Weight Loss

Stay Away From Weight Regain

Losing fat is really pretty simple. You've lost weight before. Keeping it off is a totally different ball game. About 90 percent of people who lose weight gain it all back. What in the world is the 10 percent of people who lose weight doing to keep it off? Do they have a secret we don't know about? 

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Looking over studies and using my own personal experience through coaching and living a healthy lifestyle I have put together a short list of things you can put in your arsenal to combat weight regain. 

1. Don't be afraid to fail hard and make mistakes. People that keep weight regain at bay are not afraid to try something, fail, modify, then try again until they build their own personalized and sustainable plan. Seems obvious, but that's not how most people approach fat loss. They instead adopt specific "restrictive diet" plans, which can be a good start. But when they fall off the wagon, they don't tweak the plan. Instead, they quit trying altogether, often claiming "that diet didn't work." 

Diets work, people don't. 

Let's set something straight: all diets work if calories are low enough and/or activity is high enough. But not all diets are healthy and most aren't sustainable. They do lead to fat loss, but it's your responsibility to make the transition from "dieting or calorie restricting " to everyday healthy and enjoyable eating. Your initial diet plan can't do that for you. You need a plan to come out of that calorie restrictive place so you can maintain the weight loss. 

People who lose fat and keep it off have figured this out. They adapt, experiment, and think about how to approach the lifestyle in a way to make it more sustainable.

2. Do away with the cheat meals. Those who lose a significant amount of fat and keep it off skip the weekend and holiday splurges. Disrupting your bodies energy homeostasis is hard enough. Giving into splurges just makes losing fat and keeping it off even harder. Control the mentality behind how you approach food at all times. There is no inherently bad food. Only portions that are not beneficial to your goals. Don't eat like a jack a$$. 

After all, the recovering drug addict doesn't indulge in his favorite drug because it's his birthday, and he doesn't get wasted on the weekend as a reward for "being good" all week. Those who struggle with staying lean adopt the same mindset to keep the fat off.

3. Lack of sleep makes you can increase your chances of weight regain and can even lead to muscle loss, regardless of diet. Since when did a lack of sleep become a bragging right? "Dude, I only sleep 5 hours a night!" Congratulations. While you may be able to "function just fine" on a few hours of sleep, doing so still short changes your body composition goals.

Where do you think your recovery really comes from? Babies tend to do two things after they are born – eat and sleep a lot. Why? Because to grow, the body requires a tremendous amount of rest. So if you aren't getting an adequate amount of sleep (7-8 hours), then when are you giving your body the extra time it needs for this process to take place?

You will have to manage your behaviors for the rest of your life. Being at a healthy body weight isn't easy in the world we live in today. 

Genetics and environment load the gun for being overweight or obese, but BEHAVIOR pulls the trigger. 

Underestimating How Much You Are Eating

If you have been exercising regularly and resting 6-8 hours a night you are off to a great start. Weight loss can be frustrating when you feel like you are doing all the things necessary to see the changes you envisioned. You freak out when the changes you’ve seen on the scale begin to slow down, and then seemingly stop altogether. Don't be discouraged if this is your story or if you are currently experiencing this. 

Your weight loss can stall for a variety of different reasons. Less health conscious habits, diet is slipping by the wayside, or exercise schedule has dipped for the worse. It can be hard to identify the reasons for a weight loss plateau when you stick to the healthy lifestyle changes that have already helped you lose weight.

One of the things I want to point out is the importance of tracking your nutritional intake. It’s clear that excess calories can slow your weight loss progress. However, it can be difficult to estimate how many calories you consume and expend in a day. Research suggests that most people, including trained healthcare professionals, tend to overestimate calories burned through exercise and underestimate calories consumed in food. Even if you carefully keep track with a food journal or phone app, or wear an activity tracker, these methods can only provide a general estimate and are often much less accurate than you might expect. 

Mixed nuts are a very popular snack for someone on the go. Let's just say you decided to consume mixed nuts every day for your mid day snack. You may think you are consuming one serving of mixed nuts that you had which is about 30 grams or 1/4 cup which would equal around 200 calories for most brands. If you've never weighed or measured the serving size you may actually consume 2 servings for that particular snack every single day. Over the course of the week, you would have consumed 1400 calories that you didn't account for. Yes, nuts are a healthy choice but a calorie is still a calorie when it comes to being in a deficit and losing weight. 

