Creating healthy relationships with food is so important to our health, fitness and wellness, but it can be quite tough sometimes when we are bombarded with conflicting information about calories and kilojoules, weight loss, trending fad diets, the latest superfoods, and ‘should I be eating carbs?’.
When it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, achieving set fitness goals and managing our nutrition, it’s important that we put our health and wellbeing at the forefront, and focus on fuelling our bodies with fresh, nutritious whole foods that we enjoy. Here at Fernwood, we love food, and believe a healthy lifestyle is all about balance. Read more about making friends with food here.
We know that energy balance plays an important part in weight management. When it comes to weight management, the idea is that when you take in more energy than you expend, you will likely gain weight. While when you take in less energy than you expend, you will likely lose weight.
There are many factors to consider for weight management such as physical activity levels, age and genetics, but energy balance is often the key focus for people aiming to achieve fitness and health goals. So, let’s talk more about energy balance.
What are kilojoules & how many should I be eating?
Calories and kilojoules measure the energy that we get from food. Most packages and labels will use kilojoules as a measure, but we sometimes see calories being used for measurement. When it comes to food intake, there's never a one-size-fits-all approach, but for the purposes of this article, here are the measurements to consider when thinking about food and energy balance:
1 kJ = 0.2 kcal
1 calorie = 4.184 kJ
According to the Australian Nutrient Reference, on average, women aged 19-50 who lead sedentary to active lifestyles should aim to consume around 5200-10,800 kJ (1200-2500 kcal) per day. Women aged 51-70 should consume slightly less kilojoules, around 4900-9800 kJ (1100-1900 kcal) while maintaining regular physical activity to maintain muscle strength and healthy weight.
But remember, these numbers are a guide only and don’t take into consideration what you yourself are aiming to achieve. Everyone has different goals when they walk into the gym, from bench pressing their personal best, running their longest distance or trying a group class for the first time, to building confidence, meeting new people and improving overall health and fitness. Focus on what matters to you, prioritise your health and wellbeing, and never ever compare yourself to anyone else – you’re all on a different path.
If you’d like some advice and guidance about nutrition, find out more about our Food Coaching sessions, or chat to a Personal Trainer about setting health and fitness goals.