Weight Loss Tip

Measuring Total Daily For Losing Weight While Pregnancy Energy Expenditure

Many athletes need or in some cases want to know their TEE. This information is pertinent to weight management goals since it allows them to know what their food intake should be in order to lose, gain, or maintain their weight. Calculating TEE along with analyzing dietary intake also helps to assess where the athlete stands in regard to energy balance. Is the athlete’s intake greater than, the same as, or less than their TEE? This information provides feedback to the athlete as to whether or not they are meeting the energy demands of their sport while maintaining overall health and immune function. Some of the most commonly employed techniques for measuring TEE are outlined as follows.

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Doubly Labeled Water. Indirect calorimetry can be used to measure TEE, though this would require the individual to be confined to a metabolic chamber for a full day. This may not be realistic, nor would this represent daily energy expended in “real life.” Due to the constraints of the equipment needed for metabolic cart measurement of energy expenditure, doubly labeled water was developed to assess energy expenditure in free-living individuals. In this method, an individual consumes water containing a measured, loaded dose of the stable isotopes of hydrogen, or deuterium (2H2), and oxygen, or 18oxygen (18O). The deuterium is eliminated as water, while the 18O is eliminated as both H2O and CO2. The elimination rates of deuterium and 18O are measured over time (by sampling saliva, urine, or blood), and the difference in these elimination rates measures the amount of CO2 produced (not O2 consumption as with metabolic carts). Carbon dioxide production can then be used to assess heat production, which provides a measurement of expended energy.

One advantage of doubly labeled water is that individuals are not limited by equipment allowing the measurement of athletes’ energy expenditure in their own environments. The technique places minimal burden on the athlete other than needing to provide urine, saliva, or blood samples. Additionally, energy expenditure can be assessed over a period of up to 3 weeks. A major limitation of this method is that it is very expensive; moreover, it requires administration by a trained professional. Doubly labeled water measures TEE, but it cannot isolate and measure the energy expenditure of specific physical activities. Finally, doubly labeled water has an increased risk of error since it only measures CO2 and does not measure O2 consumption (Pinheiro Volp et al. 2011). Overall, though, when available, this method can be an ideal assessment in free-living individuals, and has been applied in research settings to validate other TEE measures.

Predictive Equations with an Activity Coefficient. The equations outlined in Table 2.1 that measure REE can be multiplied by an activity coefficient, or activity factor, to estimate TEE. The activity coefficient is based on physical activity level, and so the practitioner needs to know the overall activity level of the individual. Table 2.2 shows activity coefficients commonly used.

The simplest way to calculate TEE is to determine an average activity coefficient for the day based on total activity. This coefficient is then multiplied by the REE calculated from the predictive equation. For example, a 165 lb male athlete was found to have an REE (using the Cunningham equation) of 1,620 kcal/day. This value would be multiplied by an activity coefficient of 2.1 for a heavy day of exercise. This is what this looks like:

Note: Approximate activity coefficients that when multiplied by REE can estimate TEE. While the middle column shows an average, it may be appropriate to use a value in the lower end of the range for females for better estimation.

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