Set Point Theory
What could be harder than losing weight? I think many of you will agree with me that the hardest part of losing weight is keeping it off. Have you ever noticed that after losing weight, your body feels like it’s working hard to get back to its previous weight?
Scientists believe that each person has a stable weight at which the body feels comfortable. And when you lose weight, your body may be working to gain it back.
This phenomenon is called the Set Point Theory.
What is Set Point?
According to the Set Point Theory, the human body will always try to keep weight within a preferred range. Scientists believe that each person’s weight is genetically predetermined. And this predetermined value is kept fairly stable throughout adulthood.
It is also worth noting that – this is just a theory, because there is no real evidence. This theory was born more on self-reporting by test subjects than on actual scientific evidence. But the theory itself is interesting. So let’s continue to look at it.
If you notice that you’ve stopped losing weight, even though you continue to put forth your best effort, you’ve most likely reached your Set Point. It could also be the Plateau Effect, which I wrote about earlier.
How the Set Point Theory Works
It is believed that our body responds to changes in energy intake and begins to adapt metabolic processes to hold an individualized balance. When we put our body into a caloric deficit for a long time, our basal metabolism begins to decline, slowing down digestive processes.
The body can even change the way it absorbs nutrients, and hormones increase hunger signals. Against these factors, the body finds it hard to resist, and it starts to gain back what it should.
Set Point And Overweight
This theory does a good job of explaining the biological aspects of maintaining balance during weight loss. But it falls apart when it comes to explaining why our body does not try to return to Set Point and not try to get rid of the extra pounds when we gain too much weight.
Scientists have an opinion, though. It is believed that the human body, for which hunger has been one of the greatest threats throughout history, has not yet evolved to deal with the problem of extra pounds.
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There are actually a lot of reasons why the Plateau Effect can occur, but we’ll look at the most common ones.