Calories in versus calories out. We are all familiar with the phrase. It means that the balance between the calories we consume (energy in) and calories we expend (energy out) dictates what happens with our body mass. A positive balance, or caloric surplus (calories in > calories out), leads to increases in body fat, muscle mass, or other energy stores. A negative balance, or caloric deficit (calories in < calories out), leads to decreases in body fat or other energy stores. Energy In: Energy In is the calories that we consume. We actually do not absorb all of the calories that we consume. With that being said, we absorb a higher percentage of calories from highly processed foods than we do whole foods such as fruits and vegetables. Highly processed foods are higher in calories and lower in fiber allowing for less digestion necessary to consu
me them. Eating more whole, minimally processed foods requires greater energy expenditure to digest them and they are not as calorically dense as processed foods. Energy Out: Energy Out is the calories we expend, known as our Total Daily Energy Expenditure, which consists of 4 major components: 1) Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) This is the amount of energy required to sustain regulatory balance and bodily functions. Accounts for 60 to 75% of our daily energy expenditure (energy out). 2) Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) This is the energy used to digest, absorb, and assimilate the nutrients of our food. Accounts for ~10% of our daily energy expenditure. 3) Physical Activity (PA)
This is the amount of energy used during purposeful exercise such as walking, running, biking, and resistance training. 4) Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) This is the rest of the energy burned during any physical activity that is not planned such as fidgeting, standing, working with your hands, going for a leisurely walk, etc. All physical activity accounts for 15 to 30% of our daily energy expenditure.
Keep this equation in mind when working to achieve your nutritional, health, and fitness goals.
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