Eat More to Burn More? Explaining G-Flux
Ever heard of the saying “Eat less, move more” to lose weight? Theoretically, this works due to the CICO (calories-in-calories-out) principle, you ingest less than what your body requires and presto - weight loss.
However, real life is much more nuanced than that. You can eat less and move more for a period of time during a deliberate fat-loss phase but then what? You couldn’t possibly eat less forever. Therefore increasing G-flux which involves eating more calories and moving more is the more sensible option. By increasing your G-flux we can improve body composition and overall health while having more freedom in the food you consume.
What is G-Flux?
No G-Flux is not the latest ride in USS.
G-Flux, or energy flux, is a principle that revolves around the equilibrium of energy intake (calories we consume through food) and energy expenditure (calories we burn through metabolic functions and physical) within our bodies.
Maintaining the right balance between energy intake and expenditure is the key to achieving and sustaining your desired body composition.
Let's illustrate the concept of G-Flux
Imagine an individual who consumes 2,000 calories a day (energy in) and expends 2,000 calories a day through their basal metabolic rate (BMR) and physical activity. This person has in energy balance, and his weight remains stable.
Taking the same individual, imagine we increased his food intake to 3000 calories a day and increased their calorie expenditure to 3000 calories a day, most of you would assume that the person wouldn’t change as their increased intake and expenditure would cancel each other out.
However, research¹ has shown this individual can experience an increase in metabolic rate, a reduction in body fat, and an increase in lean muscle mass. The weight might remain relatively stable, but the body composition undergoes positive changes!
This is due to an increased intake of micronutrients which results in better recovery, improved nutrient partitioning (how your body makes use of the nutrients from your food), and insulin sensitivity (how responsive your cells are to insulin).
Conversely, if the same person becomes less active and reduces their daily calorie expenditure to 1,500 calories while cutting their calorie intake to 1,500 calories, one might again assume logically that there are no significant changes. However, this decrease in activity combined with reduced calorie intake leads to a decrease in metabolic rate, muscle loss, and poorer overall health.
This is why decreasing your calories does not work in the long term. In my clients programs, I will typically decrease their caloric intake for the first month (assuming their body fat is on the higher side) and increase their caloric intake and workout frequency once we reach a favourable level of leanness. This allows them to have more freedom to enjoy food and kickstart the process of building muscle, which results in a higher metabolism and better body composition.
Benefits of High G-Flux
1. Increased metabolic rate
2. Improved nutrient partitioning
3. Improved appetite regulation
4. Better body composition
5. Better overall health and recovery from workouts
6. YOU GET TO EAT MORE
How to implement G-Flux?
1. Increase the frequency of your physical activities:
The cornerstone of G-Flux is to boost your energy expenditure through physical activity. Aim to engage in at least 5 hours of physical activity per week, spread out over seven days.
Don’t limit your physical activity to simply the gym. Vary your modes of physical activity and incorporate different forms of training such as strength training, endurance exercises, and low-intensity activities like walking to prevent overtraining. With my clients, I aim to implement at least 4 days of strength training with 2 days of LISS (jogging or incline walking) or alternative cardio options such as lap swims or hill sprints.
2. Increasing the quality of your nutrition
While increasing physical activity is a key component of G-Flux, it should be complemented by a balanced and nutritious diet. Pay attention to macronutrient distribution and food quality and emphasise whole foods over processed ones. The improved nutrient partitioning of a higher G-Flux will only work if you HAVE NUTRIENTS TO DELIVER IN THE FIRST PLACE. Yes, a higher G-Flux will allow you to have more caloric freedom but it is not a pass to binge on junk.
3. Gradual Adjustments
Depending on your specific goals, gradually adjust your calorie intake and expenditure. For fat loss, gradually increase your activity while keeping your calorie intake steady. For muscle gain, slightly increase your calorie intake while maintaining a consistent activity level.
I hope this has provided some insights into why simply reducing your caloric intake perpetually is not the solution to sustainable weight loss. By optimising your G-flux, you stand to benefit from an increased metabolic rate, better general health and improved body composition, all while eating more.
Eat more and move more.
Looking to work with me to implement the concept of G-flux into your lifestyle and reap its benefits? Request your free fitness analysis here.