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Your Energy Needs

Author(s): Nancy Moreno, PhD, and Paula Cutler, BS.

Total Calories Expended Depend on Activities

Resting energy needs (basal metabolic rate - BMR), account for only part of the Calories expended by the body. Physical activities also require energy. An individual’s total energy expenditure consists of energy used at rest and during physical activity. Both the kind of activity and the length of time during which it is performed influence the amount of energy used. Calories that are not used for resting metabolisms or to fuel activities are stored as fat. Thus, to maintain a constant weight, calories taken in from food should equal calories expended.

In this example for students, the active girl uses more Calories per day  (2,749 Calories) than does the sedentary boy (2,168 Calories), even though the boy’s BMR is higher. 


Funded by the following grant(s)

National Space Biomedical Research Institute

National Space Biomedical Research Institute

This work was supported by National Space Biomedical Research Institute through NASA cooperative agreement NCC 9-58.