What is Setpoint Weight Loss And Why It Matters WAY More Than Calories

An image of before and after weight loss pictures of a young woman.

If you’ve been asking, “What is setpoint weight loss?” and not getting a good answer from the weight-loss community, there’s a reason for that. Most traditional weight-loss programs and dieting gurus don’t know anything about setpoint weight loss. Consequently, most of these diets focus on the wrong thing.

You see, there is a huge myth out there about what it takes to really lose weight long term. This myth is the #1 reason 93.5% of all diets fail. This myth is so widespread — and so destructive — that it prompted Jonathan Bailor to write the New York Time bestseller, The Calorie Myth. In this book, Jonathan exposes this myth about how to lose pounds and sheds light on the truth he uncovered in the latest research from places like the Harvard Medical School and The Cleveland Clinic.

Setpoint weight loss explained, and the calorie myth exposed

What is this myth, the lie that has sabotaged millions of people’s attempts to lose weight?

The myth is that counting calories — intentionally cutting calories — is the way to lose weight. You need only glance at any main street in America — or in the world, for that matter — to see that counting calories is not the way to lose pounds.

Sobering dieting statistics:

After all, research shows approximately 45 million Americans go on a diet each year and that the average American makes 4-5 weight loss attempts per year. Yet, more than two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese. If diets worked — if counting calories and points really worked — there wouldn’t be an obesity problem in America. People would lose weight with ease.  Everybody would be slim because most people know how to diet. They’re good at dieting, aka cutting calories, to lose pounds. They’ve done it many times!

And many people are not dieting just to look better. Rather, they are painfully aware of the many health risks of obesity. Type 2 diabetes. Heart disease. Stroke. High blood pressure. Sleep apnea. They are dieting to avoid these diseases, to be healthy, and to prolong their lives. They are motivated dieters, and if they can’t make calorie counting work, nobody can!

What is setpoint weight loss, and how is It different?

Many clinical research studies have proven that counting calories is the wrong thing to focus on. Though slashing calories will lead to weight loss, the results won’t be permanent, as you’ve probably discovered from your own dieting experience. Your setpoint weight is the most important factor that will determine how much you weigh over the long term. Setpoint weight loss is not just one way to lose pounds. It is the only way to lose weight and keep it off!

So what is setpoint weight, and why is it the missing key to losing weight?

Your setpoint weight is the number on the scale that your weight tends to hover around. Your biological feedback system fights to keep your weight within 10-15 pounds of this number. Setpoint weight really refers to the level of stored fat the body works to maintain by regulating your appetite and metabolism through your hormones, genes, and brain — regardless of the number of calories you take in or exercise off.

You see, your brain, digestive system, and hormones talk to each other through a continuous feedback loop to synchronize the activities that automatically maintain a specified level of body fat. This is your setpoint weight, and the biological feedback system that establishes your setpoint weight is similar to the thermostat in your home.

The thermostat “tells” your heating or air conditioning system (HVAC) what temperature it “thinks” your home should be at, and the HVAC system responds by coming on or shutting off at appropriate times to maintain your home’s temperature. In the same way, your setpoint stimulates or suppresses your appetite and raises or lowers your metabolism based on how much fat it “thinks” you should store.

Why counting calories does not work

Your body is such an amazing biological machine that it knows immediately when you cut calories. You need a certain amount of calories and nutrition to keep your body operating at an optimum level, and when you try to lose pounds by cutting calories, your body sees this as starvation. It can’t let this happen, so it takes immediate action.

Leptin signals the hypothalamus in the brain that your fat stores are low. The hypothalamus orders an increase in the hunger hormone ghrelin to get you to start eating more food. It triggers other hormones that make you feel tired, so you’ll conserve energy. They also make you cold and irritable. The metabolism also slows, and most of the calories you consume go to your fat stores. And what about the pounds you lose? Most of that weight loss comes from water and muscle. So, while you’re delighted at losing 10 pounds fairly quickly, it’s not a “good” weight loss.

As your diet continues, the weight loss not only slows way down, but you also become even hungrier the longer the diet continues. It’s no wonder traditional dieting is so hard to continue long-term. What is actually happening is that your body is fighting you every step of the way. If you go on a starvation diet, you’re playing tug-of-war — calories versus setpoint weight –, and setpoint weight always wins.

What is setpoint weight loss?

Setpoint weight loss is totally different from counting calories. If you lose weight by slashing calories, you’re actually hurting your chances of losing weight long-term. That’s because crash dieting elevates setpoint weight. The only way to maintain this weight loss is to continue eating a low amount of calories for the rest of your life, and even then, you’ll have to eat fewer and fewer calories each subsequent year to maintain your weight loss.

