PJ's Fitness Blog

A blog about a fitter you. Come find out what is on the cutting edge of fitness science and be a part of the ongoing conversation.

Weight Loss Can Be Just Like the Stock Market

Weight 2009 to 10-30-14Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 6.17.50 PMDoes the chart here look anything like a declining stock to you? Do you know what the terms “resistance” and “support” mean in stock market terms? If you do, you can see this clearly in this chart.

This stock started at about $280, then went up immediately, then went down soon after that, then hit what looks like a “support” or “floor”  around $278. It then went back up to about $295 before falling back down. Notice on that next fall, it broke through the previous “support” or “floor” and kept falling until it found a new “floor” to bounce off at about $258.

As people who understand stock charts know, once the price breaks through the floor and finds a new floor, the previous floor above it often ends up becoming a  “resistance” level or “ceiling.” As you can see with this stock, that is exactly what happened as the previous floor of $278 became the new ceiling which then served as “resistance” against that stock moving above it.

Next you can see the price fluctuating between the ceiling and the floor a couple times before it broke through the floor once again to find a new floor (around $235) to bounce off. Based on this theory, we can expect the previous floor to now serve as the new ceiling, so we can guess that if this stock keeps going up, it will hit that ceiling at around $258 and then will be pushed back down by that resistance.

This is of course a drastically simplified description of this stock market theory, but it’s a very popular one and actually is fairly sound. It has proven itself too, by helping millions of people make money in the stock market. The interesting thing about this theory is that it works even better with weight loss and is a much better prediction and tracking tool for the human body than it is for the stock market.

As you might have already suspected, the chart pictured here is indeed a real person’s weight loss chart and this “floor” and “ceiling” theory clearly points to another theory: The “setpoint” theory. You may be familiar with this theory as well, but if not, Here’s how it goes.

The human metabolism is designed to be as efficient as possible and minimizing body weight and body tissue fluctuations are part of that efficiency system. As far as the human body is concerned, the “status quo” is much easier to maintain than change – either up or down. This is why someone who has kept himself at the same weight for most of their life finds it difficult to lose much weight or gain much weight. They just bounce back and forth between the ceiling and a floor until they have pounded away long enough at that ceiling or floor in order to break through it. Then a new setpoint is created along with a new ceiling and a new floor. This is the main reason that weight loss (and for that matter) weight gain, happens like a stock chart.

If you understand this phenomenon, you will be much more patient with yourself during your next weight loss journey. You will also be able to predict when you need to really hunker down and break through a new floor by pounding away at it, especially if it’s a stubborn one. Most people just get frustrated with their floor, figure it’s just not working anymore, and then give up. Then, because they’ve given up, the weight goes back up and pounds away at the new ceiling until they punch through it and continue to repeat that process until they regain the weight they lost (or more).

If I were betting on this chart pictured here, I would say that stock or person is poised for another bounce downward, because they are close to their previous floor, which is now their new ceiling. They can look forward to a bounce back down as their body and metabolism explores that new setpoint. Then as long as they stick with it and pound away at their new floor more than pounding away at their new ceiling, they can look forward to breaking through that floor and enjoying a new setpoint. Then they can repeat this process with this new setpoint while they break through their new floor again and so on, until ultimately they get to there healthiest state and their ideal setpoint.

I’m not a big fan of scales, but if you have dealt with much yo-yo dieting in the past, I would encourage you to chart your weight so you can see this for yourself. You can do the same thing with your body fat percentage too, as long as you adjust the scale of the graph so you can see those floors and ceilings clearly.

Use your floors as a motivator to pound on and punch through, so you can turn them into a new ceiling. Use your ceilings as a reminder to stick with it and stay on track, so you can stay away from making those a floor again!



Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.