no. 93 – The Set Point Theory Episode

podcast cover art on set point theory

If you’ve ever tried to lose weight only to find yourself gaining right back to where you were before, “set point theory” may explain why. Set point theory suggests that there is an internal control in the human body that actively regulates weight (primarily fat mass) to a certain weight for each individual. It’s a fascinating concept and is what I’m discussing in today’s episode with  Dr. Gabriel Smolarz*. In the show, we discuss:

  • What is Set Point Theory?
  • What determines your set point?
  • How medical interventions like metabolic surgery and pharmaceuticals may help some individuals achieve successful weight loss based on a change in hunger hormones
  • Can a person know their set point?
  • Can your set point change? 
  • How does “yo yo” dieting affect your set point?
  • Why set point theory doesn’t necessarily influence attempts to “gain weight”

Dr. Smolarz ends our discussion with an important clarification about how/why healthcare practitioners and people in general should begin discussing obesity using language that reflects the disease that it is, rather than using “obesity” as a personal characteristic.

Closing out the show, I recommend to listeners the podcast “Your Own Backyard“– a true-crime podcast that details the 1996 disappearance of Kristen Smart.


*About today’s guest: Dr. Smolarz is the medical director of obesity in US Medical Affairs at Novo Nordisk, Inc. in Plainsboro NJ. He is also Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and a practicing endocrinologist in NJ. He is board-certified in Endocrinology as well as Obesity Medicine. He previously appeared on the podcast in The Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and Obesity Episode.


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