For a healthy weight you have to look for your daily energy needs and your calorie intake. Calculating your energy needs will give you more insight into how much (basic) energy your body needs. You should also look at your activity level. With our DNA test food we look at your genetic predisposition for everything around a healthy weight.
Looking for your energy balance
The body needs energy to carry out all processes. This energy enters our body through food. For a good energy balance, the amount of energy that the body takes in in a day must be equal to the amount of energy that the body uses. When the body needs more energy than is supplied, it will lay claim to the body’s energy reserves, such as glycogen from muscles or fat from fat cells.
Calorie intake and energy requirement
When more energy enters the body than it needs, it will be stored. It is therefore important to match the calorie intake, the measure of energy in food, to the energy needs of the body. This is the average. Some days people have a greater energy requirement than others, for example because of a bike ride to work instead of the car, or the weekly run.
Number of calories
To determine how many calories a person should consume per day, it is first necessary to determine how much energy the body needs. This is determined on the basis of two aspects:
- the basal metabolism: also called resting metabolism. This describes how much energy the body needs for all basic processes at rest, i.e. without a single movement.
- the activity level: the more you move, the more energy you need.
The basal metabolic rate is determined by four factors: sex, height, weight and age. If one of these aspects changes, the energy requirement, expressed in calories, also changes. To calculate this, we use the Harris-Benedict formula (revised by Roza and Shizgal in 1984) for people aged 18 and over and the Schofield formula for children between the ages of 10 and 17. These formulas are based on average values and may differ slightly from person to person, partly due to genetics.
Basal Metabolic Rate Calculation
Schofield (ages 10-17)
♂ calories = 515.3 + (16.2 x weight [kg]) + (137.1 x height [m])
♀ calories = 200.0 + (8.4 x weight [kg]) + (465.4 x height [m])
Harris-Benedict (age 18+)
♂ calories = 88.362 + (13.397 x weight [kg]) + (4.799 x height [cm]) – (5.677 x age [years])
♀ calories = 447.593 + (9.247 x weight [kg]) + (3.098 x height [cm]) – (4.33 x age [years])
Example of a basal metabolism
If you want to calculate the basal metabolic rate for a young man of 20 years old, weighing 70 kg and 1.67 meters, you get the following calculation:
88,362 + (13,397 x 70kg) + (4.799 x 167cm) – (5.677 x 20 years) = 1714 calories
The more active a person is, the more energy the body needs. How much energy is determined by the basal metabolism in combination with the level of activity. We use the Physical Activity Level score (PAL score) to determine the level of activity. This can be determined very accurately by meticulously keeping track of which activities someone does and for how long, and then adding up all these activities in a day.
An estimate of the PAL score
A very labour-intensive process is required to determine the exact value of the PAL. For most applications it is not necessary to know so accurately. Therefore, instead of an exact determination, we make an estimate of the PAL score based on a few short questions about work and sport. These give a good indication of what the PAL score is and provide sufficient information for the purposes for which we use it.
Energy requirement of the individual
We use the information about basal metabolism and activity level to determine an individual’s energy needs. The daily energy requirement is ultimately determined by multiplying the basal metabolic rate by the PAL score.
Example energy requirement calculation
Daily energy requirement = (basal metabolism [calories]) x (activity level [PAL])
The daily energy requirement of our example person (man, 20 years, 70 kg, 1.67 meters) with an active life. The PAL score for this person is 2.1.
1714 calories x 2.1 PAL = 3599 calories
Your genetic predisposition around a healthy weight
With this nutritional report you gain insight into your genetic predisposition for everything around a healthy weight, macronutrients, micronutrients and your salt sensitivity. Based on your genetic profile, we can see:
- What daily energy needs you have
- Whether you have a genetic risk of being overweight
- How is your energy balance?
- What is your best diet
- What affects your weight loss and weight maintenance
- Whether you have an increased risk of a deficiency of vitamins and minerals
- The risk of increased blood pressure due to a higher salt intake