Weekly column by fitness experts Adam Wright and Jacqui Watson for the Waterford News & Star, in association with Kingfisher Fitness Club
AND we’re back to weight management. This is a subject very close to my heart and what most of the people I work with are looking for help with. I feel the above equation is still not very well understood by the masses so let’s talk about those results!
Result One: Your weight is going up…
Your Energy In is greater than your Energy Out. You’re eating and drinking more than you need. This is not a discussion (PMID: 28210884). If weight gain is what you want, congratulations!
If muscle gain is what you want, keep the calories but ensure adequate protein intake within those calories (somewhere around 2 grams per kilogram of bodyweight (PMID: 26817506) (PMID: 23739654)) and adequate physical stimulus (weight training).
If your weight going up isn’t what you want, then you must either reduce your Energy In and/ or increase your Energy Out.
Result Two: Your weight is staying the same…
Your Energy In matches your Energy Out. You’re eating and drinking the right amount to stay the same. If staying the same is what you want (maintenance), congratulations!
Given adequate protein and stimulus it is possible to gain muscle at maintenance (or even in a deficit, especially for those new to weight lifting). A slight increase to Energy In might help accelerate things if muscle/mass gain is the primary goal.
If your weight staying the same isn’t what you want, then you must either change your Energy In and or your Energy Out relative to your goals.
Result Three: Your weight is going down…
Your Energy In s less than your Energy Out. You’re eating and drinking less than you need to stay the size you are. If weight loss is what you want, congratulations!
Understand there is a difference between weight loss and fat loss. Lean tissue is required for optimal health (muscle and healthy organs). In order to attempt to lose as little lean tissue as possible, and more fat, ensure adequate protein intake and adequate physical stimulus as mentioned above.
If your weight going down isn’t what you want, then you must either increase your Energy In and/ or reduce your Energy Out.
Manipulating Energy In
Reduce Energy In by: Eating less overall. Eating less calorie dense foods (a cup of vegetables will usually have less calories than a cup of pasta will usually have less calories than a cup of chocolate). Eating more wholefoods (think foods with only one ingredient), processed foods often (not always) contain more calories than whole foods and are easier to over consume. Counting something. Meals, plates, portions, calories and reducing over time based on results.
Increasing Energy In involves (pretty much) doing some combination of the opposite.
Manipulating Energy Out
Increase Energy Out by: Moving more overall. Striving for progress in every workout. Attempting to be more active between workouts.
Decreasing Energy Out involves doing some combination of the opposite.
And the really annoying bit…
Changing one affects the other. If you increase your Energy Out by moving more there’s a good chance, if you’re not paying attention, you’ll also increase Energy In by eating more accidentally or decrease Energy Out somewhere else (like adding a workout but also a nap) (PMID: 23470300).
If you decrease your Energy In by eating less there’s a good chance you’ll decrease your Energy Out by sitting more, leaning more, being less expressive when you speak, talking with your hands less, fidgeting less. You often won’t even realise.
People trying to gain weight who “can’t” or people who seem to eat what you want without gaining weight: increasing your Energy In may be resulting in you moving more automatically thereby balancing out the equation, you don’t even realise you’re doing it. (PMID: 9880251)
For help increasing you Energy Out check out our class timetable at waterford.kingfisherclub.com/ and for more advice on ins and outs find me on Instagram or Facebook @AdamWrightPT