Total daily energy expenditure

Total daily energy expenditure

Total daily energy expenditure is a concept to describe how much energy your body burns up. This is a bit like seeing how much fuel a car uses in a day. There are a few different terms that are used to describe the amount of fuel (measured in kJs) you need at rest. These are basal metabolic rate (BMR) and resting metabolic rate (RMR).

Basal metabolic rate is determined on waking, before any activity occurs.
Resting metabolic rate is still measured after waking but after a small amount of activity, such as getting out of bed and going to the toilet.

BMR/RMR is usually 3 to 6kJ per minute e.g. 24hr x 60min x 3kJ = 4320kj/day.

There are specific factors that influence BMR, these include:

          • Body size: a larger body the higher BMR
          • Sex: males usually have a higher BMR (as they usually have a larger amount of muscle mass compared to females)
          • Body fat: the higher the proportion of body fat compared to muscle, the lower the BMR
          • Fasting: fasting decreases BMR
          • Caffeine: can increase BMR
          • Nicotine: can increase BMR
          • Medications: some can increase or decrease BMR
          • Infection: severe infections or injury can increase BMR
          • Thyroid hormones: hyperthyroid increases BMR; hypothyroid decreases BMR

Total Energy Expenditure (TEE)

Total daily energy expenditure (TEE), which is the total energy you use across the whole day, is then determined from either the BMR or RMR by multiplying by an activity factor (described below).

TEE equals the total kJs your body needs per day to maintain your current weight.

There are a number of equations that can be used to calculate energy requirements (BMR/RMR and TEE).
Common equations to estimate a person’s TEE in the Nutrition and Dietetics field are the Harris Benedict, the Schofield, and the Mifflin St Jeor equations. They are designed to give you an idea of the number of kilojoules you need in a day to maintain your current weight, based on your usual activity level. By subtracting a specific number of kilojoules from the TEE, these results can then be used to estimate the kilojoules required for you to lose weight. Whilst these equations are all slightly different and give out slightly different requirements they all require similar information:

Most equations ask for:

            1. Age
            2. Sex
            3. Height
            4. Weight
            5. Physical Activity Level

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