We know how easy it is to focus on the numbers on the scale when you’re losing weight. But that’s only part of the picture. To keep weight off, you need to rewire your metabolic system to have a healthy response to food, sleep, exercise, and emotional triggers. Here’s why that works, and how you can set yourself up for success.
If you’ve ever tried to get healthier using any of the traditional or fad diets out there, you know all too well that these approaches rarely lead to healthy and sustainable weight loss. In fact, research shows that 80% of Americans who lose 10% or more of their body weight gain it back.
But this isn’t an example of poor willpower or lack of consistency. Our bodies were built to keep us alive in times when food might be scarce. So when we start restricting calories, our systems go into a survival model—doing their best to hold onto every pound.
Metabolism is an all-encompassing term used to describe essential chemical reactions within the body that work to convert the food that we eat into the energy we need to perform our daily functions.
Your metabolic system is a complex network throughout your entire body that involves your organs, hormones, cells, and molecular messengers. It’s your metabolic system that works to “defend” the weight you’re at when you start to eat less.
Studies show that we each have something called a biological “set point,” which is the weight our bodies work hard to maintain—regardless of whether or not that weight is metabolically healthy.
Your set point is the result of the interaction of your biology, genetics, and environment, and it is regulated closely by your brain. Specifically, your set point is the result of how your unique metabolism (your biology and genetics) responds to things like the food you eat, the amount you sleep and exercise, and even the emotional stress you’re under (factors that are determined by your environment).
In order to protect your set point, your body will slow your metabolism down so it can save energy and make calories last longer. It will also increase the production of hunger hormones, and decrease the production of fullness hormones to encourage you to replace lost calories by eating more.
Yes, you can! But a fad diet won’t cut it.
Because your set point is determined by a combination of factors ranging from genetics to health habits and environment, only a comprehensive program that actually targets the underlying biology of metabolic health can work to reset your set point.
Importantly, metabolic health goes beyond what the scale says. It means you’re also healthy and balanced on the inside. Your metabolic health affects everything from your immune function and mood to your inflammation levels and risk for chronic disease like diabetes and hypertension.
Even with clinically-proven medications and lifestyle modifications, changing your metabolic system takes time. But it’s also the most effective way to reach impactful and lasting weight loss.
Calibrate’s program is built to help you reset your metabolic system within 6 months, and then work to sustain those changes for good over an additional 6 months. To do this, Calibrate combines what clinical studies have proven to work: prescription FDA-approved metabolic medication with behavioral changes focused on food, exercise, sleep, and emotional health.
Metabolic medications like the GLP-1s we use in our program work to support weight loss and improve your metabolic health by influencing how your body handles blood sugar and by sending signals to your brain to regulate metabolism, reduce your appetite, and feel full.
They also help your body to fight the natural increases in hunger and appetite that occur when you start to lose weight. Rather than providing short term fixes, GLP1s help reset your metabolic system to sustain long-term weight loss.
Studies show that weight loss is most impactful and lasting when lifestyle factors are incorporated. Calibrate focuses on four pillars that are key to metabolic health: food, sleep, exercise, and emotional health. Beyond being habits that are central to your day-to-day, they all play an important role in your biology, too.
What you eat can have a direct impact on your metabolic health. But rather than a diet plan that restricts calories and increases your food cravings, it’s important to focus on high-quality whole foods that have been proven to lower your blood sugar and improve gut health. Our approach to food is designed to help you learn how your body reacts to the consumption of certain foods, while helping you to add more of the right foods into your diet.
Getting consistent, quality sleep is crucial to supporting and regulating a healthy metabolism and appetite. Our approach to sleep is geared toward helping you establish a baseline and develop a consistent sleep schedule that can dramatically improve your sleep and its effect on your metabolic health.
When it comes to lasting weight loss, regular exercise is key. Research shows that resistance training in particular will help to burn more calories, build muscle, and improve metabolic health. Our approach to exercise was built to help you to make movement a regular and joyful part of your life—regardless of where you’re starting from.
Your mood and stress levels can influence hormones that affect your eating habits—and, over time, your metabolism and weight. Our approach to emotional health will help you incorporate science-backed methods to reduce stress and recognize emotional health triggers that can influence your weight and metabolic health.
Research shows that programs like ours can sustainably change your metabolic system to help you lose at least 10% of your body weight—and keep it off.
This percentage is considered to be clinically-significant because it reduces the risk (or even potentially reverses) diabetes, lowers several risk factors for cardiovascular disease including high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and improves mood and energy while also reducing symptoms of depression, arthritis, and sleep apnea.
Are you ready to make small, sustainable changes that will help you meet your weight loss goals and improve your metabolic health?
Sona Shah, MD
Calibrate Medical Director
Sona is a board-certified internist and endocrinologist. Prior to joining Calibrate, she practiced weight and diabetes management and started the VA's first telemedicine endocrinology program at NYU Langone Medical Center. Sona earned her BS/MBA/MD from Union and Albany Medical Colleges and completed her endocrinology fellowship at Weill Cornell.