Sunday, December 30, 2007

Total Caloric Requirement and Food Intake

During my early months of blogging, I made a very loooooong post on calculating Total Caloric Requirement and "promised" to tackle its application to actual food intake on the next "nutrition" post, but I totally forgot about that supposed next post...

well, it would have been another looooong post including food exchanges and choosing foods to include in your menu so you will have your targeted caloric intake.

But while I was working as an MT, I have stumbled upon a lot of medical-related websites from fitness to neurology.

I have found out the quickest way to do those without you really doing the calculating...

Calculating your BMR the long and painful way is to go to my blogpost here. Calculating it the easy way is by using a free web-based TCR calculator. While my post calculated my TCR as 1800 cal, the calculator is pretty close at 1746.62 cal per day based on my acitvity level. My results were as follows:
1343.55 calories per day is your Basal Caloric Rate. This is:
no more then 44.78 grams of fat (30%) for your Basal Caloric Rate
50.38 grams of protein (15%) for your Basal Caloric Rate
184.74 grams of carbohydrate (55%) for your Basal Caloric Rate

1746.62 calories per day recommended for your Active Caloric Rate. This is:
no more then 58.22 grams of fat (30%) for your Active Caloric Rate
65.50 grams of protein (15%) for your Active Caloric Rate
240.16 grams of carbohydrate (55%) for your Active Caloric Rate

No less then 1200 calories per day recommended for safe consistent Weight Loss. This is:
no more then 40.00 grams of fat (30%) for your Weight Loss Caloric Rate
45.00 grams of protein (15%) for your Weight Loss Caloric Rate
165.00 grams of carbohydrate (55%) for your Weight Loss Caloric Rate

At this safe consistent Weight Loss Caloric Rate,
you will lose 1 pound every 24.38 Days

As it shows, it gives you a target caloric intake per day for consistent and safe weight loss.

Someone recently asked me how this relates to food intake, and that query prompted this post.

Okay, to translate that TCR to food intake, we are to convert it to protein, fats, and carbohydrate mainly (other nutrients do not have calories; they only serve as minerals and vitamins). As you will note, the conversion is ideally 30% fat, 15% protein, and 55% carbohydrate. (During my medical school days, it used to be 15% fat, 30% protein, but probably that was changed because it is really hard to stick to 15% fat, even with the leanest meat you will find. In other words, unrealistic goal???)

The conversion is that 1 gram of fat equals 9 calories; 1 gram of protein or carbohydrate equals 4 cals. So you will have to take into consideration the amount of protein or carbohydrate or fat you are eating in a day...but to plan that, you have to start with a certain food item you eat, let's say, a cup of milk, and consider how much fat and protein and carb is in that cup of milk, calculate the calories in it then subtract that from your TCR, then do the same with other food items you have eaten, during breakfast, for example, then using the food exchange guide, plan the rest of your meals for the day without exceeding the TCR (if you want to maintain or lose weight). BUT THAT PROCESS IS TEDIOUS, and might possibly be confusing. Maybe that was the reason I decided not to post it...and presenting it logically in a manner comprehensible enough to the ordinary blog reader would be quite challenging.

Anyway, I have discovered (since my MT days) an easier way to do just that without you having to flip through pages and pages of food exchange list and holding a calculator and a table of your actual food intake and their caloric contents. The goal anyway is to check your present diet against your caloric requirement, then planning your menu so you will stick to that caloric limit, right?

The NHLBI (National HeartLung and Blood Institute) Menu Planner gives us an easy way to do just that. It is a public service from the government to have this handy web-based menu planner.

How it works:
You select first your meal: breakfast, lunch or dinner. That is, after entering your calorie target for the day. If you take note of my BMR results up here, I have to eat no less than 1200 cal for safe weight loss. It is a coincidence that the Menu Planner has that as default.
After selecting your meal, you go to the Meal Menu on the left and select food items, enter the servings that you are gonna eat. Everytime a food item and # of servings is entered, it will update, so as to show you how many calories are already taken into consideration. If you enter a food item and makes you exceed your TCR, a notice pops up.

One drawback is that it does not have a wide range of food items. If you ate mousse or a chocolate bar, you would not be able to take that into consideration. You will be pretty much limited to what they have on the list. Another is, you will not be able to put in the exact amount of food you take and they should be 0.5 oz at the least.

So if you will still be interested to do it the painstaking way, here's how to approach it.

Convert your TCR in terms of protein, fat, and carbohydrate.

Using mine, with the above results, for example, with the target of 1200 cal to lose weight safely, I am to eat no more than 40 g of fat, 45 g of protein, and 165 g of carb in a day.

Then get a food exchange list, and get crazy taking into consideration the weight in each serving, and then create your menu as dictated by the limitations given by the above calculator. You have to keep in mind that even in bread slices, there is some protein and maybe some fat. If you are willing to get away from sweets and most fats, the online exchange lists will suffice, as they contain the healthier food items.

Some gave good reviews in about the FitDay PC Diet and Nutrition Software.
You might want to check it out.


mahlen said...

Hi Manang, Happy New Year 2008! Ngayon lang ako nakitikim dito pero malimit akong sumisilip dito sa kusina mo. Actually dami ko na ngang nakuhang recipe galing sa iyo eh. At ang Sasarap talaga! At lalo na pareho tayong wala sa Pinas, nagagamit ko yung mga recipe mo. Sana palaging open ang kusina mo dahil daming nakikinabang! Keep it up Manang! MABUHAY!!!

Manang said...

hi mahlen,
salamat naman at "tumikim" ka. Medyo kelangan ko nga ng konting push, kasi ilang gabi ko nang pinaplano mag-post, lagi nakakalimutan kaka-singsnap. Promise, post ako uli ngayong gabi.

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