Myfitnesspal

Message Boards Debate: Health and Fitness
You are currently viewing the message boards in:

May we talk about set points?

2456716

Replies

  • hotel4dogshotel4dogs Member Posts: 72 Member Member Posts: 72 Member
    Thanks for the replies, enjoying reading them! BTW, I have reached my goal weight, and it does seem to be a "set point" for me, quite possible for some of the reasons given. So no, I'm not using "set point" as an excuse.
  • Traveler120Traveler120 Member Posts: 712 Member Member Posts: 712 Member
    I've had multiple "set points". 152, 147, 138, 125, 118, 116 lbs. To me, set points are just plateaus. You get to decide if you want to change it. I'm now 113 but haven't been here long enough to call it a set point. I want my final set point to be 110-113 lbs.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Member Posts: 10,223 Member Member Posts: 10,223 Member
    I think it's less your body having a set point and more like your daily habits have you hovering around a certain calorie intake and expenditure degree that leads to a certain weight. You change those habits, so does your weight.

    I'm leaning toward "set points are a thing that exist in the world" and what they are is probably pretty close to what you describe. They're not an excuse, they're a thing that happens, an outcome of your habits and cravings and whatnot.

    A lot of this is intertwined. If I do 30 minutes of hard hill repeats, I'll be ravenous and want carbs, because I just used up a lot of muscle glycogen and my body needs to replenish it, so cravings. If I ride 3 hours at a moderate intensity, I really won't be much hungrier.

    Mental habits too. There's a world of difference between "I rode for 3 hours today, so I can eat X" and "I'm an active person in general so I can eat X." And people get accustomed to portion sizes.

    Finally you have stuff like measuring cups vs gram scales. That's not such a big deal if you have 100 lbs to lose but it can make or break your progress for the last 10.

    All of this kind of stuff adds up together, it's not always obvious what's going on. It can seem like your body wants to be a certain weight. That's probably not really what's going on, but it feels like it, and people gave the phenomenon a name. Kind of like how the sun doesn't actually rise and set, but it looks like it, so that's what we call it.
  • xmichaelyxxmichaelyx Member Posts: 883 Member Member Posts: 883 Member
    Set point = (weight at which you're comfortable with your eating) - (your level of discipline).

    If your level of discipline is zero, your set point is comfort.
  • VailaraVailara Member Posts: 2,124 Member Member Posts: 2,124 Member
    I can't speak for anybody else, but my own body has definitely seemed to have "set points" - a point at which I'll naturally maintain without consciously control diet or activity. The most obvious one was the healthy weight I was at for many years - I stayed within in a few pounds through various "lifestyle changes", through being highly active, being unwell and very inactive, and so on.

    Funnily enough, I had a similar thing happen at my heaviest - I maintained within a few pounds for a few years, without thinking about it.

    I do understand that some people are saying that they've never had a set point, and it has all been about how much conscious control they've had over eating and activity. So I think it may just be an individual thing.
  • ARGriffyARGriffy Member Posts: 1,002 Member Member Posts: 1,002 Member
    Vailara wrote: »
    I can't speak for anybody else, but my own body has definitely seemed to have "set points" - a point at which I'll naturally maintain without consciously control diet or activity. The most obvious one was the healthy weight I was at for many years - I stayed within in a few pounds through various "lifestyle changes", through being highly active, being unwell and very inactive, and so on.

    Funnily enough, I had a similar thing happen at my heaviest - I maintained within a few pounds for a few years, without thinking about it.

    I do understand that some people are saying that they've never had a set point, and it has all been about how much conscious control they've had over eating and activity. So I think it may just be an individual thing.

    I 100% agree with all of this.
  • GaleHawkinsGaleHawkins Member Posts: 8,051 Member Member Posts: 8,051 Member
    I think Set Point validity only holds true when there are no over riding physical/mental health issues impacting one's weight levels.
  • DebSozoDebSozo Member Posts: 2,578 Member Member Posts: 2,578 Member
    I've had multiple "set points". 152, 147, 138, 125, 118, 116 lbs. To me, set points are just plateaus. You get to decide if you want to change it. I'm now 113 but haven't been here long enough to call it a set point. I want my final set point to be 110-113 lbs.

    I think some people naturally have them and some must not. Those who don't have set points will say "there is no such thing". I have plateaus that last for a long, long time. It can be as long as a decade staying in the same 5 pound range for me. Perhaps most people who have successful set points simply are not on MFP?

    It is acceptable to say "plateau" on general forums. But if one says that their body fights to maintain a "set point" then there will be objections by those who don't maintain long weight plateaus.

