Throughout life, we’re usually trying to balance something. A juggle of work life, home life and our social life is usually a tricky mix to conquer. Especially when we’re on a mission to lose weight.
But I’m not talking about your busy schedule. I’m talking about understanding your energy balance. Think of it as a calorie deficit, a negative energy balance encourages weight loss, while a positive energy balance results in weight gain. This then means that a perfectly balanced energy balance allows you to maintain your weight.
So, wait… In order to lose weight, you need to do… Math? Well, just a little. First, let’s get to grips with your energy balance equation, before altering the numbers to kickstart your weight loss journey.
Energy balance explained
So what even is ‘balance energy’?
When it comes to working out your positive and negative energy balance, it’s important to know that your energy balance is the difference between your calorie intake (or energy input) and calorie output (energy output/calorie burn).
Energy input = Number of calories in
Energy output = Calories out
So when it comes to a little math, it looks like this:
Input – output = Energy balance
If you’re on a mission to lose weight, understanding how positive caloric balance works is crucial for cutting back and shedding fat. This will provide the starting point for your weight loss journey!
So, buckle in, ladies. You’re in for a ride!
How energy balance impacts weight loss
Working out your positive and negative energy balance is key to hitting your weight loss goals. If you find yourself gaining weight, you could have a positive energy balance. While if you’re looking to maintain your weight, you’ll be seeking perfect balance energy.
Just to clarify a few things, we’ve broken these three categories down!
Perfect energy balance
After a little maths, if you are met with a zero, you’ve struck the perfect energy balance. During this, you won’t be gaining or losing weight. If you’ve hit your ideal weight, this is where you need to be in order to maintain it.
Positive energy balance
If you’re looking to shed a few pounds, you could have fallen into a positive energy balance – leading your body to gain weight. While a ‘positive’ energy balance sounds as though you’re doing all the right things, think of it as working in the ‘plus’.
For those looking to gain weight, pregnant women or bodybuilders, a positive energy balance is just right.
Negative energy balance
Now, in this instance, ‘negative’ isn’t a bad thing! Especially if you’re looking to lose weight. That’s because a negative energy balance is actually the perfect imbalance to encourage weight loss. In order to maximize your weight loss efforts, you’ll be looking at a negative energy balance of around 500 to 1000 calories each day.
After calculating your energy balance, if you find yourself with a balanced or positive energy balance – don’t worry! We’re here to help you strike the right balance energy for your goals.
What is positive energy balance, and how do I calculate mine?
If you’re feeling a little baffled, ladies, don’t worry! We’ve all been there, head in hands, trying to work out our energy balance.
I’ve broken it down again for you:
- Positive energy balance – Higher calorie intake, leading to weight gain
- Perfect balance – Just the right input/output, resulting in weight maintenance
- Negative energy balance – An energy/calorie deficit, encouraging weight loss
Now, here’s how to gather the right numbers to calculate your balance energy.
When we talk about energy input, we’re referring to the calories you consume. Whether you’re eating well (recommended!) or consuming a load of junk, you’re still providing your body with energy. Of course, we’d always recommend filling your diet with plenty of nutritional, vitamin-rich foods!
In short, this is how our calorie intake adds up:
- Protein – 4 calories per gram
- Carbs – 4 calories per gram
- Fat – 9 calories per gram
So, how can you keep on top of your energy input, therefore strike the right energy balance? Keep track of what you’re eating. Whether it’s a written food diary or a food tracking app, keeping track is the easiest way to monitor your intake.
The number of calories a woman consumes daily can vary greatly, anywhere between 1600 to 2400 each day. And that’s a huge difference!
To get the most accurate picture of how many calories you’re eating each day, track your intake for at least a week before calculating your positive and negative energy balance.
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Energy output refers to your body using energy – or “burning” calories. Your body uses calories on its own, performing basic functions such as breathing and circulating blood. Of course, to increase this expenditure, we incorporate some exercise to maximize calorie burn (energy output).
The rate at which your body burns calories at rest is referred to as your BRM – or basal metabolic rate. This number makes up around 60 to 70% of your total daily calorie burn.
So whether you’re grocery shopping, doing housework or sitting at your desk, you’re burning calories!
How it hit a negative energy balance
After calculating your energy balance with the formula above, you’ll now know whether you have a positive energy balance, perfect balance or negative energy balance.
The chances are, if you’ve got this far, you’re hitting the positive energy balance or a perfect balance!
So, now, how do you take your positive caloric balance and turn it on its head for weight loss? Here’s how to strike that negative energy balance and hit your weight loss goals, ladies!
Reduce your calorie intake
If you’re new to exercise or want to avoid it at all costs, you can start your journey to a negative energy balance by cutting your calorie intake. Aim to reduce your usual daily calories by 500 to 1000 each day in order to lose weight.
However, bear in mind that as you start to lose weight, your metabolism can slow down. This type of calorie deficit isn’t sustainable long term.
Another way (which we recommend!) to hit that negative energy balance is to incorporate more exercise into your schedule. However, it can be tricky to take this route alone, since burning an extra 500 to 1000 calories daily is hard work.
Be careful with your balance energy and exercising only, as it may lead to injury if you’re new to exercise.
Strength training is an excellent way to maximize calorie burn, since your body burns more calories at rest – long after your workout! However, it is best paired with ‘regular’ exercise in order to burn plenty during your workout and after, too.
What’s the best way to get a negative energy balance?
So, how can you go from a positive energy balance to a negative one? Here’s how.
A combination of healthy eating, reducing your calorie intake, alongside regular exercise and strength training. Small adjustments to your diet will make a big difference in the long run, whether it’s switching soda for water, or cutting down on those pesky snacks.
Also Read: Why does losing weight take so long?
This is a far more sustainable approach to weight loss, helping you to maintain your new weight once you’ve hit your goal!
Energy balance example
If you were looking to lose one pound each week, experts suggest you would need a negative energy balance (calorie deficit) or 3500 calories each week.
Here’s an example!
- Lucy consumes 2000 calories each day
- She burns 1750 calories daily
- This means that her energy input (2000) – output (1750) puts her into a positive energy balance of 250 calories
Over the course of a week, that positive energy balance (250 calories) adds up! So in order to lose weight, she would need to increase her output and reduce her input where possible.
Ready to hit your negative energy balance?
Energy balance doesn’t have to be confusing! A positive caloric balance can be turned around, with the right strategy of healthy eating, regular exercise and a healthy relationship with food!
Of course, if you’re looking for a way to boost your metabolism and burn fat fast, there’s always Trimtone. Our 100% natural fat burner for women fires up your metabolism for ultimate fat burn, reducing your appetite so you can hit that negative energy balance with ease!