There is a lot of positive and negative reviews regarding calorie or kilojoules counting. It is up to you to decide whether you choose this method. This is a simple sample guide of how to use the complex counting system for your long-term benefit. This is just one example of how to use the tool of counting, it is recommended that you seek professional advice before making any changes to your diet.
What is Calorie or kilojoules? And why count them?
Let’s just get into what you need to know, a calorie is a kilocalorie(kcal), it’s just easier to say calorie. A kilojoule a different measurement used to measure the energy in food. So calorie and kilojoules are just a way to measure the energy in food. Its estimated that 1 calorie is equal to 4.2 kilojoules.
In the start it can take some time to count your calories but after some time you will be able to:
- know calories of everyday items you eat
- The portion size of each type of food you regularly eat
- Be aware of how much you are eating and what changes you may be willing to make
This is not the exact meaning as it can be more complex, but this is just an easy way to look at it.
Time to start
So, you have decided to eat healthier and try and lose some weight. As with any changes to your diet you need calorie/kilojoule intake.
Step 1 ‘how much should I be eating’
The eat for health website by the Australian government has an energy calculator to give you an estimate on how much you should be eating.
Enter you details and when you enter weight, enter your goal weight not current weight. This will give you an amount in kilojoules that you should be eating.
Here is an example:
Age type: years
Physical Activity Level: 1.6 Mostly Sedentary work with little or no strenuous leisure activitiy
Click on ‘Show my energy requirements’
Your daily energy requirements
This total is in kilojoules
If you prefer to use calories instead of kilojoules you can go to this site to convert
Entering 11989 kj, followed by submit will give the result
You now have a starting point to work with. It is also mentioned that 8700 Kj is approximate goal that is commonly chosen as a goal to maintain a healthy weight, but it is important to know this is an average. It is recommended to use the calculator as a start, and preferably seek professional advice before limiting your energy intake too much.
Step 2 Putting in the work
You will need to choose what you want to eat tomorrow. Choose what you enjoy eating and what you believe is healthy. The trick is here is to add all ingredients in your meals and snacks.
Scrambled eggs and toast, cup of coffee
2 large eggs
Half a handful of baby spinach leaves chopped
20 mls of full cream milk
Teaspoon of butter
½ teaspoon Maccona instant crème coffee
1 teaspoon of raw sugar
30 mls of full cream milk
There are apps that you can use on your mobile to list and keep record of your energy intake such as MyFitnessPal as well as websites, for this example I will be using CalorieKing Australia (http://www.calorieking.com.au/)
You can register at this site if you wish, however you are free to use the search option and write down your energy intake in your notepad/diary.
In the green search bar type in eggs and then select enter. Select Eggs: Chicken eggs, whole, raw, fresh. You will see scrambled eggs with butter and milk on the list and you can choose this but by choosing each individual item at the start it will help you understand what exactly you are putting in your body.
Under nutrition facts you will see a 1, in my case I need to change this to 2. This automatically changes the Calories/kilojoules from 73/305 to 146/610 . Repeat this for all the ingredients that you have used. Both kilojoules and calories are listed in the example but you only need to choose one measurement.
|2 large Eggs: Chicken eggs, whole, raw, fresh||610||146|
|Coles, Salads: Leaves, Baby Spinach (entered .5 of fifth of packet)||15||3|
|20 ml Woolworths, Milk, fresh: Full Cream||53||13|
|Teaspoon of butter||152||36|
|1.25 Moccona, Coffees: Classic Medium Roast, prepared as directed 2g coffee + 200ml (chose closest option)||23||5|
|1 teaspoon of raw sugar||64||15|
|30 ml of full cream milk Woolworths, Milk, fresh: Full Cream||80||19|
For dinner a large healthy meal will be cooked so that some can be frozen and retrieved for a quick ready to eat option on another night. This is to try and prevent having an unhealthy option such as takeaway when you are short in time or don’t feel like cooking.
For this example, dinner will be chicken soup. In the chicken soup the following ingredients were used.
1 large onion
3 gloves of garlic
7 chicken pieces
6 small peeled potatoes
3 stems of celery
1 large carrot
Chicken stock Massel powder
There were also water, salt, pepper, herbs and spices added which will not be counted (if sauces/mayo is used count it!)
|Item||Kilojoules||Divided by 4||Calorie||Divided by 4|
|1 fresh: Onions, average all types, raw||48||12||11||3|
|3 fresh: Garlic, raw||47||12||11||3|
|1 kg Chicken Raw: Chicken Pieces, Plain, frozen, raw||8190||2095||1960||490|
|800 grams cooked: Potato, flesh only, boiled||2008||502||480||120|
|3 fresh: Celery, raw||58||15||14||4|
|1 medium fresh: Carrots, raw||185||46||45||11|
|4 Stock Powder: Chicken Style Stock, prep. as directed||56||14||12||3|
So per these examples
Breakfast = 997kj
Dinner = 2648kj
This totals 3645kj leaving 8344kj for lunch, snacks and drinks.
Step 3 Record and repeat
Calorie/kilojoules can add up very quickly.
Things to consider:
1 mini wagon wheel has 453kj (who can eat just one!)
170g Doritos original salted has 3591kj
200ml just juice apple juice with no added sugar 368kj
250ml cup (160g) of cooked boiled white rice 1074kj
Large Big Mac meal from Mcdonalds 4897kj (should really try and avoid)
After about a month you will be able to easily recall and estimate sizes and amounts without having to measure or think about it as much. By starting on the results the calculator on the Australian healthy eating website suggests and aim to stay above the 8600 kilojoules to start, combined with regular exercise you should start to see changes in your health.
© Beyond Personal Fitness 10 September 2018