Energy In, Energy Out: Not as Simple as it Sounds

Calories in, calories out! How many times have you heard this term when referencing weight loss? And when people use the term they make the process of weight loss sound sooo simple. In some ways, it is. There are certain simple actions that you can take day after day that do lead to weight loss but the actual process isn't as simple as it sounds. Don't worry... you will leave our website with a better understanding of the process but also a clear understanding of the simple actions to take daily that lead to weight loss.

So you probably noticed the title of this post was "Energy In, Energy Out". I decided to utilize the term energy because food is much more than calories. Food is energy... it is fuel... it is knowledge... it is a messenger. When we eat; hormones, neurotransmitters, enzymes, receptors are whirling around. Food isn't just floating from our mouths to our bottoms. A lot of different processes are occurring. Just like digestion is more complex, our body weight is influenced by much more than simple cals in/cals out. Our body weight and composition are influenced by sex hormone levels, macronutrient intake (especially protein), how often you exercise, how intense you exercise, your age, what medications you use, your genetic makeup and much more. All of the above factors affect the rate and amount we lose weight, especially compared to others. Not to mention, calories in, calories out estimates can be complex. Studies show that labels can be off by 20-25%. And we are taking that data and putting it into calorie calculators like MyFitnessPal with inaccurate measurements on our parts. And to add onto the complicated web, food must be digested and processed by our bodies and the amount of energy we actually absorb, store, an use varies.

At this point, you are probably asking yourself if I brought you here to confuse you. Yes and no! I wanted to bring the complexities to the forefront to encourage you to stop comparing your journey to your friends' journeys. To encourage you to stick to the basics and stop trying to manipulate your body. Our bodies are smart and you are now more aware of how complex.

So now for the basics...

1) Accept the Complexities and Keep it Simple! If we focus more on making better food choices daily rather than adopting restrictive practices that are difficult for you to maintain; sustainable results will come. Don't rush the process! .5-1% of your body weight per week is ideal!

2) Eat all the protein! This is no longer a mystery. We all know we need protein to maintain muscle mass but protein also keeps us feeling full. Not to mention, lean body mass doesn't just include our muscles. It also includes our bones, connective tissues, and organs. And protein keeps it all maintained.

3) Load Up on a Variety of Fruits, Veggies, and Healthy Carbs and Fats! Just like protein, veggies help us feel full, keep us healthy, and recovered. As a general rule of thumb, men should aim for 6-8 fists of veggies per day and women 4-6 fists. Carbs fuel training, maintain sex hormones, and boost leptin (a hormone that regulates metabolism). Men should aim for 6-8 handfuls of carbs and women 4-6 handfuls. Fats also maintains sex hormones, boosts our immune system, decreases inflammation... to name a few benefits. Men should aim for 6-8 thumb-sized portions and 4-6 thumb-sized portions per day.

Believe it or not, making the above nutritional adjustments alone can and will lead to sustainable weight loss. Yes, there are other factors that can serve as catalysts to your journey but these foundational nutritional basics (energy in) are a great start. To learn more about the foundational basics of exercise (energy out) - check out this great blog post touching on cardio and strength training - http://powerhealthandperformance.com/blog/90755/The-Never-ending-Debate-Cardio-v-Strength-Training-.

 

 



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