Factors That Influence Energy Expenditure
There are a few different factors that influence energy expense in humans, all equally important to understand.
Resting Metabolic Rate
This is the body’s largest user of energy. This term may be abbreviated RMR or BMR (B=basal) and is defined as the minimum amount of calories necessary for the body to maintain normal bodily functions. RMR is estimated to be about 60-75% of all energy used in humans. The RMR represents the sum of metabolic processes also includes the regulatory balance during rest required by humans.
RMR does show decline with age and with each consecutive decade passing, a 2-3 % decrease is typical but can be improved if mature adults stay active with PA. In general, due to overall mass differences, males typically have a higher RMR than females.
Thermic Effect of Food (TEF)
The thermic effect of food is as known as Diet-Induced Thermogenesis, or DIT. Both are acceptable. As a contributing influence on energy expense, TEF accounts for about 10% of all energy burned. This type of energy use comes from consuming foods and the normal caloric costs of digesting the consumed items, including the metabolism and absorption after intake.
Exercise or Physical Activity
Physical Activity definitely changes how our metabolic system operates! On a cellular level, changes in the properties of cells and their mitochondria reveal just some of the changes at that level. PA accounts for anywhere from 30-80% of total kcals burned in a day. There are two ways we need to understand PA – voluntary, whereby our client undertakes a fitness routine; or involuntary, which would be to consider the energy costs of maintaining posture or even shivering to warm the body in cold environments. We also need to be able to calculate how much the client’s needs change with different PA modes.
Energy Intake and Your Clients
Understand that your client will need to learn to make the proper food choices to fit into the eat- ing strategy you devise for them. Again, you are looking at existing patterns of eating, and providing suggestions for how to change the pattern. Nothing more. In most cases, it is useful to use a Food Log for these scenarios. You also may want to consider using an Activity Log to monitor the cost of outgoing energy in the form of PA.
One pound equals 3500 kcals. You therefore can reduce one pound per week if you simply remove 500 kcals from your clients intake for the day in terms of food. When activity is factored in, the FNC has to think more critically about how to balance kcals for the appropriate goal, while still fueling your client for PA. It is truly a balancing act in many ways more than you may have realized!
Energy Deficits to Decrease Fat Mass (FM)
To lose fat mass, the most obvious way is to decrease the overall amount of intake by decreasing food consumed by 500 to 1000 kcals per day. One drawback to this is that, in higher amounts, there is also a resultant loss of lean body mass due to calories being too restricted.
The second technique is to decrease the intake of calories from food from 250-500 kcals /day and to then supplement the plan considering those kcals consumed doing PA. This could add anywhere from 250-500 kcals/day to the bottom line as well.
The combined technique is clearly the preferred way but can be more difficult to balance; it may take more intense involvement from the coach and requires compliance from your client to be sure. . . but it is the recommended approach for a professional nutrition coach.
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That’s it for now.