The set level principle is the concept that the physique has a preprogrammed weight that it likes to be at to perform effectively. And there’s scientific proof that means there’s some reality to this; the physique makes use of a number of metabolic and hormonal mechanisms—like slowing down metabolism while you lower your calorie consumption, as an example—to preserve its weight while you strive to slim down.
So does this imply that making an attempt to drop some pounds beneath your “set level” is futile, since your physique will strive to combat it and all the time win? No, weight administration is extra difficult than that. Many parameters management weight, together with genetics, however so do exterior components, like stress and your consuming behaviors. Plenty of individuals slim down and settle at a decrease weight completely—however you need to comply with a protected, gradual weightloss plan in order that your physique can adapt over time. (Plus, you’ll be extra possible to maintain the kilos off in the long run should you tackle sustainable wholesome consuming habits.) Crash weight-reduction plan (like proscribing your energy too intensely) may cause your physique to strive to maintain on to fats so it stays at its comfortable weight—don’t strive it.
Health’s medical editor, Roshini Rajapaksa, MD, is assistant professor of drugs on the NYU School of Medicine.