GUEST POST: Over 60 percent of the population in the United States is considered clinically obese or overweight. The obesity epidemic in the US highlights the weight struggle that many Americans deal with on a daily basis. As many scientific studies suggest, the food that an individual consumes and the amount of exercise they take has the potential to impact their health in a positive or negative way. Individuals interested in maintaining a healthy lifestyle or those trying to lose weight often take up intense exercise regimes performing cardiovascular and muscle building fitness routines. There are tremendous benefits associated with regular exercise, yet there is one component overlooked.
Often times those trying to maintain their weight or lose weight put too much focus on adhering to a strict exercise regime, eating only low fat or all natural foods, and staying away from unhealthy foods. Yes, depending on the choices you make all of these factors can contribute to weight loss or gain as well as building a physically healthy or unhealthy person. However, these issues become even more confused when you turn on a television or flip through the pages of a magazine and see products that claim to speed up your metabolism and reduce your appetite. These products are designed to target individuals that have or had difficult experiences with maintaining or losing weight, and don’t believe or know the process to be straight forward, a matter of science and math. Yet, the key to keeping the pounds off or losing them is not found in the raw food movement or boot camp style exercise regimes.
The Negative Energy Balance is the key to losing weight. The science behind it is simple, one must exert more energy than they consume in calories. If you consume more calories than expend energy, your body will use up the calories expended from the energy you burned. The left over calories will contribute to weight gain. If you exert more energy during the course of your day through activities like working out, walking home from work, playing with your dig, etc, then consumed in calories, your body will seek out alternative stored energy like fat and muscle. When your body burns stored fat and muscle you lose weight.
The Negative Energy Balance is important to keep in mind for those constructing a method to maintain or lose weight. For those trying to maintain their weight and not necessarily shed excess pounds, attention to how many calories consumed versus how many put into your body will allow for healthy weight maintenance, since you only need to burn less than or the same amount of calories consumed that day. Keeping track of these factors allows weight maintainers to stay healthy and not lose too much weight. For those looking to lose weight, the Negative Energy Balance can be used for balance. If you know you will be walking or going to exercise, then give yourself more leeway to eat something you might not select if you had low physical activity. The trick to the NEB is balancing food choice with expended energy.