Calorie control – why is it important?
We hear about the different types of diets but the truth is that the most important element of weight management is calorie control. Let’s look at what part it plays in the process and which elements we need to consider.
In simple terms: eat more calories than you burn and you’ll gain weight (or muscle if the process is in line with specific training). Eat fewer calories than you burn and you’ll lose weight. It’s simple.
But how do you know the right amount of calories required for you to lose, maintain or gain weight?
There are several terms you need to know to calculate your required calorie intake for whatever your goal is. Let’s go through them:
It stands for Total Daily Energy Expenditure. It is an estimation of how many calories you burn per day in total.
It stands for Basic Metabolic Rate. It is the number of calories your body burns when at rest.
It stands for Thermic Effect of Activity. It is the number of calories burned as a result of intended exercise (e.g. during a workout at the gym).
It stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. It is the number of caloried burned during any movement that isn’t intended as exercise (e.g. calories burned while walking around doing grocery shopping).
To calculate your required calorie intake for maintaining weight, use the following equation:
TDEE = BMR + TEF + NEAT
How do you know the values for these terms?
There are free online calculators available online to calculate your individual BMR, e.g. this one: here.
To calculate TEF, you can use one of the estimators available online (just search for e.g. ‘calories burned while cycling’) or rely on a smart watch.
NEAT is the most difficult one to estimate and there is no simple calculation. You may get an estimate on your smart watch. Otherwise, it is best to estimate a value based on your general level of activity, e.g.
A sedentary desk job employee = 250 NEAT
A delivery driver or construction worker = 500 NEAT
Stay tuned to learn more about these elements in the next blog posts. To stay up to date, why not follow us on social media?
And if you live in Bristol and you’d like the hassle of calculations and meal prep out of the way, choose Fitasty’s Complete Meal Plans: delivering ready-to-eat, calorie-controlled meals straight to your door and taking the hassle out of dieting!