‘You have to mind what you eat if you want to lead a healthy lifestyle.’ How many times have you come across this statement? It might be more than times than you can remember. Most of the experts are just telling you to check what you eat.
However, such people do not analyze the body mechanisms to determine what your body needs and what fits your system. People are created and abled differently. The type of foods that your body needs are completely different from what a bodybuilder or someone else who does manual work needs.
What is the daily energy expenditure?
If you are a car owner, then you know that you need to plan for gas. For instance, if you drive to work daily, you must ensure that you have enough fuel to work and back. The same principle applies when it comes to your body.
You must thus estimate your energy requirement every day so that you can lead a healthy lifestyle. The estimated energy requirement is a measure of the energy you need in a day to preserve the current body mass. Many people tend to lose weight when they are starving, while others suffer from reduced metabolism.
Factors that influence energy requirements
Basal metabolic rate
It is a measure of the rate at which an individual uses energy to preserve the basic functions such as heartbeat, breathing, sight, smell, and hearing- when at complete rest. BMR differs from one person to the other. However, an average person consumes needs about 1.1kcal to maintain these functions. Infants and young children tend to have a high BMR due to their rapid growth and development.
On the other hand, men have a higher BMR than women due to the former’s muscle mass. Adults tend to have a lower BMR than young individuals, as muscle mass decreases with age. BMR takes almost three-quarters of all the energy in a human.
Physical activity level
Do you spend the entire day swinging in an office chair, or are you involved in manual work? The amount of energy you require in a day will depend on your physical activity level and weight. People with weight problems consume a lot of energy when they are moving. Physical Activity Level (PAL) is the estimate of energy requirement. A PAL of 1.4 shows a low level of physical activity during leisure time or at work.
Men generally require more energy than women. The reason behind this is the fact that a man’s body has 10-20% more muscle mass than that of a woman. Thus, a typical man will require 5-10% more energy than a female as the BMR is high. Men need more energy to burn calories than fats.
Benefits of a healthy diet
Good for your heart
Heart diseases have been a menace that has been ravaging people for centuries. In fact, heart diseases are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Some of these disorders are caused by the foods that we consume. Some of the foods that improve heart health include low-saturated fats, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. You should also limit alcohol consumption and drinks with added sugars.
Helps in weight loss
Obesity is one of the challenges that many people face. Weight problems can lead to heart disorders, poor bone density, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. Aim at consuming foods such as fruits, vegetables, and beans as they contain low levels of calories. Limit the intake of processed foods and focus more on dietary fiber.
Good for your brain
There are a variety of foods and nutrients that have been proved to help fight dementia. Ensure that you take foods rich in vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, fish, polyphenols, and flavonoids.
Good for your bones and teeth
Calcium and magnesium are the main nutrients you need to have strong bones and teeth. Some of the foods rich in these nutrients include broccoli, low-fat dairy products, canned fish with bones, tofu, legumes, and cabbages. You are also likely to find plant-based milk and cereals that are fortified with calcium. Some of the foods rich in magnesium include whole grains, leafy green vegetables, seeds, and nuts.
Determining the energy needs of an individual is very easy when you follow the above tips. You can also see the benefits of healthy eating. Ensure that you do physical exercise and watch your mental health to lead a healthy life.
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