The right training and supplementation can help you shift your weight set point, making it easier to lose weight or build muscle.
Whether you call it a set point or a steady state point, it’s the same thing: your body tends to stay in roughly the same state. Weight is an example.
This may seem like a casual statement, but it is actually a very powerful thing. For example, let’s compare three people with the same diet and exercise:
- While fairly lean, a person may naturally weigh around 200 pounds. His body needs to change substantially to move away from this in either direction.
- The second person – who eats and trains the same way as the first person – may tend to stay around 220, but have 40 pounds more fat than the first person.
- A third person may struggle to achieve a soft 180 with equal training and diet.
Different genetics may be the explanation. But sometimes that’s clearly not the case. What if we were talking about the same person at different points in time? Then genetics can’t explain it. Or at least not in the usual sense of genetics with a specific DNA code.
Often, a person can increase their weight, muscle mass, and body fat setpoints simply by sticking to their current workouts, regardless of training or nutritional changes.
A novice whose body is strongly inclined to stay at 180 degrees can easily become a 200-pound lean lifter after three years of training, even with the same macronutrient intake and training volume. His muscle gene expression adapted to support a higher lean mass set point, while his fat gene adapted to create a lower fat mass set point.
It’s worth noting that macronutrient intake usually doesn’t stay the same. Experienced lifters may maintain their muscular build while consuming far less protein and calories than before because the muscle set point is much lower. Or he might burn more calories and still stay lean. These examples show that diet is not the only determining factor.
Your set point may also get worse. Many people find it much harder now to maintain what was easy for them 10 or 20 years ago. It’s tempting to blame aging, but that’s a very vague explanation and not necessarily the cause of the problem. Also, this explanation does not provide a solution.
But what if you improved gene expression? Now this can be a solution.
Setpoints can be simple or complex. It’s easy to notice that your body tends to maintain a certain weight, while at other times it may tend to maintain a different weight. It’s easy to notice that if you don’t control your calories, your body fat tends to stay at a certain amount.
But let’s take a closer look: the body has no known way of measuring your weight and adjusting its processes to maintain that number. Instead, maintaining a specific body weight is the result of many aspects of gene expression.
Of these aspects, the most important are those that control nutrient distribution, fat inflammation, and skeletal protein muscle synthesis (i.e., muscle building).
I first learned about the concept of nutrient distribution back in the 1990s from the writings of Dan Duchaine. He excels at that as well as things like insulin sensitivity.
I have to admit that I really didn’t understand. With the right weight training and proper diet, aren’t your muscles getting the nutrients they need anyway? If you want to lose fat, do you just need to cut calories below what you burn regardless of nutrient allocation?
Isn’t this a basic fact? To lose fat, eat less. Eat more than you consume, and you gain fat. That’s it.
Okay I’m sorry. In fact, it’s very different when your body regulates itself to be thin and stay lean (unless you’re really overeating for prolonged periods of time), than when your body regulates itself to be fat and you have to kill yourself to be thin.
How does nutrient distribution control lean meat percentage? To help you understand, let’s use an analogy.
Mike and Fred both work at a remote outpost. Every day, a plane drops a food package, which can be divided among the two at will. It has enough protein, carbohydrates and fat to serve two people.
Fred is a fat, lazy guy. Mike is muscular enough to do all the work and train with weights.
What would happen if Mike insisted, “I’m here to do all the work, so I take what I want and you pick up the leftovers?” Mike’s nutritional intake would support his weight training and work. He may gain muscle mass. As for Fred, he might lose fat.
But what if Fred could eat as much as he wanted, before Mike could? Mike would likely lose muscle mass and weight, while Fred would gain weight.
In either case, people who only accept leftovers will get enough nutrients to survive. Even if it goes on for years, he won’t die; he’ll just stabilize at a lower weight. The set point for Mike and Fred will depend on who grabs the food first and how much that person tends to leave the other.
In this analogy, Mike is your muscle and Fred is your fat. And “who gets the food first” is your nutrition distribution.
One of the main factors controlling nutrient distribution is insulin sensitivity, and more specifically, the difference in insulin sensitivity between muscle cells and fat cells. If you improve nutrient allocation, your body’s set point changes from primarily supporting body fat to primarily supporting muscle.
