Balancing calories to manage weight
Achieving and maintaining your appropriate body weight throughout life is important for good health. Calorie balance over time is the key to weight management.
Caloric balance is the ratio of the energy expended by the body and the energy provided by your diet. The caloric expenditure of your body are of different natures: thermogenic effect of food, maintaining body temperature, physical activity…
To work, our body needs energy, this energy is provided by the food we eat. All the time our body destroys and builds tissues:
- When energy intake is less than expenditure, tissue destruction (catabolism) takes over and you lose weight.
- When intake exceeds expenditure, the creation of tissue (anabolism) takes over and you will gain weight.
- If the input is equivalent to the cost, the weight is stable, it is the “maintenance”.
This is the most important rule in nutrition.
There is little chance that you lose (or take) weight without your energy expenditure is lower (or higher) to your contribution, unless you start in bodybuilding which will make this possible in a small proportion temporarily.
The calculation of caloric intake is very simple, just add the calories from food, taking into account that all foods are not fully digested. For example: vegetable proteins are much less well digested than animal proteins, even some fibers prevent the digestion of small quantities of nutrients. However, these are minor differences in the calculation of caloric intake.
The calculation of the energy needed for its much more complex.
The overall energy expenditure is divided into four: first the basic metabolism, which is actually the calories the body needs to function without any physical activity, which corresponds to the expense of the body when it is lengthened out all day on a bed without moving. It is therefore the expense of the body to ensure the basic functions, ie the constant destruction and reconstruction of tissues in the body, the energy supply of organs, muscles, etc. adipocytes.
Contrary to popular belief, muscles do not burn a lot of calories, around 7 to 15 calories per pound per day, the same way the energy expenditure of organs is quite similar from one individual to another, such as the brain of a two meters person spends about as much energy as a five feet person.
In the end we end up with an equation of energy balance:
Energy intake = energy expenditure + change in body reserves.
For example, if the input is less than the cost, it will be equal to the expenditure to which we add the change in body reserves, by a decrease in reserves of fat and muscles.
For example, for a person with a need of 3000 calories and eating 2800
Energy (2800) = energy expenditure (3000) + change in body reserves (-200).
Here the body drew 200 calories in its reserves.