Can low calorie expenditure cause obesity?

Weight gain is caused by an imbalance of calories eaten and burned.

Calorie intake and expenditure depend, to a large extent, on your behavior.

  • Calorie intake: You can reduce calorie intake by eating less and choosing foods that are low in calories. However, for many people, this is difficult because of a lack of knowledge, low motivation, eating disorders or food addiction.
  • Calorie expenditure: You can burn more calories by using your muscles, exercising, gaining muscle and eating protein. For many people, this is difficult due to lack of motivation, a desk job or a physical disability.

Changing either calorie intake or expenditure can shift the balance, leading to either weight gain or loss over time.

For this reason, sedentary activities, lack of exercise and poor muscle mass are among the many factors contributing to weight gain and obesity.

However, calorie expenditure is affected by various factors and not completely adjustable. Most notably, it is determined by age, gender and genetics.

Bottom Line: Along with calorie intake, calorie expenditure strongly affects your body’s energy balance. Relative to calorie intake, low calorie expenditure leads to weight gain over time.