Insulin sensitivity is closely related to fat inflammation and body fat mass. It’s a vicious cycle:
- Impaired insulin sensitivity leads to an increase in the body’s fat mass set point. This means that unless consistent and effective care is taken, people will gain weight.
- The resulting increase in fat mass leads to increased fat inflammation.
- Increased fat inflammation leads to worsening insulin sensitivity, further accelerating the cycle.
To make matters worse, many other adverse changes in gene expression coincided with increases in body fat. This is a very difficult cycle to break.
One answer is to bite the bullet and lose fat, though that’s hard to do when gene expression is impaired. Many people have successfully done this, but many more have tried and failed, or with only temporary success. A key reason for this is that weight loss typically slows down your metabolism after about 10 percent of your body weight has been lost. Still, some succeeded; others did. Many don’t.
Even among those who are successful, many find themselves in a metabolically impaired state where they cannot burn as many calories as others, cannot handle normal carbohydrate intake, and cannot build or Maintain as much muscle mass as possible. It all comes from gene expression.
What kind of exercise can change your set point to get a leaner physique?
Don’t rely on biochemistry, but on the findings of successful coaches, the accounts of those who have followed the plan, and personal experience. But in fact, the biochemistry fully backed up their findings.
While weight training is one of the most effective ways to increase your set point, many workouts don’t involve lifting weights effectively for this purpose. Are you kidding yourself?
Doing brief, high-intensity hypertrophic-range weight workouts at your maximum effort lowers cellular energy levels (or specifically, converts most of your cells’ ATP to AMP) and lowers cellular oxygen levels.
If the tension remains constant while lifting weights, blood flow is largely blocked. If rest periods are short relative to workload, muscle temperature increases. (About 104°F seems to be the sweet spot.)
All of these lead to improved fat burning, increased metabolic rate, and gene expression for muscle growth.
Does this sound like Christian Thibodeau? growth factor training? Or even a classic body transformation approach like Vince Gironda? it should. It also sounds like high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and it really should be.
The coaches have long talked about training like this, but frankly, it’s hard. Many people crank up reps, lose tension at the top or bottom of reps, do more sets of easier work, and allow too much rest between sets. Or they only do heavy work with low reps, which always leaves behind large cellular energy reserves. If you want to get back in shape and get naturally lean, don’t train like this.
Yes, your gut bacteria can have a profound effect on your body fat set point.Unfortunately, currently available probiotics do not helps a lot. Now, mind you, this does have a lot of relevance, right now, a good diet is the best way to favorably regulate your gut bacteria.
Can we alter gene expression to reduce fat without causing metabolic damage, or even better, while improving metabolism? Yes. Changes in gene expression we want include:
- Reduces inflammatory IL-6, IL-1β and TNF-α
- Reduces TLR-4 and MCP-1, which promote inflammation
- Increased anti-inflammatory adiponectin
- Increases GLUT-4 to increase delivery of nutrients to muscles
- Increases in accelerated metabolic rate uncoupling proteins
Due to changes in gene expression, we expected to see evidence of reduced systemic inflammation, such as reduced C-reactive protein, and a reduced response to lipopolysaccharide, a fat-promoting endotoxin produced by some normal gut bacteria.
Of course, we’d like to see results in practice where people’s setpoints improve significantly! Asking too much? not at all.
Anthocyanin 3-glucoside (C3G) creates a leaner set point
C3G, sold as Indigo-3G®, is always described by the effect that people have seen with their own eyes. Improves fitness performance, improves muscle growth, improves fat loss, and for those whose ability to process carbohydrates is impaired, increases carbohydrate tolerance.
Less discussed is the origin of Indigo-3G®.Why Biotest Decided to Research Anthocyanin 3-glucosidea dose never tried before?
Part of the answer is gene expression. Anthocyanin 3-glucoside is by far the most potent nutrient available for the beneficial modulation of gene expression. For each of the mechanisms I discussed above, anthocyanin 3-glucoside (the active anthocyanin in Indigo-3G®) has been shown to work.
you will lose body fat Indigo-3G® Not because of receptor stimulation (like a typical “fat burner”), but because your set point becomes one of lower body fat for your given diet and exercise level. The effect persists even when the drug is stopped.
Focusing your efforts on improving gene expression — through better diet, better exercise, and better supplementation — is the way to lose fat naturally and consistently. Change your setpoints to favorable ones instead of endlessly pushing unfavorable ones.