Set point theory states that every individual has a personal metabolic rate that maintains a given weight, regardless of calorie intake. This weight is called the set point, and is believed to be why some dieters find that weight loss slows down at some point, similar to having a weight loss plateau. It is also common for dieters to find themselves reverting back to their prior, heavier weight. There is a weakness within this theory though. It fails to explain the opposite effect. Why the body doesn’t revert to its supposed set weight after gaining weight due to a number of factors, most commonly increased calorie intake. Regardless of whether or not our bodies are fixed by a set point, experts within the field of weight loss agree that your weight can be altered by a change in your eating and exercise behavior.
A Current theory that is slightly different, regarding set point says that when you stop growing, your body will have a tendency to maintain a given weight based on some behavioral criteria. This includes; consistent exercise, eating when hungry, and not filling yourself up at mealtime. It also concludes that your set point will fluctuate between 5-10 lbs when reached.
As many as 95% of dieters gain back unwanted weight and get trapped in endless cycles of yo-yo dieting. These results have led researchers to conclude that the human body may have a genetically determined set-point weight that is controlled by metabolic hormones and fat cell enzymes.
The premise of the argument regarding the set point theory is that a person’s individual metabolism will make necessary adjustments to maintain a desired weight, or a most comfortable weight range. It is true that yo-yo dieting will bring you back to where you were. And there is a good chance you will gain even more weight than when you started. But I choose to believe this reaction is much more behavioral in nature. Your body’s set point is based on how you live your life, and whatever stress you place on it, you will adapt to. I believe that while genetics will play a part in a person’s physical ability, size and shape, it doesn’t have to dictate where you will end up. If you choose to make life long changes, you will get life long results.