Let me put it a little differently.
If you are gaining weight at 2 lb/year, that means something about your environment (probably your food) is raising your set point 2 lb/year. Doing SLD will lower your equilibrium weight (the set point at which all forces are in equilibrium) but it will not change your environment. Whatever is causing your set point to increase 2 lb/year will still be there.
That makes sense. But then why does the SLD effect cut out in phase three of your example?
You might want to use the fact that SLD works to study the ideas behind it. The fact that SLD works suggests those ideas are correct.
Well that would be a tad post hoc ergo propter hoc
,wouldn't it? That said, I don't actually doubt that the ideas are correct. I originally was confused by your set point theory but you explained that. I'm working under the assumption that the diet works (it is so far for me) and that your theories as to why it works are correct.
Those ideas may help you figure out what in your environment is raising your set point 2 lb/year. If you can figure what it is (ditto food?) then cut out the bad food and you should stop gaining 2 lb/year.
Then it sounds likely that I really have utterly missed the point of this thing. I have proven, over many years, that dietary restriction is in practice, if not in theory, impossible for me to sustain for any length of time. So if SLD is just yet another version of "Don't eat X", or "Don't eat Y along with Z", then it won't work for me, and it won't work for most others either.
If I did figure out the ditto food then the fact that I'm eating it means I want to eat it. So if I'm going to stop eating it, I'm going to have to choose not to eat that food. And if there's one thing I've shown over time is that if I (higher brain -- trying not to eat something) decide to have a stand off with I (lower brain -- wants to eat it), then the latter I (Jonathan Haidt's elephant) is eventually going to win. A better tactic would be to make the lower brain change what it makes me *want*. Enter -- or so I thought -- the set-point-controlled appetite-suppression of SLD.
And the fact that it *does* appear to work suggests that *is* what's happening. SLD appears to *not* be just another form of what is effectively using one's pre-frontal cortex abilities to override what's coming in from the lower brain functions. Well, until you confuse me with statements like "cut out the bad food", that is.
That's conventional dietary advice -- consciously control what you eat. It doesn't work. Isn't the very essence of SLD that it manages, via set-point manipulation -- to let us *unconsciously* control what we eat?
Is this summary of SLD wrong:
- A key factor in weight loss is set-point
- A key mechanism whereby set-point controls consumption is by controlling desire for food (a.k.a. appetite)
- Lowering set-point will lower appetite which will, unless consciously overridden by the individual, tend to lower consumption
- Lowering set-point enough will therefore lead to weight loss via the mechanism of appetite suppression
- Consuming calories in such a way that the brain does not associate the flavors of the food concerned with the calories it provides will tend to lower set-point
- Consuming *flavorless* calories -- for example ELOO -- is a method for consuming calories in that fashion
- THUS, consuming flavorless calories can produce weight loss
If that's *not* wrong, then I already get the core of SLD. In which case, my questions are just me looking for more understanding. For example, as I asked above, why does the SLD effect stop in phase three of your example? The only reason I can think of is that the set-point lowering effects stop, and in fact the set-point starts to rise again. As a result the appetite increases, followed by consumption, followed by weight gain.
But *why*,given that SLD was able to lower the set-point during phase two?
 Or wherever appetites come from