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Episode 16: Nutritional Pyramid of Importance Mini Series: Energy Balance Part 1

by Shaun Kober
June 11th 2020

This episode is an overview of how I structure my nutrition coaching. At the base of the pyramid is energy balance. Our body requires a certain amount of energy, from what we consume, to thrive. Fi... More

Hey guys, before we get started with the intro, I just want to point out that the seven part miniseries on the nutritional pyramid of importance were actually the first seven episodes that I recorded for the podcast. So please bear that in mind when leaving a rating and review. My microphone technique was probably not quite up to scratch and I was still figuring out the process. So please bear that in mind, cheers guys. You know what is up guys, welcome to the live train perform podcast. I'm your host, Sean cooper of performance functional training. I'm currently the head strengthen edition coach at the world renowned Tiger moisten mm A training camp based in Phuket Thailand. I'm a strength and conditioning coach, nutritional therapist. NLP master practitioner, a former Australian army soldier and combat veteran. This podcast is dedicated to bringing you the tools, knowledge, experience and expertise to allow you to live your life to your fullest, trained to your potential and perform at your best. I'm going to do that by providing three different styles of podcast style one is going to be 3 to 5 part miniseries, 15 to 25 minute episodes, each covering a numerous topics including nutrition, lifestyle, sleep, stress management and training philosophies style too, is going to be me interviewing people at the top of their game, who they are, how they started out where they got to where they're at and what makes them tick.

Style three is all about you guys. I'm going to be answering your questions, you can find that on my Q and a memes, which I'll be posting on my social media platforms. My social media platforms are at instagram at K O B. E. S underscore PFT at codes underscore PFT facebook is performance functional training and Youtube is at performance functional training. Make sure you like subscribe and follow those platforms. Uh I will be referencing my Youtube channel throughout the episodes. So if you want your questions answered, go onto the memes, the Q. And A memes that will be posting on my social media platforms pop in your questions and I will answer them for you on the podcast. Let's get it. Mhm. Yeah. Yeah. Yo what's up guys In the last episode we went through the nutritional pyramid of importance. So to recap, we had energy balance at the bottom followed by macro nutrients and fiber than micro nutrients and water following. That was different. Diets, intermittent fasting, calorie, cycling, carb cycling, et cetera.

And rounding it off is supplements in today's episode. We're gonna be covering the base of that pyramid, which is energy balance. Now, what is energy balance? Well, first of all, we need to talk about what energy is and how we measure that. So we typically use calories or killer jules. I'm going to use calories for these podcast episodes because it's more universally known measurement but essentially we have energy in which is through our food and drink and consumption. We have energy out which is through our body's metabolic processes are daily movement, exercise and things like that. So this is the law of thermodynamics. The law of thermodynamics states that to lose weight, we must be in a calorie deficit to gain weight. We must be in a calorie surplus. And to maintain weight, we must be at calorie maintenance, or energy in equals energy out. There are caveats to this. However, as I stated in the previous episode, a healthy organism is an adaptable organism.

So if you're putting your body under so much stress that it's literally in survival mode, even if you are manipulating your calories in and calories out, your body may not may not adjust and adapt in the way that you wanted to, because it's literally fighting for survival, approved the Law of thermodynamics. In two 1010 a professor, Mark Orb of the Kansas State University conducted an experiment. He was a professor of human nutrition from the Kansas State University. He lost 12 kg in 10 weeks eating a diet consisting of junk food. This is now known as the Twinkie Diet. So you can go online, you can search for this. What actually happened was he improved his health markers over those over those 12 weeks. Not simply because he was eating shit, but basically because he actually reduced his body fat levels quite significantly. So, uh he reduced his calories from 2020 400 calories Per day to down between 16-1800 calories per day and didn't change his exercise habits. So this proved the law of thermodynamics.

