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Set Point Theory

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  • GottaBurnEmAllGottaBurnEmAll Member Posts: 7,722 Member Member Posts: 7,722 Member
    JerSchmare wrote: »
    LAWoman72 wrote: »
    Lyle McDonald seems to think there is a body fat set point, and recommends diet breaks to break through it.

    How can it be a set point if it apparently changes all the time?

    That's an actual question, I'm not trying to be an idiot.

    I mean you rarely hear about a person who, for example, gained to 140 at, say, 5''2", as an adult; then couldn't lose from there but never gained again from there either because of Set Point. Instead she went up to 145. THAT must be her set point. A few years later she was 155 and couldn't seem to lose. Because Set Point. Then her mother died, she was stressed, her job was hard so now she was 175. Couldn't lose....that must be her Set Point...no wait. Lyle McDonald told her how to trick....one of those Set Points. Or something. So now...it has changed yet again...

    How can it be a "set" point if a. it constantly changes and b. it never seems to stop weight GAIN from that point?

    I'm going to stay out of the back and forth on this thread because I'm not feeling well today and really not interested in a kitten show of misunderstanding but wanted to clarify what Lyle McDonald is talking about vs. mainstream understanding when it comes to the issue of set point.

    Lyle is talking about competition bodybuilders/fitness models who have a set point/minimum genetically programmed amount of body fat. They can diet down past that strategically for competition.

    Mainstream understanding of set point is not about this at all and is about much, much higher weights and a whole different stratosphere of understanding, has nothing to do with bodyfat percentage, and is focused entirely on scale weight.

    I hope this clears up some misunderstanding.

    Thanks. I was scratching my head when on Lyles support of this, but now it makes sense.

    You're welcome. I added an edit to my post. The thing is, we all have that genetic minimum, and it's the core of the "set point theory" nonsense. The problem is that people took that core and then went kitten guano crazy with it to justify crazy amounts of weight when it really only accounts for minor variations.

    Editing to add: same for the obesity gene. IIRC, when I read about the research on it, it only accounted for maybe a 4-6 pound difference in weight between two given individuals with similar stats. Quite telling.
    edited January 2018
  • GottaBurnEmAllGottaBurnEmAll Member Posts: 7,722 Member Member Posts: 7,722 Member
    JerSchmare wrote: »
    JerSchmare wrote: »
    LAWoman72 wrote: »
    Lyle McDonald seems to think there is a body fat set point, and recommends diet breaks to break through it.

    How can it be a set point if it apparently changes all the time?

    That's an actual question, I'm not trying to be an idiot.

    I mean you rarely hear about a person who, for example, gained to 140 at, say, 5''2", as an adult; then couldn't lose from there but never gained again from there either because of Set Point. Instead she went up to 145. THAT must be her set point. A few years later she was 155 and couldn't seem to lose. Because Set Point. Then her mother died, she was stressed, her job was hard so now she was 175. Couldn't lose....that must be her Set Point...no wait. Lyle McDonald told her how to trick....one of those Set Points. Or something. So now...it has changed yet again...

    How can it be a "set" point if a. it constantly changes and b. it never seems to stop weight GAIN from that point?

    I'm going to stay out of the back and forth on this thread because I'm not feeling well today and really not interested in a kitten show of misunderstanding but wanted to clarify what Lyle McDonald is talking about vs. mainstream understanding when it comes to the issue of set point.

    Lyle is talking about competition bodybuilders/fitness models who have a set point/minimum genetically programmed amount of body fat. They can diet down past that strategically for competition.

    Mainstream understanding of set point is not about this at all and is about much, much higher weights and a whole different stratosphere of understanding, has nothing to do with bodyfat percentage, and is focused entirely on scale weight.

    I hope this clears up some misunderstanding.

    Thanks. I was scratching my head when on Lyles support of this, but now it makes sense.

    You're welcome. I added an edit to my post. The thing is, we all have that genetic minimum, and it's the core of the "set point theory" nonsense. The problem is that people took that core and then went kitten guano crazy with it to justify crazy amounts of weight when it really only accounts for minor variations.

    Probably, kind of like, genetic disposition?

