Energy Balance

Energy balance is dynamic and will change depending on weight, age, activity levels and many other factors!

The energy balance equation states that if you are consuming more calories through food and drink than you are expending through exercise and daily activity, you will gain weight (energy surplus).

Whereas, if you are expending more calories than you are consuming, you will lose weight (energy deficit).

If, however, you are consuming and expending an equal amount of calories, you will maintain your weight, achieving energy balance.

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Managing your energy intake

One of the fundamentals of health is maintaining a healthy weight by managing your energy balance. Energy intake is made up of calories from food and drinks eg. macronutrients and micronutrients.

Protein, Carbs and Fats are the three main components of your diet and are known as your macronutrients. Each one has individual benefits and impacts on total energy consumption. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals found in lots of foods, particularly fruit and veg, and are essential for optimal health.

Protein - 4 kcals/g

✓ Essential for muscle synthesis, recovery and maintenance

✓ Promotes immune function

✓Hormone regulation

Fats - 9 kcals/g

✓Immune function

✓Vitamin absorption

✓Energy source

Carbs - 4 kcals/g

✓Primary energy source

✓Contribute to dietary fibre intake 


Managing your energy output

Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) made up of a number of different things:

  • Exercise Energy Expenditure (EEE) = energy expended during exercise.
  • Thermic Effect Of Food (TEF) = energy expended through digesting food (protein has the highest TEF of all the macronutrients).
  • Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) = energy expended for everything that is not sleeping, eating or exercise.
  • Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) = energy required to sustain vital functions in a waking but inactive state.
Built for you

Built for you

Your BMR is dependant on height, weight and age and is, therefore, difficult to manipulate. However, it is possible to increase the Total Daily Expenditure by:

✓Increasing (NEAT)

Increasing your daily activity levels can have a big impact on your total energy expenditure! Try taking the stairs, walking to work, or tracking and increasing your daily steps over time.

PSA. You don't have to hit 10,000 steps… understand your starting point and build from there!

✓Consuming Sufficient Protein (TEF)

By consuming a higher protein diet you can increase your total energy expenditure (TEF), and keep fuller for longer.

✓Exercising (EEE)

Taking part in regular exercise or a structured training programme will not only help you get fitter, stronger and healthier overall, it will also help increase your overall energy expenditure over the course of the week.

If you want to understand what your own personal calorie targets might be. Head to our Calorie Calculator and our resource Setting A Calorie Target.

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