Q: Thanks for the new blog on Fat Loss! I’ve been reading lately about something known as “Setpoint Theory” which says your body will always try to maintain its equilibrium (weight or body fat) by increasing or decreasing your metabolism based on environmental factors such as stress. Can activity level such as TT lower your setpoint more than diet alone or are both necessary to achieve fat loss?
Thanks for the question.
I was talking to my friend Brad Pilon about this, and here’s what he said about the set point theory and fat loss…
“Here’s a quick a dirty breakdown of the truth about Set Point Theory.
For the most part it is true that we all have a ‘lean mass set-point’ – without drugs it is VERY difficult for a fully grown adult to change their lean mass by a large degree.
The biggest factor determining your individual lean mass set-point is your height… And since you really can’t change how tall you are, you can blame your parents for that one.
Even with a great workout program, it is very hard for a 5’10” adult person to increase their lean body mass by more that 25 pounds. AND it would also be very difficult for that same person to decrease their lean body mass by 25 pounds.
Unfortunately while your lean body mass is controlled somewhat by a genetic limit, your body fat has no such limits.
With the right amount of overeating and under-exercising, a 5’10” person can easily carry 100 extra pounds of body fat!
And, as we’ve seen with competing bodybuilders, fitness models and people with eating disorders that exact same person can have levels of body fat so low that it is actually dangerous for their health!
(A great example of this is when body builders are ‘off season’ and ‘contest ready’ the difference can be more than 100 pounds of body fat!)
So the good news is that you CAN partly blame your parents for your weight, the bad news is that the amount of fat you have on your body probably has less to do with the genes you inherited and more to do with the eating habits they instilled in you when you were a child.”
Can Turbulence Training change your lean mass setpoint. Nope. Unfortunately it can’t. But it can help you burn fat and build muscle.
I wouldn’t spend too much time thinking about “set point theory” and whether or not you can change that or even alter your metabolism.
The bottom line is that you control what you eat and what you do during your free time. If you eat less and exercise consistently, you’ll burn fat and get the body you want.
For health and fat loss, diet is more important than any type of exercise.
What everyone needs to do is…
a) find the right diet for their personality
b) find an exercise program they will stick to
That’s the key to losing weight and keeping it off.
So set yourself free from scientific theories and focus on creating a lifestyle you enjoy and stick to,
Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
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