## Friday, January 18, 2008

Calculating TEE: Daily Activity Level
Last Friday, we found the first of three numbers you need to determine how many calories you burn in a day, otherwise known as your total energy expenditure (TEE).
The second thing you need to know is your physical activity level. Determine which one of these descriptions best fits your day-to-day routine, then give yourself the appropriate score.
a. Sedentary Physical Activity Level
Do you have a desk job or do some other kind of work that keeps you in your chair for most of the day? If the answer is yes, your score is 1.1.

b. Light Physical Activity Level
Are you on your feet and walking around for at least half the day? Stay-at-home moms, salespeople, and doctors fall into this category. If this is you, your score is 1.2.

c. Moderate Physical Activity Level
If you're on the move pretty much all day, with a few limited periods of being sedentary, this is the level for you. People in this category include gardeners, carpenters, and mail carriers. If you're in this category, your score is 1.3.

d. High Physical Activity Level
Does your job require being constantly on the move, and does it entail significant amounts of manual labor? Construction workers, farm workers, and movers are among those who land in this category. If you're in this group, your score is 1.4.

Enter the score for your daily physical activity level in your journal next to your BMR from last week and keep them handy! You'll need both numbers next Friday when we look at the final piece of your TEE puzzle.

You're probably starting to wonder, What's with all the math? Bear with me on this one. Finding out the number of calories you burn each day isn't just a scientific approach to weight loss, it's also about optimal health. Think about it. If you don't know your TEE, you run the risk of consuming too many or possibly too few calories. Both alternatives can be harmful: Too many calories and you'll store the excess as fat; too few and your body will go into starvation mode, locking in your existing fat.

JILLIAN'S TIP OF THE DAY
This Week's Challenge: Clear Your Mind
Today your meditation mantra is "I'm getting stronger every day" — a phrase to repeat so you know how resilient you are becoming, both mentally and physically.