Okay here’s the low down on energy and weight gain.
It’s super complex and really difficult to understand…not really. Just kidding.
Basically it is this:
Energy in = energy out = stable weight gain
Energy in > energy out = weight gain
Energy in < energy out = weight loss
Energy expenditure is mainly affected by your Basal metabolic rate (i.e. the energy required to keep bodily functions and organs working when you are at rest) and physical activity (e.g. work activities, exercise, movement…). The more physically active you are, the more your energy expenditure is and therefore either A) the greater weight loss or B) the more food you need to consume in order to maintain your current weight.
The main energy sources in the body are fat, carbohydrate, proteins and alcohol.
The amount of energy released from these nutrients (except alcohol, although some probably consider it to be a nutrient, alcohol is NOT a nutrient. I repeat alcohol is NOT a nutrient) are per gram:
Fat: 37kJ (9kcal)
Carbohydrate: 16kJ (4kcal)
Protein: 17kJ (4kcal)
Alcohol: 29kJ (7kcal)
So basically for 1 gram of fat you consume 37kJ of energy in comparison with protein or carbohydrates which are ~17kJ of energy per gram.
Not all fats are unhealthy – think monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats – but all fats are ENERGY DENSE – i.e. they are high in energy.
So if you want to maintain weight/lose weight a simple start is to decrease fat intake.
And this is where the spray bottle comes in…
Get yourself a clean spray bottle. I use an aluminium food grade bottle – you can purchase it from any local food gadgets shop. If you cannot find an aluminium bottle, use a BPA free plastic bottle, but cover the bottle with alfoil to prevent light reacting with the oil (light exposure speeds up the rate of rancidity with fats). Fill it 2/3 water and 1/3 oil (any vegetable based oil that is HIGH in monounsaturated fats AND has a HIGH smoking point – e.g. rice bran oil, canola oil, sunflower oil…not olive oil). Whenever you need to use a bit of oil, e.g. make a stir-fry etc., shake your bottle up and squirt the required “oil” amount.
Doing this you’ve instantly cut back 2/3 (that’s a whopping 66%) of fat from your cooking and decreased your calories likewise.