Saturday, 28 November 2020

Getting the energy balance right is key

EXCITING times are coming up as we head towards the festive season — the lights are up in

EXCITING times are coming up as we head towards the festive season — the lights are up in town, the shops are bustling and the affection towards mince pies has well and truly risen!

But, don’t be hoodwinked. It can be an unhealthy season and one that will leave you a few pounds lighter in your pocket and a lot heavier on your scales.

Mince pies can be anything from 150kcals to 500kcals for just one! A glass of mulled wine (120ml) is roughly 230kcals, and a slice of Christmas cake will tip you between 150-300kcals depending on the size of slice (or quarter) you convince yourself you can have! So on top of your daily kcals this can be hugely excessive and give you unnecessary body fat gain.

How do we manage this? Simple, as I have previously said in all my columns it is all about moderation and “energy balance”. This term refers to the balance between the energy (calories) you take in through foods and drinks and the energy you burn.

When your body is in positive energy balance, you are taking in more calories than you are burning. Your body stores extra energy as fat. When you take in less energy than you burn, your body is in negative energy balance, and your body burns fat for fuel.

Most effective weight loss plans include changes to both diet and physical activity to achieve negative energy balance. Having a negative imbalance of calories per day can lead to weight loss of about one to two pounds per week.

Negative energy balance leads to weight-loss. The body detects an energy “deficit” and fat reserves are called upon to make up the difference. A severe negative energy balance can lead to a decline in metabolism, decreases in bone mass, reductions in thyroid hormones, reductions in testosterone levels, an inability to concentrate, and a reduction in physical performance. So always watch your energy balancing and make sure you are consuming and using the correct amount of energy.

An important part of maintaining energy balance is the amount of “energy out” (physical activity) that you do. People who are more physically active burn more calories than those who are not as physically active.

Faddy diets are a thing of the past and can be dangerous if not used in a sensible manner. They can create long-term health problems such as osteoporosis, kidney damage, plus many other medical concerns. Always eat a good rounded healthy diet in accordance with the correct amount of calories to lose weight or maintain weight.

So eat healthy, drink water, do lots of exercise and be well — then enjoy the results! Don’t let the festive season take you down the wrong path. Be strong, enjoy the season, but stay in control so that you can look back on your festivities with happiness, not regret!

For further information please email and I will do my best to advise you. Happy Christmas to you all, keep well, stay fit and enjoy squeezing into your little black dress or tuxedo without feeling that bulge!

Emma-Jane Taylor

Founder and managing director of NutritiousWorks Ltd

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