Do you feel there is a "natural weight" that your body seems to fall at or gravitate towards? I know for me, I always end up at 220 when I don't pay attention to what I'm eating/drinking. When I get above that weight, it's fairly easy for me to get back to 220, sometimes without even trying at all. When I'm under 220, I seem to easily gain that weight back if I don't pay very close attention to what I'm doing. This has probably happened to me at least 10 times, and I am in my early 20s. Has anyone else experienced this? Do you think our bodies are just comfortable at a certain weight even if it's not BMI appropriate? Obviously I'm not saying that it's necessarily healthy (or unhealthy) to be at the weight that's easiest for you to be at. I mean, after all, 220 is considered obese for me even if I am a bit muscular. Maybe it's a metabolism thing that can be changed with consistency? Can this be overcome or will it always be a struggle to keep a weight well under one's "natural" weight (if there is such a thing and I'm not imagining this whole thing)?
I don't know- I admit I haven't looked into this carefully, so excuse me if I sound like a total idiot, but I'm definitely interested in what others have experienced.
I don't know anything about it for sure, but I do know that my body for a long time gravitated towards 180. No matter what, thats where I seemed to end up. It took awhile to get past that point. Off to google....
Ah, thank you! The terminology I was using when looking it up was too general and I wasn't finding anything. I knew many people must have noticed this and now that I think about it, I vaguely remember hearing about this a few years ago. Looks like there's some controversy about why someone's "set point" can be high... Interesting though.
I also believe it can be reset BUT it takes more time and effort than most people will be willing to put up with.
My point is 140.
I hope you're right about resetting it with a lot of effort. And I kind of believe you might be right too, but anecdotal evidence tells me it would take maintaining a lower weight in a healthy and manageable way over a long period of time.
I was the same way with 200 lbs. I was just comfortable there. I never put on that much more over 200 and stayed at 200 for a long time.
Then it was 195. I couldn't go back to 200 even when I ate tons of food. My body just stuck to 195.
Then, it was 180. Didn't matter what I did, I stuck in the 180-183 range. Maddening. Never higher, never lower. For a whole year.
Now, I'm stuck at 160 - 165.
Months. Months. Months. I think I spent most of 2011 between 160 and 165.
Now, my conclusion is that my body does like/prefer certain weights. It gets comfortable at that weight. Maybe it's not my preferred weight, but it likes it. (Except the 170s, never liked those.)
The way that I look at it is that my body is just getting used to that weight. I got it used to a higher weight and now that I've been losing weight (very slow!!!!!) it's getting used to particular weights. I average about 10 lbs of weight loss every year, which means that my body gets used to a particular weight for a year. Which I think will ultimately help me in the long term because I'm not fighting it too much to stay at a lower weight that's "unnatural".
Hhhmmmm.... "set point theory"... aka SPT
I did google it (thanks John!)
but I'm not sure I believe it - but I've yo-yo dieted nearly my whole life, so it's difficult to tell.
I mean, it makes some kinda sense, but then I look back at what my body has done over the years. Can a person's "SPT" change over the years? If there *is* such a thing as SPT, then I believe it can (nothing I read supported this, it's just my own "theory"). My SPT was 125-130 when I was in my early 20's. My mid-30's to early 40's seemed to feel more comfortable at 135-140ish. And now I'm 48 & the mid 150's is seemingly my SPT.
So that's why I'm not sure whether or not I believe it; but I guess it kinda makes a little bit of sense.
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I'll be honest and say that I haven't seen much of a Set Point in my own life, but like many things I can't necessarily deny it doesn't exist for others.
I do have a few weights that I've been at for long periods of times:
140lbs - 4 years in high school
155lbs- about 4 years in college
175-185lbs - bounced back and forth a lot after college for about 3 years
After that I got pregnant and my weight went WAY up seriously quickly. Post-partum it's never hit a stable point. I lost some immediately after pregnancy but then started gaining again and got within 15lbs of my pregnancy weight before I started this journey.
That's not to say I haven't hit some stalls while losing:
low 190's - started heavy lifting
this fall I had a stall for a month (I can't remember the weight, sorry!)
and I had another stall recently but that was due to just working on maintaining over the holidays. However, my weight loss has picked up (and then some!) since then.
So really, no, nothing like a major stall at a previous weight that I was for a long time before losing weight. We'll see what happens at 155lbs, which is the only other weight that this could happen at. But then again i might just call goal there, so who knows?
My set point was 129 for all of my adult life (until I was 36) and part of my teens as well—from about the point I reached my full height on. I lost weight, but always returned rapidly to 129. Staying away from 129+ required some effort on my part—watching calories and working out—but, when I lost weight, it always seemed to me that my body strove for that one number. When it hit 129, it was much easier for me to keep from gaining weight from there than it was to keep 129 off. Now, however, I have maintained 108 for more than a year without any real effort. I am starting to think my body is finally willing to try a different weight. Part of that is, again, being vigilant—knowing now how easy it is to regain. But I also feel different. It has become much easier to stay at this weight. I don't fight cravings, don't feel compelled to gain the weight back anymore. In the past I think I just never managed to keep the weight off long enough for my body to accept it.
All that said, to now play Devil's Advocate I have to add that it's also a mental game, no? I can't rule out that it was easy for me to gain back to 129 because I knew I wasn't overweight at 129. I wanted to be thinner, but I didn't have to be for me. Over 129, though.... To me, 130+ was overweight, even though that wasn't technically true. I knew I didn't like my body at all at 130+. So there is no question that I always brought myself back to 129 if I went up a couple of pounds. And, when I lost weight, no matter how disappointed I was when I gained it back, in the back of my mind I imagine someone was whispering that it wouldn't be so awful as long as I didn't go over 129.
Last edited by Petite Powerhouse : 01-30-2012 at 03:08 PM.
I think it varies by person and I think your set-point can change. When I was gaining weight, I leveled out at 225 and stopped gaining after 10 years of putting on 10 lbs a year.
Since I've been on my weight loss journey, my set point seems to vary depending on how much exercise I am getting. My body seems to want to be lighter if I'm exercising more, even if I'm eating a lot to make up for it. I was stuck at 195 for MONTHS and then all of a sudden my body let it go and I dropped a few more pounds. I may well find I sit here for a few months, or maybe will drop more weight in short time. Hard to say, because both have happened to me on my weight loss journey.
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