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Author Topic: Are there two different kinds of setpoints?  (Read 4204 times)

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Are there two different kinds of setpoints?
« on: January 21, 2010, 02:30:46 PM »

If I understand correctly, Shangri La theory regarding setpoints says that the setpoint is like a thermostat, and it goes up and down throughout the day, depending on whether and what you are eating.

How would you interpret the experience of someone who loses, say fifty or more pounds (either through SLD or conventional diet), and then regains, going back up to virtually the exact weight she had before the diet?  Was she able to lose all that weight without changing the setpoint?  If she did change the setpoint in order to lose weight, how did the body know how much weight to regain?

Is there a fluctuating setpoint that moves up and down throughout the day and another setpoint that is harder to change permanently?

Does Shangri La really change/lower the setpoint, or is it suppressing the setpoint for as long as the dieter is taking flavorless calories (or eating bland foods, crazy spicing, etc)?

If not eating lowers the setpoint, what does fasting do to it, either for an extended period (say 1-6 weeks) or for shorter, more frequent periods (say 36-72 hours)?  I know there are a lot of people here who fast for a portion of the day, but I am wondering if anyone has tried a longer fast.

Sorry for all the questions, but I can't quite grasp how this works, and I am hoping that if I can understand it before I lose weight, then maybe I can avoid losing a bunch of weight and gaining it right back again.  Thanks!


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Re: Are there two different kinds of setpoints?
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2010, 07:08:53 PM »

This has been a known phenomenon as far back as the conscientious objector studies where the subjects eventually put on all the weight they had lost PLUS temporarily some more (to eventually return to their pre-starvation weight)

I believe that Seth's theory says if you go back to your regular diet your old setpoint comes back, restoring you to the old weight.   Add to this - what foods do people consume after coming off a diet - have their habits and tastes been changed by the experience such that they are "eating better" or the opposite?

I can imagine that if the body perceives the weight loss as extremely stressful then the body will naturally gravitate, or the person will naturally crave, once the stressor is removed, to the most "stress - relieving foods" it can get.    You can imagine that these will not be salads and eggs and meat, but rather gluten-filled pastries and cakes and balklava and chocolate and ice cream.

And consider that when bodybuilders come back from an injury they can put muscle back on much, much faster than the first time.   So just mechanically and chemically, the body may just be better at laying down tissue the second time around - there's been some kind of "prep work" already done.

In other words, summing up - there are many variables to take into account, probably set point is only one.
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