BALANCING ENERGY AND WEIGHT MANAGEMENT IS NOT SIMPLY A MATTER OF 'EAT LESS, EXERCISE MORE'.
If that was the case, a bit of willpower is all it would take to remain lean and energised throughout our lives. This simplification does not honour the complexity of the remarkable human body. Metabolism is a highly complex system, and varies according to the genetic lottery, the ageing process, gender, mitochondrial efficiency, gut health, life stress, hormones, exercise patterns and eating patterns, to name just a few.
HUMAN ENERGY BALANCED IS SKEWED IN FAVOUR OF MORE EASILY GAINING WEIGHT DUE TO ANCIENT MECHANISMS OF SURVIVAL.
Decreasing food intake will certainly result in initial weight loss, but the clever brain and body will find a way to manipulate metabolism, and that weight loss either plateaus or rebounds back to where you began and sometimes at a slightly higher weight.
Our RESTING METABOLIC RATE (RMR) or BASAL METABOLIC RATE (BMR)is our starting point. This is the amount of energy or calories required to keep our vital organs functioning and the amount of calories used while lying down, or resting.
* The heart and kidneys need about 400 calories /kg/day
* The brain needs about 240 calories/kg/day
* The liver needs 200calories/kg/day
* Muscle requires about 13 calories/kg/day
Our BMR accounts for 60-70% of our daily energy expenditure.
Non-Exercise Thermogenesis (NEAT) accounts for 15-30% of our energy expenditure, and people who fidget or move more during the day will have a higher NEAT.
EXERCISE has a similar rate of thermogenesis as NEAT at 15-30% depending on the intensity and duration of the exercise on a given day.
FOOD or the THERMIC EFFECT OF FOOD (TEF) accounts for 8-15% of our daily energy expenditure.
THE THERMIC EFFECT OF FOOD (TEF)
There are some interesting ways to use food as a metabolic stimulator rather than as a means of depriving ourselves of nutrients in the hopes of losing weight.
Some of the calories in the food we eat are digested, absorbed, metabolised, and stored, but the remaining fuel, can be burned off as heat. (thermogenesis)
Exercise and healthy food choices are the the way to go.
The TEF of PROTEIN has the highest score -20-30% with whey protein producing great results.
CARBOHYDRATES are next with a TEF of 5-10%. The fibre content is of carbohydrates is important and complex carbohydrates in fruit, vegetables and wholegrains will have a higher TEF than processed and refined carbohydrates.
FAT has a lower TEF of 0-3%
The timing of your meal is also important as the TEF is higher earlier in the day than later in the evening. So perhaps if you're going to have a croissant, the morning would be a wiser choice than waiting until the evening to finally give in to the craving?
Unfortunately, the TEF seems to be blunted in obese or insulin resistant individuals, so this system would have to be implemented way before those issues arise. Physical exercise and NEAT can be used to increase RMR while also increasing TEF especially in overweight, healthy individuals.
So get moving and eating a healthy balance of macronutrients at the right time.