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What Is The Energy Balance Equation?

Energy balance equation

​The Energy Balance Equation In brief Is :
Energy balance = energy input – energy output

There are a lot of diets out there that can seem pretty crazy. Low carb, no carb, low fat, no sugar.

And how much time should you spend running or at the gym to get to your ideal weight?

All of these wild diets and exercise calendars are the result of spending too much time worrying about something that in nutrition is called “The Energy Balance Equation”.

energy balance equation 1

The Energy Balance Equation And Exercise

​The Energy Balance equation states that you will neither gain nor lose weight if the energy that you take in from food equals the energy that your body burns for fuel.

  • If you take in more energy than your body burns you will gain weight as your body stores the excess energy as fat.
  • If you use more energy than you take in you will lose weight as your body burns previously stored energy.

This means that, theoretically, you could lose weight without dieting by working out a lot more.

You could lose weight without exercising by drastically cutting back on the energy that you take in through your diet.

​The fastest and safest way

The fastest and safest way to lose weight, however, is through a healthy diet and exercise at the same time.

We know a great deal about how much energy different activities burn.

  • If you have a fitness tracker, you might regularly be tracking how many calories you are burning at any given time, whether exercising or just living your life.
  • If you’re keeping track of the calories that you take in, you can even fill out the energy balance equation to see where you land, though you don’t have to. 

There’s nothing wrong with this, and if that’s your thing then go for it. It can be a great way to stay on track of things and stay motivated, though it can also be a lot of work.

​The Energy Balance Equation and Diet

​The energy that we take in through our diets comes from three main sources: fats, carbohydrates, and protein.

Of these three sources, fats yield the greatest volume of energy but carbs and have the smallest amount of vitamins and minerals to offer.

That is, the smallest amount of vitamins and minerals that can’t be found somewhere else in the diet.

Carbohydrates are essentially energy, and while they can carry things like vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber with them. All of these nutrients are also in other food sources.

Many vegetables, for example, are high in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber but do not contain nearly so much energy as carbohydrates like grains.

Fats and protein, on the other hand, offer fewer carbohydrates and are vital to bodily functions.

Protein is required for our bodies to build and repair muscle and fat is found in every cell of the body, especially in the nervous system.

Try to cut back on carbohydrates

While there are diets that try to restrict fat, most diets try to restrict carbohydrates.

No-carb or low-carb diets like The Atkin’s Diet and The Paleo Diet can be very effective at causing weight loss by cutting out the body’s main source of energy and leading it to rely on burning stored energy instead.

The lack of fiber and energy that is associated with carbohydrates can cause some problems on these diets if you are not careful, though this is truer of the Atkin’s Diet.

While the structure of these diets can help you to stick to them, especially if you aren’t used to dieting. You probably don’t need a formal diet with a fancy website in order to lose weight.

Try to cut back on carbohydrates, especially from sources like soda and processed foods, and get a wide variety of vegetables.

Hopefully, this article has shown you that you don’t need a strict diet and exercise plan and a pen and paper to lose weight.

You can fill out the energy balance equation if you want to, but the important thing is to be mindful of it while you eat your meals and life your life.

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