    Yup. But as I said, the variations will only be minor.
  • Slasher09Slasher09 Member Posts: 316 Member Member Posts: 316 Member
    I used to believe in this because my body would always seem to settle at certain weights seemingly regardless of what I did. Under closer examination I would end up the same weight when I ate the way I ate and was active the amount I was active. When I actually ate less and burned more....suddenly I wasn't stuck at that weight. When I back off and revert to my normal, then I go right back
  • blambo61blambo61 Member Posts: 4,372 Member Member Posts: 4,372 Member
    If there is a set point, I think that it is just how the hunger feedback loops work out with how much activity is being done and the end result is the body weight that is about constant. I think in my late teens and early 20's the feedback loops worked to keep me at a very lean and constant body weight no matter how much activity I did. I think now my hunger feedback loops are broken because I'm just about always hungry and if I ate according to hunger, I would gain a lot of weight. I do IF and it helps me keep my calories in check with the least amount of overall hunger distress than other stuff I've tried.
  • LAWoman72LAWoman72 Member Posts: 2,846 Member Member Posts: 2,846 Member
    LAWoman72 wrote: »
    Lyle McDonald seems to think there is a body fat set point, and recommends diet breaks to break through it.

    How can it be a set point if it apparently changes all the time?

    That's an actual question, I'm not trying to be an idiot.

    I mean you rarely hear about a person who, for example, gained to 140 at, say, 5''2", as an adult; then couldn't lose from there but never gained again from there either because of Set Point. Instead she went up to 145. THAT must be her set point. A few years later she was 155 and couldn't seem to lose. Because Set Point. Then her mother died, she was stressed, her job was hard so now she was 175. Couldn't lose....that must be her Set Point...no wait. Lyle McDonald told her how to trick....one of those Set Points. Or something. So now...it has changed yet again...

    How can it be a "set" point if a. it constantly changes and b. it never seems to stop weight GAIN from that point?

    I'm going to stay out of the back and forth on this thread because I'm not feeling well today and really not interested in a kitten show of misunderstanding but wanted to clarify what Lyle McDonald is talking about vs. mainstream understanding when it comes to the issue of set point.

    Lyle is talking about competition bodybuilders/fitness models who have a set point/minimum genetically programmed amount of body fat. They can diet down past that strategically for competition.

    Mainstream understanding of set point is not about this at all and is about much, much higher weights and a whole different stratosphere of understanding, has nothing to do with bodyfat percentage, and is focused entirely on scale weight.

    I hope this clears up some misunderstanding.

    There is, if I'm not mistaken, some validity to the assertion Lyle makes about there being a genetically programmed body fat minimum that we all have that varies. And that bodyfat percentage is also usually much, much lower than what lifestyle/habit regulated set points that people achieve (which are the ones that keep changing) seem to be.

    Does Lyle explain then how it is that people actually do starve?
  • Duchy82Duchy82 Member Posts: 558 Member Member Posts: 558 Member
    I was really very good at maintaining a weight of 90kg which I weighed for years. Then my thyroid gave in and I ballooned to over 107kg. I have managed to maintain my weight for 2 years now at 78kg + or - 2kg even though I would like to get to 74kg.

    I don't believe in setpoint but I do believe it is psychological.

    I always told myself I didn't want to get above 90kg so ate enough to maintain that weight a bit less if I went over and then back to old habits.

    Now again it is psychological I want to get to a normal bmi and 74 would be the top end of normal but I've been at it for a while, haven't weighed less than 78 since my teens, so 20 years ago, my point being it doesn't seem as urgent to lose the last 4kg, I struggled with the deficit, etc. But managed to eat at levels to maintain my losses. In the meantime I've been ill recently and have been comfort eating. I'm annoyed with myself that I haven't had the determination and self control to stick to it, risking getting in that cycle of overeating again. I caught myself this time though and going back to it and will get to my goal this year. In my case weightloss success involves a lot of self analysis, without beating myself up mind, and making changes accordingly.

    The trick is not to believe in theories but to assess what you have been doing and how to change that in small steps so you can achieve your goal easily. I should add losing weight is simple but not easy you have to be determined and want it. Don't make it more complicated than it is you just make it harder.
  • LivingtheLeanDreamLivingtheLeanDream Member Posts: 13,347 Member Member Posts: 13,347 Member
    No, there's no such thing as a set point. I used to think it was the case when I was trying to lose my final 7lbs and it wasn't happening but it was more that I was just eating maintenance calories instead of at deficit.
  • purpleannexpurpleannex Member Posts: 61 Member Member Posts: 61 Member
    lucerorojo wrote: »

    I have met some people, men, in particular, like blambo61, who can eat and eat and eat and never gain weight

    I've met lots of men who say they can eat whatever they want and not put on any weight...and they're right... it's simply that what they want to eat isn't very much! I've worked with loads of men who say they eat tons, never stop eating, but when it's dinner time they eat nothing or tiny amounts and when you talk to them they'll brag about eating but then they say say they didn't eat the next day... losing weight doesn't happen in one day and not does gaining...

