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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is there a daily calorie rate intake for people with obesity?

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  • 4

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    I am the Senior Dietitian and Director of Menuconcepts.  We  provide personalised, one on one consultations and develop individual weight loss and health programs.  We have clinics … View Profile

    In lamens terms, obese or overweight people are generally consuming more calories than they require e.g input is greater than expenditure.  Everyones caloric needs are different and depends on height, weight, sex, level of activity.   So if a person is above the body mass index (BMI) then they are consuming more than thier energy requirements.

  • 2

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    Jane O'Shea

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    I am an Accredited Nutritionist and Accredited Practising Dietitian. I am also a licensee for the “Am I Hungry?” Mindful Eating Program, “Am I Hungry” … View Profile

    Each individual person requires a certain amount of energy from food just to exist.  Energy is needed to maintain basic metabolism and then there is an amount of energy needed for physical activity.  Everyone’s individual requirements are different and depend on their gender, their age, their height and weight and physical activity.  A tall, healthy weight, young, physically active male will require a different calorie intake to a short, healthy weight, elderly, physically sedentary female. 
     
    There is no one calorie rate for everyone and there is not everyone is average.  Seek individual personal advice from an Accredited Practicing Dietitian.

  • 4

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    Joanna Sochan

    Naturopath, Nutritionist, Western Herbal Medicine Practitioner

    Joanna is a Natural Medicine Practitioner (Naturopath, Herbalist and Nutritionist) who offers an integrative and holistic approach to health and wellbeing. She applies a number … View Profile

    The idea that we can lose and keep off weight by counting calories simply doesn't work. Most people do not get fat because they eat too many calories and don't exercise enough. People get fat because they eat the wrong kind of calories. As long as they keep eating sugar and refined foods full of sugar, damaged fats and preservatives, and don’t exercise consistently, they are programming their bodies to create and store fat.

    The commonly held belief that ‘a calorie is a calorie’ no matter where it comes from or what the chemical or nutritional makeup of it is seems to be one of the biggest nutrition myths of all. We need to understand that a calorie from fat does not impact our bodies in the same way a calorie from sugar does. This means you can have the same amount of calories from sugars, protein or fat, but the metabolic effect will be entirely different despite the identical calorie count. This is largely because different nutrients trigger different hormonal responses and those hormonal responses determine, among other things, how much fat we accumulate. Understanding this concept is the key to making healthy food choices and thus engaging in a process of weight loss.

    In addition, every person is biochemically different and will need to consume different proportions of protein, fats, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamin to be healthy and/or to engage in the weight loss process. Some people eat high carbohydrate diets with little protein, others thrive on a high protein and high fat diet with low carbohydrate intake. Both groups can achieve the same results of losing extra kilograms and feeling better.

    Overall, I find that a key element in any weight loss program is improving person’s metabolic weak spots so that their calorie burning efficiency improves enabling them to lose weight. This is done safely and effectively with appropriate supplements and herbs, as well as lifetyle changes.

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    Amanda Clark

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Amanda Clark (Adv APD) is a senior dietitian at Great Ideas in Nutrition on the Gold Coast. She is the creator of Portion Perfection, a … View Profile

    If you want to lose weight in general you need a 500-calorie (3,100-kilojoule) deficit to result in half a kilogram of body fat loss per week, which would be a pretty good aim. An estimated average calorie requirement for a woman is 1,800 calories per day, just 7,600 kilojoules.

    So, dropping this down to 1,300 calories (5,500 kilojoules) per day would result in half a kilogram of body fat loss per week. The general aim would be to lose between one kilogram per week and one kilogram per month. But I wouldn't actually advocate cutting your calories much lower than 1,000 to 1,300 calories a day. You're actually better to increase your exercise to speed up weight loss.

  • Lisa Renn

    Dietitian

    Lisa is an APD with 12 years experience, specialising in helping people identify and change habits that impact negatively on their health. Inspiring change, Lisa … View Profile

    Every person can have a daily calorie rate calculated for them. There are definitely calculations that take into consideration your gender, you height, and your activity levels. Then we subtract a certain number of kilojoules each day to achieve weight loss. An accredited practicing dietician can calculate this for you.

    I think the more meaningful way of creating weight loss is to just start making some changes in the food that you're choosing and eating, in your portion size, in the timing of your meals, and certainly an accredited practicing dietician can really be of assistance in helping people turn around these unhealthy habits and then start achieving the kilojoules intakes for weight loss without the need to actually calculate and count it.

  • Anthony is an experienced Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Sports Dietitian. Anthony practices out of Wakefield Sports Clinic and consults to a number of elite … View Profile

    Again this is a really good question and one which causes a huge amount of debate. It's actually very difficult to measure energy requirements, energy expenditure, in people who are overweight or obese. The primary reason is that the calculations that we might normally use to estimate somebody's daily requirements are based on populations from many decades ago when the rate of obesity was far less than what it is now. So we're really in uncharted territory.

    It really is quite difficult to figure out what someone's actual requirements are. That's certainly a difficult thing in a clinical setting where we've got people with other illnesses or factors that we might need to consider as well. I don't think there is a blanket easy answer to this. I also think that the literature supports many different approaches and sometimes it's not necessarily the energy intake that is the problem. It may be the energy output that isn't enough.

    There are different strategies that might work for different people as well, even at the same energy intake. So I don't think that's an easy question to answer. But we've got to try and do our best as clinicians to answer that and estimate as best as we can and to keep following up and adjusting what we recommend on an individual level.

  • 1

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    With a PhD (Nutritional Food Science); BAppSci (Food Sci and Nutrition) (Honours); Cert 3 & 4 - Group Fitness and Personal Training, I am passionate … View Profile

    Your daily caloric intake is highly dependent on individuals, and that is entirely based on their metabolic rate. There is actually a very cute little formula that any nutritionist can work out; how much kilojoules per person should be consuming. That is based on their metabolism and basic energy required to sustain life. Then there is also energy that is expended with physical activity. Right now I am writing and I’m using up energy to do that. Then there is energy that is expended doing actual prescribed exercise, like going for a jog, a 30 minute walk, or doing a weight session. Depending on how intense or how much sedentary activity a person has in their day, whether they are sitting at the computer all day and sitting in front of the TV all night, versus someone who is maybe doing computer work during the day and then a 1½ hour gym session at night versus someone who is very active and on the move all the time, will determine how much kilojoules someone should have in their day. It is a really quick, easy formula.

    I cannot say every obese person should have 8,000 kilojoules. It is highly determined on your age, gender, guys and girls are a bit different, height, and then your physical activity levels. As a person decreases in weight that energy requirement also decreases but as their physical activity levels may increase you can actually increase your energy intake as well. There are very different factors that affect it, and if someone really wanted to know how much kilojoules they should be eating, I would highly suggest they see an accredited, practicing dietitian or a registered nutritionist. They can easily work it out. It is tailored to each individual.

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