1. Health
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Set Point Theory


Updated March 26, 2010

Definition: The set point theory suggests that each person has an established, normal body weight, a metabolic thermostat that regulates our body fat and weight. Some people have a high setting some people have a low setting, with the body pulling you back to your set point weight, which might explain why some people gain weight back after losing it.

However, whether this theory is true or not is in question. One study found no evidence that set point weight is the reason some people gain weight after losing it.


Weinsier, R; Nagy, T; Hunter, G; et al. Do adaptive changes in metabolic rate favor weight regain in weight-reduced individuals? An examination of the set-point theory. Am J Clin Nutr, 2000 Nov;72(5):1088-1094.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.