Weight loss hormones are responsible for weight gain

your set point weight

In my opinion, the first step that prospective weight loss surgery patients should take is to completely discard the notion that their weight gain is primarily driven by a lack of willpower.  Most of my patients are successful in other aspects of their life.  They’re a faithful spouse, dedicated employee, and committed parent who is able to express discipline in every facet of their life- except when it comes to losing weight.  Most of my patients can’t grasp the dichotomy between their failures on the bathroom scale and their success on all other fronts until they begin to look at obesity for what it really is. 

Obesity is a disease that causes a change in weight loss hormones which results in a breakdown in the regulation of fat stores.  Willpower plays a very small and relatively insignificant role in this process.  Viewing your past struggles with your weight through this lens is the only way to come to terms with a lifetime of weight loss failure.

What are the causes of weight gain?

Before going into the details of how your body works to regulate your fat stores, let’s discuss the way your body works to control other vital physiological parameters like your heart rate, blood pressure, or blood glucose level. There is a tight network of sensors throughout your body that work to detect changes in a vital parameter and trigger feedback responses to restore the parameter back to the normal level and maintain a steady state.  The medical term for this concept is homeostasis which loosely translates to “stay the same.” 

A classic example of homeostasis is your blood pressure.  When you stand up quickly, your blood will pool in your legs and cause a drop in your blood pressure.  This will be detected by the millions of sensors that exist in your blood vessels and will trigger an immediate response to increase your heart rate, squeeze down on the blood vessels, and make your heart beat stronger, all to counteract this blood pressure drop.  

The result will be your blood pressure returning to normal within a fraction of a second after you stand up.  As the blood that has pooled in your legs begins to circulate again, your blood pressure will return to normal, your heart rate will slow down, the blood vessels will squeeze less, and your heart will go back to its normal contractile strength.  This feedback loop and hundreds of others is vital to our body’s inner workings.

Your set point weight – homeostasis in action

When we look at our body’s regulation of our body weight, we find a similar system that works to preserve our precious fat stores through periods of famine or starvation. Fortunately, starvation is not a problem we face today in the Western world, but our physiology has not yet gotten this message.  In the modern world, our body’s response to starvation is now triggered predominantly by our attempts at weight loss, rather than its intended function, to prevent us from dying of malnutrition.

All of us have a particular body weight that we tend to center around from week to week or even month to month.  One week you may eat healthier, exercise more, and drop a few pounds. The following week, you lose focus and your weight drifts back up, but it will usually center around a predetermined specific weight.  This is because your metabolic thermostat has a set point weight that regulates your fat stores to keep them relatively stable over time.  Your body weight, just like your blood pressure is maintained via feedback loops through the process of homeostasis.

The Pound of Cure Weight Loss program was developed by Dr. Matthew Weiner, a Weight Loss Surgeon in Tucson, AZ. A Pound of Cure is based on these principles:

How a shift in your weight loss hormones is the best model for weight loss

  • Weight Loss Surgery Triggers a shift in weight loss hormones as well as changes in the brain and intestinal tract that trigger your body to decrease hunger and speed up metabolism. These shifts in your weight loss hormones result in subconscious changes in your diet to maximize weight loss.
  • Immediately after undergoing Weight Loss Surgery, patients develop dramatically different food preferences. Their cravings for processed foods disappear and they begin craving unprocessed fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans and small amounts of lean animal protein. By observing these taste changes in patients after weight loss surgery, when their physiology was working to drive weight loss, Dr. Weiner was able to identify the ideal diet for anyone who wants to lose weight.
  • Identifying the causes of weight gain is as important as the steps that you take to lose weight. There are many non-food causess of weight gain like medications, stress and depression and disordered sleep.
  • Slow metabolism is often the result of processed foods, medications that cause weight gain
Weight Loss Hormones | A Pound of Cure

Calorie imbalance doesn’t lead to lifelong weight loss. Long-term success is the result of a shift in your weight loss hormones that trigger fat loss.

Course Provider: Organization

Course Provider Name: Matthew Weiner, MD

25 thoughts on “Weight Loss Hormones”

    1. Dr. Weiner! Your videos are awesome and very informative! This is a whole approach to my personal needs for weight loss! Well done! Can’t wait to get the surgery! I’ve been searching for 3 years for a comprehensive education based on the gastric sleeve and this is The Best!!!

      1. I am a former runner and had not ever had a problem with my weight that I was not able to mamage in the past…it’s a different situation now though, I am 53 with two bad knees and I am no longer able to run with constant pain after (try) knee surgery 2 years ago. As you can imagine I really gained a lot of weight about 50 pounds and I can’t seem to loss any of it, what has happened to me? For the first time in my entire life I am now wondering if I might be a candidate for a gastric sleeve to help me lose the 50 lbs that won’t move?

        1. It sounds like it’s worth a consultation, assuming your diet is reasonable. If you are eating lots of processed food, I’d start working on that first

  1. Dr. Weiner, I so appreciate you and your dedication to help those of us who are looking for a healthier lifestyle. Thank you for your passion, dedication, expertise and insight. Your videos have helped me tremendously and I feel much more prepared going into surgery for the gastric sleeve in July 2018.

  2. I’ve had great success after bypass surgery, almost at goal weight 8 months PO. I have transitioned to a WFPBNO diet about 4 months ago and love it. My problem is that surgery never altered my hunger. 10 mins after eating 1-1.5cups of food I’m starving, not head hunger but salivating, I know I’m full but the sensation is always there, my day revolves around my next meal and snacks. I drink 1-2 litres water per day. Any advice?

  3. This is amazing! Thank you so much! I love exercis and im eating really healthy but after pregnansy and medication i gaind alot of weight and just can not get it off. I think surgery is the only way but im scared for complications and that i might not lose that much anyway! Thanks again for al the grate information here!

  4. Great little book and explains things well. My problem is reading a book does not help my cravings or mindset. I am going to do my best to stay on this diet but I woke up last night in the middle of the night with stomach pains, acid reflux, and starving. That was my first day. I woke up this morning very upset stomach and very hungry. When does the extreme hunger pains go away? WillmInhave an upset stomach everyday from all the raw veggies and lack of anything to settle my stomach? If you have forgotten I have acid reflux that is hard to deal with by itself.

  5. I guess I am the only one who thinks his diet isn’t so great. I went to him thinking he was going to design a diet for my special needs. All I got was a book. If I could go cold turkey and not eat fatten foods, I would not need him. I am diappointed and starving today.My stomach is upset, my head hurts and I am not feeling as if I can make it on this pound of veggie a day diet!

    1. Hang in there, it’s likely you’re going through withdrawal from processed food. This takes time to get used to. The fact that this is so hard makes it that much more important that you stick with it.

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