Common terminology explained

Sometimes it can seem like the health and fitness industry has its own language. We recognise this can be a little confusing. We thought it might be handy to round up a few common terms we sometimes use and give you a simple definition.

  1. CALORIE: A calorie is simply a unit of energy. 1000 calories = a Kilocalorie (kcal). We use Kcal to track food intake and when we list energy on food labels. 
  2. MAINTENANCE CALORIES: Exactly as it sounds – The amount of calories (energy) you need to consume on a given day to maintain your current weight. 
  3. CALORIE DEFICIT: Simply put, a calorie deficit is when you consume fewer calories than your maintenance, resulting in weight loss.
  4. CALORIE SURPLUS: The exact opposite of a deficit. A surplus is when you consume more calories than your maintenance, resulting in weight gain
  5. METABOLISM: The entirety of your body’s chemical processes. Typically the two big processes are breaking down (catabolism) or building up (anabolism) matter inside of us. 
  6. METABOLIC ADAPTATION: A simple way to explain this is when it comes to weight loss – People often lose weight consistently by consuming fewer calories than their maintenance. At some point, weight loss will stall as metabolism has adapted to avoid too much weight loss. 
  7. TDEE – TOTAL DAILY ENEGRY EXPENDITURE: The amount of energy our body’s use each day, made up from the following components.
  8. BMR – BASAL METABOLIC RATE: The amount of energy an individual needs to perform vital processes and basic functions daily such as breathing, heart rate and brain function.  At Holos we use the Miffin St Jeor equation, to determine this. We use this equation as it does not require body fat % which is difficult for us to obtain remotely.
  9. NEAT: NON EXERCISE ACTIVITY THERMOGENESIS: NEAT is the amount of energy you spend doing little movements throughout the day that aren’t actually exercise in addition to walking or standing
  10. TEF: THERMIC EFFECT OF FOOD: Believe it or not it actually costs you energy to extract energy from the food you eat!
  11. EXERCISE ACTIVITY: Exactly as it sounds… When you exercise, you expend energy. How much depends on the intensity and duration.


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