Set Point Theory


Set Point Theory suggests that your body has a natural weight set point determined by your physiology and genetics, making significant or sustained deviations from this weight difficult. The theory has been both criticized and somewhat supported in discussions on the Mind Pump Podcast.

Key Points from the Discussion:

  1. Marketing Gimmick: The Set Point Theory has often been used by marketers selling diet books and supplements claiming to alter your body's natural set point. However, clarifies that this concept mostly resonates due to people's difficulty in changing their habitual behaviors rather than a physiological set point 1.

  2. Behavioral Influence: Much of what is perceived as a weight set point is actually habitual behavior. Altering behaviors, like incorporating more activity or changing dietary habits, can effectively change what might seem like a set point 1.

  3. Resistance Training Benefits: Resistance training is highlighted as an effective way to manipulate what might be considered a weight set point by increasing metabolism, thus making it easier to maintain a lower weight with less drastic changes to diet 1.

  4. Lifestyle and Cultural Shifts: Historical shifts in lifestyle, particularly increased caloric intake and decreased activity, have led to higher average body weights than in the past, which might suggest a flexible set point influenced by lifestyle rather than just genetics 2.

  5. Temporary Manipulations: The podcast also discusses temporary manipulations of protein intake, suggesting that brief periods of lower protein followed by normal levels can temporarily boost muscle synthesis, indicating a kind of set point for nutrient processing 3.

    Set Point Theory

    Sal, Justin, and Adam discuss the Set Point Theory and how it's often used as a marketing gimmick. They explain that our behaviors and lifestyle play a significant role in our set point, and that resistance training is the best form of exercise for long-term fat loss because it speeds up metabolism.

    Mind Pump Podcast

    Mind Pump Episode #1181 | Set Point Myth, Improve Mind-Muscle Connection, Health At Any Size, & MORE


The concept of a weight set point is more a combination of genetics and, more influentially, habitual behaviors and lifestyles. Changes in these areas can effectively "shift" what might be perceived as a natural set point. Marketing claims of changing set points through supplements or specific diets are largely unsupported and are seen as gimmicks.