The Bariatric Patient And Set Point

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New Bariatric patients often ask this basic question: “How do I determine my goal weight?”


Each person has his/her own “set point” that the body has programmed deep inside which lets the body know the amount of weight it wants to maintain. Basically, this “set point” was established near puberty; so based on if you were a slim or chubby child approaching puberty, this will determine what your set point” is.

Think back to when you were in your pre-teen years and then what type of body (slim or overweight) you had as you entered puberty. This will give you an idea of what your body would be comfortable at weighing again…. Of course, you should add a few pounds because the matured adult body is different from the body at puberty. Take in consideration your level of activity as a child, your eating habits, etc. These are factors for why the matured adult body will not appear exactly as your body at puberty. For instance, at puberty, if you weighed 120 pounds, your matured adult body after weight loss may not return to 120 pounds, but rather may return to an adult body of 135 or 140 pounds. This is reasonable since you are not eating these days as you did as a child and you may not be as active as you were as a child… like playing on the playground everyday, walking or riding your bike everywhere, etc.

Some patients are actually able to go past their set point because as a matured adult, they are more active and eat healthier than they did as a child. The task of truly evaluating your young life’s habits and routines will be the first step in understanding the number you want to expect on the scale once you are done losing your weight. Be realistic in this evaluation. There’s no sense or happiness is setting a goal weight that your body just refuses to accept.

Take upon a personal assignment this week to fully consider what your goal weight “should” be, then add a few pounds to that number for reality-check.

Go through this list below and write down your answers. This will help you in your evaluation. All of these questions refer to YOU as a pre-teen near puberty:

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