Energy means calories. Energy balance is the balance of calories consumed through eating food and drink compared to calories burned by physical activity.
ENERGY IN is what you eat and drink and ENERGY OUT the amount of what burn during physical activity.
Just by breathing air and digesting food a certain amount of calories are burned.
For example, children burn calories simply by being a student. Their calories burned come from walking from class to class, to their lockers and carrying text books.
Adults burn calories by everyday task such as going shopping, sweeping and mopping.
An important part of energy balance is maintaining the amount of energy out (physical activity). The same amount of energy in and out maintains weight. However, you do not need to keep in balance It every single day. It is having a balance over time that will keep you healthy and maintain weight in the long term.
When children achieve energy balance natural growth is supported without promoting excess weight gain.
To find out how many calories (ENERGY IN) you and you r family requires on a daily basis it is best to look at an Estimated Calorie Requirement chart
POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE ENERGY BALANCE
Positive health results in 80% nutrition and 20% physical activity.
Your diet should be 30% protein, 40% high-energy carbohydrates and 30% healthy fats.
Positive energy balance means you take in more calories than you burn. The energy can come from things such as extra carbohydrates and fat. In positive energy balance weight is gained and fat is stored Your cholesterol levels can increase and you could become insulin resistant.
In negative energy balance you take in less calories than you burn. A negative energy balance can have negative effects on the body such as loss of muscle mass and lack of concentration.
WHAT SCIENCE SAYS
According to a paper published in June of this year in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise energy balance is a viable public health solution to address the obesity epidemic. According to Dr. Melinda Manroe, ACSM member Melinda Manore, Ph.D., R.D., C.S.S.D., FACSM of Oregon State University and co-author had commented…
“Nutrition and exercise professionals working collaboratively, combined with effective public health messaging about the importance of energy balance, can help America shape up and become healthier.”
An article in the journal Circulation written by researchers at the University of Colorado had described the interaction among energy intake, energy expenditure and body energy stores and demonstrates how an understanding of energy balance can help us develop strategies to reduce obesity.
They had concluded that energy balance provides the opportunity to recommend specific strategies to reduce obesity.
Firstly, by increasing physical activity in the population.
Secondly, we are likely going to be more effective in preventing weight gain than in producing and maintaining weight loss because the components of energy balance compensate to oppose weight loss in response to negative energy balance and lastly, in our current environment, maintaining a healthy body weight for most people requires using cognitive skills to help match energy intake with energy expenditure and to overcome biological tendencies to overeat and under exercise.
In 2005, researchers from various institutions in New York including the Department of Food and Nutrition Services, New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY, had compared 24 our energy expenditure and energy intake in persons with early mid-stage Huntington disease with those of matched control subjects to determine how Huntington diseases (HD) affects energy balance.
For the study 13 participants with early HD and 9 control participants had their energy expenditure evaluated by indirect calorimetry in a human respiratory chamber.
Energy intake was determined by weighing all food provided and all leftovers from an ad libitum diet; free choice of frequency and consumption of food that is available at all times. The results showed that higher 24 hour energy expenditure in persons with mid-stage HD is due to increased physical activity.
However, HD participants are able to maintain positive energy balance when offered adequate amounts of food in a controlled setting.
According to Dr. Jennifer Klemp, MPH, PhD, director, Breast Cancer Survivorship Center, energy balance is important for breast cancer survivors. It can reduce the odds of recurrence and death.
Energy balance offers breast cancer survivors significant benefits allowing them to have back some control that the cancer had taken away:
- Helps maintain a healthy weight or lose extra weight that is a common side effect of breast cancer treatment
- Improves overall health
- Lessens the symptoms of menopause; cancer treatment often speeds up the transition to menopause
You can check out the American Cancer Society’s Guidelines for nutrition and exercise for cancer prevention at their website.
HOW TO BRING ENERGY INTO BALANCE
Let’s face it many of us have no idea how many calories were are actually consuming or burning. Here are some tips to help you achieve a balance:
Focus on color
Fruits like apples, oranges and bananas and vegetables like carrots, peas and celery. Grains like rice, pasta and cereal and protein like beef, chicken and nuts. Do not forget the dairy like yogurt and cheese.
Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. The perimeter is where you will find fresh food and produce. Shop when you’re not hungry and try using a list.
Check your weight
The perfect way to start tracking whether you are balancing calories in and out is to weigh yourself on a regular basis. This will let you know if you are losing, gaining or staying at the same weight.
Know what you’re eating
Read food labels and look at the number of servings a product contains. Keeping a food journal will let you know everything you are putting into your body. By doing this you will know if your overeating and what nutrients you may be lacking.
Snacks should have enough calories and nutrition to satisfy your appetite but not too many calories. For snacks try a hard-boiled egg, a handful of unsalted peanuts or a cheese stick.
Some people find it is easier to manage their intake of calories by having several small meals throughout the day instead of three big meals.
Watch the portions
A portion is the amount of food that you choose to eat for a meal or snack. Do not overdo it. Try and avoid seconds.
Do not eat from the bag or use pre-portion snacks.
Even if you cannot exercise regularly nor do an intense workout, try doing simple gentle movements. Good examples are yoga, Qigong, Tai Chi and simple stretches.
Switch it out
For example instead of sugar sweetened beverages try tea, energy drinks or no or low calorie colas.
Maintaining energy balance has a positive effect on your health.
This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always consult a professional healthcare provider before beginning any new treatment.
- Precision Nutrition
- American College of Sports Medicine Press Release
- The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
- The University of Kansas Hospital
- Enchanted Learning