Calories to Lose Weight & Gain Weight: The Easy Science

Calories to Lose Weight & Gain Weight: The Easy Science

In this video we go over the easy science behind calories to lose weight and gain weight.  We will discuss how energy balance affects weight loss and weight gain. We explain why it is important to measure our body’s energy expenditure through a metabolic analyzer.

Calories in Food

The nutrients in the food we eat, for example fats and carbohydrates, contain the energy that powers our movements.  This energy powers activities like walking and going to the gym.  It also powers processes to sustain life, like our brain and heart function.

The energy contained in these nutrients are what we call calories. Different nutrients contain different amounts of calories. 1 gram of protein contains 4 kcal, 1 gram of carbohydrate contains 4 kcal and 1 gram of fat contains 9 kcal.

Burning Calories

During the day your body breaks down nutrients in order to release the energy it needs to sustain life and to power movement. This process is what we all refer to as “Burning calories”. 

Whenever we eat more nutrients than our body breaks down, OR in other words, we eat more calories than we burn, our body stores this excess energy. This is how we gain weight.

On the contrary we can also look at calories to lose weight.  Whenever we eat less nutrients than our body breaks down OR in other words we eat less calories than we burn, our body faces a deficit. In order to cover it, it goes into its nutrient reserves and draws the energy needed to cover this deficit. This is how we lose weight.

Calorie Deficit

So creating a deficit of calories (in other words energy) is the ONLY way through which the human body loses weight. That comes with good and bad news. The bad news is that you actually need to eat less than what you burn to lose weight.  This means secret foods or exotic combos alone will not help you in any way. The good news is that any type of diet will yield more or less the same result in terms of weight loss. That means you can stick to the diet that suits your preferences, as long as it does two things:  first, it ticks the health requirements we will discuss in subsequent modules and second, with the diet you eat fewer calories than you burn.

A recent study conducted at Stanford university revealed this easy science.  It is also what basic physics informs us. The truth is there is no significant difference in the amount of weight you will lose if you follow a high fat or a high carbohydrate diet. The amount of weight a person loses is simply dependent on his or her calorie deficit. (Read the Study)


As a result, knowing how many calories your body burns every day is essential.  Then you know your calories to lose weight and how much you need to eat to create a calorie deficit. The most accurate way of determining the amount of calories a person’s body is burning is through a metabolic analyzer. By knowing how many calories you burn daily you can tailor your nutrition to your personal caloric needs and to your fitness goals. 


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