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“Energy Balance” for Weight loss -Understanding your body metabolism

Think of your body as a set of balance scales. On one side is the food you eat (energy in). On the other side fuel you burn (energy out). If you eat more food than your body burns, you will gain weight. This is what`s called the principle of energy balance. So to lose weight all you need to do is eat less or burn up more. Well, not quite. If it were this easy there would be a lot fewer overweight people.

The belief that we have conscious control over our appetite and our energy expenditure. Is just not true. While we might seriously desire to be skinny, trim, tender our body has other ideas. Our body is designed for survival, so it has a host built-in strategy just waiting to undo all of our efforts at weight loss.

Most of the energy your body burns is used up for the following three key processes:

  • Your basal metabolism (energy needed just to keep you alive)

  • The digestion and metabolism of the meals you eat

  • Any spontaneous (involuntary) physical activity – what you do without thinking

On the top of this add your voluntary energy usage for physical activity and exercise. Now in theory you could reduce your energy intake (how much food you eat) by a significant amount, say around a thousand calories a day and lose about 2 pounds/1kg a week without doing any extra exercise. But your body will strongly oppose this. In fact, it is simply responds to your eating less by reducing its energy spending in each of three key process.

  • It reduces its basal metabolic rate, first in response to lower energy intake and then as a consequence of your smaller body size.

  • It reduces the energy you use for spontaneous physical activity

  • It reduces the energy you use for digesting food. (by 10%)

So how do you get around the defenses your body puts up against your effort to eat less and lose weight? You need to increase the energy expenditure.

How much exercise do you need to do to get weight off and keep it off? The best evidence comes from the United States National Weight Control Registry. This includes the data of approximately five thousand people who lost an average of 65 pounds and maintained their weight loss for at least 1 year. These people report doing the equivalent of approximately 7 hours per week of moderate and intensity exercise. This means something close to brisk walking for at least on hour, every day.

If you suffer in diabetes or coeliac disease or just simply want to lose weight in a healthiest way and need a meal plan from a nutrition expert who specialised on gluten and sugar free, high fiber and protein diets please do not hesitate to contact us at or call +353873434918.

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