So when it comes to manipulating your weight, we're looking at energy balance energy in energy out. It's not everything. But it is a massive portion of manipulating your weight in the first episode. I recommended that people track their food. That's going to give us an indication of your energy in. But that's only one part of the equation for the next few minutes. We're going to figure out your energy out. So this is there's a number of factors that contribute to this. So the first one being basal metabolic rate, basal metabolic rate or BMR, is how much energy our body requires Just to live and survive. All right. So if we're in a coma for 24 hours, were asleep for 24 hours, your body's still going to require x amount of energy to sustain itself. These numbers are going to be different. For the sex is different, people, different lifestyle factors etcetera. Males were typically looking at 18:00-20 400 calories Just to live and survive. Females were typically looking at 1400-1800 calories. Again, there's gonna be some differences is going to be some outliers here, but that's a general bass.

So our BMR is what our body requires to keep our heart beating. Keep our lungs breathing. Keep our digestive system working our brain ticking over. Our hormone function and regulation doing its thing etcetera etcetera. This is all the shit that you don't even have to think about. Their body just keeps ticking over. So that's your basal metabolic rate will dive into the components that contribute to that in a moment Following that we're going into our physical activity level. Okay so this is what you do for work. This is what you do for exercise. What type of training you do, how long you train for um what you're typically doing on a day to day basis basically. And the final component is our neat non exercise activity thermogenesis. So this is a number of factors like fidgeting things that you don't consider exercise. Maybe if you talk with your hands or whatever and also the thermic effect of food. So it's a little bit of an all encompassing thing that that basically covers everything else. That basal metabolic rate and physical activity level.

Don't cover all of these numbers contribute to your total daily energy expenditure or T. D. E. Now it's important to know what these numbers are because then you can you can put them up against your energy in and see exactly what's going on. If there's a massive imbalance there where your total daily energy expenditure should be say 3000 calories and you're only eating 1800 calories then there's a sure sign of some metabolic slowdown. Your body's going to adapt to whatever energy you're putting in, it's going to start slowing down other processes to prioritize survival. Alright, basal metabolic rate. Now there's a number of factors that contribute to this, but I'm going to keep it really simple and talk about three, we have age. Let's take a 14 year old boy, a 44 year old man and an 84 year old man. Which one of those is going to need the most energy now, in my opinion, where either living or sorry, where either growing or were dying. So the 14 year old boy, he's growing, his testosterone is all over the place, hormones are doing their thing. They're all whack He's developing, his bones are growing, becoming denser, his muscles are growing, Uh, etc, etc.

So he's going to require a lot more energy. Probably going to be moving a lot more throughout the day as well. Now, the 84 year old man, he's dying, unfortunately. You know, he's going down who he's going the other way, things are starting to atrophy. So he's typically not going to be moving as much and he's going to metabolism is going to be slowing down. Testosterone production is decreasing Bones are becoming less dense, et cetera, et cetera. So he's going to require less energy. Now, here's the tricky part. The 44 year old man, is he live? Is he growing or dying? Well, that depends completely, depends on his lifestyle. You might have a 44 year old that looks up themselves goes to the gym works an active job. Um, and it's good food, his metabolism might be firing, he might still be growing on the flip side. We probably all know people that are the same age that don't take care of themselves, that sit on the couch and play playstation, smoke bombs all day and do fuck all. So that person is probably going to be dying. Their body is not going to need as much energy. One of the next contributing factors is sex. Males obviously have a higher propensity to produce testosterone, which is going to impact muscle mass.

Uh, so they're going to typically require a little bit more energy than females. Now, that's not to say that Jack female has a lower basal metabolic rate than a skinny dude. If you have a lot more muscle mass than you're probably, your engine is going to be bigger. You're going to need a lot more fuel. Uh we'll talk about that in the lean body mass component, which is next. But something else to consider for females as well is that time of the month when they're going through their menstrual cycle, they're going to be bleeding, they're gonna be losing some energy. It might actually be worth bumping up the calories around at that time. Uh, you know, think about some of the signals that females get when they, when it is that time of the month, they're gonna be craving foods, their bodies like literally churning through all of their glucose blood sugar levels crash and they're just fucking craving sweets, we all know what that's like. So, um it's worth looking at bumping up the calories a little bit more around that time and maybe adding some fats and proteins in a little bit more fats and proteins along with the carbohydrates that we can balance out those um those blood sugar level rises and crashes.

