Lesson 8: Understanding Energy Balance

Understanding Energy Balance

Topic 1: The Common Denominator

Energy status in the body is the relationship between energy intake and expenditure.

          If energy intake is greater than expenditure, weight is gained.


If energy intake is less than expenditure, weight is lost.


If energy intake is equal to expenditure, weight is maintained.

While nutrient timing and food type are also important, energy status is the most important factor when it comes to progress.

The common denominator between all successful weight loss plans, whether it’s Paleo eating or plant based, high volume cardio or high volume strength training plan, is that a negative energy balance is established.

Following any nutrition plan typically leads to calorie control.

Increasing exercise volume typically leads to calorie control.

Restricting intake of any macronutrient leads to calorie control.

Therefore you need simply understand the following:

  • If you want to lose weight you must establish a negative energy balance.
  • If you want to gain weight you must establish a positive energy balance.

Topic 2: Negative Energy Balance The Right Way

There are many ways to establish a negative energy balance:

  • Restrict a macronutrient

    • Eat smaller meals

      • Skip meals

        • Exercise more

          • Fast

            • Wire the jaw shut

              • Develop an eating disorder

                • Be born with a very fast metabolic rate

Obviously not all of these ways are desirable.

The best way to establish a negative energy balance is to increase exercise volume to five to seven hours per week.

This allows you to maintain a fairly high energy intake, full of health-promoting nutrients, while still eating fewer calories than your expending.

The strategies outlined in these lessons are designed specifically to help you master energy balance while also maximising nutrient intake, health profile and daily performance.

Topic 3: Modelling Success

Many lifestyle variables contribute to a better control of energy balance. Not only do calorie intake and purposeful exercise play into energy balance, so do:

  • Macronutrient type
  • Macronutrient timing
  • Type of purposeful physical exercise
  • Spontaneous physical activity
  • Non Exercise Activity Training (NEAT)

Those successful in transforming their body typically have established habits and therefore may be worth modelling. Not just diet and exercise but other activities too.

Instead of following the media, or unsuccessful friends/family/co-workers, ask my other successful clients what they are doing and see if you can include some of those activities in your lifestyle.