This week a TV documentary here in the UK was promoting the Set Point Theory, so I thought I’d re-visit this idea as you might be interested.
The Set Point Theory says that your body can learn to prefer a higher weight, so that your Set Point becomes raised to a level that’s overweight or even obese. Then, any attempt to lose weight will be doomed because your body automatically sets biological reactions in motion in order to return to that higher weight, which has now become your elevated Set Point.
The principle mechanism said to drive your body’s attempts to regain the weight is your resting metabolic rate (RMR), which is said to slow down, resulting in a slower burning of calories. Badly behaving appetite hormones are also believed to drive this inevitable regain.
For example, if I’m 200lbs and I go on a diet and lose 60 of them, my body will make me – even force me – to regain those 60lbs, overriding anything I might do to stay slimmer. The phrase that’s often used is that “the body biologically defends the elevated level of body fat mass.”
I suggest two problems with this Theory.