Within-Day Energy Balance
Although many people think that daily calorie balance is the only thing that matters, more and more research has been showing that the distribution of calories within the day actually matters quite a lot too.
This is something I’ve written briefly about in a previous post.
Larger within-day energy deficiencies have been associated with hormonal dysfunction and even a reduced metabolic rate in both male and female endurance athletes. While deficits are not inherently bad, we just want to avoid spending too much time in too large of a deficit.
I’ve created an app that allows you to see your hourly energy balance by entering the amount of calories you consume and what you burn during exercise. Of course there will be some error in the estimations (of intake, expenditure, and actual needs), but this can still provide some unique insight into how to balance your calories through the day.
The goal is to minimize time spent in a really big surplus or deficit. Also important to note, you should enter the calories burned for each hour separately, rather than in the sample place.
For example, if you workout from 8 am to 11 am and burn 1800 calories. Rather than entering 1800 at 8 am, it is better to enter 600 at 8 am, 600 at 9 am, and 600 at 10 am. This will allow more accurate calculations. The same goes for any food you consume during exercise.