You all know that person.  The one who diets and loses weight, but inevitably puts it back on and then goes back on the diet plan to lose the weight.  They seemingly spend their entire lives up and down and up and down, and you wonder why.  Well here’s the thing.  What that person is doing is called Yo-Yo Dieting.  And whereas it may seem harmless, it’s not.  Every body has, in their basic DNA, a given “Set Pointe”.  This is the control mechanism that dictates that person’s body weight, shape and fat stores.  Everyone’s set pointe is different, thusly why we all look different.  Now, the set pointe IS adjustable.  However, the dieting has the opposite effect that we would like.  Here’s what happens.  Someone cuts lots of calories to lose weight.  But they also increase their activity level.  Thusly creating a caloric deficit (burning more than you eat).  This is good and promotes weight loss….to a point.  If that deficit becomes too large, the body sort of freaks out a little bit and releases LESS of a hormone known as Leptin.  Leptin is the fat controller.  More leptin means a satisfied feel and less fat storage.  Less means more.  So you see the rub, here.  What people perceive as good, actually turns bad, and your body ends up fighting itself and storing more fat than it burns.  Bad news.  The best way to lose weight and lower a Set Pointe is to go about it gradually.  About 1-2lbs per week.  That is a good rate.  “But Biggest Loser does more!!”  I know and it’s wrong in all facets and I’ve been over this.  95% of Loser contestants put weight back on and start the yo-yo cycle.  Anyway, in order to do this we are looking at a caloric deficit of about 500-1000 kcal per day.  You can learn to estimate your needs here.  More than that and the body starts its defense mechanisms and you are in trouble.  So eat well, balanced and be active!