Metabolism, energy balance and body fat: All you need to know.
Everyone’s needs are different
Nutrition isn’t simple. Every single person is different and not one diet prescription is the same, especially in CrossFit. This is because of complex situations involving diet history, lifestyle, training and preferences. Richie, our nutritionist, understands this and is able to tailor a diet suitable for your specific needs. Want to find out more about metabolism, energy balance and body fat? Read below.
How we test your body fat and find out how fat you are!?
Our ISAK anthropometry qualified nutritionist, Richie, measures your body fat and muscle mass using skinfold callipers to monitor his nutritional interventions that are put in place in meetings to make you leaner and improve your performance in the gym. Gymnastics is hard when you’re carrying extra body fat around, so why not drop some of it to make it easier?
Energy in vs Energy Out? What does this mean and how does it affect body composition?
Changes to body composition come as a result of manipulated energy expenditure and energy intake. Energy expenditure is any form of activity you do during the day, basically anything that burns calories from when you wake up to when you go to sleep. For the average person, just to live and breathe they would use 1300-1600kcal and this Is known as your resting metabolic rate. On top of this, you have other forms of activity which includes exercise, walking and house work and often our total energy expenditure will exceed 2000kcal, depending on amount and form of exercise completed during that day.
Energy intake comes from anything you put in your mouth that has calories. The intricate balance of energy intake and energy expenditure is the key factor when looking to change body composition. Richie measures this using specialist software during each consultation with you. This process is vital to understanding the amount and type of calories that are eaten to then inform new nutritional strategies.
For example: If you burn a total of 2500kcal per day, you’ll need to create a daily calorie deficit to lose body fat.
Everyone’s needs are individual and require careful planning by a professional to ensure you’re in an optimal nutritional state. Our nutritionist can calculate how much food you need to eat based on your exercise and lifestyle to ensure your body composition goals are achieved.
Devices for Monitoring Energy Expenditure (calories burned)
These devices are great for monitoring day to day changes in activity (including steps), however these devices have been shown in numerous research studies to be inaccurate and often an overestimation. For this reason, it is vital you consult with a nutritionist to ensure your energy expenditure is calculated specific and correctly for you.
Is it as Simple as Energy in vs Energy Out?
The easy answer is yes, but it’s not! You need to ensure the proportions of the foods you consume are correct because these will affect your body uses energy and fuels muscle. A balanced diet that contains enough protein to allow your muscles to repair and grow whilst ensuring you have the correct types of fats a mixture of at least 5 vegetables per day is key to ensuring optimal health, especially if you’re training. Alterations to this can have a significant negative effect on how your body works.
For example: If you ate 2000kcal of just simple sugars as part of the above example, would you lose weight? Maybe, but probably not! You will also be in a completely unhealthy state, but I’m sure we don’t have to tell you that! Your muscles will be storing body fat which in the long term will be a negative effect and increase the rate that you age. You’ll also be really hungry all the time, irritable and likely to fall sick!
What rate of body fat loss is healthy/optimal?
Sustainability and long-term change are key for us. Therefore, we aim to provide a 1-2lb per week body fat loss over time which gives you an opportunity to maintain the body composition change instead of making it a short-term fix.
There are no fads, no pseudoscience or ‘gym talk’ in our practice. The key to weight management is having sound nutritional advice from a professional that can plan your diet around your lifestyle, whilst having results and enjoyment at the forefront of recommendations.