The alarm clock is ringing, it’s much too early. But time is pressing. Get up, get dressed and quickly a sweet snack from the fridge for breakfast. With plenty of energy, which you need for the coming hours. Then drive to the office by car. Sitting until lunch break. It’s only 45 minutes, so a quick meal. Sitting again until closing time. Then have some dinner, relax on the sofa – it was a long day after all.
This is the everyday life of many people around the world, not only since the beginning of the Corona pandemic. And probably the cause of a worrying development. According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), about 39 percent of the world’s adult population was overweight in 2016. This proportion has nearly doubled since 1975. Overweight and obesity have increased sharply in recent years, especially in industrialized countries.
In the United States today, 36.5% of adults are obese. Another 32.5 percent of American adults are overweight. Overall, more than two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight or obese.
The figures look similar for Europe. More than half of adults in Europe are too fat, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). According to this report, almost two-thirds (59 percent) of all adults in the WHO European Region are now overweight or obese. The proportion of men who are overweight (63 percent) is higher than that of women (54 percent).
The increase is mainly due to our lifestyle: in particular, overeating and lack of exercise. We consume too many calories, often in liquid form via sugary drinks. Many have jobs that hardly encourage physical activity. And we often use the car or public transport instead of walking or cycling.
Definition of key terms
Basal Metabolic Rate
Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the amount of energy your body requires daily to maintain basic metabolic functions and the functioning of vital organs. The BMR depends on the four factors of weight, height, age, and gender and is considered as the amount of energy in 24 hours.
The Energy Metabolism is the amount of energy you burn during daily physical activities. Any strain on bodily functions that exceeds the basal metabolic rate means an additional demand for energy. This additional required energy, the Energy Metabolism, is determined with the Physical Activity Level, or PAL factor for short.
Physical Activity Level (PAL)
The PAL value expresses a person’s daily activity level as a number. With its help, the approximate energy metabolism of a person can be calculated from the basal metabolic rate. It’s significantly influenced by the physical activity of the respective person. Even light activities such as sitting, standing or office work increase energy metabolism. Heavy physical work or endurance sports significantly increase the daily energy requirement.
Calculate daily energy needs
The total energy requirement per day is the sum of basal metabolic rate and energy metabolism. Physically, it’s work per time, i.e., power. The correct unit is therefore joules per second (J/s) or watts (W). In practice, however, the unit of kilocalories is usually used.
- 1 kcal = 4.186 kJ
- 1 kJ = 0.239 kcal
With NXTLVLETE calorie calculator you can easily and quickly calculate your energy needs. We use the Mifflin-St Jeor formula, which is the most used equation.
Calculate basal metabolic rate to lose weight
Anyone who feeds their body more energy than the body can consume gains weight. The body stores this food surplus in the form of fat reserves. If more energy is consumed (basal metabolic rate and energy metabolism) than is supplied through food, weight is lost. To cover the energy consumption, the body makes use of its reserves.
Calorie calculators are a good starting point to begin losing weight. However, the most effective way to develop a sustainable, healthy weight loss strategy should be worked out with a doctor.
Why do more muscles increase the basal metabolic rate?
People with a high percentage of muscle have a higher basal metabolic rate because muscle is metabolically active, so the more muscle mass you have, the more energy you use at rest (sitting or lying down). Muscle mass affects basal metabolic rate, although it isn’t necessarily captured in the formulas.
Example: Two men weigh 80 kilograms each. One has 22 kilograms of muscle mass, while the other has just under 29. This extra muscle mass makes a daily difference of 200 calories in the basal metabolic rate. This means that even during sleep and without conscious physical activity, the more muscular man burns significantly more calories.
So, if you want to lose weight, you should try to increase your muscle percentage – for example, through targeted strength training.
With the free app MyFitnessPal you can analyze your eating habits and count calories easily. With this app you have access to a catalog of thousands of food items and their calorie and fat content.
Increase total metabolic rate with sports
We have already talked about the important role of muscles for the basal metabolic rate – with them you can significantly increase your BMR. In addition, your energy metabolism is also increased by more exercise.
Endurance units are important for losing weight: You burn a lot of calories during continuous exercise. When running, for example, your body needs high-quality “fuel” over a long period of time and is therefore forced to optimize the process of energy production. So not only is energy consumed (in the form of calories), but it’s also obtained via fat burning.
The rule of thumb for anyone who wants to lose weight is to cleverly combine strength and endurance training. This way, you increase your basal metabolic rate and energy metabolism and lose weight more easily. With the right training accessories, strength training can also easily be done at home.
Calculate calorie consumption by sport
Do you work out in the evening or ride your bike to work? With the following table, you can easily calculate how many calories you burn with the corresponding sport. The respective intensity within the sport must always be taken into account. Multiply your weight by the number in the right column and you will get your calorie consumption in one hour with the corresponding sport.
The final total metabolic rate is then used as a guideline – 50 calories more or less per day is not the end of the world.
|Calorie consumption (kcal/h/kg)
|Tennis – Singles