I am a big fan of the Teaching Company and recently they sent me a free lecture by Professor Anding entitled It’s All About the Calories. Professor Anding is a clinical dietitian and the Director of Sports Nutrition at Baylor College of Medicine. I found her lecture enlightening and educational. For example, if you require 2000 calories per day and you overeat by just a mere 100 calories per day without increasing physical activity, you will gain 10 lbs per year. Small increases add up over time.
Our gender, age, muscle mass, and amount of exercise influences the total amount of calories we require. Our basal metabolic rate is the number calories required for rest. This includes calories needed for heart rate, digestion, respiration, and the maintenance of blood pressure and body temperature. This accounts for 60% to 75 % of calories we need per day. The thermic effect of food is the calories required to digest our food and accounts for 10% to 30% of the energy we use daily. This depends on the food we eat. For example, a meal of pure protein requires 25% of the food’s calories to digest but this is not practical or desirable. Fortunately, moderate exercise shortly after meals increases the thermic effect up to 50%. So instead of laying or sitting down after a meal, go for a walk, do something.
However, do not confuse being busy with physical activity. It is possible to be “skinny fat,” that is to be normal weight but metabolically fat. We lose 3% of our muscle mass per decade in a phenomenon known as sarcopenia. This is not an aspect of normal aging, but rather a consequence of our sedentary lifestyle. This highlights our need for both aerobic exercise and strength training because aerobic exercise does not promote the lean mass gains as strength training does.
Another factor that affects the amount of daily calories we need is voluntary activity that is not exercise. In some ways, this is a personal characteristic since some peoples are naturally more fidgety than others are. However, we can increase our voluntary movements by consciously getting up and moving around during our day. Try setting a timer every 10 or 15 minutes to remind you to get up and move around.
So how many calories do we need? The number of calories we consume determines our total energy intake. Our basal metabolic rate, the thermic effect of food, and our physical activity determine our total energy expenditure. To calculate our calorie requirements we can use the Hamwi equation to determine our ideal body weight. For females, add 100 lbs for first 5 feet of height and then 5 lbs for each inch after that. For males, add 106 lbs for the first 5feet of height and then 6 lbs or each inch after that.
The calories needed for our basal metabolic rate equals our ideal body weight times 10. For me, 5 foot 8 inches, my ideal body weight is 154 lbs, therefore in order for me to loss weight without losing lean mass, I require (154 x 10) or 1540 calories per day. That is without any increase in my physical activity. However, if you are sedentary, not walking or exercising, you add 30% to your basal metabolic rate. You add 50% if you are get moderate exercise and can add 100% if you have a physically active job and get regular exercise. My daily calorie requirements adds up to 1540 + 30%, or 2002 calories since I am currently somewhat sedentary. Note however that Professor Anding warns us that most people out eat their exercise because we underestimating our total caloric intake. This is primarily due to fact that portion sizes have steadily increase over the years.
Hypnosis can help you establish positive healthy behaviors to manage your calories. Simply email me or give me a call at (805) 637-4263 and I can teach you how.