I learned a great concept this week that relates to Maintenance.
So you know what that means . . . you’re about to learn it too :)
More specifically . . . Energy Flux
Energy Flux describes the amount of calories going through a system.
It’s an upgrade on the idea of Energy Balance.
Energy Balance is the old “calories in-calories out” idea.
It still holds, but it turns out there’s more to the story.
Maintaining weight loss depends on energy balance, taking in the same number of calories as we expend, thus staying at the same weight.
But it turns out . . .
1000 in --> 1000 out does not equal 3000 in --> 3000 out
High flux is healthier than low flux.
It’s way better for your weight and metabolic profile.
Energy Flux is kinda like the economy (or more accurately, my basic understanding of the economy):
The more money we spend the more money is flowing and therefore more investments in innovation and business so there are more jobs, more people making and spending and so it goes. If we all saved our money and didn’t spend there would be little flow and the economy would stagnate.
Same goes for energy (calories) and our bodies.
Look at Olympic athletes. Remember the swimmer, Michael Phelps? While training, he famously ate around 8,000 calories a day but had little body fat. He had a LOT of calories out (I’m guessing around 8,000 a day :).
In this scenario, the calories are not stored—they’re used.
The body effectively uses the energy to keep up with demand. It’s designed to do so. When there is demand, that is.
That’s why siting is the new smoking.
Our bodies were not designed to be sedentary.
And yet as a society we’re sitting more and more.
With “energy saving” devices, efficient transportation and shift from manual labor to service jobs, our energy demands for our body go down and so does our ability to eat more calories.
As many of us know from experience, it’s hard to eat less.
Studies show that energy balance is easier to achieve at high Energy Flux.
So in order to be able to eat more and still maintain our weight loss, we need to move more.
The studies on very successful maintainers bear this out.
Long-term successful maintainers move their bodies every day.
Typically they walk about an hour. It’s not necessarily strenuous exercise, but they do move. They found that it allows them to eat more.