What is a “healthy weight?” There’s no blanket answer for this question. We each have unique biologies that influence how much we weigh. But what we do know is that a healthy weight is one that reduces your risk for health problems, is attainable, and can be maintained through a lifestyle that you actually enjoy.
What Losing 10% of Body Weight Looks Like
At Calibrate, our goal in the first 6 months of the program is to help you lose at least 10% of your body weight. You probably have some questions. For one thing, why 10%? Why not 20 or 30? Here are the very real reasons why 10 is such an important number:
- Losing 10 percent of your body weight is impactful: Losing at least 10% of your body weight is clinically-significant. It can lower several risk factors for cardiovascular disease including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. This amount of weight loss also reduces symptoms of depression, arthritis, and sleep apnea, while improving overall quality of life. In part, these big benefits may be explained by the way our bodies lose weight: Not all fats are equal, and the fat in our abdomen and around our organs (sometimes called “visceral fat”) is the kind that’s most closely linked to health problems. It’s also, luckily, the fat we tend to shed first. In fact, when you lose 10% of your body weight, you’re losing 30%—nearly a third—of your abdominal fat, which is a meaningful tipping point.
- Losing 10 percent of your body weight is realistic: Studies show that losing at least 10% of your body weight is generally a realistic and attainable goal for most people given biologic, genetic, and environmental factors. Why does that matter? Setting goals that aren’t possible can undermine past achievements and lead to frustration, anxiety, and (ultimately) giving up. There’s even a scientific name for that cycle: false hope syndrome. Research also shows that 10% is a typical amount of weight to lose when combining medications called GLP-1s with lifestyle changes over the course of a year, like the Calibrate program does. Some people do lose more, and we will work with you to make sure you’re getting maximum results.
- Losing 10 percent of your body weight is sustainable: A shift in at least 10% of your weight can be maintained through a lifestyle that you actually enjoy, no deprivation required. GLP-1s coupled with simple new behaviors have been shown to give you the jumpstart you need to achieve a 10% weight loss. This combination can also change your biology in a way that will be sustainable for the long-run.
The Effects of Losing 10 Percent of Your Body Weight
Okay, but if it takes just six months to lose at least 10% of your body weight, why does the Calibrate program take a whole year to complete? The answer is that once your weight loss slows, it’s especially important to continue to support the healthy metabolic changes that are happening under the surface.
Doing this is what will help to “set” your new weight. It can take up to a year for your body to stop resisting your new lower weight and to make that your new set point. No wonder it’s challenging for many people to maintain weight loss.
The second half of the Calibrate program reinforces the healthy metabolic changes you make through each of the pillars, so you stay at your new lower weight. These tweaks, along with medication, actually change your biology—helping you settle into a new set point and become healthier over the long-term.