I'm not saying that you have to track your calories daily to be successful at losing weight. But those tools can help you be a little more accurate day to day. Measuring food on a scale and tracking your intake may be stressful, or overwhelming to you. For that person, I would say it probably isn't something you are mentally ready for. A more practical approach is to look closely at your everyday habits and consider what potential impact they might have on your goals. For example, little “extras” such as sugar and cream in your morning coffee, or absent-minded snacking while you’re cooking a meal can really add up over the course of a day. A closer look at these habits might be what you need to get the scale moving again.

The key is to not ignore the details. That little candy bar you ate because your boss gave it to you, the small piece of candy you ate on the way home because you were starving, and the few scoops of ice cream that you had before bed can add up quick. 95% of your day may have been spent sticking to your nutritional plan 5% of the day that you were mindlessly consuming extra calories could be screwing up your weight loss goals. Sometimes it's all in the details. 

Don't Be A Weekday Dieter

The weekday dieter.

That is actually a real thing. I can't tell you how many times I have met someone who eats good on the weekdays and throws everything healthy out the window on the weekends.

Let's talk about reducing calories for the goal of weight loss. 3 things everyone should consider prior to losing weight is:

  1. Not eating enough protein.
  2. Over restricting calories.
  3. Restricting calories for too long.

For today's blog we are going to focus on over restricting calories. The more restrictive you are with your diet, the more likely you are to engage in binge eating and have higher body weight.

What you have to take into consideration is that no matter what kind of diet you’re on, you need to actually be able to adhere to it.

If you can only stick to a your diet during the weekdays then you need to rethink your strategy.

Dietary adherence is the most important determinant of weight loss success.

There is no magic formula out there that is going to elicit some special result. I know that there are pills, powders, formulas, and potions out there that some people claim to be weight loss guarantees. But the truth is they don't exist. The one thing that is proven to give the best results is consistency.

I run into people who feel that they have to restrict calories in the 1000 - 1200 calorie range all the time. These are the same people who suffer from Last Time Syndrome. When the weekends come around they will tell themselves, "This is the last time I will cheat on my diet." or "I'm only going to have one cheat meal this weekend." That last time or that one cheat meal turns into a weekend of over eating there favorite foods and the emotional guilt of throwing all their hard work away.

Have you ever heard someone say this before? “This is the last chance I get to eat this [forbidden food] until next week, so I’d better eat as much as of it as I can!” In a study performed in 2002 researchers found that restrained eaters (those who had been told to diet for several weeks) consumed significantly more of a ‘forbidden food’ during a taste test than unrestrained eating (non-dieters).

Most trainers will tell you "try harder” or “be more strict” when it comes to dieting to your goal weight. But I assure you it is rarely ever the answer when it comes to achieving diet success.

Successful weight loss is about developing new healthy diet habits through conscious patterns of behavior that we repeat frequently, until they become unconscious! It takes a while to practice and develop a new pattern of eating. But you can do it.

A weekend of irresponsible eating can absolutely erase a whole week’s worth of hard work. I’m sure you or someone you know has been through this before. It’s a slippery slope to an endlessly frustrating cycle of restrict, binge, restrict, binge. What’s worse, you don’t make any forward progress. In fact, you may even find yourself regressing. This is why it’s so crucial to keep everything in check.

Are You Stuck With Your Current Body?

The human body resist weight change. Losing weight disrupts your bodies ability to maintain balance. 

As you get older your body settles into a comfortable weight. This is called your body weight set point. The body weight set point theory is simple: it hypothesizes that the body uses hormones, hunger, behavior changes, and other physiological mechanisms to “defend” a certain range of body weight (and body fat in particular). A simple way to think of this is as a “thermostat” or “cruise control” system for body weight and fat levels. Whatever numbers are set are what your body strives to maintain.

If you've ever tried to 5 pounds or 60 pounds you have experienced this resistance in some form. The further we push our weight away from our set point, the more intensely the body fights its way back. This isn't solely the reason for yo-yo dieting but it is definitely part of the conversation. 

The command center for the body's weight management system resides in the hypothalamus. The argument could be made that it wants to preserve fat, not eliminate it. Leptin is produced by the body's fat cells and signals the brain to regulate your appetite and satiety. Since leptin has that responsibility in the body we can conclude that this has a lot to do with our weight. 

If you lose body fat, leptin triggers hunger and the urge to eat; if you gain fat and increase leptin, you eat less. The more leptin your body produces, the leaner you tend to be; the less leptin you make, the higher your set point and the fatter you stay. 

