Energy expenditure for a healthy lifestyle

Fitness Training with Nicky Holland


Most of the time, we associate exercise as walking round the shops or going back and for on the school run. Yes, it is tiring and yes, it is exercise, but will it help you lose weight?

Last month’s article spoke about BMR, Basal Metabolic Rate. This is our maintenance calories or our daily calorie intake, which we need to consume each day. For males this tends to be between 2000-2500 calories and for females between 1500-2000 calories. These are just estimates but should give you a good idea.

But what happens if we exercise? Our body uses the food we eat as energy. Carbohydrates are stored as glycogen and get broken down into glucose to give us energy. Exercise burns calories. Therefore, the more exercise we do, the more calories we can consume to replace what we have burnt. This is just to maintain.

Let’s say our goal was to lose weight, we would need to create a calorie deficit. See the simple equation below:

Exercise more + Eat less = Calorie deficit = Weight loss

If our goal was to gain weight or muscle, we would need to be in a calorie surplus. See this equation below:

Exercise less (in terms of cardio) + Eat more = Calorie surplus = Weight or muscle gain

We can track how many calories we burn, every day, from our watch. Wearing an Apple watch or a Fitbit can monitor how active we are, how many calories we burn and how many steps we do. But that alone, isn’t always enough.

Studies show that obesity is on the rise. There are more and more ‘fast food’ restaurants than ever before. Natural local produce is being outnumbered by the amount of processed foods from the bigger chain companies. So, what can you do?

Researchers believe that the daily requirement for exercise in terms of physical activity, for adults is 30 minutes x 5 days a week. How many people are currently exercising, increasing their heart rate, getting out of breath, sweating or feeling fatigued by exercising x 5 a week? This is a government standard. For children, the requirement is 60 minutes of exercise x 5 days a week.

Exercise is a great way to relieve stress, get stronger, improve the function of the heart, help circulation, improve breathing capacity and much more. Think about what you want to achieve, whether it is to lose some belly fat, get more stable on your feet or build muscle; the foods you eat and the exercise you do on a daily basis, will determine your results.

I teach my clients little habits. When they train with me, they train hard but there’s more to living a healthy lifestyle than just going to the gym x 3 times a week. My clients are also improving other aspects of their lifestyle such as making healthier food choices, avoiding too many sugars, cutting back on smoking cigarettes or drinking too much alcohol, only ordering a take away once a week instead of three times, attending exercise classes in addition to gym sessions. It all contributes to helping you to have a healthy and balanced lifestyle. For more information, get in touch.

Visit my Instagram page @nicky__fitness and my website for more information.

Best wishes, Nicky Fitness


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