We want to keep those blood sugar levels as stable as possible throughout the day. I'll talk about this more in the micronutrient, sorry, the macro nutrient portion in the next episode. But essentially we want to balance those blood sugar levels out because if they're not balanced out, then that causes havoc with the hormones. The next contributor to our basal metabolic rate is our lean body mass. So consider this. I've got two cars, ones and eight cell in the car and 1 to 4 cylinder car. They're sitting right next to each other, both empty. I pour five liters of fuel in both of them, turn them on to start at the same time, leave them to sit there and idle. Which one's going to run out of fuel first. That is going to be the eight cylinder car because it's got a bigger engine. It's going to require a lot more fuel. Just idling Now that's just idling. That's just sitting there. Think about what happens when we then go and put the foot on the accelerator is gonna be turning through a lot more fuel there. So let's relate this to people if I've got 100 kg man at 10% body fat, meaning 90 kg lean body mass And I've got another 100 kg man who's 30% body fat or 70 kg lean body mass.

They will need different amounts of energy to get through the day, depending on how they've gone into this study or this research obviously. But let's say everything else is equal. The guy with 90% Lean body mass is going to burn a fuck load more fuel just at rest. Now, once they start going in training then they're putting a foot on the accelerator. The dude that's got 90 kg lean body mass is going to start churning through that. He's got a V. A. It's got a bigger engine requires more fuel. The dude with less muscle mass. Higher body fat percentage is not going to be burning through as much. It's important to note that muscle is metabolically active. So even if you want to lose weight, it's super important to put some muscle mass onto your body so that your body can actually start burning through those calories and be really efficient with energy Even at rest. And again you start training, you're putting a foot on the accelerator. Alright, so that rounds out our basic metabolic rate. Important thing to note here is that everyone's basal metabolic rate or BMW is different BMW could contribute to up 85-90% of your daily energy requirements.

Think about the dude that sits at home place. Playstation smokes bonds does fuck all day. He's BMR is probably burning through 90% of his daily energy needs. Someone who's super active though might only be, or the BMR might only be taking up to, you know, roughly 60% of their daily energy needs. So 60% of their daily energy needs, keep everything firing, working as normal. Uh then the other 40% is going towards movement, what they do for work, uh, you know, hobbies and things like that, training, et cetera. We'll talk about that in a little bit more detail in the neat component which is coming up soon. The next component is our physical activity level. This is what we do for work and what type of exercise we do, how long we exercise for etcetera. Now Important to note, basal metabolic rate is at the top using 60-85% of your daily energy requirements, Followed by what you do for work. What you do for work could contribute to anywhere from 10 to 30% of your daily and your requirements. Then exercise comes into play. So exercise is way down the list.

A lot of people think that just because of exercise, I can now go and eat whatever the fuck I want. Well you're doing it wrong and you're not going to get any results that way. You're literally just going to be chasing your tail. So let's talk about how we can manipulate our energy dependent on what we do for work and also what type of training we do. Let's take two people Person A is an accountant person, B is a stonemason. I'm going to look at a 12 hour day from seven o'clock in the morning until seven o'clock at night, let's say they both work a 10 hour day 7 to 5. And then the accountant sits behind a desk all day and then from five PM until seven PM goes to the gym. Hammers himself, lifts weights, gets after it finishes with high intensity interval training session. Alright then goes home, has a feed. Now, the stonemason on the, on the other hand, works at 10 hours an active job outdoors. Then in the final two hours, 5 to 7 goes and picks up the kids, take the dog for a walk down the park, throws a frisbee, throws the ball all right now over that time, which one of those people is going to burn the most energy.

It's the stonemason, he's going to be active throughout the day and that's what matters most is what you're doing fairly consistently on a day to day basis. Don't quote me on these numbers, but let me give an example of how this might work. The accountant sitting sitting at a desk from 7 to 5 might only be burning 100 calories per hour in that time. So at the end of a 10 hour day there's a 1000 calories. Even if they Go to the gym and absolutely hammer themselves, they burn through 1000 calories an hour and a half, there's only 2000 calories in that 12 hour period. The stonemason, on the other hand works a 10 hour day outdoors might be burning 200 calories per hour at the end of a 10 hour day, there's 2000 calories already, even if they do nothing um and go down to the park, play around with their kids, you know, no extra movement or anything like that At the end of that 12 hour day now they're burning 200 calories in those last two hours uh per hour. Sorry. At the end of the day there's 2400 calories total that the stonemasons burn. So even though the accountant is training and hammering himself, it doesn't undo the fact that they've been sitting and sedentary all day.

