Dieting is easy! However, being able to conceptualize the approach is what truly makes the process more enjoyable. We may not need to know all of the advanced lingo or theories, but we should understand the basic principles.
If you’re wondering what makes up your metabolism, here it is…. My sincere apologies if you thought there was actually a fire within you that needed the occasional “stoking”.. That’s a myth.Each component, from the bottom up, is placed in order of importance and makes up our TDEE or Total Daily Energy Expenditure.
BMR: Is the amount of energy required when our bodies are complete rest. If we were to measure our energy expenditure, while sleeping, totally fasted, and not moving this is how many Calories we would need to sustain life.
NEAT: This is the reason why two individuals with otherwise identical body stats can require different Calorie intakes. NEAT is also referred to as spontaneous physical activity (yes, we agree it’s easier than reciting NEAT). When we are moving, fidgeting, posturing, walking or working, we are burning Calories. These spontaneous acts are all things that we can account for in our daily expenditure. Depending on the person, this can range upwards of 2000 Calories over your BMR. Think about the factory worker compared to the office secretary. One job may require more energy expenditure over the other and should be considered. We can control this to an extent. Compare the parent that is sitting on a bench watching their child play versus the parent running around chasing their child. As the old sayings go; Park further from the door, take the stairs over the elevator, stand over sit (when practical) and so on.
EAT: With any successful fat loss or muscle gaining program, we have to incorporate some form of exercise. When done correctly, this should be a constant in your weekly Calorie considerations. This is the amount of energy needed to support training.
TEF: It takes energy to burn energy! While a Calorie is a Calorie in scientific terms, certain macronutrients such as protein does require more Calories to metabolize. Generally, TEF is 10% of your total energy expenditure.
EPOC; Remember that trainer that told you; We are going to bring Calories all day long with this HIIT work out. Well… they weren’t incorrect, but their pitch was embellished. EPOC is the number of Calories burned over baseline AFTER a workout, however, it is only 6-15% of the Calories burned during exercise. One study showed an average of 537 Calories burned after 60 minutes of HIIT and only 64 extra Calories burned over a 9-hour span. You could dance for 10 minutes and burn up to 70 Calories.. Why dance? To celebrate not needing to HIIT of course! ; ) Just kidding HIIT workouts can be fun and engaging, just make sure they’re not interfering with resistance training and you’re getting enough recovery!
Adaptive Thermogenesis: During the dieting process our bodies will down-regulate in order to preserve energy stores. This adaptive response is something we have developed through evolution. Despite food being readily available to us today, our body is designed to combat famine if needed. It takes a lot to truly adapt and in order to declare an adaptation a closer look at energy in and energy out is required.
Knowing the hierarchy the metabolism is important when structuring your approach. Don’t put too much stock in the small things. Start from the ground up! Go hit that “Sign up” button if you’re looking to take things to the next level.