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How do I measure my daily energy expenditure?

Carry a calculator!

In a previous blog we discussed Calorie Counting. Actually we discussed that this was in fact a little pointless due to all the variables that go with getting your steak on the plate. (Sorry if you’re a vegetarian). Whilst we’ve stated that this will be pointless, you may have created a habit and quite enjoy counting calories so this chapter will give you a few basic things to think about when looking at overall Energy Output.

So by now you know that Calorie Counting is only ever a rough estimate due to growing conditions, fertilisation, age of product, travel time, cooking conditions and finally how long your food has been sitting in the supermarket or the freezer out the back of the restaurant that you’re heading out to tonight. This however doesn’t mean that it’s a complete guess when working out how many calories you should be consuming to how many calories you are consuming. Below, we’ve got a great equation to work out both Mens and Womens Resting Metabolic Rate to within 10%.

Mifflin-St. Jeor Equation: Resting Metabolic Rate for Men

10x Weight in Kilograms +6.25x Height in centre meters -5x age in years +5

Resting Metabolic Rate for Women

10x Weight in Kilograms + 6.25x Height in centre meters -5x age in years -161

Whilst this is the most accurate equation we’ve found, it’s still only 82% accurate for the non obese, 70% for the obese and underestimation can be anywhere from 18%-30% whilst overestimation can be anywhere from 7%-15%.

So once you’ve worked out your Resting Metabolic Rate, you’ll want to know how much energy you’re burning through on a daily basis right?

Whilst you’re sitting here reading this article we can assume you’re consuming 3.5ml of oxygen per kg per minute (unless you’ve having a panic attack about the number above) and this is the equivalent of 1 MET (Metabolic Equivalent).

A 70kg person would therefore be consuming 245ml per minute…following so far? When the intensity of exercise is increased, so are the MET and therefore you consumption of oxygen is now no longer sitting at 245ml per minute. Below are a few activities with a MET rating beside them.

Sexual Intercourse

Normal 2-3MET’s Orgasm 3-4MET’s Upper Range 5-6MET’s

Golf 4-5MET’s

Walking 1.6km in 20min 3-4MET’s

Heavy Housework eg making beds, scrubbing floor or washing windows 3-6MET’s

Sprinting for your life! 10MET’s

So lets say you’re sprinting for your life (High Intensity 10MET’s). To accurately work out how much oxygen you’d be consuming per minute we multiply 245 (our Oxygen consumption at rest per minute) x10 (MET’s) you then multiply 10MET’s by 70kg and you’d be expanding 700kcal per hour. Not totally fool proof but you now have a rough idea of how much you would expect to be burning and consuming in a day and why the Average Adult Expenditure on labels shouldn’t be heavily relied upon!

We hope you enjoyed the read and look forward to hearing any feedback.

Justin Beard Pn1


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