Why Calories needs vary from person to person?

Utsav Agrawal
Utsav Agrawal

 | 1 minute to read
Nutrition

Ever wonder why

1) Your friend followed a certain diet and lost weight but you can’t? 2) Your friend stuffs himself/herself with so much food and still doesn’t gain a single gram? Well, the reason is simple: the calories needed and the calories expended differ from person to person. Let's understand why this is so: #1. Body Size: Height and weight play a huge role in determining your caloric intake. A large body means more and bigger cells, so it requires more energy (read: food) to power itself. Tall people generally have more surface area than short people, even at the same weight. You also need calories to keep body temperature stable as more surface area is exposed to the environment. All this means that people of different shapes and sizes will have different calories needs and will also use calories at different rates. #2. Exercise/physical activity: Doing any physical activity regularly can burn a good amount of calories, which inherently results in more calorie requirements for the body #3. NEAT: Nonexercise activity thermogenesis, as the name suggests, are calories burned during non-exercise activities such as walking, moving your hands, and even fidgeting. Calories burned through NEAT can widely differ from person to person. Those with desk jobs generally burn very few calories from NEAT, whereas people with a job which requires them to be active can burn even up to 20 percent of their total daily calorie expenditure from non-exercise activities. #4. Metabolic and Genetic Factors: Some people have more efficient metabolisms than others and can convert more of the energy from the food they consume into other usable forms of energy. Generally, metabolism does not vary widely on average; however, even these small differences can contribute to the ease or difficulty of losing weight over a long period. #5. Body Fat Percentage: Fat is a heat insulator and requires a bit less energy to be maintained than muscle. Resting muscle tissue can burn about 6 kcals/lb./day. That is why leaner individuals will have to burn a few more calories to maintain the same weight than people with more body fat and lower muscle mass. #6. Gender: Women inherently have more body fat than men. They also burn lower calories overall than men at the same bodyweight. Taken together, all these factors combined can result in a considerable caloric difference between individuals. That’s why it makes no sense to compare your fitness journey to someone else’s - every body is unique! References- 1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22681398/ 2. https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Components-of-total-daily-energy-expenditure-TDEEBMRbasal-metabolic-rate_fig1_260397860 3. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2013.00090/full 4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2691813/ 5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19856424/ 6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3136178/

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