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How Athletes Refuel and Understanding Set Points to Reach Weight Goals

Published: 2023-05-17
How Athletes Refuel and Understanding Set Points to Reach Weight Goals
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Many people engage in healthy dieting and regular exercise for weight loss and in the case of athletes recovery nutrition after workouts is essential to their health and performance.

Refueling after physical activities helps reduce body fat and maintain lean mass, benefiting weight loss and boosting your recovery.

Despite being consistent in doing these practices, you may encounter a few problems that will keep you from achieving and maintaining your weight loss. One issue is understanding your physiology. Everyone has a different body type, so a practice that works for one person may not work for you. For example, a friend may still lose weight despite sleep deprivation, but you may not.

In relation to this, you may have a different set point weight than others, making it even harder to reach your weight loss goals. If you’re interested in finding out more about a set point weight and how to overcome it, keep reading below.


What is a Set Point Weight?

Many people have a “standard weight” for most of their lives. No matter what they do or experience, they remain at that weight. This is called a set point weight and is the body’s predisposition for a certain weight. Endocrinology and medical education professor Robert F. Kushner, MD, states that everybody has a set point—or a specific amount of fat—that the body perceives as normal. The body then defends itself from anything that tries to change this, such as dieting. This can make weight loss hard for some.

Several factors, such as genetics and medication, affect the set point. For one, genes regulate half a person’s weight. If your family and relatives have a higher set point weight, like 200 lbs, you’ll most likely have a similar one. Meanwhile, certain medications can result in weight gain as a side effect, altering your set point weight.

Despite this set point, here’s how to overcome it to reach your weight loss goals:


How to Overcome Your Set Point Weight

Create a food log

Although you aim to eat healthily for weight loss, there may be times when you turn to emotional eating or have improper nutrient intake, especially when feeling strong emotions—like stress.

Such dietary coping mechanisms during these events make weight loss even more difficult, so creating a food log to meet health goals is necessary. Listing your food intake and the reasons behind it makes you more aware of your eating habits. Thus, when you notice that you’re eating to cope with stress and similar emotions, you can refrain from doing so and change your eating habits. To do this, use a simple notebook or a food-tracking app.

Avoid excess sugar

You may be a fan of drinks like coffee and energy beverages to keep you awake and boost your energy throughout the day. Unfortunately, most of these drinks contain lots of sugar. Consuming too much leads to weight gain, so avoiding energy drinks and other sugar-filled snacks is better.

Instead, make proper hydration a healthy habit. Water is a better and healthier alternative to energy drinks and won't cause weight gain. Always bring a water bottle and keep it in plain sight, such as on your desk. This eliminates the need to purchase energy drinks and promotes proper hydration without excess sugar intake.



Refuel after Workouts

Athletes can properly eat for recovery by focusing on consuming protein and carbohydrates for post-workout snacks. A 2:1 ratio of these promotes efficient muscle-building and recovery. Ideal foods for recovery are oats, vegetables, eggs, and chicken.

You can overcome your set point weight with the proper practices. Create a food log, refrain from excess sugar, and refuel after workouts to reach your weight loss goals.



NIAMH LOWE writes for the fitness industry. With her pieces, she aims to cover rarely-explored topics in fitness, wellness, and sports—with the ultimate goal of improving public awareness and knowledge in the categories.