What is Set Point Weight

Dr, Donna Restivo

Posted on September 29 2018

Counting calories is amongst the biggest myth when it comes to succeeding at weight loss. Instead of focusing on the math involved in your caloric intake, it’s best to take a long, hard look at your set point weight, which is technically the ten-pound range that your body works hard to keep your body weight within. Think of it like this…if you lower your set point weight, your body will no longer fight you to keep it within that ten-pound range. Instead, it will work with you. Our bodies work in a way that is similar to a sink. If a sink is clogged, it will still be clogged regardless of how much water you put in it, and it will continue to get backed up. Once you unclog that sink, you will have streaming water draining and it won’t overflow, much in the same way our bodies burn fat. To sum it up, your metabolism is very similar to the sink.

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When we fail to work toward adjusting our set-point weight, we typically end up bouncing from one diet fad to the next, gaining the lost weight back not long after we thought we got rid of it for good. In some sense, our bodies fight back against any attempt to change our set point weight, also known as your predetermined weight.

What happens when you restrict your calorie intake for a few days?  Your metabolism starts to slow down, resulting in fewer calories being burned, because your body is holding onto that set point weight and is determined to keep you within the ten pounds. While you may lose some pounds, you will ultimately end up back where you started if you fail to alter your set point weight.

Experiments have been conducted involving lab rats who were fed diets that caused them to either gain or lose a lot of weight. Not long after the experiment was complete, these same rats reverted back to their original weight, proving that the set point weight theory is no joke. Most of us can say that we have a friend or family member who has struggled with the same thing and has lost a lot of weight only to gain it all back.

If you want to lose weight for good, you will need to determine your set point weight, and consider other factors such as your genes and biological adaptations. While it’s not easy to control what we were born with, there our external factors that we certainly can control, and we will get into that in a later post.


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