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Calories In Vs. Calories Out: 2 Things You May Not Know About Yourself That Could Change Your Life

Calories In vs. Calories Out: 2 Things You May Not Know About Yourself That Could Change Your Life

Your body requires energy for everything from thinking to blinking, and anything in between. Anabolic processes build tissues in the body, and catabolic processes break them down, along with fuel sources, for energy.

Your body naturally burns energy (calories) on its own. This number is called your resting metabolic rate, and is incorporated into your total daily energy burned. The total daily energy burned is also your weight maintenance threshold. Knowing the amount of energy your body burns in a day is a fundamental step in structuring a sound eating plan.

Calories Out

Finding the total amount of energy burned can be a complicated process. Below is a simplified version of what can be a rather complicated process. We’ve broken it into two (2) steps.

1) Find Your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)

Several methods can be used to calculate your resting metabolic rate. The Mifflin-St. Jeor Equation[1] was chosen for its depth. It takes several variables into consideration, including gender, rather than using weight alone. The Mifflin-St. Jeor Equation uses weight in kilograms, height in centimeters and age in years. Conversions and values to be used are shown in red.

Let’s take a look at the calculations for both using the examples below:

Female:

Age: 49 years young

Height: 5’2” (62 inches = 157.48 cm)

Weight: 140 pounds (63.5 kg)

Activity level: Works out vigorously 6 days per week

RMR = (9.99 x weight (kg)) + (6.25 x height (cm)) – (4.92 x age) – 161

     (9.99     x     63.5 kg)  + (6.25       x   157.48) – (4.92  x  49) – 161

     (          634.365         )  +  (            984.25      ) – (   241.08   ) – 161    

    1,216 calories/day

Male:

Age: 49 years young

Height: 5’8” (68 inches = 172.72 cm)

Weight: 200 lbs. (90.72 kg)

Activity level: Works out vigorously 6 days per week

RMR = (9.99 x weight (kg)) + (6.25 x height (cm)) – (4.92 x age) + 5

     (9.99    x    90.72 kg) + (6.25  x  172.72 cm) – (4.92  x  49) + 5

     (            906.29         ) + (           1,079.5        ) – (   241.08   ) + 5

     2,232 calories/day

2) Find the number of calories burned (total daily energy expended)

Multiply your resting metabolic rate (RMR) by the corresponding activity level in the chart below:

Activity LevelDescriptionMultiplier
SedentaryLittle to no exercise1.2
Lightly ActiveLight exercise or sports 1-3 days per week1.375
Moderately ActiveModerate exercise or sports 3–5 days per week1.55
Very ActiveIntense exercise or sports 6–7 days per week1.725
Extremely ActiveIntense daily exercise or sports; or physically demanding job1.9

Female:

RMR                    1,216   calories per day

Very Active      x 1.725 (intense exercise 6 days per week)

        2,098 calories/day (total daily energy expended)

 

Male:

RMR                    2,232   calories per day

Very Active      x 1.725 (intense exercise 6 days per week)

         3,850 calories/day (total daily energy expended)

Once you know how many calories your body burns in a day, you can compare that to the number of calories you consume. When you know the answers to these questions, you have more control over your weight.

Calories In

If the number of calories consumed in a day is less than the number of calories your body burns, you’re operating at a deficit. This will allow you to lose weight over time.

If the number of calories consumed in a day is equal to the number of calories your body burns, you should maintain your current weight.

If the number of calories consumed in a day is greater than the number of calories your body burns, you’re creating a surplus of calories. For every 3,500 extra calories stored, you will gain 1 pound.

Simple Math

Calories in < Calories out – Deficit
Calories in = Calories out – Maintenance
Calories in > Calories out – Gain

Before you decide to cut your caloric intake to almost nothing, consider this: for adults, consuming less than 900 calories per day should be supervised by a medical professional. When intake drops to low levels for an extended period, your body becomes your super hero. It works to save you by slowing your metabolism.

This information is a must when creating a healthy, sustainable strategy.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 40% of Americans live with obesity,[3] one of the modifiable risk factors of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer[4].

If you don’t know the number of calories being consumed, how likely is it that you know the amount of fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbs, sugar, etc. contained in the foods? These nutrients, if left unchecked, can also lead to risk factors of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke.

References:

[1,2] Kelly, M. P. (n.d.). Resting Metabolic Rate: Best Ways to Measure It-And Raise It, Too. Retrieved January 25, 2020, from https://www.acefitness.org/certifiednewsarticle/2882/resting-metabolic-rate-best-ways-to-measure-it-and/

[3] Defining Adult Overweight and Obesity. (2020, June 30). Retrieved July 17, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/adult/defining.html

[4] Adult Obesity Facts. (2020, June 29). Retrieved July 17, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html

[5] Adult Obesity Causes & Consequences. (2020, June 11). Retrieved July 26, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/obesity/adult/causes.html

Credits:

Image by Robin Higgins from Pixabay

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