Monday, March 15, 2010

Energy Balance

Yes, another weight-loss blog.  I can't stress how important your power-to-weight  (w/kg) ratio is for improving performance on the bike.  In a previous blog, I had quoted, "Calories In=Calories Out"...implying that Weight Loss is nothing but a balance of Calories In versus Calories Out.  That is, if Calories In exceeds Calories Out you gain weight..and vice-versa. Well, it's NOT really that simple because the Calories Out is REALLY comprised of the Calories you burn through exercise PLUS calories burned through your basal metabolic rate.  Therefore, the equation should instead read:


Why is this so important?  If you reduce your caloric intake, and burn more calories than you consume, you'd assume you'd lose weight...right?  Well, not excactly.  Your body is pretty smart.  If your body senses that your caloric intake is not sufficient for the caloric use, the basal metabolic rate will slow down (decrease).  That's because your body does NOT like strives to maintain a balance.  I wish I could say that for my appetite (in-balance)...since it seems like I'm always hungry...and my body is crying out: FEED ME.  My body is ALWAYS jonesing for food.  That's because of my exercise routine and the fact that you can't go anywhere these days where you don't either see or smell food.  Hell, it's even on my TV at home at least an hour a day (Food Network).
By the way, BMR is synonymous with Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR).  It's the amount of calories your body burns while at complete rest.  You can have your BMR tested at most health/fitness studios.  I've had mine tested ($50) in the past and my RMR/BMR=1500 calories.  That is, my body would burn 1500 calories per day if I just sat on my a$$.  And, BMR is different for everyone.  Some people have a high BMR (the lucky ones) and some have low BMRs (most of us).  And, more bad news, the older we get the lower our BMR becomes.  The good news is, we can raise our BMR through the right exercise and nutrition.  Yes, there are some foods that will boost your BMR.  If I remember correctly, there was a study done years ago with Almonds.  In the study, the test group ate an additional 500 calories per day in almonds for 6-8 weeks.  At the end of 8 weeks not one test subject gained weight.  BTW, if you want to know which foods will increase your BMR, you have to read, "THE ABS DIET".  It's really not a diet book but a book of foods to eat that will help you lose weight because they increase the body's addition to fueling the body and being good for you.

In addition to proper nutrition, you can lose weight with a specific exercise routine.  We already know (I hope) that fat is maximally burned in a zone that corresponds to 65% of HRmax.  But, did you know that High Intensity Exercise/Training will not only burn fat but will increase your BMR?  It does.  That is why I end up losing most of my weight this time of year.  It's because my exercise routine becomes more intense..not only on the bike but in the gym.  Unlike low intensity training (the 65% HRmax training) where your fat burning ceases immediately upon finishing your workout, with high-intensity're still burning calories out of the gym and off the bike.  High Intensity Training (HIT) increases your thyroid hormone, growth hormone and testosterone level...all responsible for weight loss.  Tis the season for HIT.

Stay tuned for High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) blogs..coming soon.  Until then, Power ON! Coach Rob