Lack of energy, chronic fatigue, lethargy – it seems that these problems affect everyone. Why is this happening? Are we able to live in such a way that we never lack energy? These are questions bothering more and more people. The answer seems simple, but is it like that?
The energy in the context of nutrition
The characteristic feature of modern society is living in the momentum. We are racing for a career, personal development, mental development. To achieve satisfaction, we often have to sacrifice many things, especially time. The lack of time syndrome seems to be an inseparable part of life. Increasingly, it is associated with poor quality of food. We want to eat mainly fast, but does it mean well soon? Unfortunately, more and more often, this is one of the basic factors responsible for the lack of energy. It seems that in addition to sleep control, nutrition is a key element to prevent the formation of chronic fatigue syndrome.
The energetic demand of an organism is defined as the amount of energy that should be delivered to the body along with food, to cover energy expenses related to metabolism and physical activity. Energy, which is most often expressed in kilocalories, results mainly from the content of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats in food. It is necessary for the work of organs, breathing, maintaining constant body temperature, as well as for everyday human functioning. Therefore, a longer-lasting shortage of energy about the body’s needs may result in the appearance of weakness and fatigue.
The body’s energy needs – how to calculate them
The fact that we need food to have energy in everyday life is clear, but does each of us need it the same? Of course not. The amount of food and the amount of energy delivered with food should be individually matched to the needs of each of us, taking into account the age, height, sex, and level of physical activity. How to determine your energy demand? We should start by calculating how much our basic metabolic rate is, i.e. the amount of energy necessary for proper bodywork, in short PPM. To calculate it, we can use the formulas. Below is an example of Harris and Benedict’s modified version.
Pattern for PPM for a man
PPM kcal = 88,362 + 13,397 × M (kg) + 4,799 × W (cm) – 5,677 × L (years)
Pattern for PPM for women
PPM kcal = 447,593 + 9,247 × M (kg) + 3,098 × W (cm) – 4,33 × L (years)
M – current total body mass in kg,
W – height expressed in cm,
L – age expressed in years.
Then, calculate the total energy demand of the body (CPM), that is, the amount of energy that is necessary for everyday activities such as cleaning teeth or going to training. To calculate it, the resulting number of PPMs should be multiplied by the rate of physical activity
– 1,2 – a person lying in bed,
– 1.25 – an office worker with very low physical activity related only to household duties,
– 1.5 – an office worker training about 3 times a week for at least one hour,
– 1.75 – an office worker training extensively 3-4 times a week for at least one hour,
– 2.0 – professional athlete training at least 6 hours a week or a person working very hard physically.
Thanks to the above calculation, we can determine your real energy demand and adapt our diet to it. In everyday life, it may seem very difficult, but it is enough to read the labels of products. They always include the number of kilocalories that the food item provides.
However, if you do not find the time, it is worth following the following guidelines
– the optimal number of meals during the day is 4-6;
– meals should be consumed every 3-4 hours, thanks to which our body will have access to nutrients all the time;
– breakfast should be eaten up to an hour after waking up, in this way we will provide the body with the necessary ingredients as soon as possible;
– the last meal should be consumed about 2-3 hours before bedtime;
– when choosing food products, we should be guided by the pyramid of healthy nutrition. It indicates which nutrients should be included in our diet more often and which less frequently.