Is The Set Point Weight Theory Real?


Currently, approximately 1 out of 3 Americans are overweight or obese. Despite this prevalence, there is still a common misconception that excess weight is controllable or easily regulated. In reality, this is a complex disease that goes beyond diet and exercise. Sociocultural background, lifestyle, mental state, and genetics are just some of the possible factors behind obesity.

Another such factor is the set point weight theory. Though some components are still up for debate, many health experts take set point weight into consideration when evaluating obese patients. For a deeper look into this theory and how it affects weight loss, specifically, keep reading below.

What is the set point weight theory?

Despite conscious weight regulation and diet choices, some bodies naturally seem to stay in a specific weight spectrum. This is what is behind the theory of set point weight; it suggests that all bodies have a set weight range that it tries to maintain in adulthood, meaning the body tends to revert to this weight point after experiencing weight fluctuations. This is why when some people lose or maintain their weight effortlessly, it can be assumed that they have a low set point. On the other hand, the theory states that people with a higher set point are more likely to gain weight than their peers, or hit a weight loss plateau.

Despite not being clinically proven as absolute at this point, many health experts still believe in the theory after observing a lot of patients stay at their weight range consistently for many years. For instance, patients report adjustments in appetite to compensate for any weight changes they’ve experienced. This can translate to either feeling hungrier more often to gain weight or feeling satiated for longer to avoid excess eating to lose weight. With all these in mind, it can thus be argued that the set point weight theory is real, given its observable manifestations.

How can you work with your set point weight?

Despite the set point weight theory stating that a person’s weight range is practically predetermined, there are still some ways you can adjust it to be in favor of achieving your ideal weight.

Set realistic diet goals

The most effective way to shift your set point weight is to work gradually. Instant weight loss or weight gain methods such as crash dieting or a severe increase in caloric intake can produce short-term results, but your appetite will ultimately offset it. Experts recommend losing a pound per week, as it is a healthy objective for most bodies. You can achieve this by cutting about 500 calories from your weekly diet. This won’t be too drastic of a change for your body, and you won’t experience any side effects as your caloric intake doesn’t have to change significantly.

Keep a food diary

One method to be mindful of your food intake is keeping a diary. It’s easy to say that you’re sticking to your diet, but the best way to be sure is to keep track of your meals. This will help you monitor your weight, and it can motivate you even further, as research has discovered that recording progress plays a role in achieving weight goals. You can do this by starting a journal where you can write your meals, record restaurants with healthy dishes you enjoyed, or even take note of new recipes you want to try. Over time, this can help create healthy eating behaviors, which are among the best ways to “adjust” your set point weight.

Seek help from a professional

With obesity being classified as a disease, sometimes the best way to overcome it is to approach a professional that can help. Healthcare experts understand the complicated nature of the condition and try to target the factors behind it. This includes considerations that also influence set point weight, like medications or hormones. Experts’ work also goes beyond helping someone shed a few pounds, as the main focus of these treatments is to mitigate any possible health risks caused by obesity. Therefore, most physicians would first have to evaluate if someone is obese and then prescribe regulated weight loss medications and lifestyle treatments to help them overcome the condition. Under a doctor’s supervision, these medications and programs can lower an individual’s obesity by up to 15%.

Ultimately, set point weight is a theory that helps individuals and experts better understand the complex nature of weight. While it can be difficult to break through the range your set point weight determines, it is possible and can be done safely, successfully, and sustainably. For more articles like this, visit Hospital and Healthcare Management Global.