In the past few decades, calories were ignored for kilojoules to a great extent until the modern day science emphasized the importance of calories in diet. If you haven’t yet clarified the concept in your mind, we are trying to simplify everything you need to know about kilojoules and calories so that you can read the labels and get ready for balanced, healthy meals easily.
Basics of Kilojoules
We hear so much about calories and kilojoules everyday but we don’t use the figures and information correctly to maintain weight and stay healthy. KJ or kilojoules are the measure of our energy intake. A calorie, on the other hand, is the same thing to a great extent but another unit of measurement just like centimetres and inches. 1 calorie equals 4.2 kilojoules or 1 KJ equals 0.2 calories.
While the daily kilojoule requirement can vary from person to person on the basis of his muscle mass, level of activity and size, the average consumption for women in the age group 19-50 years leading a sedentary lifestyle should be 7500 KJ per day. It should be about 8700 KJ for an adult male to manage his current weight. This energy is obtained from the foods and drinks and used by the body to perform functions like digestion, blood circulation, breathing and exercising.
These numbers are an approximate guide to how much you should take in your diet to maintain a healthy weight. The exact amount of kilojoules will vary depending on your age, weight, height, sex and the activity you do every day.
Kilojoules and Weight Loss
Weight management and loss is all about the calculation of physical activity and energy intake. If we consume too many kilojoules as compared to those used in activity, the remaining is stored in the form of fat. And if we eat fewer KJs than that required by the body to perform the tasks, existing fat is used and we can lose weight. Basically, 1 kg of body fat is equal to 37,000 kilojoules. So, you should create a difference of 37,000 KJ to lose one kilogram of weight.
One way to create a deficit is by making wise food choices. For example, you can replace a toast in your breakfast with a boiled egg to get the difference in a period of two months and lose 1 kg. You can make such changes that add up over time to help you lose weight while staying healthy. Another way to achieve is through exercise. For instance, running at a speed of 8 km per hour for 13 hours can burn 37,000 kilojoules. You can do this in any way like 30 minutes on the treadmill for 1 month to lose the kilogram.
If you wish to lose weight, you can restructure your daily KJ intake into reduced meals and snacks to make 5500 KJ in order to get a deficit of 2000 KJ per day. This means you can lose 1 kilogram in about 18 days. A combination of regular exercise and healthy food choices is the ultimate option for great weight loss results.
It is recommended that you should not aim for more than half a kg of weight per week as anything more than this may not give sustainable results. The key is to make simple, long-term changes that fit easily into your lifestyle. This can include selecting low-GI foods that keep you fuller for longer to avoid snacking on unhealthy items. You can also consider taking a walk during the day or accommodating exercise sessions.
Quality is a considerable aspect when it comes to kilojoules and calories. Empty calories or empty KJs are things that are high in energy such as sugar-containing drinks or alcohol that do nothing good to our body. Alcohol, for example, contains KJs per gram equal to fat. This is why alcohol is called empty KJs as its energy content is so high – double that of protein and carbs and no nutrients or satiation of other foods.
Moreover, consumption of alcohol can alter our mental state and often create cravings for the wrong type of food. A few wine glasses can equal the KJ of a small meal. You should replace alcohol with healthy smoothies and juices that add so much of kilojoules to the diet. Those who are really interested in losing weight should cut back or avoid the consumption of alcohol.