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Stress Mastery: The Art of Coping Gracefully by Ph.D. LAUREL BRUCATO, Ph.D. DOMINIC BRUCATO, Ph.D. JUAN R. ABASCAL

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Weight Control and Your Setpoint

The first thing you need to understand is that your body has a weight control system controlled by your hypothalamus. Your body weight is determined by a regulating mechanism known as a setpoint (Leveille, 1985). Your setpoint is analogous to the thermostat in your home. After setting the house thermostat at a certain temperature, say 72°, your furnace then shuts off when the house is warm and turns on when the house cools off. The whole system is geared toward maintaining 72°. Your body works the same way in terms of body weight and metabolic rate. Each of us has our own biologically determined setpoint for weight and our body works to keep us at our particular setpoint, a process known as homeostasis. When you ...

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