Very important distinction. Very important to note here now, to round up, we're looking at our neat non exercise activity. Thermogenesis, This is essentially anything that we do outside of burning energy through BMR and our work and our training, so think about any hobbies you have, you might go surfing a couple times a week, you might walk the dogs, couple every day, you might, you know go grocery shopping, you might go hiking, scuba diving, whatever, any of your hobbies. Alright, so obviously any time you move, you're going to be burning energy. So if your hobbies are quite active, then you might look at bumping up your numbers a little bit, depending on what your goals are. Now, consider this basal metabolic rate is not going to change from day to day, week to week. Your body is going to require that energy on a daily basis to keep everything turning over. Then we have our physical activity level. This is going to change from weekday to weekend. You think about what most people do monday to friday, they're at work, then they go to the gym on the weekend.

They might sit around do fuck all or they might be super active. So it makes sense to manipulate their energy balance on those days. And the last one is neat. This is going to change day to day depending on what you're doing. Now. Let me give you an example of why it's important to understand this energy balance in differences on a day to day basis. When I was at home in Australia, I thought that my daily energy requirements were pretty much the same on a day to day basis during, during the week. Now this was not the case and I didn't find this out until my mom actually bought me a Fitbit. Now I was like, why the fuck do I need a Fitbit? That's just for people to get a little bit of a notification, give him a kick up the ass to get up and start moving. Once actually started using that using it. I saw a fuck load of benefit in it though, gave me some data which I could then take some information from and then apply some knowledge. So an example of this is my monday, Tuesdays were fairly busy or very busy, Wednesday was a little bit quieter.

Thursday friday was busier. So my Tuesday for example, I go in, I drive to the outskirts of the city, I'd walk into work, I trained a couple of clients then I trained myself, then I go and have some brunch, then I'd head back into the gym, train some more clients etcetera etcetera. In the afternoon I'd go to rugby training those days, I checked my Fitbit and I was taking 24-2026,000 steps so somewhere between 14 To 18 km per day it was a fuck load of movement. Alright then my Wednesday, it was a little bit quieter. So Wednesday I go into the gym, I train my clients, I trained myself, I'd have some brunch And then I pretty much work on my laptop all day. I put together training programs, I'd send off invoices and things like that at the end of those days I might have only been taking 6 to 8000 steps so I'm looking at four km so of walking now for me to eat the same on those two days was completely ridiculous in my mind. I thought I was, you know, they're pretty, pretty, pretty similar days in terms of movement. But once I looked at the numbers, they are actually way, way, way different.

All right, So let's figure out total daily energy expenditure. I'm going to give you a very simple way to figure this out how I use this as a rough guide. Now, let's talk about basal metabolic rate. 1st. Again, guys, we're looking at 1800 - 2400 calories. If you have more muscle push towards the higher end of that number. So If you're super muscled and you're only at 10% body fat, you might hit 24. All Right. If you're at 15% body fat, you might drop down to 2100 calories. For example, if you're at 20-30% body fat, then you might be Looking at 1800 calories as a baseline. What I'm going to do now is then Add my physical activity level on top of that. I'll use an example, let's say 2100 calories. So I'm roughly 15, body fat. I'm at 21, calories for my basal metabolic rate. Now when It comes to physical activity level, we're looking at roughly 500 calories per 10,000 steps. So if I'm only taking five 250 calories. If I'm taking 10,000 steps, I add 515,000 steps.

