Weight Loss and Motivation: Why Willpower Won't Work
Here’s an unforgiving truth: diets don’t work.
When it comes to losing weight, most Americans rely heavily on traditional or fad diets. Though diets that focus on cutting calories may help you with your initial weight loss goals, studies find that the results are rarely long lasting. In fact, researchers have found that 80% of people who lose at least 10% of their weight will gain it back within the first year.
But the problem isn’t loss of motivation or lack of willpower. To keep weight off, you need to reprogram your metabolic system to have a healthy response not just to food, but to sleep, exercise, and emotional triggers, too.
THE SCIENCE OF WEIGHT LOSS
For many people, losing weight is a battle with the scale. At first the numbers go down, but eventually, the number gets stuck. No matter how hard you apply new diet changes, the number refuses to budge. In the long-term, it might even start to creep back up. But this isn’t a reflection of your loss of willpower—it’s often because your metabolism is programmed to do everything it can to maintain your weight.
Studies show that we each have something called a biological “set point,” which is the weight our bodies work hard to maintain—whether or not that weight is actually healthy for us.
Your set point is determined by the interaction of your biology, genetics, and environment, and it’s 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).
When the number on the scale gets stuck, it’s often a reflection of how hard your body is working to protect your set point. In an effort to support your survival, your body slows your metabolism down so it can save energy and make each calorie last longer. It also increases the production of hunger hormones and decreases the production of fullness hormones to encourage you to replace lost calories by eating more.
Your system is committed to keeping you at what it perceives to be your “target” weight. But when you diet without working on other important biological and environmental factors, your body thinks it’s going into starvation mode and does everything in its power to defend your set point.
How to readjust your set point
Here’s the good news: your set point isn’t permanently fixed. But a calorie-cutting diet won’t cut it.
Your set point is determined by an interplay of genetics and environment. And while you can’t change your genetics, you can make impactful changes to your environment, which will have a positive effect on how your body responds to it.
With the right tools, a comprehensive program that targets the underlying biology of metabolic health—including food, exercise, sleep, and emotional health—can work to readjust your set point.
CALIBRATE'S APPROACH TO WEIGHT LOSS
We know how easy it is to determine weight loss success based on the number on the scale—but 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.
Calibrate’s program is designed to help you reset your metabolic system by working with your biology, rather than fighting it.
To do this, our approach combines what clinical studies have proven to work: prescription FDA-approved metabolic medication with behavioral changes focused on food, exercise, sleep, and emotional health.
Why metabolic medication?
Calibrate's program begins with metabolic medication that works with your biology. A Calibrate doctor will review your lab work, weight health history, and goals to prescribe an FDA-approved metabolic medication that’s the best fit for you.
The right prescription metabolic medication will help to jumpstart—and maintain—weight loss—all as you improve your metabolic health.
Specifically, the GLP-1 metabolic medications 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.
These are not short term fixes—GLP1s help reset your metabolic system to sustain long-term weight loss.
How are lifestyle factors incorporated?
Calibrate’s program combines the power of clinically proven metabolic medication with a one-year virtual program that’s designed to target four proven pillars of metabolic health: food, sleep, exercise, and emotional health.
Rather than a diet plan that restricts calories and increases your food cravings, our program helps you to decrease processed and disease-promoting foods from your diet and incorporate high-quality, whole foods that have been proven to lower your blood sugar and improve gut health. Our food philosophy is designed to help you learn how your body reacts to the consumption of certain foods, while helping you to feel in control of what you eat.
Getting consistent, quality sleep is crucial to supporting and regulating a healthy metabolism and appetite—and is often one of the hardest pillars of our environment to control. Our approach to sleep works by helping you to track your patterns to identify a baseline and build a consistent schedule that can dramatically improve your sleep and its effect on your metabolic health.
Regular exercise is important for achieving long-lasting weight loss. In particular, research shows that resistance training will help to burn more calories, build muscle, and improve metabolic health. The type and amount of exercise we recommend helps you to make incremental improvements, no matter where you’re starting from, so that you can learn how to make exercise a consistent and positive part of your life.
Your emotional health can influence hormones that affect your eating habits, metabolism, and weight. Our emotional health strategies will help you to incorporate science-backed and easy-to-achieve daily practices to reduce stress, while also helping you to recognize emotional health triggers that can influence your weight and metabolic health.
Working with biology, not willpower
In addition to losing at least 10% of your body weight—and keeping it off—Calibrate’s program can help reduce your risk (or even potentially reverse) diabetes, lower several risk factors for cardiovascular disease including high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and improve mood and energy while also reducing symptoms of depression, arthritis, and sleep apnea.
Calibrate understands that it’s not about your willpower—it’s about your biology. Our one-year program accounts for this to help you make impactful changes that will help you feel better, lose weight, and improve your overall metabolic health.
Interested in a whole-body metabolic reset? Learn more today.
We’re a modern, medical approach that combines doctor-prescribed medication with 1:1 accountability coaching—all personalized to your biology, your goals, and your life for a metabolic reset that lasts and 10% Weight Loss Guaranteed (see terms).