ENERGY BALANCE: What does your scale look like?

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“Energy In” includes the sources of energy you ingest through food. “Energy Out” is the energy exerted by your body through basic functioning and exercise. Depending if they are in balance or not dictates your body weight and whether you’re losing, gaining or maintaining.

  • Positive energy balance:

    • Energy In is greater than Energy Out = WEIGHT GAIN  

  • Energy Balance:

    • Energy IN equals Energy Out = WEIGHT MAINTENANCE 

  • Negative energy balance:

    • Energy In is less than Energy Out = WEIGHT LOSS 

Total energy expenditure, the total amount of calories your body expends over a period of time, is dependent on THREE things:

  1. Resting Metabolic Rate

  2. Physical Activity

  3. Thermic Effect of Food


1) Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR):

  • Definition: The minimum amount of energy your body needs to maintain essential functions at rest (ie. breathing, circulation, etc).

  • Varies depending on:

    • Body composition (More muscle results in a higher RMR)

    • Gender (Men usually have a greater RMR compared to Women since they usually have more muscle)

    • Age (RMR decreases with age since muscle decreases with age)

    • Body Size (Bigger bodies require more energy for basic tasks)

2) Physical Activity:

  • The more movement you’re doing, more muscles will have to be activated and energy stores will have to be broken down for use.

  • The harder you work, the more energy will be expended.

3) Thermic Effect of Food:

  • The amount of energy your body uses to digest food.

  • Varies depending on type of ingested food:

    • Fat (Less difficult to process, therefore less energy to digest)

    • Carbohydrates (Moderately difficult to digest, therefore a bit more energy to process)

    • Protein (More difficult to process, therefore more energy is needed to digest)