The 'Set-Point' Theory

What we’ll cover
  • How the human body has a ‘predetermined’ body weight that they aim to maintain
  • How this impacts our ability to lose weight and maintain it
  • Non-scale measures of success and progress

It’s well-established that our weight and body composition are determined by much more than calories in vs calories out. Within all of us, there are complicated systems at work, many of which significantly impact our body weight. How these systems work is influenced by a combination of our genetics and circumstantial factors such as our upbringing, social influences, surrounding environments, work schedules and many more,  ultimately making them unique to each and every one of us.

‘The set-point theory’ suggests that our bodies have a predetermined weight range that they naturally aim to maintain. When we start to lose weight and fall below this range, it triggers a series of responses that make it more challenging to sustain weight loss over the long term. In simple terms, it suggests that the body will put the brakes on when we lose weight beyond that range, in order to protect its fat stores which are there for emergencies!

At Roczen, we understand the importance of monitoring weight, but we also strongly encourage our members to focus on their overall health and well-being. On your journey to improved metabolic health, it's crucial to acknowledge all of the different measures that can provide a more comprehensive picture of our health and ongoing progress. These include:

Energy levels:

Pay attention to how your energy levels fluctuate throughout the day. A balanced and nutritious diet should provide a steady source of energy, preventing the highs and lows associated with sugary snacks and ultra-processed foods. Having more energy and sustaining it throughout the day is a positive indicator of the changes you’re making.

Mood and mental well-being:

Nutrient-rich foods play a vital role in supporting our mental health. By prioritising whole food ingredients and reducing our intake of processed foods, there’s every chance you’ll start to notice improvements in concentration, mood stability, and overall mental wellbeing. Reflecting on your mental well-being can really demonstrate just how far you’ve come and the impact of your hard work.

Digestive health:

The state of your digestive system and ‘gut health’ is a good indicator of your health and well-being. Look for improvements in regularity, reduced bloating, and an overall sense of digestive comfort. That said, it’s important to remember that some healthy foods can alter our bowel movements and cause bloating which is often nothing of concern. If you are ever concerned about your digestive health, then your Roczen clinician is there to support you with this.

Physical fitness:

As you make healthy food choices and continue fasting, you may notice improvements in your physical well-being such as better stamina and improved lung capacity. Physical fitness is an essential non-scale measure that reflects the positive impact of diet and lifestyle choices on your body's physical capabilities.

Sleep quality:

Research shows that sleep impacts our food choices, and vice versa. A healthy and well-balanced diet can help improve the quality of our sleep. Pay attention to changes in your sleep patterns, such as falling asleep more easily, experiencing fewer sleep disruptions, and waking up feeling more refreshed.

Skin health:

Healthier and clearer skin can be a reflection of changes to your health. Keep an eye on improvements in skin tone, reduced inflammation, and an overall healthier complexion when compared to where you were before changing your diet.


How our bodies regulate our weight is complex and in many parts out of our control. When trying to lose weight, it’s completely normal to experience plateaus and regain weight, as our body tries to maintain its ‘set point’. Whilst we’re here to support you in overcoming plateaus and preventing regain, it’s essential to focus on other areas of your health too. Diet and lifestyle changes will benefit so many different aspects of your physical and mental well-being, which is why it can be so rewarding to reflect on this progress and celebrate the success of your hard work.

Focusing on these other measures will help maintain consistency during plateaus and periods of weight maintenance. This is especially important given these periods are often when people lose motivation and fall back into old habits, as it can seem like their hard work is for nothing if they fail to look beyond the number on the scales!

August 31, 2023
Written by
Robbie Green
Reviewed by
Dr. Claudia Ashton

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