What Makes Up Energy Out?

Lesson 3 Module 1

The amount of calories you burn is an important aspect of managing energy balance. There are 4 major components of energy out. Here's a detailed breakdown of what they are and what they mean.

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR):

  • The amount of energy needed to exist, excluding all activity and movement.
  • Accounts for approximately 70% of all energy burned.
  • Various methods of calculation, all of which have a degree on inaccuracy.

Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT):

  • The amount of energy burned through unplanned exercise, ie walking around the office.
  • Also incorporates involuntary movement, ie fidgeting (also known as NENAT - Non-Exercise, Non-Activity Thermogenesis).
  • These can potentially reduce in a fat loss phase (more on that in a future lesson).

Thermic Effect Of Food (TEF):

  • The amount of energy burned during the digestion and absorption of food.
  • Protein is the macronutrient with the highest thermic effect. This is why a high-protein diet can be beneficial for fat loss. It burns more calories.
  • You don't need to incorporate a specific calculation for this. Simply, consume a relatively high protein diet.

Exercise Energy Expenditure (EEE):

  • The amount of energy burned during planned exercise, ie lifting weights, running, cycling, etc.
  • You burn far less calories during exercise than you might think, which is why dietary control is most effective for fat loss.

These components make up your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE):

Here's some science for the geeks:

Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. (Levine 2002). (Pubmed Link)

Assessment of physical activity and energy expenditure: an overview of objective measures. (Hill et al 2014). (Pubmed Link) ​​​(Download Text)