    I've had set points over the years also. When I was 135 pounds and 5'8" the set point worked in my favor. Now that I'm plateaued up at a higher "set point" (or whatever preferred definition one wants to use) my body fights me to plateau there.

    This is my experience. I've never been overweight BMI until I hit my 50's. I've succeeded so far in getting BMI from 25 to 24, and am plateaued at this set point. So now my goal is to lower BMI to mid normal around BMI 22-23 and establish homeostasis at that lower BMI. I believe if I can keep it off for a long enough time that I will establish a new and lower maintenance "set point". It's all about semantics and misunderstandings on MFP.

    I don't gain or lose huge amounts at any time, nor do I enjoy eating large amounts of food. My belief is that people get obese because they lose their lower set points and over ride them. But some people don't seem to ever remember having one, so I'm stumped when people don't think that there is any such thing. If you have a set point you just know. If you don't, then there is no convincing otherwise.
    :D
    edited November 2016
  • DebSozoDebSozo Member Posts: 2,578 Member Member Posts: 2,578 Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    I think people are saying that that happens, but it's not a "set point" in the way that some think about it -- that your body just wants to stay at that weight -- but an equilibrium based on activity and how you like to or are in the habit of eating. That you've (and I've) had it happen at different weights at different times seems to me to indicate it's not about a specific weight, and same with the fact that the population as a whole has gotten so much fatter so quickly.

    I've maintained at a variety of different equilibriums without thinking about it at different times, but I don't think I couldn't have easily gained or lost at those times had I changed my calorie intake or activity.

    I like that word "equilibrium".

  • DebSozoDebSozo Member Posts: 2,578 Member Member Posts: 2,578 Member
    Vailara wrote: »
    I can't speak for anybody else, but my own body has definitely seemed to have "set points" - a point at which I'll naturally maintain without consciously control diet or activity. The most obvious one was the healthy weight I was at for many years - I stayed within in a few pounds through various "lifestyle changes", through being highly active, being unwell and very inactive, and so on.

    Funnily enough, I had a similar thing happen at my heaviest - I maintained within a few pounds for a few years, without thinking about it.

    I do understand that some people are saying that they've never had a set point, and it has all been about how much conscious control they've had over eating and activity. So I think it may just be an individual thing.

    This is almost identical to my experience.
  • snickerscharliesnickerscharlie Member Posts: 8,582 Member Member Posts: 8,582 Member
    Vailara wrote: »
    I can't speak for anybody else, but my own body has definitely seemed to have "set points" - a point at which I'll naturally maintain without consciously control diet or activity. The most obvious one was the healthy weight I was at for many years - I stayed within in a few pounds through various "lifestyle changes", through being highly active, being unwell and very inactive, and so on.

    Funnily enough, I had a similar thing happen at my heaviest - I maintained within a few pounds for a few years, without thinking about it.

    I do understand that some people are saying that they've never had a set point, and it has all been about how much conscious control they've had over eating and activity. So I think it may just be an individual thing.

    Not sure if set points actually *are* a thing (which I, for one, doubt) but if they exist, how can that set point fluctuate from - in your example - one at your lightest weight and another at your heaviest? Isn't a set point, by its very definition, *set?* <confused>
  • DebSozoDebSozo Member Posts: 2,578 Member Member Posts: 2,578 Member
    The body's set point can change and "set" again up or down.

    ETA-- replace "set point" with "plateau point". One can have a long term plateau at different weights. When the body strives to stay within a certain range without calorie counting, I consider that my current set point.
    edited November 2016
  • DebSozoDebSozo Member Posts: 2,578 Member Member Posts: 2,578 Member
    Vailara wrote: »
    I can't speak for anybody else, but my own body has definitely seemed to have "set points" - a point at which I'll naturally maintain without consciously control diet or activity. The most obvious one was the healthy weight I was at for many years - I stayed within in a few pounds through various "lifestyle changes", through being highly active, being unwell and very inactive, and so on.

    Funnily enough, I had a similar thing happen at my heaviest - I maintained within a few pounds for a few years, without thinking about it.

    I do understand that some people are saying that they've never had a set point, and it has all been about how much conscious control they've had over eating and activity. So I think it may just be an individual thing.

    Not sure if set points actually *are* a thing (which I, for one, doubt) but if they exist, how can that set point fluctuate from - in your example - one at your lightest weight and another at your heaviest? Isn't a set point, by its very definition, *set?* <confused>

    For instance: My weight (let's pretend) is 148 and is stuck there for a long time. I would have to fight against the set point actively until I got down to, let's say, 139 pounds. I would have to work very hard against my body's natural tendency to want to go back to the original set point. It might take a while of actively fighting it to stay down. But after a time it will become a natural set point and will fight to stay there.
  • zyxstzyxst Member Posts: 9,132 Member Member Posts: 9,132 Member
    Vailara wrote: »
    I can't speak for anybody else, but my own body has definitely seemed to have "set points" - a point at which I'll naturally maintain without consciously control diet or activity. The most obvious one was the healthy weight I was at for many years - I stayed within in a few pounds through various "lifestyle changes", through being highly active, being unwell and very inactive, and so on.