  • Francl27Francl27 Member Posts: 26,373 Member Member Posts: 26,373 Member
    lucerorojo wrote: »

    I have met some people, men, in particular, like blambo61, who can eat and eat and eat and never gain weight

    I've met lots of men who say they can eat whatever they want and not put on any weight...and they're right... it's simply that what they want to eat isn't very much! I've worked with loads of men who say they eat tons, never stop eating, but when it's dinner time they eat nothing or tiny amounts and when you talk to them they'll brag about eating but then they say say they didn't eat the next day... losing weight doesn't happen in one day and not does gaining...

    Agreed except the last part. Much easier to eat at a 1500 calories surplus in one day than at a 1500 calories deficit... But yeah, lots of people just naturally don't eat as much as others.
  • lucerorojolucerorojo Member, Premium Posts: 790 Member Member, Premium Posts: 790 Member
    OP, you don't have to change your lifestyle completely. It's only 25 pounds. I don't mean it's "nothing" but you don't have to change your whole lifestyle just to lose 25 lbs. I have lost 35 (and still losing) since the end of June and I did not change my whole lifestyle. I just started monitoring what I eat and added a couple of workouts. If you read the success stories on MFP you'll hear about a lot of people who have lost 25 lbs. and more just by tracking and logging and eating less.

    From what you wrote on here, what would benefit you to change is your MINDSET. Since you have believed in this "set point theory" for so long you have acted as if it really exists. Forget about set point--does not exist. Read the testimonials of people on MFP who have lost weight and kept it off for years. Read the info on how to log and track and start doing it. I didn't believe I could lose weight because of my age (52) and also some other misconceptions. I just started following MFP and it has come off. It is not a walk in the park, there are challenges, but it is much simpler than I had ever imagined.
  • blambo61blambo61 Member Posts: 4,372 Member Member Posts: 4,372 Member
    lucerorojo wrote: »

    I have met some people, men, in particular, like blambo61, who can eat and eat and eat and never gain weight

    I've met lots of men who say they can eat whatever they want and not put on any weight...and they're right... it's simply that what they want to eat isn't very much! I've worked with loads of men who say they eat tons, never stop eating, but when it's dinner time they eat nothing or tiny amounts and when you talk to them they'll brag about eating but then they say say they didn't eat the next day... losing weight doesn't happen in one day and not does gaining...

    When in my late teens and early to mid twenties, I ate a lot and did so every day whether I was active or not. I could not gain. Maybe I ate less when I wasn't as active, probaby so. I think my hunger regulation system worked so that I was at a balance with the calories assimilated and the calories used so I didn't lose or gain much at all.

    I do think this hunger regulation system can get out of wack and people will be prompted to eat more than they should and and for some people probably less than they should also. I at least believe in a hunger regulation system and either it's working or it's not working so well.
  • LAWoman72LAWoman72 Member Posts: 2,846 Member Member Posts: 2,846 Member
    LAWoman72 wrote: »
    LAWoman72 wrote: »
    Lyle McDonald seems to think there is a body fat set point, and recommends diet breaks to break through it.

    How can it be a set point if it apparently changes all the time?

    That's an actual question, I'm not trying to be an idiot.

    I mean you rarely hear about a person who, for example, gained to 140 at, say, 5''2", as an adult; then couldn't lose from there but never gained again from there either because of Set Point. Instead she went up to 145. THAT must be her set point. A few years later she was 155 and couldn't seem to lose. Because Set Point. Then her mother died, she was stressed, her job was hard so now she was 175. Couldn't lose....that must be her Set Point...no wait. Lyle McDonald told her how to trick....one of those Set Points. Or something. So now...it has changed yet again...

    How can it be a "set" point if a. it constantly changes and b. it never seems to stop weight GAIN from that point?

    I'm going to stay out of the back and forth on this thread because I'm not feeling well today and really not interested in a kitten show of misunderstanding but wanted to clarify what Lyle McDonald is talking about vs. mainstream understanding when it comes to the issue of set point.

    Lyle is talking about competition bodybuilders/fitness models who have a set point/minimum genetically programmed amount of body fat. They can diet down past that strategically for competition.

    Mainstream understanding of set point is not about this at all and is about much, much higher weights and a whole different stratosphere of understanding, has nothing to do with bodyfat percentage, and is focused entirely on scale weight.

    I hope this clears up some misunderstanding.

