Measure Your Energy Balance

Measure Your Energy Balance
Source – Lifehack

Energy balance is important if you want to reduce weight. There is a common misconception that losing weight is a mathematical issue. Even so, it is true. Changing the numbers in your energy balance equation is the first step to losing weight. You’ll be able to lose weight more efficiently if you can get your statistics to go in the correct way.


Measure Your Energy Balance

Energy balance is important if you want to reduce weight. There is a common misconception that losing weight is a mathematical issue. Even so, it is true. Changing the numbers in your energy balance equation is the first step to losing weight. You’ll be able to lose weight more efficiently if you can get your statistics to go in the correct way.

You may think of energy balance as the ratio of your energy intake to your energy production. Here’s how the energy equation works in its entirety:

Energy Input (calories in) – Energy Output (calories out) = Energy Balance

It doesn’t look very complicated. But you may not have the numbers to do the math. 

It doesn’t seem to be a difficult task. The problem is that you may not have the numbers to perform the calculation. There are a few things you need to know before you can get a handle on your energy balance.

Source - The European Food Information Council

Analyse Your Body’s Energy Flow

Keeping track of your energy intake and outflow is the first step in learning how to maintain a healthy energy balance.

Energy Input 

When we eat, we provide our bodies with the fuel they need to function properly. Calories are a part of the food we eat. Energy or heat can be measured in calories. We get varying quantities of energy from the food we eat and the liquids we drink. Fat offers 9 calories per gramme, whereas protein and carbs each contribute 4 calories per gramme.

So, how do you figure out how much energy you’re using? You should keep track of how many calories you consume each day. You may use a calorie counter app or a simply downloaded meal journal to track your progress. Every day, a typical woman consumes between 1,600 and 2,400 calories. That covers a lot of ground. In order to achieve the most precise calorie count for you, you should keep a food diary for at least one full week.

Energy Output 

When your body expends energy, you produce energy. Calorie “burning" is a common term for this. Basic bodily activities like breathing and blood circulation need energy even while you’re asleep. Your basal metabolic rate is the rate at which your body burns calories when you are at rest (BMR). Approximately 60 to 75 percent of the calories you burn each day come from your basal metabolic rate (BMR).

Physical activity, such as cleaning the dishes or going shopping, is also a major source of energy expenditure. About 15% to 30% of your daily caloric expenditure comes from these activities. When you consume and digest meals and snacks, your body uses the remaining 5-10% of calories via the thermic effect.

The number of calories you expend each day can be calculated in a variety of ways. Using a calorie calculator is one of the simplest methods.

Achieving a Healthy Weight and Energy Balance

You need to know whether you have a positive or negative energy balance to figure out how it will affect your weight. Using the equation at the top of this page, enter your own numbers. The next step is to determine whether or not you have a positive or negative energy balance.

You will maintain your present weight if your energy intake and output are about equal. As a result, a person’s weight remains steady. In order to lose or gain weight, you must tip the scales so they are no longer balance.

Positive Energy Balance

When your energy intake exceeds your energy output, you have a positive energy balance. As a result, you consume more calories than your body needs. Fat is stored as a result of extra energy or calories. As a consequence, people tend to put on weight.

Energy Input > Energy Output = Weight Gain

Negative Energy Balance 

When you have a negative energy balance, you will lose weight. To put it another way, you use more energy than you take in. It is when this imbalance happens that you lose weight because your body uses stored energy (fat) to operate. A calorie deficit is a term used to describe a negative energy balance.

Energy Input < Energy Output = Weight Loss

It’s vital to be as exact as possible while assessing your personal energy balance. Weight gain can be caused by even the tiniest changes in the amount of energy you consume and the amount of energy you spend.

Examples of Energy Balance Equations

Ready to do your own energy balance calculation? As a starting point, below are two example equations.

Example #1: Megan 

  • Calories consumed each day: 2,000
  • Calories burned each day: 1,750
  • 2,000 (energy input) – 1,750 (energy output) = 250 calories

Megan’s positive energy balance is 250 calories per day. In a week, she might acquire approximately a pound’s worth of weight if she consumed an extra 1,750 calories.

Example #2: Cameron 

  • Calories consumed each day: 1,800
  • Calories burned each day: 2,050
  • 1,800 (energy input) – 2,050 (energy output) = -250 calories

Cameron has a deficit of 250 calories in energy. It’s possible that she may lose half a pound of fat in a week if she can get her body to burn 1,750 calories of fat stored as energy.

Assuming that losing weight is as simple and clear as solving a simple equation, then why is it so difficult to shed some pounds? Because your energy input and output are influenced by a wide range of factors. Energy balance is influenced by factors such as your health, age, and mood on a daily basis. Losing weight is as easy as plugging in the numbers, but hitting the sweet spot takes some trial and error.

Starting your weight reduction journey, or if you’re doubting your current food and activity strategy, the energy balance equation is a good place to begin. Neither pricey equipment nor a weight reduction regimen is required.

Try to make your own adjustments. Analyse how your calorie intake and output are affected by various circumstances. Some elements (such as your level of exercise) are within your power to influence, while others are out of your hands (like your age and sex). To achieve your weight reduction objectives, all you have to do is alter your energy balance equation in any way you can.

Sources

  1. https://www.verywellfit.com/calculate-your-energy-balance-equation-3495560
  2. U.S. Department of Agriculture. How many calories are in one gram of fat, carbohydrate, or protein?
  3. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Dietary Guidelines 2015–2020. Appendix 2. Estimated Calorie Needs per Day, by Age, Sex, and Physical Activity Level.
  4. Mclay-Cooke RT, Gray AR, Jones LM, Taylor RW, Skidmore PML, Brown RC. Prediction Equations Overestimate the Energy Requirements More for Obesity-Susceptible Individuals. Nutrients. 2017;9(9):1012. doi:10.3390/nu9091012
  5. Chung N, Park MY, Kim J, et al. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT): a component of total daily energy expenditure. J Exerc Nutrition Biochem. 2018;22(2):23-30. doi:10.20463/jenb.2018.0013
  6. Bytomski JR. Fueling for Performance. Sports Health. 2018;10(1):47-53. doi:10.1177/1941738117743913
  7. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Balance Food and Activity. Updated February 13, 2013.
  8. Champagne CM, Broyles ST, Moran LD, et al. Dietary Intakes Associated with Successful Weight Loss and Maintenance during the Weight Loss Maintenance Trial. J Am Diet Assoc. 2011;111(12):1826-1835. doi:10.1016/j.jada.2011.09.014
  9. World Cancer Research Fund. American Institute for Cancer Research. Diet, nutrition and physical activity: Energy balance and body fatness. 2018.

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