The bottom line is it’s well established that our bodies do have a complex system for regulating body weight. I like to use a slightly different term than "set point" because "set point" implies that your body weight is fixed when that is not the case. A more accurate term would be "settling point." 

What are the factors to this "settling point"?

  • Yes, there are genetic variants that can predispose us to higher or lower body weight set points, but their effects are small. Research shows that certain “obesity genes” can be “turned off” through exercise alone. While genetics can predispose you to a certain amount of fatness, you can overrule them with the right behaviors.
  • If you chronically feed your body more (food) energy than it expends you will create weight management issues. Even if only by 200 calories per day which is an apple and banana. If it is more than you expend you will slowly but surely gain weight.

Lowering your body weight set point takes patience, discipline, and consistency, but it isn’t particularly hard. Just takes work!

One of the best ways to combat this settling point and change your body weight for good is to increase your muscle mass. Nothing helps maintain a low body weight set point like adding a substantial amount of muscle to your frame. Muscle is a “metabolically active” tissue, meaning it increases the basal metabolic rate. The increase may not be much, but even if it is 100 extra calories burned per week, it is worth it. At the end of the week that is an extra 700 calories burned while doing nothing. The more muscle you have, the more energy your body burns while at rest. And the more energy your body burns while at rest, the more food you get to eat every day without gaining fat. Research shows that the more muscle you have, the less fat you gain in response to overeating. This means that the more muscle you have, the less you’re “punished” for eating too much. I call it 'wiggle room". If you have a little too much at your parents house over the weekend then you might be able to get by because a large amount of muscle allows you that freedom. Simply put, the more muscle you have, the easier it is to get and stay lean.

Adding more muscle to your frame and coupling that with a nutritional program that allows you to be in a calorie deficit is your best bet. They key here is that you have to consciously manage your energy balance because your instincts are likely to lead you to overeating. Practicing and getting better at proper meal planning and discipline to avoid overeating is key. 

The longer you remain at a given body weight, the easier it becomes to stay there. The healthier your body is, the better its hormones will support your efforts to stay lean. Use your exercise and nutritional regimen to maintain health and body composition.

How To Prevent Weight Regain

Weight regain seems to be something that is more prevalent now days. If you have ever had a personal conversation with me you will know one of my sayings is, "It is relatively easy to lose weight, but the journey begins in keeping it off.

It is no secret that people have a tough time keeping it off. It has been well researched that only 17% of Americans are able to maintain a 10% weight loss after 1 year. Many people have repeatedly lost weight, only to regain it again and again. I meet people all the time who have lost the same 25-50 lbs all the time. Dieting to lose weight only to regain it is a common occurrence in America.

Change in body weight is caused by an imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure. Your body loves to stay in balance. We also know that your body tries to resist weight change and correct this energy imbalance. For example, if you eat 2000 calories per day and suddenly decrease it to 1000, you will lose weight, but you will also get hungry in the process. This hunger drives you to eat more to bring you back into energy balance. This is one of the reasons why maintaining long-term weight loss is so difficult.

Your body has some other protective mechanisms. Your body can resist a negative energy balance by not only making you more hungry, but by decreasing the number of calories you burn. The extent to which this happens in humans is not clear but studies show that it does occur. One of the challenges of successful long-term weight loss could be partly because our bodies reduce their energy expenditure to the point that it makes it very easy to regain the weight.

When you lose weight the amount of energy you use decreases because you have less weight to move around. That is pretty easy to understand. But what if the body becomes more efficient as a whole because of weight loss. This means you could expend less calories for maintaining the proper function of your organs and you could expend less calories for the same movement(s) that helped you lose weight in the first place.

It is clear from research that metabolism (in terms of resting metabolic rate) slows with weight loss. This means if you were to sit on the couch and not move all day, you would burn less calories than when you were heavier. This decrease can even be present even when someone has maintained weight loss for more than a year. However, the slowdown of metabolic rate is not the primary culprit for why it's so easy to regain weight, but it does play a major role.

The main reason why we have the decrease in energy expenditure with weight loss is because we become less active. This doesn't mean we exercise less, either, as exercise is a conscious choice. It means we unconsciously reduce our NEAT and spontaneous activity. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy expended for everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports-like exercise. It ranges from the energy expended walking to work, typing, performing yard work, washing dishes and fidgeting.