    There is, if I'm not mistaken, some validity to the assertion Lyle makes about there being a genetically programmed body fat minimum that we all have that varies. And that bodyfat percentage is also usually much, much lower than what lifestyle/habit regulated set points that people achieve (which are the ones that keep changing) seem to be.

    Does Lyle explain then how it is that people actually do starve?

    You can't be serious. There's a world of difference between people who have a set point because they are regularly eating.

    People who starve aren't regularly eating.

    I like the touch of drama in that first sentence, LOL. I am picturing giant eyes and a mouth in a shocked "O." "You can't be serious!!!" Very 60s B-movie. Made me smile. :)

    Anyway....so this Set Point dealio ALSO involves people who regularly eat? That is another "rule"?

    How about people who eat at regularly intervals (I.e.: "regularly" eat), but in small quantities as they don't have sufficient resources (or due to, say, emotional issues or anorexia...or for any reason, really...depression, lost in the jungle without Bear Grylls or that other dude, whatever), yet they still starve? And others who do not get to starvation but undereat three or four times a day and magically their Set Point does not keep them from losing weight? You are aware that this happens...right? (Like about a bazillion times a day here on this board, for instance.)

    Or is there a certain quantity of " regular eating" calories that only make half a world of difference...? (Instead of a whole one...)

    Will there be yet another subcategory of qualifications in order to make this Set Point theory legit? I am pretty sure there will be. In 3...2....

    Now. Will people binge in reaction to undereating? Sure. All the time! Not news. But this doesn't "defend" a set minimum fat percentage; people who are 10 lbs. overweight do this...or 25 lbs. overweight...or 100 lbs. Way, way past a a reasonable "minimum" Set Point.

    Look, if there are this many things that bust Set Point then let us face it, folks, in practical terms it isn't going to apply to most of us and most of us WILL lose weight if we eat at a deficit, and gain if we eat at a surplus...and there you have it.

    Happy New Year to one and all.
    edited January 2018
  • LAWoman72LAWoman72 Member Posts: 2,846 Member Member Posts: 2,846 Member
    LAWoman72 wrote: »
    LAWoman72 wrote: »
    Lyle McDonald seems to think there is a body fat set point, and recommends diet breaks to break through it.

    How can it be a set point if it apparently changes all the time?

    That's an actual question, I'm not trying to be an idiot.

    I mean you rarely hear about a person who, for example, gained to 140 at, say, 5''2", as an adult; then couldn't lose from there but never gained again from there either because of Set Point. Instead she went up to 145. THAT must be her set point. A few years later she was 155 and couldn't seem to lose. Because Set Point. Then her mother died, she was stressed, her job was hard so now she was 175. Couldn't lose....that must be her Set Point...no wait. Lyle McDonald told her how to trick....one of those Set Points. Or something. So now...it has changed yet again...

    How can it be a "set" point if a. it constantly changes and b. it never seems to stop weight GAIN from that point?

    I'm going to stay out of the back and forth on this thread because I'm not feeling well today and really not interested in a kitten show of misunderstanding but wanted to clarify what Lyle McDonald is talking about vs. mainstream understanding when it comes to the issue of set point.

    Lyle is talking about competition bodybuilders/fitness models who have a set point/minimum genetically programmed amount of body fat. They can diet down past that strategically for competition.

    Mainstream understanding of set point is not about this at all and is about much, much higher weights and a whole different stratosphere of understanding, has nothing to do with bodyfat percentage, and is focused entirely on scale weight.

    I hope this clears up some misunderstanding.

    There is, if I'm not mistaken, some validity to the assertion Lyle makes about there being a genetically programmed body fat minimum that we all have that varies. And that bodyfat percentage is also usually much, much lower than what lifestyle/habit regulated set points that people achieve (which are the ones that keep changing) seem to be.

    Does Lyle explain then how it is that people actually do starve?

    I want to clarify on my response to this because I don't think you understand the response to set points as the theory is set forth.

    The body "defends" a set point. So the people dieting, who have access to food, will binge/overeat and defend that set minimum body fat percentage.

    People starving don't have access to food to defend that minimum body fat percentage, and just keep losing fat, and then they go on also catabolizing muscle mass.

    And it is precisely THE BINGING you describe that keeps the fat on. :) Because food.

    No Set Point necessary...just eating at a surplus. As you have just described.

    Are you saying the body somehow knows lack of resources due to dieting v. lack of resources due to actual lack? Like geographically/nearby? Because I don't think it does.

    A dieter's body will catabolize muscle mass under certain conditions too.
    edited January 2018
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