quitting nicotine is only one
of many life changes that can cause your brain's body-
weight controls to be adjusted upward.)

I'll refer to the weight controller in your brain as the
'set-point.' A good image for understanding how the set-
point works is to think of the thermostat for heating and
cooling your house. If the temperature is set at 70
degrees, then the room's warmth doesn't change by more than
a degree or two before the thermostat tells the air
conditioner to cool it down, or the furnace to heat it up.

The set-point in your brain functions in a similar way,
maintaining a consistent fat ratio and weight level through
the interaction of metabolic activity and hormones. To
cover the chemistry of how this process works goes beyond
this article's scope. It's sufficient to know that if
you've gained (or lost) weight, it's because your set-point
has been changed. Therefore, if you'd like to lose (or
gain) weight, there are specific actions to take to adjust
the set-point to the level you desire.

First, eat the right stuff. This is not hard if you
follow these simple guidelines: a) minimize sugar and flour-
based foods (refined carbohydrates); b) eat less animal
fat, like butter, cheese, marbled meat, and eat less fat in
general~ but don't use low-fat products like low-fat
mayonnaise, because the chemicals they have to use to make
this stuff palatable is hard for your body to process; just
use real mayonnaise, only less of it; c) eat complex
carbohydrates like vegetables, fruits and whole grains,
which your body recognizes as normal foods and will process
them as fuel, giving you long-term energy.

Second, drink the right stuff: water. It supports your
metabolism, helps your systems with eliminating toxins and
other excess. Coffee, tea, sweetened juices, diet or
regular soda, and alcohol do not contribute to your health
nor to your metabolism. Keep consumption of them to a

Third, Do the right kind of exercise: large muscle,
rhythmic, and sustained for half to a full hour. If this
seems like a long time, ask yourself how much you value
your health - how important losing weight is to you. You
won't change the set-point in your brain without a certain
kind of exercise. The exercise can be a pleasure
if you do the right type.

In terms of the exercise that will affect your set-point,
'large muscle' means especially using your legs. Walking
is the perfect place to start because you don't need
special skills or equipment. You can also bike or swim or
jog. Whatever you enjoy. 'Rhythmic' means something you
can do steadily, repetitively. 'Sustained' means without
stopping: continuous. Thirty minutes is a minimum. Work up
to an hour for best results. Get your heart rate up to the
level where you are exerting yourself, but could still
carry on a conversation. More than that level, and you're
not into set-point changing exercise anymore. Here, no
pain no gain is an undesirable approach to losing weight.

If you make a habit of these three things, (eating,
drinking and exercising the right way), your set-point will
change. You'll lose weight. By adopting these habits, I
lost the weight i had gained when I quit smoking. In
the process, I developed some pleasant behaviors that have
improved my overall health as well as the quality of my
life. It's an enjoyable lifestyle to eat tasty whole
foods, have the pleasure of a daily walk, and quench thirst
with pure water. I feel good these days, and being slender
is a nice bonus. You'll feel good, too when you adopt
these habits. Your body will thank you, and bless you with
glowing health.

Note: Always consult your health-care professional or
doctor. This article is only for information purposes.


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Losing weight





Serena Harstad has written on a range of nutrition,
health, and fitness topics for <a
href="http://aanutrition.com">The News from All About
Nutrition</a>, your best resource for nutrition
information. Visit: http://aanutrition.com/ to find
more articles by Jane Doe.




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