level of physical activity should dictate your calorie intake

Maintaining the ideal weight can be explained simply as engery intake needs to be equal to engery output.  So the solution to weight management is to understand how much energy you need. Energy requirements are highly dependent on habitual physical activity. Enough physical activity is necessary in order to burn all the calories ingested. 

Physical activity can be broadly categorized into 3 states – Sedentary, Active or moderately active and vigorously active lifestyles. 

Sedentary lifestyle –

These people have occupations that do not demand much physical effort, are not required to walk long distances, generally use motor vehicles for transportation, do not exercise or participate in sports regularly, and spend most of their leisure time sitting or standing, with little body displacement (e.g. talking, reading, watching television, listening to the radio, using computers). One example is male office workers in urban areas, who only occasionally engage in physically demanding activities during or outside working hours. Another example are rural women living in villages that have electricity, piped water and nearby paved roads, who spend most of the time selling produce at home or in the marketplace, or doing light household chores and caring for children in or around their houses.

The table below shows a typcial split of activities in a day for a person with sedentary lifestyle.

Sedentary Activities Hrs/day
Sleeping 8
Personal care (dressing , showering 1
Eating 1
cooking 1
Sitting (office work, selling produce, tending shop) 8
General household work 1
Driving car to/from work 1
Walking at varying paces without load 1
Light leisure activities (watching TV, chatting) 2
24

 

Active or moderately active lifestyles – 

These people have occupations that are not strenuous in terms of energy demands, but involve more energy expenditure than that described for sedentary lifestyles. Alternatively, they can be people with sedentary occupations who regularly spend a certain amount of time in moderate to vigorous physical activities, during either the obligatory or the discretionary part of their daily routine. For example, the daily performance of one hour (either continuous or in several bouts during the day) of moderate to vigorous exercise, such as jogging/running, cycling, aerobic dancing or various sports activities, can raise a person’s average PAL from 1.55 (corresponding to the sedentary category) to 1.75 (the moderately active category). Other examples of moderately active lifestyles are associated with occupations such as masons and construction workers, or rural women in less developed traditional villages who participate in agricultural chores or walk long distances to fetch water and fuelwood.

The table below shows a typcial split of activities in a day for a person with a active lifestyle.

Moderate Activities Hrs/day
Sleeping 8
Personal care (dressing , showering 1
Eating 1
Standing, carrying light loads (waiting on tables, arranging merchandise) 8
General household work 1
Commuting to/from work by bus 1
Walking at varying paces without load 1
Low intensity aerobic exercise 1
Light leisure activities (watching TV, chatting) 2
24

 

Vigorous or vigorously active lifestyles – 

These people engage regularly in strenuous work or in strenuous leisure activities for several hours. Examples are women with non-sedentary occupations who swim or dance an average of two hours each day, or non-mechanized agricultural labourers who work with a machete, hoe or axe for several hours daily and walk long distances over rugged terrains, often carrying heavy loads.

The table below shows a typcial split of activities in a day for a person with a vigorously active lifestyle.

Heavy Activities Hrs/day
Sleeping 8
Personal care (dressing , showering 1
Eating 1
cooking 1
Non-mechanized agricultural work (planting, weeding, gathering) 6
Collecting water/wood 1
General household work 2
Non-mechanized domestic chores (sweeping, washing clothes and dishes by hand) 1
Walking at varying paces without load 1
Light leisure activities (watching TV, chatting) 2
24

 

Having said that, each individual may move in and out of any of the three categories at different times of the year or different stages of life.

The level of physical activity an individual performs on a daily basis will affect his/her energy expenditure. Depending on whether the output is able to match with the input, food intake can be adjusted. So if you feel that you wish to indulge in all kinds of foods and yet lead a healthy life, then get up and get moving fast.

Stay healthy with eKincare – your personal health manager!

REFERENCES

http://www.fao.org/docrep/007/y5686e/y5686e07.htm
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/moderate-and-vigorous-physical-activity/

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