Energy balance and calories


Energy balance and calories are just as important for weight loss as they are for bodybuilding. 

Without consuming fewer calories than your body expends, then you won’t be able to lose weight. You see, the fat loss process which occurs in two stages is only triggered when you haven’t obtained enough energy (calories/food). When there is lack of calories, the body will start to scavenge for other sources of energy like your muscle and fat stores. 

The body can break down muscle to release amino acids which can be used for energy, or fat stores to release fatty acids. As these tissues are broken down, they become smaller. In regards to the body fat stores (adipose tissue), fat cells start to shrink as they get broken down and used for energy. However, they never actually disappear or be fully removed unless it’s done surgically. This means that if you begin to overeat again in the future, you are likely to regain the weight as the fat cells will just expand again. 

How to calculate your calories

There are many ways to calculate your calories as you may have read in the previous module on bodybuilding. The simplest way is to multiply your weight (in KG) by 29. This will provide your total number of calories. However, if you’d like to double-check your maths, make sure to refer back to the ‘energy balance’ lesson in the bodybuilding module. The equation is exactly the same apart from the 3rd step. instead of adding calories, you need to subtract them. 

Once you have calculated your TDEE (step 2), simply deduct a number of calories depending on how much weight you wish to lose. This is shown in the table below. 

caloric deficit

By deducting a number of calories from your TDEE, you will be creating a caloric deficit. This is required to force the body to start breaking down fat stores. 

Be sure to download calorie calculations from the ‘materials’ tab at the top of the lesson which will help you in future.