Energy Balance

Morning all,

This weeks #TrainingTips post is all about your energy balance.

You may be thinking what on earth is my energy balance, well that’s why I’m here to tell you.  Your energy balance is the relationship between energy in and energy out, or in other words the food or calories that you eat and drink in comparison to the calories you burn though your daily activities and exercise.

It’s really as simple as that and this relationship between energy in and energy out dictates whether weight is gained, lost or maintained.  But of course there is more going on than just that.  Our metabolism and hormone balance changes whether we are in a positive energy balance (more in than out) or a negative energy balance (more out than in).


Negative Energy Balance

If you goal is to reduce in any form (fat, weight, muscle) you need to be in a negative state.  Your body does this by detecting that you’re in an energy deficit and then uses your fat reserves as the fuel back up tank.  If you become extremely lean then this can then switch to wasting away muscle, which in no circumstances can I think this being a good idea.  SO DON’T.

In a severe negative energy balance it will reduce your metabolism, bone mass, thyroid hormone, testosterone levels, concentration and physical performance.  Your body is basically shutting down, which is not good.

If a negative state is what you’re after I don’t advise anything more than a 500 calories deficit daily.


Positive Energy Balance

This positive energy balance is unfortunately where a majority of us will be residing and hence carrying a little more than we need to.  Over consuming however has just as many health risks and under eating.

Regular over consumption can lead to the build up of plaque in your arteries, raise your blood pressure and cholesterol, reduce your sensitivity to insulin and potentially cause diabetes and also raise the risk of certain cancers.  Of course these side effects are only if prolonged.  If you are over consuming and are carry more than you should, switch to a negative state and you can reverse these health risks as you become a healthier weight.

All that being said however, a positive energy balance is exactly what you’re going to have to be in if your goals are to gain lean muscle mass.  Providing you’re partaking in at least 4 hours of intense exercise per week and have the proper nutrition, the positive energy balance won’t carry with them the negative side effects above.

Energy Balance

Image Source: © Penguinn | Stock Free Images

So what next?

Ok so you now understand what energy balance is, but simply switching to either side of the energy scale won’t necessarily create the physique that you desire.  In fact with just a nutritional intervention you’re likely to create a larger or small version of the same shape you already are.  With the intervention of exercise you can sculpt and change the shape of your body more easily.

Change isn’t easy and that’s why so many fall of the bandwagon.  Either journey to lose body fat or to gain lean mass can and is uncomfortable but with simple steps this can be done with minimal upset.


If your goal is fat reduction:

  • Up your exercise up to 5-6 hours a week.
  • Slightly reduce your portion sizes at each meal.  This doesn’t need to be anything drastic, as if you drop for example 100 cals of each meal that could be a 300 cal reduction that day if you eat 3 square meals.

If your goal is lean gains:

  • Up your exercise up to 4-5 hours a week ensuring you have at least 4 hours of intense exercise.
  • Slightly increase your portion sizes at each meal.  Just like above this doesn’t need to be anything drastic.



That’s it, hope you found it interesting.  Have a great weekend guys.


Stay strong and live, love and laugh!






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