Set point weight theory has a lot of controversy to it. I have talked about it with people around me who agree and with people who do not agree. I personally think it is completely true and reliable.
I believe that it is also something that can be very helpful in recovery. Something that can change the course of your eating disorder and your recovery. But, there are so withdraws to it too. If you read articles talking about it, there are some still directed towards diet culture.
The whole point of set point theory to me is that people will realize our bodies have a “happy” place that will fight to exist at. Each body has a weight range it wants to stay in and it will fight to be there. And when other people use this theory to suggest people lose weight or exercise, it is a gross misleading. It is not only wrong, but dangerous. This is what feds into diet culture and a society focused on outward appeared defining a person.
Set point theory to me was extremely comforting in a way. I had in the back of my head, knowledge that my body would reach a place in which it was comfortable, it was happy, a place where it was made to be. God created each of our bodies differently. And each body has a set point range.
No matter what we do our bodies will want to be back at that place. Think about it like any other part of you, your height or hair color. It is set. There is nothing that can change its unless there is a man made change happening (which is usually “unhealthy”).
This explains why dieting does not work. Why many people fail to successfully keep weight off. Because if we kept weight off, we would die. There is no in-between. Our bodies are working to keep us alive and healthy, so they will do what it takes to maintain our set point weight.
When ever we begin to restrict your body starts to adjust. It starts to slow down metabolism and increase your appetite. It is trying to eat more. It lowers your body temperature to conserve energy. It is a state of fear for your life. Your body will slowly shut down unnecessary things to life (menstrual cycle).
Our bodies are created for a certain weight range. Knowing this is helpful during recovery, because as you begin to eat more and exercise less, you will realize that your body is slowly trusting you again. (You can read about trusting your body in my blog post: How to: Trust Your Body).
But please be careful if you are researching this. Obviously our culture and society will use this as a dieting message and get people to try and lose weight based off of this. I believe that set point theory should be something that helps us trust our bodies. That we get to understand our bodies better. The signals our bodies send us are for a reason. Our appetite, our cravings, our want or not wanting to work out, our hunger cues, our full cues, our emotional state, etc. Everything is for a bigger picture of physical and mental health.
There is still much more research that needs to be done on this theory to conform it is valid, but most research has directed towards it being true. This is positive, this is a good thing for you. I encourage to use this information for good, for growth. To feel like there is a reason you are hungry, like your body actually knows what it is doing:)