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It's a New Phil, Week 53

The Set Point

Holding steady at 230 pounds again this week for a total weight loss of 67 pounds!!!

I'm beginning to suspect that 230 is my current set point, seeing as that all upward or downward movement seems to tend in that direction. Per Wikipedia:

Setpoint is the target value that an automatic control system, for example PID controller, will aim to reach. For example a temperature setpoint in a boiler control system.

The term setpoint is used similarly in physiology and psychology. Examples are body weight and happiness, both believed to have setpoints that are difficult to change.

If my set point is 230, my body is going to tend to "want" to weigh 230 pounds no matter what I do. So if I weigh too much, I try to eat less and exercise more, but if my set point is too high, what then?

A while back there was some interest around the Web and elsewhere around the Shangri-La Diet, which is based on adjusting weight down by lowering the dieter's set point. I haven't read the book, but I did hear the author, Seth Roberts, get a pretty rough treatment on the Laura Ingram radio show. (Glenn and Helen were a lot nicer to him.)

Laura didn't buy into all this talk about adjusting one's metabolism and, from what I heard of her listeners, neither did they. One of them complained that "set point" is just another way of saying "weight." The consensus seemed to be that Roberts was just making up a lot of jargon in order to sell a diet book.

But whether the Shangri-la approach of adjusting set point through consuming regular doses of sugar water and extra light olive oil works, there's no doubt in my mind that there really is such a thing a s a set point. My weight is like the temperature of the room; my set point is like the temperature that the thermostat is set to. There ought be some correspondence between the two, but they aren't the same thing.

Anyhow, getting back to the question of how I can adjust my set point...that's a hard one. I can say that over the past year, I have lowered my set point by around 70 pounds, along with my weight, and that has been primarily through the tried and true methods of diet and exercise. I think that those will continue to work, although I'm interested to see what change, if any, my new emphasis on exercise will have.

I'm currently doing one of five different sledgehammer routines just about every day. Sometimes I do two different routines in a day. To date this year, I have worked out 19 times for a total of 11.9 hours of exercise. My current goal is to do 300 workouts for the year. If I meet that goal, I'm on track to get in 187 hours of exercise in 2007. Next time, I'll look at what that might mean in terms of weight loss.

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Comments

Grats Phil.

The ELOO set point stuff worked fairly well for my wife and I - I need to restart that again.

The one thing that you need to remember is that muscle weighs a lot, and if you are doing hard strength building exercise, you might find that your weight increases as you get skinnier. You may need to find a different way of measuring progress...

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