Set Point for Body Weight? C’mon, Stop That!
by Dr. Rick Kattouf II
When individuals are looking to improve their health and lose weight, it can be very common for them to verbalize something like, "I have a set point for weight." Is there really a "set point" for bodyweight? No, this is just another limiting belief and excuse that individuals have; very similar to the belief that individuals have when they say they are overweight because they are "big boned." This, of course, is another limiting belief and excuse as well. ‘Big boned’, that’s why you’re overweight; c’mon, seriously? Let’s take a closer look at two individuals…
Female, 5'3", 205lbs
Male, 5'9", 270lbs
The question asked to both individuals is, "what are your health, nutrition, fitness and body composition goals?" And here is the response from the female… “I would like to lose 30-35lbs. 170-175 pounds seems to be my set point for weight.” And here's the response from the male…”I would like to lose 35-40 pounds. 230-235 pounds seems to be my set point weight.”
While these are very good goals for each individual, in no way can this be a set point one's body weight. What we have to understand is this; if each of these individuals was to lose the amount of weight that they mentioned, this is a good start, yes. But, when they lose this amount of body weight, guess what? They are still overweight and obese (females greater than 30% body fat and males greater than 25% body fat are considered obese). Therefore, we have to ask ourselves, 'why would the body have a set point for weight that is overweight, obese and at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease?' That would not make sense, would it? Why would the human body want to remain in an unhealthy, overweight, obese state?
Point being is this; when individuals say this is their set point for weight (and this ‘set point’ is still over weight and/or obese), this is simply a limiting belief and an excuse. What each person is really saying is the following...this is the weight where I can still eat/drink the not-so-good foods/beverages that I love and never want to give up.
Setting goals is not about one goal being better than the other or one goal being right and the other being wrong, not at all. Rather, this is simply about understanding that this is not a set point for weight; it is just a limiting belief and excuse about body weight. Using the example above, it is perfectly fine that these individuals set the goals they did for themselves. But, they just have to be honest with themselves and admit this is not some ‘set point’ in body weight. Rather, based on the time, effort, energy and commitment that they are willing to put forth, this goal aligns with their commitment level. And this is what it all comes down to; goals vs commitment level. The bigger the goal, the bigger the commitment level.
Sure, these individuals can get much, much lighter, leaner and achieve a much healthier body composition, but they do not have to, as this is their choice. It’s all about choices and consequences. Choosing not to get lighter and leaner than this because you still want to eat/drink foods that will not facilitate body fat loss is ok; just don't dismiss it as if this is your ‘set point’ for weight, because it’s not. We want to be sure we have full disclosure and honesty with ourselves when setting our goals.
In summary, the body does not have a set point for weight, especially if that body weight and associated BF% is overweight, obese, unhealthy and at greater risk for cardiovascular disease. It's ok to choose not to get any lighter and leaner; this is your body and your choice. We just have to understand that having the mindset of, 'set point' and 'big boned' are simply limiting beliefs and excuses that may be holding us back from reaching that next level of success. Do you have any limiting beliefs and excuses that may be holding you back from even greater success?
Let us know how we can help assist you with your goals. Feel free to call/email/text anytime (864-382-8486, [email protected]). Get ready to find a whole new level of success!
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Rick Kattouf II, O.D. is a 2x Best-Selling Author and Fitness & Nutrition expert and has been named one of America’s PremierExperts® and one of the World Fitness Elite® Trainers of the Year. Rick is a Sports Nutrition Specialist, Heart Rate Performance Specialist, Master Personal Trainer & Triathlon Coach. He has been seen on ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox affiliates around the country as well as in the USA Today, Chicago Tribune, National Examiner, Ironman.com, Livestrong.com, Runner’s World, Bicycling Magazine, Men’s Health UK, FIGHT! Magazine, Florida Cycling Magazine and The Independent in the UK. Rick is the CEO/Founder of TeamKattouf® Inc, CEO/Founder of TeamKattouf® Nutrition LLC, CEO/Founder of Virtual Gym LLC, Creator of TeamKattouf® Nutrition Supplements, Host of Rx Nutrition, author of Forever Fit, Creator of 5-Round Fury® Nutrition Supplement, 5-Round Fury Fitness® workout app, Creator of Coach2CEO, Creator of Fuel Keeper®, Entrepreneur and Inspirational Speaker. Dr. Rick has personally coached individuals in 30+ states and 10+ countries.