The Importance of Daily Energy Requirement
And Metabolic Rates For Weight Loss
Both in theory and practice, weight loss can be as easy as following
simple physical principles. You must not ingest more calories
than you expend in order to maintain or reduce your body mass.
If you learn how to effectively apply this principle to your energy
requirements, and as long as you choose your foods wisely, it
is a physiological certainty that you will not gain weight. As
simple as this sounds, it is our sedentary society, work environments,
poor nutrition and lack of exercise that makes this simple physical
principle an extremely difficult and painful process for many.
Many people concerned about weight loss become overly preoccupied
about the types of foods they eat. Although it is more beneficial
for your long-term health to maintain a healthy balanced diet
comprised of fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish and complex carbohydrates,
your body does not differentiate between these foods when comes
to storing extra calories as fat. If you maintain a daily calorie
surplus, that is, if you ingest more calories than you expend,
you will gain weight regardless of the types of calories you ingest.
Associate Professor Greg Cooney, from Sydney's Garvan Institute
of Medical Research says "the energy you use in your home
can come from a coal-fired power station, hydroelectric power,
or a wind turbine. You won't know which because the end result
"The energy that fuels your body can come from fats, proteins
or carbohydrates. You won't know which because the end result
is ATP, or cellular energy."
"Your body will use the energy it needs and store the leftover
fats, proteins or carbohydrates as fat. When you do the sums,
it's ultimately a matter of calories in and calories out."
For example, lets say your total energy requirement (calculation
above) is equal to 2000 calories per day and you've ingested 2012
calories per day. This means you've ingested 12 calories more
than you've expended. Regardless of what types of foods these
extra 12 calories consist of, whether it be a liquid or solid,
fat or protein, fruit or chocolate bar, salad or french fries,
your body will turn these extra calories into fat. Your body will
then store this fat until it is needed for energy.
In theory, if you continue to maintain this calorie surplus daily,
you would end up storing an additional 84 calories per week, 336
calories per month and 4368 calories per year (that's over 1 pound
of fat). Keep in mind that this calculation is based on exceeding
your daily energy expenditure by only 12 calories. That's equivalent
to just over 1 cup of lettuce, 2 cups of plain black coffee, 1
M&M peanut or 1 glass of Kool-Aid. Since most people exceed
their calorie expenditure by far more than 12 calories per day,
it's no surprise that obesity is becoming the number one health
problem in developed nations.
By calculating your total
energy requirement (BMR + AMR) above, you will be able to
roughly assess your daily calorie expenditure and calculate the
amount of calories you require to maintain a daily calorie deficit.
A daily calorie deficit, that is, expending more calories than
you ingest, will allow you to lose weight regardless of the type
of calories. Most experts agree that a 300-500 calorie daily deficit
is safe and will allow for permanent weight loss provided a daily
modest daily exercise program is followed. (More
details on Fitness Fundamentals)
If you find yourself ingesting more calories than your daily
total energy requirement, you need to either reduce the amount
of calories, increase the amount of daily physical activity, or
preferably both. Both are preferential because increasing your
BMR through daily physical activity will effectually allow you
to burn more calories in the long-term. If you consistently decrease
your calorie intake (through dieting) without increasing your
physical activity levels, you risk reducing your BMR levels, forcing
your body to burn less calories, which may eventually lead to
further long-term weight gain and make it more difficult to lose
the weight you've gained. Unfortunately, this is the scenario
that most dieters face as they continue their desperate attempts
to lose weight through dieting without physical activity. As we
age, those who solely depend on dieting as a method of weight
loss become even more frustrated since BMR levels naturally decline
as we get older.
So how do you avoid falling into this vicious cycle? If your
between 20 - 55 years of age, your AMR should consist of at least
120 - 200 minutes of moderate or heavy physical activity weekly.
To prevent injuries and enhance recovery, the older you are, the
more you will have to stay in the lower end of this range. If
you're 55+, you should seek the guidance of an Exercise Specialist
and your Physician for an appropriate guideline according to your
health and fitness level.
Building muscle via strength conditioning is probably the easiest
way to naturally increase your BMR. By incorporating weight training
in your fitness regimen, your body will maintain or build more
muscle which will burn more calories at rest, increasing your
total daily energy expenditure. Cardiovascular exercise, eating
small portions more frequently, supplementation, increasing protein
intake, moving to a warmer climate, and adequate sleep are other
ways to increase your BMR.
There are no quick fixes, pills or easy one-step diet solutions
that will keep you fit and at a healthy weight. It's a lifestyle
and requires programming, hard work and dedication. Inevitably,
those who don't have time for such a lifestyle will soon have
to make time for mental and physical illness. Prevention works
and your health depends on it!
Calculate Your Daily Energy Requirement
BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) + AMR (Active
Metabolic Rate) = DER
to Inches Conversion Chart
Reference Sources 128
January 8, 2010