What Happens When Your Weight Falls Below Your Set Point?

What Happens When Your Weight Falls Below Your Set Point?

The theory of metabolic suppression says that when a dieter’s weight falls below his or her set point, he or she is likely to experience some negative consequences. These can include hypothermia or metabolic suppression, or both. It’s important to understand what these conditions are, because they can make losing weight difficult and even dangerous. Below are some of the consequences that a dieter may experience when his or her weight falls below his or her set point.

Metabolic suppression

Although the “Biggest Loser” diet may be responsible for a large portion of the regaining of lost weight, it is not the only culprit. Studies have shown that metabolic suppression is common in dieters, even those who maintain their weight for years. In fact, the speed of weight loss has no bearing on weight regain, and weight plans with different types of calories lead to similar weight loss.

During the intervention period, dieters’ resting metabolic rate is suppressed, which impedes weight loss. The biggest loser contestants experienced the largest metabolic adaptation during the course of the competition. Interestingly, participants who maintained their weight at the end of the contest were more likely to continue experiencing metabolic suppression after six years. Therefore, it is likely that metabolic adaptation is proportional to the amount of weight loss, unless the dieter’s weight loss has been permanent.

The magnitude of metabolic adaptation was related to the amount of weight lost, but this did not reach statistical significance. However, metabolic adaptation was associated with more weight loss at the end of the competition, as shown in Figure 4B. After six years, the metabolic adaptation increased to -499+-207 kcal/d, but was not significantly related to weight regain.

Hypothermia

Fever is a condition where the body temperature is elevated above the normal body temperature. It is not an exogenous source of heat. Instead, it is induced in the internal environment. Fever usually causes reduced appetite. Fever is a symptom of hyperthermia relative to the internal optimum temperature. Voluntary appetite suppression is not an indication of hyperthermia, although it is often present in conjunction with symptoms of hypothermia.

Deficiency of a set point in a diet

If the theory of set points is correct, dieters are likely to gain weight again. In fact, more than ninety percent of dieters regain their weight within three to five years. Those that stay slim for longer are statistical unicorns – most often, they become nutrition “coaches” or become fitness instructors. They devote a lot of time to managing their food intake.

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