How many calories should I eat and what is energy balance?

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Today’s article is to help you understand how and why different nutrition plans can all produce positive results.  This means that ALL plans can work, as long as they follow one KEY concept.

My goal is to show you the concept of energy balance, or as I refer to it in the article, energy status.

Energy status (whether it’s a surplus, deficit, or equal) is the common denominator between all meal plans.

Let’s dive in…

One of the most important factors in weight management is energy status.  Energy balance is the relationship between energy intake (how much food you eat) and energy expenditure (how much energy you burn doing your daily life things: I.e exercise, walking, breathing, etc).

  • If the energy intake is greater than the energy expenditure, you gain weight. 
  • When energy intake is less than the expenditure, you lose weight. 
  • If the energy is equal to expenditure, weight is maintained. 

This is as simple as nutrition gets.  You may see other articles, ads, etc out there promoting how timing of food matters, or how the type of food effects your weight loss/gain.  While that may play a role in the overall outcome, the common denominator between ALL meal styles/plans/etc is energy status.

Energy status can be manipulated in two ways.

You can follow a nutrition plan to dial in your intake. This includes:

  • Restricting or increasing macronutrients
  • Eating smaller or bigger meals
  • Fasting or eating more meals

Or…

You can manipulate how much physical activity you do.  This includes:

  • Increasing the volume of your training exercise to create a bigger expenditure.
  • Decreasing the volume of your training/exercise to create a lesser expenditure.

The bottom line is this:

If you want to lose weight, then you need to achieve a negative energy balance.

If you want to gain weight, then you need to achieve a positive energy balance.

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