Set Point Weight: The Key to Permanent Weight Loss
If you struggle with your weight, there’s a good chance that your set point weight is to blame. Read on to discover how lowering your set point weight is the real key to permanent weight loss. BETTER Movie culminates in offering a proven path toward better living by introducing revolutionary methods to lower the body weight “Setpoint” through evidence-based solutions that everyone can use to optimize their current diet (ex. keto, vegan, paleo, kosher, etc.) to prevent and reverse many of today’s most common diseases.
Set Point Theory Explained
The set point theory states that we have an internal set point that keeps our weight relatively stable. If you struggle with your weight, you’re probably all-too distressingly familiar with the set point theory.
Remember all those fad diets that failed? Remember all that yo-yo dieting that did nothing but make you tired, hungry, frustrated…and fatter? That’s your set point at work.
It works like this…
Whenever you try to lose weight by reducing calories, you’ll lose a few pounds pretty quickly. But then your body puts on the brakes because it thinks you’re starving and because you’re in danger of becoming lighter than your set point weight will allow. To counter this, your body releases the hunger hormone ghrelin so that you’ll eat more. (Ghrelin levels have also been shown to remain higher than normal well after desired weight loss has been achieved.)1 It also lowers your metabolism so that you burn fewer calories.2This is why your weight loss slows to almost nothing. Plus, you’re often cold, tired, and grumpy.
Additionally, calorie-restricted dieting leads to changes in your body composition that further inhibit permanent weight loss. For instance, studies show that calorie restriction leads to a loss of lean muscle mass. As muscle is metabolically active and burns more calories than fat does — even when you’re resting — a loss of lean muscle mass lowers your metabolism.3 A lowered metabolism that occurs through fad diets and yo-yo dieting means that you’ll need to continue eating a low amount of calories to lose weight and keep it off.
Is it any wonder that few of us ever reach a healthy weight through calorie-restricted dieting? And even if you do withstand the misery long enough to lose all that weight, you’re likely to regain most of it back. Studies show that most people are not able to maintain a 10% reduction in weight for more than a year.4
Your diet does not initially determine your set point weight, however. According to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center:
“Your heredity and your environment-starting back at the moment of your conception-determine your set point.Over the long term, excess food and insufficient exercise will override your body’s natural tendency to stay at its set point and lead to a higher, less healthy set point.”5
So, when you slowly and gradually gain weight over a period of years or decades, it will reset your set point weight. Your body will then defend that new set point weight, and no amount of calorie-restricted dieting or calorie-burning exercise will change it. The only way to lower your set point weight and achieve a healthy weight is to change the quality of your diet, get 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night, and reduce stress. But the most important factor in lowering set point weight is diet.
Achieving and Maintaining a Healthy Weight With Food
Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is often simply a matter of consuming high-quality calories. This means eating lots of whole foods, such as non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense proteins, and whole-food fats. It means reducing or eliminating heavily processed foods and sugars. Because this type of diet is filling, satisfying, and contains the nutrition your body needs, it will help lower your set point weight. You’ll then lose weight safely and easily. No calorie counting, starvation or misery required.
1- Cummings DE, Weigle DS, Frayo RS, Breen PA, Ma MK, Dellinger P, Purnell JQ. Plasma Ghrelin Levels after Diet-Induced Weight Loss or Gastric Bypass Surgery. N Engl J Med. May 23, 2002. 2002; 346:1623-1630 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa012908
2- Pourhassan M, Bosy-Westphal A, Schautz B, Braun W, Glüer CC, Müller MJ. Impact of body composition during weight change on resting energy expenditure and homeostasis model assessment index in overweight nonsmoking adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Apr;99(4):779-91. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.071829. Epub 2014 Feb 5. PMID: 24500156.
3- Chaston TB, Dixon JB, O’Brien PE. Changes in fat-free mass during significant weight loss: a systematic review. Int J Obes (Lond). 2007 May;31(5):743-50. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0803483. Epub 2006 Oct 31. PMID: 17075583.
4- Kraschnewski JL, Boan J, Esposito J, Sherwood NE, Lehman EB, Kephart DK, Sciamanna CN. Long-term weight loss maintenance in the United States. Int J Obes (Lond). 2010 Nov;34(11):1644-54. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2010.94. Epub 2010 May 18. PMID: 20479763; PMCID: PMC3671378.
5- Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Week One: The Science of Set Point. BIDMC. Oct 12, 2017. https://www.bidmc.org/about-bidmc/wellness-insights/nutrition/week-one-the-science-of-set-point.