How a Body Gains Weight: The Dance Between Energy In & Energy Out

In simplified terms, gaining and losing weight is all about energy balance.


"Weight management is not just about counting calories; it's about understanding the intricate dance between our body's energy intake and expenditure, and how our lifestyle choices can tip the scales in our favour."


Energy Balance

  • Energy intake: the food and drink consumed
  • Energy expenditure: RMR (resting metabolic rate) and activity levels

The X Factor

The X Factor (adaptive thermogenesis) can increase or decrease daily calorie expenditure by 10% and is influenced by several factors:

  • How much a person fidgets
  • Hormones
  • Stress
  • Temperature
  • Mental state
  • State of your health
  • Genetics
  • Gut bacteria
  • How well you sleep
  • How much muscle you have
  • Age
  • Hydration

Weight Loss Metrics

On average, to lose 1lb (454g) of fat, you need to burn or be in a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories. However, this can vary greatly due to The X Factor.


Body Fat Storage

Body fat is stored in the body when we consume more calories than we use. Calories burned during any activity are affected by:

  • Body weight
  • Lean body mass
  • Intensity of exercise
  • Conditioning levels
  • Your RMR (resting metabolic rate)

A Word of Caution

  • Don’t get hung up on facts and figures.
  • Becoming fixated on numbers is unhealthy.
  • This is a long-term plan about changing habits.

Influencing the X Factor

You can influence your X Factor by:

  • Exercising
  • Addressing any health concerns
  • Getting more sleep
  • Eating lots of vegetables (contain gut friendly prebiotics)
  • Managing stress levels
  • Moving more

The Key to Weight Management

The key to successful weight management is stabilising blood sugar levels. To do this, you need to:

  • Avoid eating too much sugar and refined carbohydrates.
  • Understand these foods are addictive and easy to over consume.
  • Know they affect blood sugar levels, leaving you hungry and cranky.

And of course, follow the framework within GreggWallace.Health


Exercise and Muscle Building

By exercising at the same time as weight management, you will be building muscle. Muscle is great for weight management:

  • 1lb of fat burns 2 calories a day.
  • 1lb of muscle burns 50 calories a day.


This blog delves into the complexities of weight management, breaking down the concept of energy balance into understandable terms. It highlights the importance of factors like the 'X Factor' in adaptive thermogenesis, which can significantly impact daily calorie expenditure, and emphasizes the role of various lifestyle elements like diet, sleep, and exercise. By addressing these aspects, the blog offers practical advice for those aiming to manage their weight effectively, focusing on long-term habit changes rather than mere numbers on a scale.

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