According to the Nutrition Center, the average woman has an energy requirement of 2000 kcal and the average man an energy requirement of 2500 kcal per day.
However, this is based on an average man and woman who are moderately intense. This means that they generally have a little exercise. The energy requirement differs per person and depends on various factors.
There are supplements for more energy, but nutrition also plays a very important role. In this article, you will learn how to calculate your personal energy needs .
What is your energy requirement?
The energy requirement is the need for calories that a person needs to function and move. With this amount of calories, you will maintain your weight. This is also known as energy consumption.
What is your energy requirement?
For example, men often have a higher energy requirement than women. This is because men often have more muscle mass than women.
Muscle mass needs more energy than fat mass. Below I will discuss several factors that influence your energy needs.
This is also called basal metabolism. This is your energy expenditure when your body is in total rest. This is about 60-70% of your total energy consumption. The factors below, among others, influence your resting metabolism.
- Genetic Factors
- Lean body mass
- Metabolism-enhancing supplements
Exercising consumes energy. This increases your energy consumption. This amount of energy differs per type of movement. Movements such as housework, gardening, and cycling to the store are also included.
Energy consumption through growth
This is especially the case with children. Babies and adolescents in particular experience rapid growth. Muscle building also requires energy expenditure.
Thermal effect of food
This is the energy you need to digest, absorb and process food. This is about 10 to 15% of your total energy needs.
The thermal effect depends on the composition and your way of eating. Proteins have a higher thermic effect than carbohydrates. Fats have the lowest thermal effect.
How can you calculate your energy needs?
There are several special expensive devices for it. However, you can also estimate your energy needs free of charge with a formula.
By regularly stepping on the scale, you can keep an eye on whether the estimate is correct. Based on the results, you can adjust your intended energy requirement accordingly.
Formula energy requirement
There are different formulas to calculate your energy needs.
A commonly used formula is the Harris & Benedict formula. This allows you to calculate your basal metabolic rate. The formula works like this:
Men: resting metabolic rate in kcal/day= 88.362 + (13.397 x G) + (4.799 x H) – (5.677 x L)
Women: resting metabolic rate in kcal/day= 88.362 + (13.397 x G) + (4.799 x H) – ( 5.677 x L)
G= 88,362 + (13,397 x G) + (4,799 x H) – (5,677 x L)
One of the other formulas is the WHO formula. This formula works better in obese people.
Devices and the need for energy
There are various devices with which your energy needs can be calculated. The most reliable devices are often pricey. Several devices are explained below.
This measurement is done through a mask in which you have to breathe. Indirect calorimetry calculates the amount of oxygen you use and the amount of carbon dioxide you produce. Based on this, it can be calculated how much energy you need at rest.
Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) Meter
This is a measurement that measures the resistance that the body offers to an alternating current at 50 kHz. The fat-free mass can then be calculated based on a formula. The components age, gender, weight, height, and resistance are used in the formula.
BOD POD Determines
lean body mass and fat mass. This measurement is very precise and reliable. The person must be in a booth wearing close-fitting underwear or swimwear. The body measurement takes 10 minutes.
To calculate your energy requirement, you must also calculate your PAL value. This means ‘Physical Activity Level', or your level of physical activity. This calculates the amount of movement. You multiply this by your basal metabolic rate.
You can choose to estimate the PAL value globally or calculate your PAL value more precisely. The more precisely you calculate it, the better the estimate of your energy needs will be.
To estimate it more precisely, keep track of which movements you do per day. You note which PAL value it has for each type of activity and time.
You add up everything from the past 24 hours and divide the result by 24. The result is your average PAL value per day. If you change a lot in terms of movement per day, you can keep it up for a few days.
Once you have calculated your energy needs, it is important to consider your goal. If you want to lose weight, you need to consume less energy than your energy needs. You can then remove 500 to 600 kcal from your energy needs. If you want to gain weight, you can eat 300-500 kcal extra.
Look especially at what number of kcal is feasible for you. If you choose less or more calories, you will still gain or lose weight. It will just go slower.