What is metabolism? Metabolism is the term used to describe all the chemical reactions happening in our body that help keep us alive. Metabolism can be broadly classified into two categories: Catabolism and Anabolism. Catabolism breaks larger molecules into simpler ones, whereas anabolism does the opposite i.e. it builds complex molecules from simpler ones. These processes require energy thus; metabolism is the rate at which our body burns calories.
Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) is the number of calories our body burns in a day with exercise included. TDEE comprises of the following:
- Basal metabolic rate
- The thermogenic effect of food
- Exercise activity thermogenesis
- Non-exercise activity thermogenesis
BASAL METABOLIC RATE
We require energy even at rest. The basic functions of the body like breathing, circulating blood, cell production require energy. The amount of energy expended by the body to function at rest is called the basal metabolic rate (BMR). BMR varies largely amongst people depending on genders, health conditions, age groups, heights, and weights.
THERMOGENIC EFFECT OF FOOD (TEF)
Though we don’t realize, activities like chewing, digestion and absorption of nutrients, use energy too. This is known as the Thermogenic Effect of Food. The higher the energy content the food has, the higher the TEF.
EXERCISE ACTIVITY THERMOGENESIS
These are the calories our bodies burn via exercise, an activity that we do intentionally. It’s a well-established fact that exercise burns more calories. Doing any form of exercise, be it Zumba, cycling, or running not only helps in weight reduction, but it also helps in maintaining weight too.
NON-EXERCISE ACTIVITY THERMOGENESIS
It’s the energy that’s expended by our body to go about our daily lives, apart from sleeping, eating, and exercising. It involves activities like walking, climbing stairs, cleaning, etc. Incorporating activities into daily life can be an easy way to burn some more calories. These can be activities such as, getting off a stop earlier on the bus or doing the dishes by hand rather than using the dishwasher or gardening.
These 4 components (BMR+TEF+EAT+NEAT) together make up our Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE). Our TDEE compared to what we eat determines whether ‘calories in’ equals ‘calories out’ making our weight stay the same, increase or reduce. You may not be able to control your BMR or TEF but you can control your EAT, NEAT and of course, the calories you consume too.
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