Hey guys, so I'm starting a series of blog posts in which I talk about some critical nutrition concepts that everyone should be aware of to lose wright effeciently. Everything I will be talking about is well-researched and experimented with long enough to be sure that it actually works. I hope this helps some of y'all struggling to lose weight.
So the first thing that you need to learn is what we call the Golden Rule. Depending on how tall you are, your sex, your weight and your body fat percentage, you have got a certain Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) of calories.
Think of your body as this complex intelligent and proactive tank that uses fuel poured to it from above to stay alive. For example, let’s say that a tank requires an average amount of fuel of 2.5 litres per day. If you pour 2.5 litres everyday, the size of the tank won’t change a little. It will stay just the same.
If you pour more than enough, say 3 litres, the tank will become larger because it used what it needs and simeltaneously thinks that it might actually need the rest. So it stores it somewhere for later usage. Remember, it’s a smart tank.
And if you give it less than required, say 2 litres, it’ll try to adapt to this deficiency by shrinking to burn that stored energy which made it seem big.
For every case, this tank has prepared mechanisms it executes to cope with what’s going on. Same story with your body, but on a whole another level.
See, your body requires a certain amount of energy to function at its leisure. This amount is called the Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). If you eat according to it, your body will stay the same : you won’t lose nor gain weight. So to lose weight and become slimmer, you should cut a couple hundreds of calories from your TDEE. Nutrionists recommend that you cut 500 calories maximum to lose 0.5 kilo (1lb) of fat in a week. (yup, it’s that simple)
However, there is a myth that is spread amongst laymen like cancer. When you think about “burning fat” and “losing weight”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Singing up for the local gym and spending the next week running on a treadmill and lifting some dumbells, right? What if I told you that you can lose weight simply by sitting at home and doing nothing ?
Contrary to preconceived misconceptions, your body is NOT burning calories only by movement. Meaning if you eat a humberger that adds up to 600 calories, you don’t have to walk 10km to burn it.
Unbeknowst to many people, your body is ALWAYS burning calories to survive and exercise has a little to do with it, if nothing. Let me elaborate a bit more.
The TDEE is the sum of 3 main caloric-usage groups. These groups are :
- Basal Metabolic Rate
- Food Breakdown calories
- Physical activity
Your basal metabolism is the amount of calories required to keep your ass from decaying. It is the amount of calories your heart, lungs, liver, eyes, nervous system and the rest consume to be up and running. And this alone burns up to 60-70% of your TDEE, 30% of which is burnt by your brain alone.
The Breaking Down of Food energy expenditure is obviously the amount of calories you need to digest food and store it. If you eat in excess, your body will be storing the calories as fatty tissue and that process burns some calories (ikr, getting fat burns calories wtf). All of this and much more requires 5-10% of your TDEE.
Last but not least is the infamous Physical Activity Energy Expenditure. This one is :
Amount of calories consumed per day- (BMR + Food breakdown energy)
If your BMR is 1500, your food energy is 100, then if you eat 2500 calories, 900kcal will be allocated for movement.
As we all know, your muscles require calories to be able to contract and move in physical space. Depending on how active you are, you can burn from 500 kcal up to 1300 kcal.
In a typical TDEE calculator, you find different kinds of activity levels, usually they fall into 4 categories : sedentary, lightly active, moderately active, heavily active, and athlete. Your Basal Metabolism and Food Breakdown calories are practically constant because they have to do with your height and your lean body mass (the weight of your organs + muscles) but the physical activity one is variable. So it can go up and down depending on how active you are.
But still, if you’re sedentary, you still require some calories for casual movements such as twitching, blinking, stretching from boredom, thinking about what Stacey said yesterday…etc, and these alone can build up to 500 calories.
So your TDEE is the amount of BMR + Breaking down of food + amounts of calories required for your activity level.
So what do you need to learn from this article?
- You can sit back at home home and chill while losing weight
- Golden Rule: always make sure to eat in a caloric deficit to lose weight
- Be consistent. Do it for a week and see how it goes.
I hope that made sense.
I go deeper on this topic with some practical examples and illustrations on my blog. If you're interested, you can hit me up and I can send you the link.