by Ciaran Russell
How a person gains or loses weight comes down to one simple principle, Energy Balance.
Energy balance simply means the amount of Calories you expend in comparison to the Calories you consume. Calories in Calories out. In order to lose weight you need to be in a Calorie deficit, ie. you need to consume less than you expend. To gain weight you need to be in a Calorie surplus meaning you need to consume more than you burn.If your goal is weight loss, it will help to have an idea of how much Calories you are burning on a given day. This is known as your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). Although there are general guidelines about how many Calories you burn daily, everyone’s TDEE will be specific to them. This is impacted by a number of factors including; age, gender, height, weight and level of physical activity.Once you have an idea of how much energy you use in a day, you can then reduce your Calories in order to put yourself in a small Calorie deficit so that you can lose weight.Your TDEE is made up of 4 components; Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT), Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) and Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (EAT).In short, your BMR is the amount of energy you use at rest; NEAT is unplanned exercise such as walking to the shop or taking the stairs instead of the lift; TEF is the energy that is needed for digestion, transport, storage and absorption of food; and EAT is your planned exercise such as sports training, gym sessions or running.Put simply if you want to lose weight you must be in a Calorie deficit but for some it can be very difficult due to various complex reasons and essentially it’s more of a discussion around behaviour and habit changes. If you would like to drop a few pounds, find out your TDEE, work on creating a Calorie deficit, increase your level of activity and maybe find a coach to help you if needed. The overall aim is to create a healthier more active lifestyle so you can enjoy doing the things you love to do.