    Funnily enough, I had a similar thing happen at my heaviest - I maintained within a few pounds for a few years, without thinking about it.

    I do understand that some people are saying that they've never had a set point, and it has all been about how much conscious control they've had over eating and activity. So I think it may just be an individual thing.

    Not sure if set points actually *are* a thing (which I, for one, doubt) but if they exist, how can that set point fluctuate from - in your example - one at your lightest weight and another at your heaviest? Isn't a set point, by its very definition, *set?* <confused>

    That's how I see set points. You don't do anything to change them, they just are. If my weight is a set point, it wouldn't matter if I ate more or less, exercised more or less, the weight would remain the same. I wouldn't have to struggle to lose weight, to change how much I eat and how much I exercise, I would be 133# whether I'm running marathons every week or sitting on my butt 20 hours a day, or if I'm eating 4,000 or 1,200 calories a day.
  • DebSozoDebSozo Member Posts: 2,578 Member Member Posts: 2,578 Member
    zyxst wrote: »
    Vailara wrote: »
    I can't speak for anybody else, but my own body has definitely seemed to have "set points" - a point at which I'll naturally maintain without consciously control diet or activity. The most obvious one was the healthy weight I was at for many years - I stayed within in a few pounds through various "lifestyle changes", through being highly active, being unwell and very inactive, and so on.

    Funnily enough, I had a similar thing happen at my heaviest - I maintained within a few pounds for a few years, without thinking about it.

    I do understand that some people are saying that they've never had a set point, and it has all been about how much conscious control they've had over eating and activity. So I think it may just be an individual thing.

    Not sure if set points actually *are* a thing (which I, for one, doubt) but if they exist, how can that set point fluctuate from - in your example - one at your lightest weight and another at your heaviest? Isn't a set point, by its very definition, *set?* <confused>

    That's how I see set points. You don't do anything to change them, they just are. If my weight is a set point, it wouldn't matter if I ate more or less, exercised more or less, the weight would remain the same. I wouldn't have to struggle to lose weight, to change how much I eat and how much I exercise, I would be 133# whether I'm running marathons every week or sitting on my butt 20 hours a day, or if I'm eating 4,000 or 1,200 calories a day.

    Then that's where the interpretations conflict. One's body makes sure that one eats the right amount of calories when maintaining at a set point. Of course if you eat over TDEE calories you will gain weight. It's just that the body sends satiety signals properly.
    edited November 2016
  • Traveler120Traveler120 Member Posts: 712 Member Member Posts: 712 Member
    zyxst wrote: »
    Vailara wrote: »
    I can't speak for anybody else, but my own body has definitely seemed to have "set points" - a point at which I'll naturally maintain without consciously control diet or activity. The most obvious one was the healthy weight I was at for many years - I stayed within in a few pounds through various "lifestyle changes", through being highly active, being unwell and very inactive, and so on.

    Funnily enough, I had a similar thing happen at my heaviest - I maintained within a few pounds for a few years, without thinking about it.

    I do understand that some people are saying that they've never had a set point, and it has all been about how much conscious control they've had over eating and activity. So I think it may just be an individual thing.

    Not sure if set points actually *are* a thing (which I, for one, doubt) but if they exist, how can that set point fluctuate from - in your example - one at your lightest weight and another at your heaviest? Isn't a set point, by its very definition, *set?* <confused>

    That's how I see set points. You don't do anything to change them, they just are. If my weight is a set point, it wouldn't matter if I ate more or less, exercised more or less, the weight would remain the same. I wouldn't have to struggle to lose weight, to change how much I eat and how much I exercise, I would be 133# whether I'm running marathons every week or sitting on my butt 20 hours a day, or if I'm eating 4,000 or 1,200 calories a day.

    Sounds magical, and also, BS. The only way you don't gain weight eating 3x more food is if your activity increases proportionately.
  • DebSozoDebSozo Member Posts: 2,578 Member Member Posts: 2,578 Member
    ^You CANNOT eat 3 x more food than you need without gaining, btw. You have to eat within maintenance TDEE calories at a set point.

    It is like being on auto pilot. Instead of having to manually calculate calories in MFP, the body does it intinctively. My goodness what did people do before scales and mfp were invented?
    edited November 2016
Sign In or Register to comment.