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 Post subject: Set Point Theory
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:38 am 
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One thing many people, not just victims of eating disorders, have trouble accepting, is the set point theory. Set point is the weight range in which your body is programmed to weigh and will fight to maintain that weight.

Everyone has a set point and just like you have no control over how tall you will be, or what color your eyes and hair will be, you also have no control over what your set point will be. Your body is biologically and genetically determined to weigh within a certain weight range.

Set points vary for each individual person. That is why it's not a good idea to go by the weight charts that you see in medical books or hanging in your doctor's office. For instance, a woman at a height of 5'5" with a small frame may have a set point range between 120-130 lbs, but another woman with the same frame may have a set point range between 130-140 lbs. Their set points may be different, but that is the weight range where their bodies will fight to maintain.

Everyone that has ever tried dieting knows just how hard it is to lose weight and keep it off. In the first few weeks of dieting, weight is usually lost, but almost always gained back. Many people become frustrated because after a few weeks of dieting, they usually stop losing weight or start gaining it back, even though they are still restricting their food intake. That is a sign that the body is trying to fight to retain it's natural weight.

When you go below your body's natural set point, your metabolism will react and start to slow down to try and conserve energy. Your body will start to sense it's in a state of semi-starvation and will try to use the few calories it receives more effectively. You may start to sleep more, your body temperature will drop, which is why you hear so many anorexics complaining of being so cold, and after too much weight loss many women experience the loss of their menstrual cycle. Basically their reproductive system shuts down because their bodies probably could not handle a pregnancy. Many people that are dieting also experience uncontrollable urges to binge. That is because your body is telling you that it needs more food than you are providing it to function properly.

Just as your metabolism will slow down when you go under your body's set point, it will also increase if you go above it. The body will try to fight against the weight gain by increasing the metabolism and raising the body's temperature to try and burn off the unwanted calories.

There is no test available to tell you what your body's natural set point is. The best way to determine what it is, is by eating normally and exercising moderately. If you have been dieting for years, it can take up to a year of normal eating for your body's metabolism to function properly and return you to the weight range that is healthy for you.

Learning to accept the fact that your body needs to be at a certain weight is a good way to stop the vicious cycles of dieting. The more you try to go below your body's set point range, the harder your body will fight to retain it's natural weight. Engaging in a healthy eating and exercise routine, will allow your body to go to the weight it wants and needs to be at. Learning to love and accept who you are, will help you to accept your body's natural set point. It is unfortunate that we live in a society that is obsessed with thinness, but we have to stop believing that thinness equals happiness. What everyone needs to do is stop judging people by how they look. If we can all accept each other for who we are, no matter what size we are, people will be much happier. Except, of course, for the diet industry, because they would be finally out of business.



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 Post subject: Re: Set Point Theory
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:14 am 
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Good article. I needed to read it too today- thank you for posting.



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 Post subject: Re: Set Point Theory
PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:14 am 
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Butterfly wrote:
Good article. I needed to read it too today- thank you for posting.

:agree:



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 Post subject: Re: Set Point Theory
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:16 pm 
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I now this is an older post, but worth the read. I have a really hard time accepting what my set point is. I'm there right now, but according to charts and such I "should" weigh something else.



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 Post subject: Re: Set Point Theory
PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:24 am 
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one point to add:

humans naturally gain a small amount of weight each year as they age. Our set point depends not only on our genes, but on our age. The range may change throughout our lives, and that is okay.


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