We also become more efficient in the activity we do; we expend less calories for the same movement. In fact, 35% of the decrease in activity energy expenditure can be attributed to an increase in efficiency. Overall, we move around less, and we become more efficient at the movements we perform. This is not only why weight loss eventually plateaus, but also why weight is so easily regained.

So how do you combat this? How do you make sure that the weight you lose stays off? How do you break plateaus when weight loss stalls?

You have to remember that physical activity doesn't have to include formal exercise. NEAT makes up the majority of your activity energy expenditure, and thus has the greatest ability to impact it. In fact, walking at only 1 mile per hour will double your energy expenditure over sitting. Anything that you can do to accumulate physical activity throughout the day will dramatically improve your chances of maintaining weight loss long term. Small things add up. Here are 5 things you can put into practice today that will improve your NEAT:

1. Park further away from your destination.

2. Take the stairs rather than an elevator.

3. Work in the yard a couple times per week.

4. Take a short walk during lunch break.

5. Talk on the phone at work while moving around.

Since activity can decrease on an almost unconscious level, you need to make a deliberate conscious effort to get as much activity as possible in throughout your day, every day. Or you will notice weight regain and more weight loss plateaus.

Hunger Is Important pt. 2

IT'S OKAY TO FEEL HUNGRY.

Your body has an incredible ability to store fat. From a physiology stand point your body needs to store fat to survive. The issue we run into when it comes to health and fitness is storing unwanted body fat. Would you agree?

Why do you even need body fat?

Fat cells are formed in the developing fetus during the third trimester of pregnancy, and later at the onset of puberty, when the sex hormones kick in. It is during puberty that the differences in fat distribution between men and women begin to take form. Fat cells generally do not generate after puberty. Your body can store more fat but the number of actual fat cells generally stay the same. Each fat cell simply gets bigger!

Fat is a tissue that is needed by the body for a wide variety of functions such as temperature regulation, proper reproductive capabilities (particularly in women), shock absorption, the regulation of other nutrients and to maintain healthy skin, hair and nails.

Why is hunger a necessary evil to lose fat?

Hunger strikes big in moments where you are going through a calorie deficit to lose body fat. The body doesn't know you are only temporarily going through a few months of cutting your calories back to lose fat or starving to death. It sends the alarm of starvation which is why that hunger signal is so loud and can be overwhelming to you.

You are purposely trying to lose tissue that your body is consciously programmed to hold on to. So if you want that fat to go, you must feel hunger. Simple as that. 

A sound way of losing body fat includes a nutrition structure that will allow you to optimally maintain muscle and strength while losing fat. If you are training with weights and include a good amount of protein in your nutrition then being a little hungry during a fat loss phase is okay. Hunger in this case means you are losing fat and keeping muscle.

So don't give into that feeling of stopping at the fast food restaurant on your way home because chicken nuggets sound good. Don't eat the rest of your kids food just because. Leave that candy bowl alone at work and don't eat the cupcakes that Jane brought for everyone because it is her birthday at the office. You are on your way to being leaner if you are experiencing little bouts of hunger.

That all being said, sometimes hunger gets a bit out of hand and you have some desperate moments. Here are some tips to combat hunger without ruining everything:

  1. Sugar Free Jell-O: You would have never thought it, right? But it is barely any calories. And it takes up some of that empty space in your belly. At the end of the day when you are starving it could save you from raiding the pantry.
  2. Caffeine: Research shows caffeine in small doses (under 400 mg a day) can have some positive benefits for suppressing appetite. Caffeine can also help you burn an extra 50-100 calories a day and fuel tough workouts when energy levels might be low. Grabbing a diet soda or having a couple cups of coffee are just fine. 
  3. Sugar Free Gum: Yes, chewing something that is like almost 10 calories can help you get through the day when your stomach is growling but it may not be time to eat. I chew a couple pieces a day and it helps me when my calories are low from a calorie cutting phase.
  4. Dill Pickles: I'm giving away all my secrets. My wife can attest to the fact that I always keep a jar of pickles around. They help me in moments where those bag of chips look so tasty and when I really want to satisfy that salty craving. Don't lose it and eat the whole jar, but a couple will help and serve as a low calorie treat.
  5. Flavored Water: I can save the debate of whether artificial sweeteners are good or bad for a later blog post. But let’s just say that there are no bad foods or ingredients, but there are portion sizes that can be detrimental to anyone. Drinking plenty of water keeps your belly full, and flavored water can give you the feeling that you are getting a treat. Not to mention that you need a good amount of daily water consumption to keep things moving properly through your body.