Uh 7 50. If I'm taking 20,000 steps I made at 1000 calories. So let's say I'm I'm hitting 10,000 steps. I take my 2100 calories, basal metabolic rate, I add my Physical activity level. I'm going to be looking at 2000 600 calories. All right. So there is My basal metabolic rate and my physical activity level. I'm now at 2600 calories. What I need to do now is add my neat, my non exercise activity thermogenesis. So, what I typically do here is I'll give a range of a couple of 100 calories. So my baseline total daily energy expenditure is now at 2600 calories. Then I'm going to add roughly 150 calories either way. So this is going to be completely dependent on how active you are. If you're super active, you might add 300 calories either way. So now I might go 2300 calories Up to 2900 calories. Now, why do I do that? There's a very simple way of just going. All right, well, I didn't move anywhere near as much today. I'm going to hit the lower end of that spectrum or I move to fuck load today, I'm going to hit the higher end of that spectrum.

Now, that we've figured out our total daily energy expenditure, we need to go back and have a look at our energy intake. So if there's a massive imbalance here, then we might of course some metabolic damage and we may need to go through a reverse diet. I'm not going to go into that too much here because this episode is already Quite dense. I'm going to split this up into two episodes. But Essentially, let's say we're hitting, we've worked out our numbers were hitting, or we should be having 2600 calories for our body to thrive. Then if I'm looking at my energy Intake and I'm only eating 1500 calories, there's a massive difference there. Okay. And my body's already been in a deficit for a long period of time. This is what you'll typically see when people have been in a diet phase for a long period of time. They're not really tracking their food or they are tracking their food and they've literally just been eating low calories for a long period of time, your body is going to adapt to that. It's going to slow down its metabolic processes to adapt to whatever amount of energy you're putting in your body evolved to survive.

So it doesn't give a fuck that you want to look good on the beach or for your wedding or whatever, It is, literally literally focused on surviving. And if you're eating low calorie for long periods of time, then it's going to slow down the metabolic processes. This is called metabolic adaptation, completely normal process that your body goes through. This is literally the business model of so many health and fitness retreats. You'll see people that go to these health and fitness retreats for, say three weeks. Uh They get put on a 1500 Calorie Diet and told to exercise three times a day. Now, no shit, you're going to lose weight. Your body is literally gone into shock. You're not getting much energy in to even fuel your basal metabolic rate, but also you're burning a fuck load of energy. So what happens here is people get really good results over these three weeks, but of course they're going to, they they've created a huge calorie deficit now over a short period of time. Yeah, you're going to lose a lot of weight. Your body is going to be like, holy shit, there's not much energy coming in. Let's tap into our own stores.

You lose a fuck load of weight. Plus what typically happens is you're not eating many carbohydrates, which then your body is not holding glycogen, which water binds to you're gonna lose a whole heap of water weight as well. You're not actually losing fat. But what people actually do is they get really good results over these three weeks. They go home, they've gone from Eating 1500 calories, training three times a day where they might be burning 1500 calories To eating normal. They might bump back up to 2000 calories And now they're only training once a day, burning 500 calories. So now they've actually put their Their body into a massive 1500 calorie surplus after that, that signal that your body is literally fucking starving. Once food starts coming in again, your body goes, oh shit man, we didn't deal with that very well. Last time I need to survive. Next time food comes in, let's start storing that shit. Let's start putting that away. Let's put that in a safe space for next time, our bodies under massive amounts of threats. So then what happens is weight starts slowly coming back on, you know, over the next couple of months, all of a sudden six months later, you right back to where you started before you went to the health and fitness retreat and go, fuck, what happened?

How did this happen? And then you go, right, I know what got me in shape. Last time I'm going to go back to the health and fitness retreat. Excellent business model, boom, repeat customers in the last episode. I recommended that people Track this is where those numbers start coming into play. We look at those numbers against each other. Let's say we've got 2600 calories. Our total daily energy expenditure. How much we're burning. If We're only taking in 1500 calories, there's a massive, massive imbalance there, we need to start balancing that out. Okay, if you're not even getting enough energy into support basal metabolic rate, your body is literally in survival mode and it's not going to adapt the way that you want it to, or it will for a little bit and then it's going to hit a plateau and you're not going to go anywhere, then you're going to need to do a lot more work and you're gonna need to eat less, which actually pushes you deeper and deeper and deeper into that hole, which makes it fucking harder and harder and harder to get out. The longer you stay there, the harder it is to get out. So, uh this is where a reverse diet comes into play. I won't go into this in too much detail. But this is essentially where we start building our energy in uh up and up and up and up gradually over time so that we can push our energy in back up towards our energy out.

