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Set-Point Theory and long-term effects
We will assume that a person who has a normal food intake, where he can eat as much as he wants, goes on a diet.
What will happen is that the person will lose some weight in the beginning, mostly due to loss of water with the decreasing glucose and glycogen storage, but then we will see strong forces that lead to two things: first, the metabolism will decrease and, second, the reward-system in the brain will be hyperactive which makes the person think of food constantly (the person will be “obsessed with food”).
These are pure genetic and evolutionary forces that have developed to prevent starving.
When the person goes back to eating as much as he likes (ending the diet) the body will have less need of energy (the metabolism is low from the under-eating period) and they will have huge cravings for food (physiological behaviorism).
This will result in weight gain and most often the person gains more than when he started the diet. The cycle of food craving will make the person eat even more; adding to the weight gain. If the person starts to eat normally again there will be a small weight loss but he will never go back the original weight. Now the person has a new higher set-point
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Jul 8th, 2015
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