Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Best Diet Plan Is No Diet Plan: Understand How Your Body Balances Energy!

Everyone wants to have a diet plan put together telling them in details what, when, and how much to eat.  People say if they had a plan put together for them like this they would follow it.  This maybe true for some, but can you be consistent on following the same plan for the rest of your life?  And if so, is a plan I make for you the best plan for you?  There are many diet plans that people try out for a year or two maximum on and off.  The best plan is no plan!  You have to find your own balance between how many calories you consume and how many calories you are expending.  When there is an imbalance between the two it will lead to weight loss, weight gain or a decrease in lean(muscle) mass.

A Calorie is the measure of energy released in our body when we consume carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
  • 1 gram of a carbohydrate    =  4 calories
  • 1gram of a protein              =  4 calories
  • 1gram of a fat                     =  9 calories
Balancing Your Calories

First:  You must take in proper nutrients consistently in accordance with how you body produces insulin.  Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates our metabolism.  Following The 5 Rules of Performance Nutrition will help create a balance with your body and how it produces insulin.

Second:  You must make sure that your body is expending energy at a constant rate depending on what your goals are. 

Methods Your Body Uses to Expend Energy

Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) 60%-80% of your energy is burned at rest to maintain normal functions that are essential for life.  High intensity aerobic training increases your RMR up to 38 hours after a workout.  A sedentary lifestyle and the restriction of calories has been proven to reduce your RMR.

Thermogenesis 10% of your energy is used in the process of breaking down nutrients and converting it to energy.  Thermogenesis is hard to measure in an individual but it's rate can be increased.  Your body expends a lot of energy in breaking down proteins whereas fats are digested with the least amount of energy.  A high protein diet yields a high caloric expenditure.  A low protein diet accompanied by a high consumption of carbohydrates and fats can lead to obesity.  Caffeine and Green Tea are substances that have properties that are capable of increasing thermogenesis.

Physical Activity 20%-30% of your energy is expending in multiple forms of activity and movements which can range from standing up or sitting down to bodybuilding or playing a sport.  The more activity you do within 24 hours will result in a higher expenditure of energy daily.  High levels of physical activity are good for weight loss and maintenance.

Third:  You must track your progress by weighing yourself daily.  Find your own calorie balance between calories taken in and calories burned.  Depending on what your scale says over a period of time, either decrease or increase calories taken in or calories burned with whatever method works best for you.  Once you find out how your body balances energy, you will be able to shift it to reach whatever goals you want.  you have to watch how your weight fluctuates due to the amount of calories you take in and burn first.  Overtime you will know what is best for you.


If your goals is to gain weight you must take in more calories than your body burns.

If Daily Calorie Requirements = 2000   Add 500 calories 7 days a week and you will gain a pound in a week.

500 x 7 = 3500 Calories or 1 pound gained

If your goal is to lose weight you must take in less calories that your body burns.

If Daily Calorie Requirements = 2000  Subtract 500 calories 7 days a week and you will lose a pound in a week.

500 x 7 = 3500 calories or 1 pound lost

note:  When adding calories increase protein and natural/healthy carbohydrate intake.  When reducing calories decrease refined/ processed carbohydrate and fat intake while protein intake remains constant.

A consistent exercise routine is very important in increasing all methods of caloric expenditure.  It is important to perform resistance training regularly to maintain lean mass.  It is also important to perform intense aerobic training to maintain a high metabolism.

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