What is a set point weight? It is a weight your body is happy at and a weight that is easily maintained. Losing weight too fast throws your body off and can cause it to fight to get back to its set weight (your original weight). There are links to the scientific stuff at the end of this blog, but I want to share my journey and struggle with changing my set point weight over the last year.
Backstory - I hit a plateau every 10lbs during my transformation. These plateaus ranged from 3 months to 1 year, but I never gave up when I was in the throws of actively losing weight. I when I got to 150lbs I hit my longest lasting plateau – it lasted for one full year -- all of 2012 and my new set point weight was born. At 150lbs, my body composition continued to change and I went down two sizes, but in some weird way I needed/wanted to see 149lbs on the scale. Even though I was so close, it just wasn’t happening. Spring of 2013, I made the radical [at least for me] decision to compete in a bodybuilding show to FORCE me to do something totally different in hopes it would shock my body out of my set point weight [plateau]. It did. I got down to 136lbs and 11% bodyfat in 9 weeks. Once my first competition was over, I found it a struggle to keep my weight in the 140s a good “off season” weight for me so I thought. It was plain and simple, my body liked 150lbs better, but I liked 140-145lbs better. Why was it a struggle? I had lost the weight too fast in contest prep and then I didn’t hold that weight long enough for my body to figure it out AND adjust to a NEW set point like it had done six times before during my transformation. This body wanted to go back to where it was comfortable at 150lbs.
I share this in case you are looking for a quick fix with losing weight. Just consider that you could have the same problem with keeping weight off if you lose weight too fast no matter the method. Develop a slow, steady plan that you can LIVE with for sustainable weight loss.
Everything is not about a number on the scale, but it IS a factor and most people won’t dismiss it. For today, I am happy I’ve successfully moved away from 150lbs and I’ve held my new weight for 6 months and I think it will stick this time.
Quick fixes do not stick. Steady and sustainable weight loss is a successful recipe.
Below is an excerpt from an article about the effectiveness of slow steady weight loss. I know this to be true as I lost the bulk of my weight over a 2+ year period – slow, steady, sustainable. The human body is truly fascinating!
"...The 10% Solution - Scientific evidence supports losing no more than 10% of your body weight at a time. It turns out that the body's set point and its many regulatory hormones dictate the effectiveness of the 10% loss. That's the amount of weight you can lose before your body starts to fight back. Many clinical studies have confirmed this phenomenon. Of course, some people can lose more than 10% at a time, but precious few can then maintain that loss.
After you maintain your new, lower weight for 6 months, you can repeat the cycle and reset your set point again by losing another 10%. Through small, gradual changes in your daily habits, you'll be able to stay at that new, lower weight for the rest of your life. This prescription is vital to outsmarting the body's natural tendencies to regain weight." Read more.