- Internal Regulatory Mechanisms
Just like the body's temperature is kept at a particular rate, so the weight of a person is internally regulated to stay between 10% and 20% of a particular weight. This is achieved through a complex network of feedback censors, chemicals, hormones and hunger signals.
- How the Weight Set Point is Determined
Overeating, for instance, will swamp the regulatory system, ultimately resulting in an increased set point. A body will simply adjust to the new, higher weight and alter the set point in order to defend this new weight.
Unfortunately, it is much easier to set the point higher than it is to lower it. It may be difficult, but it is possible to reset the weight set point to a lower weight. Changes in exercise habits and healthier eating will eventually result in the body resetting the point to a lower weight.
This is why so-called crash diets rarely work. The body does not have enough time to adjust to the new, lower weight before the diet is over. It will then do its best to regain the weight before the diet, by sending increased hunger signals, slowing down the metabolism and who knows what. A slow, controlled diet allows the body to respond and reset the weight it defends gradually.