If you focus on setpoint weight loss, however, your body will finally work with you to lose weight. You’ll no longer feel like it is fighting you every single day. Your body will automatically balance you at a lower setpoint weight. When you eat more, you’ll burn more, and when you eat less, you’ll burn less.

Think of it like a clogged sink. When a sink is clogged, no matter how much or how little water you put down the sink, it will still get backed up. However, when you unclog the sink, you can have a steady stream of water draining, and the sink will never overflow. Our bodies and how we burn fat are very similar.

It’s like a clogged sink.

So you can think of your metabolism like a sink. If you lower your setpoint weight, it will help to fix your metabolism and unclog your sink. That means you can eat as much SANE food as possible, and you will never gain weight. That’s right, we said NEVER. If you really get this and commit to making a transformation, not just small changes, we promise that you will be able to eat and eat, and you will never feel hungry again. It’s a big promise, but that is our goal here as we help you learn about setpoint weight loss and how it can help you lose weight and keep it off.

Lowering your setpoint weight is the real secret that so many diets get “kinda, sorta, almost”… but not quite. We are the first to put it all together, and we want to help you create your own SANE breakthrough. So let’s get started.

Learn the exact foods you must eat if you want to finally lose weight permanently. Click here to download your FREE Weight Loss Recipes, the “Eat More, Lose More” Weight Loss Recipes, the “Slim in 6” Cheat Sheet…CLICK HERE TO GET FREE WEIGHT LOSS RECIPES & GUIDES

Factors that raise setpoint weight

Before discussing setpoint weight loss strategies, let’s discuss reasons your setpoint weight may have become elevated in the first place. The three main causes of an elevated setpoint weight are poor-quality diet, stress, and sleep deprivation.

Poor-quality diet

Research shows overconsumption of starchy carbs, sugar, and heavily processed foods dysregulated hormones and cause brain inflammation and gut dysbiosis, which leads to an elevated setpoint weight.


The majority of people today suffer from chronic stress overload. But stress isn’t just limited to the mind. Plenty of studies show stress negatively impacts health — and weight. Chronic stress leads to chronically high cortisol levels. This leads to chronically high insulin levels (because cortisol triggers a release of insulin), which elevates setpoint weight.

Sleep deprivation

Studies show few people get more than 5 hours of sleep per night, which is bad for your health and bad for your waistline. Research shows sleep deprivation increases levels of cortisol, leading to cravings for starchy carbs and an accumulation of dangerous belly fat. It also dysregulates hormones that regulate appetite and metabolism.

Tips for setpoint weight loss

One of the most common questions we hear every single day, before people have really “gotten” what SANE is all about, is:  “What is my setpoint weight?” That’s a great question, and while there is no specific lab test we can do to get a specific answer, the results will show in your life. You will have more energy. Your friends and family may comment on how you look younger. You will look thinner and feel a lightness that you have not enjoyed in years.

So, now that you know about setpoint weight loss and why lowering setpoint weight is the single most important missing key to permanent and lasting weight loss, how do you lower it? Glad you asked! Here are 5 easy tips to get you started.

1. Eat MORE of these foods:

Fill your plate with lean protein and whole food fats, and be sure to fill up on non-starchy vegetables. These foods have no effect on blood sugar levels. They fill you up fast, keep you full longer, and provide plenty of nutrition for your cells. These foods have been proven to heal your hormones and lower your setpoint weight. When you eat more of these foods, you will automatically eat fewer setpoint-elevating ones.

Eating more non-starchy vegetables is especially important for lowering your setpoint weight. Find as many fun and creative ways to get more veggies as you can. One of the easiest ways to get more non-starchy veggies is to make green smoothies. Here’s a basic recipe for a green smoothie.

Basic green smoothie recipe

  1. Place 2 handfuls of leafy greens, such as kale or spinach, into a high-powered blender.
  2. Add 2-3 other servings of (preferably green) non-starchy vegetables. Great green smoothie choices include cucumber and celery.
  3. Add a serving of low-fructose fruit. Some great choices for a green smoothie include oranges, strawberries, and blueberries.
  4. Add water and blend until smooth.
  5. Enjoy!

This is a 100% non-starchy vegetable smoothie that, when combined with a meal of nutrient-dense protein and whole-food fats, makes a complete SANE meal. Or, you can drink it as a between-meal snack.

