Anyone who has struggled to lose weight knows that it is a long and difficult journey. Sometimes, it might even seem like your body has a mind of its own and is determined to stay at a particular weight, no matter how much effort you put into lowering it. If you have ever felt this way, you may be comforted to know that you are not the only one. In fact, this is known as the set point theory, and it may be worth researching for your weight loss goals.
What is Set Point Theory?
Basically, the set point theory is a theory in weight management that says that your body will try to maintain its own weight within a certain range. In other words, there is a range of weight in which your body feels the most comfortable, so it will fight and work to stay within that range. Remember that this is just a theory; though researchers have observed that many people end up returning to a specific weight range, there have been few studies done on the theory of set point.
The idea behind the set point theory is that, for most of human history, starvation has been one of the main dangers that people face. That is why our body seems to so easily store extra food that we intake as fat: in case we do not have access to food in the near future, our bodies can use our stored fat to survive. However, it is also important to note that other factors in our lifestyle can also affect our weight. Factors such as activity levels and genetics can also play a role in our fat set point.
How to Decrease Your Set Point
So, if the set point theory is legitimate, one of the main obstacles in your weight loss journey should be figuring out how to prevent your body from wanting to return to its preferred (heavier) weight. But, our bodies are often stubborn and slow to change, so you may be left wondering how in the world you are expected to trick your body into thinking that it now suddenly prefers a lower weight for itself.
Decreasing your set point can be a long and frustrating journey, but one that researchers believe is achievable. However, it is important to remember that weight loss involves more than simply lowering your body’s preferred weight, though this is an excellent start. Most researchers agree that if you want to lower your set point, it is important to go slowly. Start with a gradual, ten percent weight loss approach that will give your body time to acclimate to the changes that you are putting it through. The key is to stay persistent since your body will automatically want to return to its previous set point.