Energy and metabolism

Sustained energy

Adjust the amount of calories you consume for optimal energy levels
sustained energy.jpg

Energy is required for every function of the body. This energy is taken from the macronutrients in the food we eat, such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Energy is measured in kilocalories (kCal) or kilojoules. Approximately 70% of the calories we burn each day are used just to keep our organs functioning optimally.

Metabolism includes the physical and chemical processes that create and use energy in the body. A function of metabolism is the breaking down of food and the transformation thereof so that it can be utilised by the body.

Metabolic rate is a measure of how fast these physical and chemical processes occur, and can be affected by genetic and lifestyle factors, as well as body composition – specifically the fat-to-muscle ratio. The more muscle you have, the more calories are used to maintain that muscle. So, those with more muscle mass generally have a faster metabolic rate.

The daily energy intake for men is 2 500 kCal, while that of women is 2 000 kCal.

The amount of calories you consume each day needs to be adjusted, depending on your lifestyle and goals. Those who are highly active tend to need to eat more; those who are trying to lose or gain weight should adjust their energy intake accordingly. 

Tips

Complex carbohydrates are a good source of sustained energy. Combined with protein, they maintain energy levels throughout the day and help keep you feeling full for longer.

If you know you’re going to have a late lunch, or won’t be able to eat at your regular intervals, include protein in your meals for sustained energy.

Skipping breakfast does not help you lose weight; on the contrary, it causes a sluggish metabolism that leads to cravings for sugary, unhealthy foods mid-morning – leading to weight gain.

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