IT'S OKAY TO FEEL HUNGRY. THE KEY IS TO MANAGE IT DURING A WEIGHT LOSS PHASE. 

Why Hunger Is Important pt. 1

I had a great conversation with a friend of mine about the lost art of hard work when it comes to losing body fat. For some reason the social media era has made it seem like losing body fat is easy.

Most people understand the necessity of sacrifice for gain in other arenas of life. We understand that you have to make sacrifices and work hard to move up in your career of choice. To earn your college degree will take lots of money and a ton of late nights studying in the library. If you want to improve the way you play an instrument or perfect a craft you will have to put in countless hours of what could seem like boring practice. But that is what it takes. 

There is information floating around that makes it seem like losing weight should be a comfortable experience. If you take away anything from this post let it be this: your diet is temporary you are trying to lose body fat. Cutting your calories back to lose weight is not sustainable and it is not supposed to be. It is a state of deprivation. Expect it to be uncomfortable. Expect it to be hard work. In order for you to reach your goal it must be done. Your nutrition becomes comfortable and sustainable after you reach your goal. When you reach your goal of weight loss then you make a shift into maintenance. That is when your nutrition becomes a lifestyle and should be comfortable.

When weight loss is your goal you have to be on top of your day to day. If you plan on being away for the weekend then you have to plan out how you will stay on plan. For example, maybe you plan on having a few drinks with friends, or a date night with your significant other. How will you make the necessary accommodations to not lose track of the goal at hand?

These things can be a part of your lifestyle during the periods you are trying to lose weight but you need to have a plan of attack prior to them coming up. You can't go overboard and lose control because when Monday rolls around you will be practically starting over. And that is not a very healthy cycle to be in. Sometimes you will have to tell your friends you are only going to have one drink. And it might not be your favorite drink because your favorite might be too many calories for you. But staying the course and not throwing your results down the drain for temporary satisfaction is important during a calorie cutting phase.

The people who are most successful at losing weight and sustaining those losses are those that maintain control in different situations. They strictly stay the course of the plan, lose the intended weight and begin a maintenance phase, at which point they develop a healthy lifestyle and can relax some.

Those that try to include little cheats over there allotted calories here and there throughout the calorie cutting phase tend to lose much less. You can have your cake and eat it too. But that slice of cake has to be factored into your day. And that one slice can't turn into two, three and four slices.

Win one day at a time. A temporary state of hunger is necessary and some sacrifices will have to be made. But when you get to your goal and enter a maintenance phase you will be able to relax some and enjoy some of the treats or experiences you have been putting off.

Stay the course.

Why Does Your Weight Fluctuate

I enjoy weighing myself everyday. I am also probably an exception to the rule because weighing yourself can lead to a lot of negative emotions as well.

I like to see how the previous days food, water, stress, and digestion effects my weight from day to day. It gives me a snapshot of what is going on. The more data points I get the more information I can piece together. I don't place my value on the scale or let whatever the number is affect my self confidence in any way. But I know there is a long road for others to get to that point. It is key for you to understand what causes your weight to fluctuate. I'm not asking you to weigh yourself everyday like I do. But if weight loss is something you are trying to accomplish then you have to learn how to separate your feelings from the number on the scale.

If your goal is weight loss, it can be easy to celebrate when you see the number on the scale fall by a few pounds one day, then worry when the scale jumps by a pound or two the next day. But what do these fluctuations in weight tell you?

Short-term fluctuations in weight are normal and generally reflect changes in your body’s level of water. It’s not possible under typical circumstances for your body to gain or lose several pounds of fat over the course of just a few days. Components like diet, exercise, weather, and your bathroom habits are all factors that can change the level of water in your body and cause the number on the scale to change, too. So you freaking out is the last thing you should be doing.

For example, eating salty food causes your body to hold on to extra water. Until your body clears out the excess salt and the water that comes with it, your weight will increase by a few pounds. An intense, sweaty workout can cause your weight to decrease by several pounds from the fluids you lose as sweat. Once you are fully hydrated and your level of body water is back to normal your weight will increase again.

Your metabolism can also influence your body’s water balance and cause fluctuations in weight.

