The ‘set point’ theory and how it might prevent you losing weight.

You’ve been eating the right food, exercising often and you’ve lost a healthy amount of weight already. But why is it so hard to kick those last few kilos? And why does it feel like the slightest slip up could lead to all that weight going back on? It could be due to the ‘set point’ theory.

It revolves around the idea that each of us has a weight range or ‘set point’ our bodies are naturally programmed to remain within. When you fall below your ‘set point’, your body responds by increasing hunger signals (at least initially) and your mental preoccupation with food while decreasing your metabolism. What your body is trying to do is get itself back to its ‘set point’ weight. For those who have struggled to control their weight, the ‘set point’ theory may answer why it’s hard to lose weight and keep it off with diet, exercise and willpower alone.

While your ‘set point’ is designed to keep your weight at a certain level, it doesn’t mean it’s set in stone. Research suggests, weight set-points are adjustable and can shift over a lifespan, that can be adjusted by manipulation of specific sites in the brain, namely the hypathalamus or ‘hunger centre’. While years of poor diet or not enough exercise might lead to a higher than natural ‘set point’, in theory if you reverse that behaviour your ‘set point’ might also reverse in the long term.

Who can help?.

The main thing to remember, ‘set point’ or not, is that you’re in control of your weight loss journey and that there are people who can help. If you need expert advice, start with your healthcare professional. They can provide an appropriate weight management plan which may include lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, medicine, or other interventions.

DISCLAIMER: This editorial has been brought to you by Radiant Health. Content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information, speak to your Healthcare Professional. NZ-2019-08-0008. NA 11314