Energy Balance: Your Maintenance Secret WeaponArticle posted in: Nutrisystem Success
During the time that you worked so hard to find a way to lose weight, your weight loss goal was all about burning off more calories than you consumed. Now that you’ve eaten the right foods, lost the weight and are transitioning into the weight loss maintenance stage of life, your new goal is all about breaking even when it comes to caloric intake. That means achieving energy balance. Energy balance is taking in just the right number of calories needed to manage your weight.
Energy balance is critical when it comes to weight loss maintenance. In order to maintain your current weight, you must aim to consume only those calories that you need for your body to function throughout the day (including both normal activity and exercise). So, how many calories should you eat to maintain your weight loss? There may be some trial and error involved with achieving energy balance as you adapt to this new stage of life. One place that you can start is in understanding your Basal Metabolic Rate.
Basal Metabolic Rate—or BMR—is the number of calories needed to keep your body functioning at rest. That means you don’t have to exercise to burn off everything you’re eating because your body requires energy just to get through a day. The human body needs a certain amount of energy (calories) in order to perform tasks like breathing, blinking or regulating body temperature.
BMR affects the rate that an individual burns calories and ultimately, whether they maintain their weight (or gain or lose it). You can come up with a rough estimate of your BMR utilizing the Mifflin St. Jeor Equation which goes like this:
For men: BMR= 10 x weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) + 5
For women: BMR= 10 weight (kg) + 6.25 x height (cm) – 5 x age (years) -161
Note that the more you weigh, the more energy you’ll require. When you lose weight, your BMR will decrease meaning you won’t require as many calories to get through a day. On the flip side, gaining weight will increase your BMR.
Maintaining Energy Balance Throughout the Day
Just as a vehicle needs fuel to run, your body needs energy to function. That means keeping your body fueled all day long with just the right amount of energy coming in to keep you going. It’s one of the reasons why we suggest small, healthy meals throughout the day rather than eating one or two very large meals. Spacing your healthy meals and snacks out will help supply your body with energy as it’s needed.
Eating just the right amount of calories throughout the day along with exercise are the two keys to maintaining your weight loss. Exercise is still an important part of your weight loss journey in that it will strengthen your metabolism by burning calories and by building muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories that are required to maintain your BMR.
Here for Support
We know that you’ve worked very hard to lose weight and that maintaining your weight loss is incredibly important to you. By paying attention to your energy input and fueling your body with healthy foods that help keep you moving, we know that you’ll be able to maintain a healthy weight. But we’re also here for support should you need it. You can always lean on your Nutrisystem family for help.