Food vs Exercise –
What is YOUR Energy Balance?
As I study for my ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association) Fitness Nutrition Certification, one of the featured topics is Energy Balance. Energy balance, as defined by the ISSA, is a “multi-factorial regulation process”. Meaning, energy balance in the body is a composition of many different aspects that can each have a huge impact on the body in appearance, feel, and overall energy levels. As the ISSA points out and is also common knowledge among fitness professionals, achieving a true energy balance involves taking into consideration environmental factors as well as psychological, genetic, hormonal response, and other factors.
According to the ISSA, approximately 70% (seventy percent) of the body’s daily energy usage goes towards taking care of our basic bodily functions. Yep, most of the energy we need is used purely and primarily for us to exist, to function, so creating a balance between stored energy and replenishing energy is quite necessary. So how do we figure out what our energy balance is? In simplest form, an energy imbalance is formed when the amount of energy (food) and the amount of energy expended (exercise) is not equal. More food than exercise, simply put, equals weight gain. More exercise than food consumed, equals weight loss. Even calculating in the aforementioned variables of lifestyle, genetics, and hormones, the basic equation still remains. Energy (food) vs Exercise must be balanced to maintain weight and must be positively imbalanced to create weight loss.
Since most people tend to want to lose weight – even if it is 5 pounds or 75 pounds, what foods will create the most weight loss benefit? The obvious ones, of course! See my “food for thought” comparisons below:
Compare: 1 cup of steamed broccoli with paprika, cumin, and a hint of lemon and cayenne in place of 1 cup of broccoli casserole baked with cheeses. You decide. Which one is going to have the most effecient effect on your body?
Compare: 1 cup of baked sweet potato fries to 1 cup of twice fried crispy french fries. You tell me. Which one is going to have the most effecient effect on your body?
Compare: 4 to 6 ounces of grilled chicken marinated with lemon, turmeric, and cardamom to 4 to 6 ounces of chicken, skin on, dredged in white flour and fried in canola oil. You decide. Which one is going to have the most effecient effect on your body?
Compare: A snack of a dozen raw almonds and a fresh peach or apple to a cup or two of tortilla chips, potato chips, or the typical cheese puffs. Which snack, do you think, is going to have the most effecient effect on your body?
“You can’t exercise away a poor diet” is a tweet I frequently share. However, it is important to realize that poor exercise habits commonly promote poor eating habits and vice versa. These habits usually result in weight gain, illness, health issues such as joint problems and mobility issues, and they have even been linked to depression. It’s your choice. Which are you going to choose? Positive Food and Exercise combinations or negative ones?