‘Energy balance’. The basis of losing weight
In short, this is the relationship between the amount of energy you take in, in the form of foods and drinks that contain calories, and the amount of energy you use. With consumption you can think of all physical processes, such as breathing, maintaining your immune system and ensuring that you stay warm enough. Basically all the things you need to survive. The amount you burn with this strongly depends on your weight and lifestyle, but genetics also influence this. Some people just burn a little more than others.
You also need energy for all the daily movement you do. You may immediately think about working out, but it also concerns all the other movements you do, such as your facial expressions or walking to the fridge. How much you burn depends a lot on the work you do. If you sit in front of the computer all day, you will burn much less than if you assemble kitchens all day. This is also one of the main reasons why some people can eat more than others without gaining much weight.
Finally, your body also needs energy to properly digest, use or store the food and drinks you consume. If you eat more protein, this can make a small positive difference, because it costs your body just a little more energy to process.
Here are the three common scenarios:
#1 Energy maintenance. You eat and drink as much as you consume.
Result: you maintain your weight.
#2 Energy surplus. You eat and drink more than you consume.
Result: you gain weight
#3 Energy shortage. You eat and drink less than you consume.
Result: you lose weight.
If you want to lose weight, the focus should be on creating a calorie deficit. You need consume fewer calories than you burn to lose fat. So it’s impossible to lose fat without a calorie deficit, no matter what someone might tell you.
There are of course an incredible number of methods to get into a calorie deficit. Of course to eat less than you burn. To do this you can think of all the different diets and eating patterns that you may know: Low Carb, Low Fat, Atkins, a vegetarian/vegan diet, Paleo, etc.
The choice is huge, one diet may not be as sustainable or easy to do as the other, but all these methods create an energy shortage. What is essential if you want to lose weight permanently is health and sustainability. This is not always an easy process. On the one hand, you often don’t know what to believe anymore. There is so much different and often conflicting information that you can no longer decide what is reliable and what’s not. On the other hand, we are often impatient. If you want to lose weight permanently, you often just have to be patient.
‘The food diary’
You don’t have to count calories to lose weight. There are several other ways to do it. However, calorie awareness is very important. We want to know approximately how much you eat. Why is that important? If you know which products you like are calorie-rich and which are low-calorie, you can make smart decisions more easily. Depending on your goal, you often or less often choose the lower-calorie products that you like.
You go out to dinner in the evening and do not want to pay too much attention during the dinner. So, you eat less during the day. Which products do you choose that you like, that make you feel full, but that don’t dig too deep into your calorie budget? You do this by knowing which foods have many calories per 3.5 oz and which products do not. This way you can choose the right products and portion size during the day and enjoy a relaxed meal in the evening.