Your energy needs each day and how many kJ you burn depend on:
- amount & type of physical activity you do through the day
- height & weight
- your sex
- body composition, that is the amount muscle vs. fat
- if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, and
- genetics & your health status.
Different ingredients in food and how they are prepared mean some have more kJ and others have fewer kJ. Larger serving sizes also mean more kJ.
It can be hard to tell how many kJ are in each food just by looking, but in general:
- fats & alcohol are high in kJ
- protein & carbohydrates provide moderate amounts of kJ
- dietary fibre is low in kJ, and
- water provides no kJ energy.
Our bodies need many of the kJ we consume for healthy functioning.
If we consume more kJ than our bodies use to keep going and for physical activity, the spare energy is stored as fat and we will put on weight. 1 kg of fat = 37,000 kJ stored. When we are active, our bodies burn up more kJ energy. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is good for your overall well-being and is important for a healthy lifestyle.
You can use your ideal figure to assess how much of your daily intake foods and drinks contain. You can also estimate how much of your daily intake you will consume each time you eat and drink through the day.
If we have more kJ at one meal, we might have to have fewer kJ at another meal that day.
For example, if your ideal figure were 8700 kJs, some healthy meal patterns might be:
|Meal pattern 1||Meal pattern 2|
|% of daily intake||kJ||% of daily intake||kJ|
|Evening meal||30%||2610||Evening meal||30%||2610|
For more information on healthy weight, check out the Get Healthy coaching service.