Set-Point Theory: The Fat-Loss Secret No One Talks About


I’ve been journaling—somewhat consistently—since second grade. While unpacking boxes after a recent move, I found an entry from 1991 (I was 9) that read: “I don’t have to always fit into big pants.”

I was that guy. The chubby guy who needed his pants tailored for his Bar Mitzvah because they didn’t make suits for young men with a waist so big and height so… restricted. Now here I am, still not so tall, but I’m much more fit and determined to help others overcome the same battles I once fought.

If my story sounds cliché, well, it is. But it’s not too good to be true. The part missing from the fast-forwarded version is that I struggled with weight loss and body image for years. I’d go as far as telling people I was allergic to chlorine to keep my t-shirt on in the pool. (I’ll never understand how I thought this explanation would work. It’s not like the shirt protected my skin from the water, but I digress… )

My ultimate success was a byproduct of many (many) failures and learning how to overcome times of despair and lost hope. I shifted away from gimmick diets and “four-week plans” and focused on blocking out my negative thoughts and becoming happier with who I was. Once that happened, I could finally focus on building a realistic weight-loss plan for my body.

You can transform your body. Most people just do it the wrong way. Too fast. Too impatient. Too generalized. And too unrealistic.

It’s the same approach I’ve used to coach hundreds of overweight people to better health and more happiness. But it all starts with believing one simple truth that’s starting to feel more like myth than reality: You can transform your body. Most people just do it the wrong way. Too fast. Too impatient. Too generalized. And too unrealistic.

I’ve worked with clients who have lost 100 to 200 pounds. And most of the time, it happens over the course of three to five years, not three to five episodes on a television show. At least, that’s the case for those who successfully keep the weight off.


This is an especially important point, because some research (and recent media coverage) is twisted to suggest that long-term weight loss is hopeless.  While many people do, in fact, regain lost weight, it’s not because dropping fat is “mission impossible.” Instead, it starts with changing your definition of “success,” setting aside instant gratification, and understanding how weight loss actually works.

Weight-Loss Dreams vs. Reality


First, some bad news: All nutritional approaches or diet plans stop “working” at some point. Weight loss stops. You don’t see changes, and you believe that either you or the plan are no longer functioning.

The good news: When it appears to stop working, it’s actually still working.

Confused? Stay with me and it’ll make more sense.

We know that as you lose weight, your metabolism tends to slow down—although it’s not absolute. (This research reviewed 71 studies and didn’t find a significant drop in metabolism.) We also know that if you’re patient about it (say, focus on losing one to two pounds per week at most), then you’re more likely to keep it off for good. But most people quit before significant weight loss occurs. It usually looks something like this:

The thing is, steps two and three (stalled progress) are often an important part of the weight-loss process. Dropping one to two pounds per week is considered healthy, but it’s also the average. That means you might lose four pounds one week and zero the next. On those weeks, when the scale doesn’t change, it’s not necessarily a sign that your body has reached its weight-loss limit.

To put it another way, your plateau is a normal and necessary part of the process. You must stall in order to move forward (again). And when you understand why—or more importantly, accept this reality—it changes everything.

Ready for the Big Weight-Loss Secret?


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