How your body handles carbohydrates gives us the best example of this. As part of normal metabolism, your body stores a small amount of carbohydrate that is used to maintain steady blood sugar levels between meals and to power muscles during exercise. This reserve of stored carbohydrate, called glycogen, attracts and holds extra water. When your body’s glycogen reserves are full, your level of body water will be much higher than when your reserves are depleted. This is why your nutrition and exercise habits are so important. They both can lead to changes in the body's level of stored glycogen. Because normal variations in your body’s glycogen stores affect your level of body water, weight fluctuations are part of normal metabolism.

It is normal for your body weight to fluctuate by several pounds over the course of a day and even in a week. This doesn't mean that weighing yourself isn't helpful. You just need to keep things in perspective when doing so. Tracking body weight is still a good tool as long as your mindset is in a place to take it the right way. If stepping on a scale makes you feel frustrated, hopeless, or sparks other negative emotions then staying off the scale might be the best action to take for now.

If you want to teach yourself how to approach weighing yourself the right way then you should have a few things in order first.
1. Be discipline in preparing your meals or have some consistency in your nutritional regimen.
2. Have consistent exercise habits. It doesn't matter if it is one day or a week or seven. It could be 30 minutes per session or 60. You need to have some solidity in your program.
3. Don't place your self worth into a number on the scale. You are amazing already.

Start by checking your weight less often. Once a week or once a month for example. That way you will have a good idea of your progress while limiting the distracting influence of short-term fluctuations in weight and less mind games.

Some things you should consider if you are going to weigh yourself is:
Weighing yourself on the same scale all the time.
Weigh on same day of the week.
Weigh at the same time of day.

The goal is to get the most consistent measurement as best as you can.

Watching the scale drop by a few pounds only to see it rise again by the end of the week can feel discouraging. But when you know what your scale is really telling you, it’s easy to avoid being distracted by short-term weight fluctuations and stay focused on your long-term goals.

The scale is a tool. That's it. Stay away from it until you can view it that way.

You Need To Take A Diet Break

Dieting is when you lower calories to create an energy deficit so you can lose unwanted body weight. This creates an imbalance. It disrupts homeostasis. Remaining in a state of imbalance for prolonged periods of time is not healthy. If you have more than 15 pounds to lose and you try to do it all in one ultra marathon stretch, you risk failure, injury, and weight rebound. 

Dieting is mentally stressful in part because of the body’s physiological response to caloric restriction. On the surface eating less doesn't seem that harmful. Have you ever wondered what happens to your body during calorie restriction? In an attempt to keep you from taking body fat, your body will make you feel tired, hungry, and lethargic. This is so you burn less calories through the day and conserve energy. That feeling will make pushing through your daily workouts harder and harder. When your calories are low you can feel like you are missing out on fun foods and experiences. It can wear on you mentally and you can begin to feel deprived and depressed. Hunger and fatigue are  normal when calories are restricted but it should only be a temporary state. 

Weight loss is best done in moderate spurts spread out with diet breaks in between. After about 3 to 4 months of dieting, the amount of calorie restriction needed to continue losing weight becomes brutal. You begin to risk injury from working out with increasing mental and physical fatigue. The body’s protective mechanisms are in full force to make more weight loss harder and harder. You need a break to allow your body to recover from this stress, ramp metabolism back up, and bring hormones back into balance. 

Most people think the journey is over once they hit there goal weight from being in a caloric restriction. But the truth is, the journey just began. To make fat loss a permanent change, a good maintenance phase is important.The number one goal during a diet break is to improve your set point. Data suggests that your body establishes a set point weight. This means that your body has a weight that it becomes accustomed to and likes to maintain. The good news is that this set point can be changed. The bad news is that it takes time and care to move this point. 

The changing of the set point actually occurs during the maintenance phase. You need to give your body some time to grieve over the lost fat and accept its new weight. The amount of time this takes varies from person to person. Over this period the goal is to slowly increase food intake. This will enable your metabolism to ramp back up, mental and physical fatigue to dissipate, and all your body to get comfortable t at your lighter weight. During this time you will feel less hungry and fatigued. By the end of a good maintenance you should be in that healthy state of balance where you enjoy good food, training hard and not excessively worried about what the scale says.

Another benefit for having this maintenance phase is you have time to build up your caloric ceiling. Through your efforts in your workouts and adding calories back in your metabolism will be in a healthier state. Therefore if you have to go back into a caloric restriction to lose more body fat you will not have to cut as many calories to lose weight. 

Dieting is not a lifestyle. It is a temporary state of imbalance. It works best that way. Make sure you spend as much time in the maintenance phases as you do in the dieting phases.