There’s a reason most people regain the weight lost after a successful dieting period. Diets are not sustainable. Our body is smart enough to revert back to our previous heavier selves.
There’s got to be a better way; a long term, lifestyle approach that can keep weight “yo-yo” ing at bay.
In comes the idea of Energy Flux.
A higher Energy Flux, or eating more to fuel a higher energy expenditure, could be a healthier more sustainable lifestyle approach than the cliche and outdated “eat less and move more” one. (1)
It can lead to more fat loss, muscle gain, better recovery, more energy, and keep weight from regaining after a dieting period. (2)
Your body was designed to move, a lot, and to use plenty of high quality food as energy to fuel it.
We use the Thriving Factory analogy to explain this concept to our clients. Think of a thriving factory, tons of raw materials (calories) coming in, with busy workers (our metabolism) hustling to use up materials and produce lots of quality goods (movement). There are tons of jobs, the factory is lively, bustling, and making plenty of high quality products delivered with quality and efficiency.
The Eat Less and Move More model is telling us to have less raw materials, and still produce a ton of goods. After a while, our workers burn out, some quit on us, and the remaining start to demand more materials, causing us to take in more goods (calories) eventually.
No, we want a Thriving Factory that produces a ton of jobs, uses up a boat load of raw materials, and sends out many shipments of awesome goodies. Everyone’s happy, the workers, the bosses, the customers, and the wholesalers; it’s an everyday party in a Thriving Factory.
The key is to live a physically active lifestyle by upping your overall physical activity, and not depriving your body of nourishing, healthy, and nutrient dense foods . Those already moving around a bunch can push the intensity of your workouts a bit higher than you are used to.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you still need to be at a slight deficit, but having that overall deficit come from your increased and/or more intense activity levels can allow for more of the weight coming off as body fat rather than muscle.
A higher energy flux is also effective coming off a successful dieting period; practice living a higher energy flux lifestyle to make your weight loss gains more permanent and keep weight “yo-yo” ing at bay. Make your body into that Thriving Factory, your waistline, sanity, muscles, and overall health will thank you!
(1) David John Hume, Sonja Yokum, Eric Stice, Low energy intake plus low energy expenditure (low energy flux), not energy surfeit, predicts future body fat gain, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 103, Issue 6, June 2016, Pages 1389–1396, https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.115.127753
(2) Melby, C. L., Paris, H. L., Drew Sayer, R., Bell, C., & Hill, J. O. (2019). Increasing energy flux to maintain diet-induced weight loss. Nutrients, 11(10). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11102533