3

votes

How can I lower my body's setpoint?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 12, 2011 at 6:51 AM

For some reason, it's extremely hard for me to break away from a certain body fat percentage and look despite dietary changes, changes in activity, etc. Switching to paleo, going low carb, zero carb, walking hours a day, not walking much, or trying a range of other tweaks in sleep and behaviors never seem to make a difference in my body composition.

Some days I eat 2 meals, some days more. I eat naturally, as in when I'm hungry, and eating what healthy paleo foods I crave. And yet I've actually been gaining weight to the point of returning to the same bodyfat percentage (but higher weight) as 18 months ago when I went low-fat and counted calories. I don't get it! I get so much more protein and way less fructose and sugars and grains. I lift weights. I thought these things were supposed to make me lean.

Anyway, to sum it up, my body has a preferred weight that I maintained for years before starting a diet and exercise lifestyle. After quitting a bout of lowfat calorie counting coupled with daily treadmill visits, the weight started creeping despite a healthier and more lean-condusive lifestyle adopted. I've gone through several different periods of lifestyles, and the weight never budges. I'm pretty sure my body is fighting to maintain homeostasis.

How do I lower my body's preferred set point?

Edit: Female, 19, 5'6 and currently 150 lbs.

Was about as chubby (@130-137 lbs though) from around 13-15, had no problem maintaining this. Before that I had been a fat kid (170+), who moved to a new country and just ended up naturally transforming (as in, my access to poptarts and hotpockets was suddenly taken away).

Eating patterns- Constantly varies. Predominantly low carb, but in the last month I have been trying to have one serving of starch a day. I barely ever repeat a meal. I eat a lot of coconut milk, ground beef, vegetables such as spinach (sauteed or creamed), sweet potato, cabbage and salads with bell peppers and onion. In the mornings I'll have cream in my coffees and some eggs if I'm hungry. Salmon and liver at least once a week.

Over the past 6 months exercise habits have been really varied. I had one point where I did an hour of lifting 2-3 times a week. Then I did lifting twice a week and was on my feet at work for 8 hours, walking around most of the time. Then I lost access to a gym and was walking often and doing bodyweight circuits 3x's a week. Then I came back and toned things down, doing just one intense lifting session followed by HIIT, and one HIIT only session a week. My body composition has not changed noticeably throughout all these different periods, apart from a little muscle gain in my triceps (still slowly worked my way up to original pre-diet body fat percentage though).

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on October 12, 2011
at 07:10 PM

She plays everything and is a total beast at it. She plays travel softball year round, all the rec sports, and of course the school sports. AND...she is a straight A student and gorgeous. I'm so proud of her...and envious :)

5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on October 12, 2011
at 05:47 PM

For the love of God, teach her how to play volleyball or basketball! $cholarship! :-) Seriously, though. Just keep telling her how beautiful she is because the waif-like girls in her school are going to say hurtful things and she's going to feel different. There is NOTHING wrong with having a larger, athletic build, but it doesn't fit with the Cosmo/Shape magazine agenda. Best of luck, mom!

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on October 12, 2011
at 07:03 AM

We need ALOT more info from you to try and help you with this. Male or female? Age? Height? Weight? If overweight, how long? Sample of your eating patterns @ least including specific foods..Exercise... how much doing what how many times/wk? Medical issues? Supplements you take and any prescribed medications for anything?

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7 Answers

best answer

3
1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on October 12, 2011
at 02:07 PM

You are not that big, but you could try noseclipping a meal following the shargri-la protocol for a week or so and see if you have the loss of appetite that indicates that is likely to work for you.

I don't have any tips on body shape, I also keep the same shape regardless of size.

1
6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on October 12, 2011
at 03:06 PM

My 13 yr old daughter is 5' 11" and 200lbs of muscle and (God help me) of course some curves. She is very athletic and looks great in a bikini.

I am starting to think this is what is natural for her (and me for that matter) since I am 213 at 5'10" and can't budge anymore. If she looks great, I can't be too far off. I can't convince my brain of that though.

5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on October 12, 2011
at 05:47 PM

For the love of God, teach her how to play volleyball or basketball! $cholarship! :-) Seriously, though. Just keep telling her how beautiful she is because the waif-like girls in her school are going to say hurtful things and she's going to feel different. There is NOTHING wrong with having a larger, athletic build, but it doesn't fit with the Cosmo/Shape magazine agenda. Best of luck, mom!

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on October 12, 2011
at 07:10 PM

She plays everything and is a total beast at it. She plays travel softball year round, all the rec sports, and of course the school sports. AND...she is a straight A student and gorgeous. I'm so proud of her...and envious :)

1
Medium avatar

on October 12, 2011
at 03:03 PM

I'm 5'2" 25 year old female on paleo. I stay right around the same body fat percentage if I stay relatively low carb paleo (like 75-100 g/day) Around 100g/day without exercising, I have some belly fat and love handles. If I want to lower my body fat, I have to stick really really hard to less than 50g/day AND I have to exercise- High Intensity Interval Training and weight lifting to see any change in my body fat percentage. I don't see any change in body fat unless I exercise.

1
66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

on October 12, 2011
at 02:37 PM

can i ask what your bf% is? my sister is 5'7 165 and isn't fat, in fact, she was a pretty high level basketball player. 5'6 150 can actually be pretty healthy depending on body composition.

0
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on October 12, 2011
at 02:28 PM

You're a (fertile, I presume) young woman, if your hormones are in good order you're not going to get cut unless you're doing extreme, unhealthy things to your body (or if you are genetically predisposed to have body fat under 20% like me - no matter what I do or eat).

Have you had your BF% measured by a reliable source (those vibrating scales DO NOT COUNT)? Do you have noticeable fat rolls, etc, or are you just softer than you'd like? 20-26% or so is pretty lean for a metabolically healthy woman; your muscles won't be defined, but this is normal.

My first thought is that you should combine calorie counting (without going too low of course) with your new whole-foods, high-nutrient diet. A lot of women here on PH must count calories to keep their weight where they want it, hopefully they'll chime in.

0
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on October 12, 2011
at 02:25 PM

download cronometer and make sure your getting adequate nutrition. On top of that consider Supplementing iodine, mag, zinc, k2, A(or eat liver) and selenium. You could be somewhat hypothyroid.

0
1fef7e7894cc07366bf31ea514d3fa2b

on October 12, 2011
at 09:58 AM

I have been doing paleo for a few weeks so I'm definitely not an expert. But maybe this could help you : http://whole9life.com/2011/06/whole-30-v4/

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