On the Internet, we can find a lot of different ready-made diets. However, it is worth taking into account the fact that these are only examples (outlines) published by other people for whom the given diet was written. Unfortunately, each of us is different, and the diet should be consistent with our state of health, age, weight, height, physical activity and the goal we want to achieve. Therefore, copying ready-made diets is not a good idea. It is worth calculating your own needs and adjusting your diet to individual needs. In the article, I will tell you how to do it correctly.
Caloric demand – what exactly is it?
Caloric demand, or total metabolism (CPM), is the amount of energy (kilocalories) that must be delivered each day together with food to our body. Knowing the value of CPM is necessary to plan your diet.
However, we must realize that the calculated CPM value will only be estimated. We are not able to calculate 100% exact demand. Everything becomes clear when we start to use the diet. Then, we can actually introduce any changes that will help us refine the diet. However, before we get into patterns, a few words about basic metabolism (PPM), which is the foundation of CPM.
BMR – basic metabolism
The basic metabolism (PPM, also known as BMR) is the number of kilocalories we need to sustain basic life functions and the proper functioning of the body. We can include them among others physiological processes, breathing, sleep, digestion, maintaining the correct body temperature. The higher the PPM value, the higher the caloric demand.
Caloric demand calculator – is it worth it?
On the Internet, we can find many calculators that are used to calculate the demand, you can use them the most. It is important, however, to choose the right calculator. I recommend using calculators based on Mifflin or Harris-Benedict patterns.
Calculate your daily caloric demand – methods
There are several methods to calculate the demand, but I will try to present to you the simplest and the one that I consider the best.
The simplest pattern, but not precise
1. Multiply weights × 24 hours = we get BMR (basic caloric demand)
2. BMR × activity coefficient = FINAL RESULT
An example calculation for a person weighing 80 kg, who performs physical work and trains 4 times a week
BMR 80 kg × 24 = 1920
1920 × 1.7 = 3264 kcal
1.0 – lying or sedentary lifestyle, lack of physical activity,
1,2 – sitting work, low level physical activity,
1,4 – non-physical work, training twice a week,
1.6 – light physical work, training 3-4 times a week,
1.8 – physical work, training 5 times a week,
2.0 – hard physical work, daily training.
The coefficients given above are only roughly used to determine our activity. For example – a person who works physically, but only trains twice a week, should determine his ratio in the range of 1.4-1.6.
I will use a method here that I consider to be one of the best when it comes to calculating demand. It is not the simplest, and as I mentioned earlier, it is not 100% accurate, because we are not able to perfectly calculate the demand, although this method is in my opinion the closest to the ideal.
To calculate our total daily calorific demand (TDEE – total daily energy expenditure) we will use the following formula
TDEE = BMR + EAT + TEF + NEAT
BMR – basic metabolism. According to the Mifflina formula, we calculate it as follows
BMR = (9.99 × weight (kg)) + (6.25 × height (cm)) – (4.92 × age) – 161
BMR = (9.99 × weight (kg)) + (6.25 × height (cm)) – (4.92 × age) + 5
EAT (excercise activity thermogenesis) – kilocalories burned by physical activity
7-9 kcal per minute depending on the intensity.
5-10 kcal per minute depending on the intensity.
TEF (thermic effect of food) – thermal effect of food
NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) – kilocalories burned during everyday activities
It is energy spent in everyday activities not related to sleep and intentional exercises, such as walking, housework, singing, etc. Without access to specialized equipment, we can calculate the value of NEAT by keeping a diary of activities performed for a certain period of time. Each of the activities is assigned an energy equivalent.
MET (metabolic equivalent) is defined as the resting level of energy transformation, i.e. the amount of oxygen that is used by the body during eg sitting motionless in silence and calm for one minute (for a person with a body weight of 70 kg it will be around 3, 5 ml of oxygen, which gives 1.2 kcal). If an activity has, for example, 2 MET, it means that you need twice as much oxygen to do it for a minute (twice as many kilocalories). It can be assumed that 1 MET = 1 kcal / kg body weight / hour. It is worth using the table in which MET values for various activities are given.
Male, 18 years old, 80 kg, 178 cm tall, 4 intensive strength training sessions per week for 60 minutes.
1. Basic metabolism (BMR)
BMR = (9.99 × 80 (kg)) + (6.25 × 178 (cm)) – (4.92 × 18) + 5 = 1828.14 kcal
2. Calories burned during physical activity (EAT)
Strength training – 4 × 60 min × 8 = 1920 kcal
The result from point 2 is divided by 7 (days of the week) = 274 kcal
We sum up the results from points 1 and 2.
(BMR) 1828.1 kcal + (EAT) 274 kcal = 2102.14 kcal
We add NEAT
about 500 kcal + 2102.14 = 2602.14
We add the thermal effect of food (TEF)
TDEE = 2602.14 kcal + (0.1 × 2602.14) ≈ 2862 kcal
Such a number of kilocalories should be consumed by the indicated man to maintain body mass. Depending on whether our goal is to expand muscle mass or reduce body fat, add 200-300 kcal to our total daily requirement or subtract them.
A person whose goal is to develop muscle mass
(TDEE) 2862 kcal + 300 kcal = 3162 kcal
A person whose goal is to reduce body fat
(TDEE) 2862 kcal – 300 kcal = 2562 kcal
I have introduced to you the method that is the fastest and the simplest when calculating demand, and the method that I consider to be one of the best in this respect. However, as I have already mentioned, we are not able to calculate the 100% accuracy of demand, therefore the most important is the constant control of your body weight and body shape. I am in favor of gradually subtracting or adding kilocalories, which allows better control of progress. If, for example, from 2862 kcal we subtracted 300 kcal and after some time no effects are visible, body mass stops, we subtract another 200 kcal.