Get started with your fitness by calculating calories
Supplements and General Health • • 1 minute to read • By INFS Faculty
Author- Shubham Modi
When it comes to health and fitness goals, knowledge is power. And if the goal is weight loss, knowing a few essential fundamentals like how to track macros, calories, and exercise more efficiently is critical. The concept of quantified nutrition is not new to us. The body follows the most basic laws of energy conversion. It transforms the food into usable energy and stores the rest as fat for later use. The various components determine the degree to which this conversion varies. Let’s understand those components in detail.
BMR: The bare minimum number of calories required by the body to function is known as BMR. A plethora of reactions that include breakdown and synthesis of various small cells, nutrient exchange, blood circulation, breathing, blood filtration process, and more maintain the ‘life’ within us. To perform these functions, the body needs a certain number of calories. So BMR is, basal calories spent every 24 hours.
TDEE: The total amount of calories needed to exist along with calories burned through conscious and unconscious activity and calories required to digest and absorb nutrients.
TDEE= BMR + EAT + NEAT + EAT
It is also known as “Maintenance calories”. That means eating exactly the same amount of calories as that you expend will help maintain the weight.
If the goal is to lose weight, eat less than TDEE and vice-versa.
There are numerous online calculators developed to estimate the TDEE but are these calculators accurate? Let’s find out.
Metabolism is 'Adaptive'
Metabolism is the most misunderstood word. People often blame their metabolism if they are not able to lose weight. But what exactly is this?
In simple terms, the body's energy production system is called metabolism. So if the body utilizes fewer calories, the lower maintenance calories will be. As a result, consuming more than what body requires will result in weight gain. What causes this to happen?
The body has gained this ability through a variety of established and proposed methods. Our forefathers had frequent food scarcity; and before the invention of agriculture, food scarcity was even worse. As a result, the human body has evolved a mechanism to manage, save, and store fuel in accordance with the external environment. This 'adaptation ability,' it goes without saying, makes these equations 'Not THAT Accurate!'
How to calculate Maintenance calories?
Online calculators and formulas all serve the same purpose: to estimate the Maintenance Calories as a starting point but it can vary and be far from reality.
This is how you can estimate:
Step on the weighing scale empty stomach every morning and record the reading for 2 weeks
Note down the calorie consumption throughout the day for 2weeks.
Take three averages after 14 days —
Week 1's average weight (w1)
Week 2's average weight (w2)
Over the course of two weeks, the average number of calories consumed per day.
Overall, if the weight doesn't change with your current calorie intake, you're probably consuming around your maintenance calories, regardless of the results of the calculators. Then, depending on the goal (lose weight or add muscle), alter the calorie intake accordingly.
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