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May we talk about set points?

hotel4dogshotel4dogs Member Posts: 72 Member Member Posts: 72 Member
Do others believe in "set points"? I have been reading a bit about them, and I think I have hit one. It seems that there are several weights that my body just likes, and it's harder to either lose or gain weight when I'm at a set point.
I think it's what makes maintaining so hard, if you are not at a "set point".
Here's some background information:

http://www.bidmc.org/YourHealth/BIDMCInteractive/BreakThroughYourSetPoint/WeekOneTheScienceofSetPoint.aspx

edited November 2016
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Replies

  • BigGuy47BigGuy47 Member Posts: 1,771 Member Member Posts: 1,771 Member
    What I gather from reading the article is that the body does want to maintain a certain state (set point), but that set point can be moved.

    Here's a review of set point theory
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2990627/#!po=67.2043

    It appears to state that while thete are biological factors in play our environment has a role in the regulation (or lack thereof) of our diet. It seems to imply that the western diet can make weight loss challenging.

    Many MFP users would agree that weight loss can be difficult, but not impossible.
  • Nikion901Nikion901 Member Posts: 3,058 Member Member Posts: 3,058 Member
    Reminds me of 1976 and my doctor telling me to stop 'dieting' because I'd messed up my metabolism with all sorts of crazy low calorie food plans to lose a few pounds quickly only to regain them and then lose some again to fit into that special outfit for that special outing ... He told me to just eat until I wasn't hungry anymore and to eat more than 1 meal a day, like 3 or 4 would be better ... and I was scared to try it because I was afraid I'd gain weight. He said ... 'of course you will gain weight when you are eating more calories, but the point is to let your body find it's 'setpoint' and allow your metabolism to start humming along properly'. LOL ... my body never truly found a setpoint that I was personally happy to be at ... it was all way more weight than the weight charts said I should weigh.
  • TedebearduffTedebearduff Member Posts: 1,155 Member Member Posts: 1,155 Member
    hotel4dogs wrote: »
    Do others believe in "set points"? I have been reading a bit about them, and I think I have hit one. It seems that there are several weights that my body just likes, and it's harder to either lose or gain weight when I'm at a set point.
    I think it's what makes maintaining so hard, if you are not at a "set point".
    Here's some background information:

    http://www.bidmc.org/YourHealth/BIDMCInteractive/BreakThroughYourSetPoint/WeekOneTheScienceofSetPoint.aspx

    I don't think your body has a set point I think you develop one, where you are happy eating whatever and you don't tend to gain or lose weight. It's like your happy place.... That's the only thing that makes sense to me as your body doesn't decide not to gain weight when you eat 4000 calories a day because you are at your set point.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Member Posts: 10,214 Member Member Posts: 10,214 Member
    queenliz99 wrote: »
    Calories in/ Calories out.

    Not incompatible. Perhaps you crave more food as you lose weight in an attempt to maintain some kind of equilibrium it "feels" is optimal.
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Member Posts: 38,994 Member Member Posts: 38,994 Member
    stealthq wrote: »
    I think it's bunk.

    There's some thought that there might be a set point for body fat percentage (this is on the minimum end, mind you) and that getting leaner than that could be hard to achieve for athletes and body builders that I find compelling, though.

    I was the weight I am now only once in my life. That was when I was in elementary school. I was maybe 12 at the time? 11? I wasn't even fully grown yet nor had I developed at the time. Additionally, I know I didn't have the muscle mass I have now (not that it's significant, but kids just don't have the same amount of muscle mass as adults).

    If set point were true, what I've accomplished wouldn't be possible.

    Basically.

    For those who are not into low percentages of body fat, there's no particularly convincing biological evidence of set points that I've seen.

    However, I have no problem believing that there are certain weights that are easier to maintain than others due to the intersection of your current eating habits, normal activity level, environment, etc. It would be more difficult to move past these points because you have to make a conscious and persistent effort to change one or more of those variables. If you get lax, you would tend to drift back to that weight.

    Exactly...with my eating habits, activity, etc I maintain pretty easily anywhere from 12-15% BF...to get below that (which I have) and maintain below that requires me to be more regimented with things than I really care to be...I'm all about being healthy and lean, but I'm also about having a life.

    On average I exercise about 8-10 hours per week...I've done more while training for cycling endurance events, but that's pretty temporary...I couldn't do that all of the time because it substantially eats into family time and spending time with my wife and my boys is pretty important to me. I also don't want to say "no thanks" to friends having us over for dinner and drinks just 'cuz abs.
  • GottaBurnEmAllGottaBurnEmAll Member Posts: 7,722 Member Member Posts: 7,722 Member
    stealthq wrote: »
    I think it's bunk.

    There's some thought that there might be a set point for body fat percentage (this is on the minimum end, mind you) and that getting leaner than that could be hard to achieve for athletes and body builders that I find compelling, though.

    I was the weight I am now only once in my life. That was when I was in elementary school. I was maybe 12 at the time? 11? I wasn't even fully grown yet nor had I developed at the time. Additionally, I know I didn't have the muscle mass I have now (not that it's significant, but kids just don't have the same amount of muscle mass as adults).

    If set point were true, what I've accomplished wouldn't be possible.

    Basically.

    For those who are not into low percentages of body fat, there's no particularly convincing biological evidence of set points that I've seen.

    However, I have no problem believing that there are certain weights that are easier to maintain than others due to the intersection of your current eating habits, normal activity level, environment, etc. It would be more difficult to move past these points because you have to make a conscious and persistent effort to change one or more of those variables. If you get lax, you would tend to drift back to that weight.

    I agree completely with this.
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