Move more, eat more
Another theme to explore on this topic is the idea of increasing of exercise to compensate for additional food intake.
I don’t advocate the idea that you exercise to earn extra food or treats - you’re not a dog.
Exercise should have a purpose and benefits, such as doing resistance training to gain strength and improve bone density, not just the fact that it burnt 500kcal.
Once you find a form of exercise you enjoy and has benefits aligned with your goals, the energy expenditure becomes stable week-to-week.
After the training program has been set, there is often little space left for additional exercise.
Let’s say we work up to 4-5 training sessions per week, it’s hard enough to fit those sessions between work, family and social commitments, let alone adding another few hours of exercise to per week to cover for dietary non-adherence.
Instead, if the diet cannot be adhered to and energy intake begins to increase, I think that the emphasis should be on refining the dietary strategy to bring the deficit back into place.
The return on investment for time expended during additional exercise should also be considered.
A 300kcal chocolate bar might take 30-mins of hard running to ‘balance out’ if being placed on top of the current energy intake.
Inevitably, the exercise will begin to drop-off but the extra treats will not.
This leads to the loss of the energy deficit, which halts fat loss.