So now we're hitting equilibrium. Now our bodies in a safe space and it becomes healthy. A healthy organism is an adaptable organism. There's going to be some fairly significant signals to read that's going to tell you whether or not you need to go through a reverse die. It's likely going to have low libido, low sex drive. Maybe you have some trouble regulating core temperature, etcetera. So these are all signs that maybe your body is not getting enough energy and it's literally having to run on fumes. This is where it's very important to consider how you're feeling. Pay attention to how you're feeling. Your body is constantly giving you signs and signals. And if you're a little bit fatigued under the weather, you can't, you know, your sex drive has crash, it's in the tank, you're not sleeping very well, You're never very well rested, you're always fatigued. Then it's pretty good sign that maybe your body is not getting enough energy to thrive and it's literally running on fumes just to survive essentially a reverse diet is when we look at gradually increasing calories over a long period of time so that we can get the body back to a state of health.

The goal when we reverse diet is to increase those calories, increase performance, improve health markers whilst minimising any weight gain. Now, realistically there might be a little bit of weight gain here, but ideally we keep track of what's happening and we adjust our calories as as we go to suit how our bodies adapting. So that is going to be completely dependent on how long you've been dieting for how much metabolic adaptation you've caused. Now, this is the importance of tracking this is why I told you guys in the first episode, make sure you track your food because once we work out of a total daily energy expenditure. If we're only eating 1500 calories, but I haven't tracked. I might go from 2600 calories. I'm going to go, I need to be in a deficit to lose weight so I'm gonna drop down To roughly 20 100 calories. Sweet. I'm just going to use the algorithm that the app told me I'm gonna Drop down 20 100 calories. Okay, now, theoretically you've put yourself into a deficit. But if you haven't tracked your food and you don't know, you're eating 1500 calories and you go from 15 100 calories to all of a sudden tracking and eating 2100 calories.

Now you've actually put yourself into a 600 calorie surplus, theoretically you're in a deficit. But after a couple of weeks you're like, what the fuck is going on? Why am I putting on weight? Well because you didn't track your food to start with And now you've put yourself into a surplus rather than a deficit in part two of the energy balance episode, we're going to dive a little bit deeper and have a look at the numbers. But to recap this episode, energy balance is what allows us to manipulate our weight to gain weight and improve health markets and performance. We must be in a calorie surplus to lose weight. We need to be in a calorie deficit. That deficit is going to bring some strength, decreases power, decreases performance decreases as well. To maintain weight. We must maintain equilibrium. Energy in equals energy out. Let's get ready for the next episode. We're going to be diving a little bit deeper into these numbers what they mean and how we can manipulate them to get the most out of our regime.

The only thing that I want out of this podcast is to help people cut through the bullshit in the health and fitness industry. There's so many snake oil salesman and magicians that promise everything for barely doing anything. Well, I'm here to tell you that that's bullshit. And if you want to make changes, you need to make changes. If you enjoy the message that I'm delivering, please help me spread the word and like share safe and subscribe to my social media platforms instagram is at K O B E S underscore pft at codes underscore pft. My facebook is Sean Coba and my business page is at performance functional training. You'll also find performance functional training on Youtube. Go and check that out and please pass this on to your friends, family. Anyone else who would benefit from hearing this message. And if you could also leave me a five star rating and review, that would be much appreciated.

Anybody who does leave me a five star rating and review will have precedence when it comes to my Q and A sessions. I'm going to be posting on my social media platforms in the coming weeks of questions and answers you guys ask the questions. I will answer them on a podcast episode. That's it for me today guys. Hopefully enjoyed this episode and I look forward to bringing you some awesome content, moving forward peace.

Episode 16: Nutritional Pyramid of Importance Mini Series: Energy Balance Part 1
Episode 16: Nutritional Pyramid of Importance Mini Series: Energy Balance Part 1
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