The reason we don't recommend our users to set a daily calorie goal below our recommendation
In order to prevent an unsafe usage of our app we do not recommend our users to enter a daily energy intake, also called your calorie goal, below our recommendations. Lifesum's calorie recommendation is individual, and vary depending on variables such as sex, age, heigh, weight, acitivity level and goal.
Having a too low energy intake can be harmful, and cause a danger to our bodies and health. Risks like imbalanced hormones (decreased: thyroid, leptin, insulin, testosterone, estradiol and increase; ghrelin, cortisol), lower bone mass, loss of menstrual cycle, hair loss, fatigue, extreme hunger, decreased fullness, slower metabolism and overall negative psychological aspects such as body image just to name a few, It is therefore of high importance to not eat below Lifesums recommendations. Due to this, we do not recommend our users to set their daily energy intake below our recommendation.
What is BMR?
Our bodies need energy to function properly, and all individuals have different energy requirements. BMR is an estimation of how much energy our bodies need in a resting phase (i.e. while laying down a whole day). The BMR estimates how much energy our bodies need in order to maintain it’s bodily functions, such as for the blood to flow, for the heart to pump, kidney- and lung functions (and more). In Lifesum, we calculate the BMR using The Harris-Benedict equation revised by Mifflin St Jeor in 1990:
For men: BMR = (10 × weight in kg) + (6.25 × height in cm) - (5 × age in years) + 5
For women: BMR = (10 × weight in kg) + (6.25 × height in cm) - (5 × age in years) - 161
In addition to our BMR, we also need energy in our daily movement such as walking, sitting, cleaning, cooking etc, these are all included in the Physical Activity Level (PAL), which is added on top of the BMR. The total energy used due to physical activity is called Physical Activity Energy Expenditure (PAEE). We also require energy to digest and absorb the food we eat, which is called thermic effect of food (TEF). The BMR, PAEE and TEF are all summarised into our Total Energy Expenditure (TEE). If you eat less energy than your TEE for a period of time, you will eventually lose weight, if you eat more energy than you TEE for a period of time, you will eventually gain weight, and if you eat the same amount as your total energy expenditure - you will maintain weight.
The BMR stands for around 50-70 % of our total energy expenditure, PAEE 20-40 % and TEF around 5-10 E%.
As mentined above, the energy recommendation from Lifesum, takes into account your BMR and Physical activity Level, as well as your goal (lose, maintain or gain weight). The reason why TEF is not included in the calculation is due to the fact that it is highly complex, and varies a lot depending on the individual and the food eaten. If you choose to not track your training calories, remember that you still require more energy than your BMR to get all the nutrients your body needs and avoid the risks mentioned above.
For the users with the goal to change their weight, Lifesum recommends a safe, steady and stable weight loss/gain pace to ensure the body still gets enough energy and nutrients needed. Food is energy and we need to make sure to fuel our bodies with the right energy to not just survive but to thrive so you can become the best possible you.
For further questions - please contact our support team.