Hello and welcome to this blog series, the MyHealthyDuniya Discuss Point Theory.
Set point theory suggests that each person has a set point weight, that their body naturally feels happiest. On that point is largely determined by our genes. So everyone’s set point will be unique to them.
In reality, us that point isn’t one exact weight, but a range of weight in which the body feels comfortable. We think of as that point as being a range of weight in between two tramlines. When your weight goes above the top tramline, the body will want to get your weight back down. And when your weight goes down below the bottom tramline. The body will want to get your weight back up. Your body is happiest being in the middle of the two come lines, and it will do as much as it can to try and keep you somewhere around here.
Different people will have different looking tramlines. Some will have tramlines that are fairly close together, so their weight might only tend to fluctuate within a few pounds. Other people might have a much wider gap between their tramlines, so their weight will fluctuate a lot more. This isn’t a case of what’s right or wrong, better or worse. It’s just how you and your body work it. Your biology.
Everyone’s set point is different. There is no formula that we know of or way of working out exactly what your specific set, point or set point range is. The best way of working out what it might be is looking at where your weight naturally falls over time. Have you been a fairly stable weight most of your adult life? If so, this is likely to be your set point to weight might fluctuate a few pounds either side of this. That is totally normal.
This tends to be around the same sorts of weight each time? If so, this might be the bottom end of your set point range. Your body just doesn’t want to lose any more weight as this is outside of its safety zone. Perhaps if you have been on the more extreme diets in the past, you have lost a lot of weight, but then found that over time you regained some or even all of the weight you lost.
If so, then the weight you ended back up at, maybe somewhere within your natural set point range. Don’t forget, it’s normal for weight to fluctuate within your set point range. For some people, weight fluctuate a few pounds. For others it might be more, for example, 10 to 15. You will know what is normal for your body, what your weight pattern is over time.
To understand how the set point works and why we even have one in the first place, it can be helpful to know a bit about our biology. So here comes the science. Our bodies like things to stay the same. For example, our bodies like our internal temperature to stay around the 37-degree mark. If we get too hot or too cold. Organs will stop working. Our bodies also like us to have enough fluid in our bodies. We are made up of around 70% water and need to stay hydrated for many of our biological processes to function.
But if we are over hydrated, this can also be seriously dangerous. And our bodies like to know it has enough energy to carry out the millions of daily functions it needs for us to survive. Like cell growth and repair. To think, breathe, move. See you. Name something our bodies do. And we need energy to do it. This drive to keep everything at the nice even level is called homeostasis, and the body has many clever ways of keeping all its systems in balance.
With temperature, for example, when the body senses is getting too hot, we start to sweat. When we’re too cold, we start to shiver. This isn’t something that we consciously do. It’s something our body does automatically for us. When we’re dehydrated, we feel thirsty and are motivated to drink. When we have too much fluid, we need to do more simple. Believe it or not. And we can understand if this is news to you. Perhaps there were a few people out there in the dye industry who might actually prefer you didn’t know this.
Our bodies have a natural in-built system to regulate our body weight. Offset point. When our body senses that our weight is below the level, it feels safe. That, in other words, it doesn’t feel confident that it has the energy it would need to survive and do all the tasks it needs to do. It kicks into action a series of physiological changes designed to get us to regain weight and get us back into our safe set point range.
Similarly, if our bodies sense that our weight is getting higher than its natural set point range, it will naturally set in motion physiological reactions designed to reduce this. And this is important. These physiological processes designed to increase or decrease our weight to get us back into our set point range happen subconsciously. In other words, without our awareness and without the need for us to actively do anything.
Our bodies are incredibly smart and are actually capable of regulating our weight extremely accurately. The problem is we don’t often give our bodies the credit they deserve. Because we are so often told that we need to regulate our weight by counting the number of calories we consume and the number that we burn through exercise. We think we are in control of our weight and this can be where some of the problems start.