You can also make your green smoothie a complete meal by adding protein. Simply follow the recipe above and add organic, clean, whey protein powder or plain nonfat Greek yogurt.

2. Eat LESS of these foods:

Cut out sugar, wheat, starchy vegetables, and artificial sweeteners. All of these foods play havoc with your blood glucose levels and elevate your setpoint weight. Although it may sound impossible right now to cut out all these foods that you’ve been routinely eating, it is easier than you think. Once you learn the simple secrets of cooking SANE, cutting out inSANE foods is so much easier and more delicious than you can even imagine.

That’s because there is a SANE substitution for every inSANE food (except for the highly processed “food-like” products.) You can SANEtize all your favorite foods and never feel deprived while experiencing setpoint weight loss. How amazing is that?!!!

Here are some examples of easy SANE substitutions.

Easy SANE Substitutions

inSANE  foods                                                                  SANE Substitutions

  • Pasta & Rice                                                          Zucchini Noodles (zoodles), Cauliflower Rice
  • Potatoes                                                                 Zucchini, Mashed Cauliflower, Turnips
  • Bread & Tortillas                                                 Flax, Coconut, and Almond Flour
  • Sugar                                                                     Erythritol, Xylitol, Monk Fruit
  • Pretzels & Chips                                                  Raw Nuts, Seeds, Baked Kale Chips


3. Practice eccentric exercise

An image of 2 blue dumbbells, a weight scale, and a balance ball.Just like eating to lower setpoint weight is vastly different from cutting calories to lower weight, eccentric exercise is vastly different from a traditional exercise designed to burn calories and/or build muscle.

There are two types of resistance exercises: concentric and eccentric. Concentric exercise is performed when you lift the resistance. (For instance, if you’re performing a dumbbell curl with your arms, the concentric movement is when you curl the weight to your chest.) Concentric exercise is probably the type you’re most familiar with, and it definitely gets more attention from bodybuilders. However, studies show eccentric exercise brings more weight loss and muscle-building benefits.

Eccentric exercise is performed when you lower the weight. (For instance, if you’re performing a dumbbell curl with your arms, the eccentric movement is when you lower the weight away from your chest.) Your muscles are stronger eccentrically, which is why it is easier for you to walk down a flight of steps than it is to walk up them. Studies show you can exert up to 40% more resistance eccentrically than concentrically, which has a hugely positive hormonal effect.

This is particularly true if you perform eccentric exercises slowly. This activates all your muscle fibers in a short period of time. When all your muscle fibers are activated, it triggers a huge amount of clog-clearing hormones that lower setpoint weight. It also significantly increases fat burning. And because eccentric exercise activates all your muscle fibers, you cannot perform them for a long time or for very often.

So, instead of exercising 30-45 minutes at a time, 3-4 days per week, you’ll do eccentric training for only 10-20 minutes once per week. (It takes 4-5 days for your muscles to heal between sessions.)

How to perform eccentric exercises

To perform an eccentric exercise, simply concentrate on the lowering portion of the movement. Lower the resistance slowly to a count of 10; repeat 6 times. For instance, if you’re performing a squat, slowly squat to a count of 10, stand up normally, and then repeat 6 times.

4. Get enough quality sleep

Strive to get at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. If you have trouble falling asleep at night — or getting enough sleep — try going to bed at the same time every night. Having a bedtime routine is so very important, as it primes your mind and body to get tired at that time of night. Also, make sure to avoid looking at your the screens of your devices — smartphones, computers, iPads, etc. — at least one hour before bedtime. The blue light from these screens interferes with your brain’s production of the sleep hormone melatonin.

5. Drink plenty of water

Drinking plenty of water really does increase fat burning, and it helps lower setpoint weight.

Now that you know all about setpoint weight loss, it’s time to completely change your relationship with food and create your own personal food transformation. To do that, we have created a short assessment that will give you your Set Point Risk Score. This will also give you the exact steps you can take to lower your risk score and thereby lower your setpoint weight. It’s free, so what do you have to lose? Click here to learn more.

Next step: Learn more about setpoint weight loss with the SANE Plan

Ready to finally break free from the yo-yo dieting rollercoaster by balancing your hormones and lowering your body’s setpoint weight?

Want to know the exact foods and serving sizes that are scientifically proven by over 1,300 peer-reviewed research studies to boost metabolism, burn fat, and enjoy virtually effortless weight loss like a naturally thin person?

Download the free SANE metabolism boosting food list, cheat sheet, and “Eat More, Burn More” weight loss program by .