I've been seeing a LOT of talk lately on set point theory. Basically, set point theory says that for each person there is a certain metabolic "set point" for weight and body fat and that is what can make it exceedingly difficult to lose weight and/or body fat AND especially hard to maintain the weight if you do get down (or up in some lucky bastard cases) in the long term.
Since I never lost any significant weight before I started this journey in 2010, I have no experience in the losing-regaining wars. But I have seen many people who have lost weight and then have had their weight creep back up and it creeps back up to what seems like a set number.
There are various research studies, but none that have me convinced either way. Often researchers cite that we have a pattern of eating and exercising and if we fall back into that pattern after losing weight, that we will go back up to where we started. Other research points out that there are some people that appear to be able to eat in a certain way and they don't move from their weight while others in relatively similar situations eat that way and gain weight.
This is what I can say from my own experience. My goal is to hover between 115-119 pounds. A "red-line" is what maintainers refer to as the weight where they are starting to get too high and need to lose weight. For me that number is 120. I hit 119 - under the red line in July. I weighed in this morninat 120.9 - a full pound over my red-line. And this is what I notice - when I have some times of "naughty" eating, I usually swing way up and then come to rest at 120-121. My body loves being at 120-121 and it is a continuous battle to get under that number.
Now, let me point out that I have been maintaining for less then 8 months, and many of those months have been winter, so I'll have to see what happens long term.
But it begs a couple of questions - the first is IS there a set point for my body of 120 ish? Secondly, how long and how hard do I want to keep fighting to stay under 120? If I can easily and happily maintain at 120-121 should I just do that or should I keep fighting to get down to 116-117.
I'm not ready to surrender to 120+ yet, but it is giving me something to think about!
What do you guys think about set point theory?