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Here’s The Super-Simple Way To Count Kilojoules For Weight Loss

Count kilojoules without losing your sanity. 

The mere thought of tracking, counting, calculating and tallying kilojoules is a drag that takes the joy out of burgers and fries so much, you’d actually rather ditch it. And every time you have a brownie with your coffee or grab a pie for lunch, it feels like a flashing balance sheet pops up above your head, as if every kilojoule over your daily requirement proves you’ve failed. Install Our Mobile App To Help you in Your efforts to workout and weight loss, Click HERE.

The (Very Basic) Math

The rules of weight loss are simple and finite: “You need to create and maintain the kilojoule deficit over time in order to bring about weight loss,” explains dietician Dr Celeste Naudé. And it’s not a once-off deficit, either. After you eat something, your body takes days to process the nutrients that are burnt for fuel, and then stores excess kilojoules as fat. According to Dr Michael Jensen, who focuses on endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism, the largest part of your kilojoule intake (25 percent) goes to your muscles – so the adage “muscle mass burns more kilojoules” really makes sense. Only two to three percent is portioned to fat cells, which also explains why, over time, lean people gain less fat than obese people despite taking in the same number of additional kilojoules.

READ MORE: The 4 Easiest Ways To Cut Kilojoules — Without Counting Them

Exactly How To Create A Kilojoule Deficit

So what’s the golden number? “The general recommendation is to aim to lose 0.5 to one kilo per week. Although it seems simplistic, this advice comes from the following rationale,” explains Naudé. “Half a kilo of fat equals 14 700kJ. To create a deficit of 14 700kJ in a week, you would need to cut 2 000kJ from your daily kilojoule input through healthy and sensible food choices and portion sizes, and by upping your energy usage with exercise.” Simply put, taking in 2 000kJ less per day should help you lose 0.5kg of fat in a week. Considering 30 minutes of a spin class can burn 1 400kJ and half an hour of gentle yoga stretches 500kJ, including activity in your routine will help you reach the kilojoule deficit required. Sounds simple enough?

What Not To Do

If you’re trying to seriously ditch the kilos, eating 14 700kJ of chocolate a week isn’t going to be a nutritious or sustainable way to ditch the kilos. Plus, you’d probably struggle to keep up with your workouts because your body isn’t getting muscle-building, fat-torching nutrients. Sorry, but your body wants spinach. According to a study published in the Abstract Journal of the American Dietetic Association , healthy grazers who ate two or more snacks per day ate more fibre, fruit and vegetables. The key, according to lead study author Dr Anne McTiernan, is limiting healthy snacks to just 840kJ. FYI, that’s half an apple with a teaspoon of PB, or a quarter-cup of almonds, cashews or pistachios.

 

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Are You Making This Huge Weight Loss Mistake?

“Torch 3 300 Kilojoules in 60 minutes!” “Congratulations, you just burned 2 000 kilojoules !” For some women, few things are more motivating than leaving your bootcamp or hopping off of the treadmill knowing they just incinerated the kilojoule equivalent of a Big Mac.

However, paying too much attention to kilojoule-burn claims, whether on your treadmill display or health club’s website, can seriously sabotage your weight-loss progress. That’s because most fitness trackers, kilojoule counters, and estimates of kilojoules burned use ridiculously inaccurate methods for measuring kilojoule burns, often leading you to believe that you torched way more kilojoules than you actually did.

And if you don’t burn more kilojoules than you eat in a given day, you’re not going to lose. You might even gain.

READ MORE: The 4 Easiest Ways To Cut Kilojoules — Without Counting Them

Bad Math

For example, a new study published in the Journal of Personalized Medicine reveals popular fitness trackers, including the Apple Watch and MIO Alpha 2, can be significantly off in their kilojoule estimations as often as 93 percent of the time. Each fitness tracker utilises its own proprietary algorithm to calculate kilojoules burned, according to Stanford Medical Center, which doesn’t always jibe with the individual wearing it, researchers say.

That partly explains why your bootcamp is so far off on its “burn 2 000 kilojoules in 30 minutes” claim: Oftentimes, classes come up with kilojoule burns by simply having an instructor wear a fitness tracker during the class, Rebold says. “Then they take that information and use it to promote that exercise class they’re unfolding at their club,” he explains. Problem is, there are an insane number of intrinsic variables that will always impact how many kilojoules you burn during a given exercise, ranging from your sex, age, weight, to your muscle mass, says Church. In other words, you won’t burn the same number of kilojoules as your 6’2” male instructor. So don’t expect to.

Others classes, meanwhile, refer to average intensity rates from the 2011 Compendium of Physical Activities to estimate kilojoules burned during class, says Dr. Tim Church, professor of preventative medicine at Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University and chief medical officer of ACAP Health, a workplace wellness consulting firm.

However, when it comes to the number of kilojoules that you burn during any given class, exercise intensity is the greatest player. Take your average indoor cycling class as an example: If someone is on a bike pedalling at a faster pace or a higher resistance, they’re going to burn more kilojoules than someone who’s just going through the motions,” he explains. How intensely you’re able to pedal will depend not only on how fit you are, but also factors such as the sleep you got last night and what you ate for breakfast. So while average intensity rates will ring true for a small subset of class-goers, they are going to be ridiculously off for everyone who isn’t “average.”

So, odds are, you’re not burning the 3 300 kilojoules that exercise class advertised, says Dr. Michael Rebold, department chair of the integrative exercise science program and assistant professor of integrative exercise science at Hiram College in Ohio. In reality, you may burn anywhere from 2 500 kilojoules at the low end and 3 700 kilojoules at the high end, he adds.

Meanwhile, research shows that you can’t depend on those kilojoule counters on your favourite pieces of cardio equipment, either, according to ABC News. In one oft-cited experiment, University of California – San Francisco’s Human Performance Center pitted the kilojoule counters of four different cardio machines against a VO2 analyser. On average, the machines overestimated kilojoules burned by 19 percent. Among the four machines, the elliptical machine was the worst offender, overestimating kilojoules burned by 42 percent. So, for instance, it could say you burned 400 kilojoules when you actually only burned 240.

READ MORE: 5 Workouts That Burn More Kilojoules Than A Spin Class

Your No-Math Solution to Weight-Loss

In the end, however, the problem isn’t the kilojoule-burn totals in and of themselves—it’s using them to calculate exactly how many kilojoules you’ve “earned” or “worked off.”

After all, if you follow the whole, “I just burned 2 500 kilojoules, so now I can go out and eat 2 500 kilojoule,” you could easily end up gaining, not losing weight, Rebold says. The more your class, elliptical, or fitness tracker overestimated your kilojoule expenditure—and the more you depend on those numbers to determine what you do and don’t eat—the more you stand to sabotage your own efforts.

So instead of relying on a likely-inaccurate number to tell you how much you can eat, trust your body’s built-in kilojoule counter: your hunger cues, recommends Denver-based registered dietitian Kendra Glassman.

On a scale of one to 10, with one being absolutely starved and 10 being what Glassman calls “Christmas-dinner-full,” eat when you reach a three or four (you feel a tinge of hunger), and stop when you’re at a six (comfortably full).

5 Weight Loss Rules From Nutritionists That You Should Break

Most of the time, nutritionists are full of brilliant ideas that help you eat healthier, stay slimmer, and live longer. But every once in a while, food gurus forget that the rest of us have limited time, funds, and willpower. So we collected seven of the hardest-to-swallow expert suggestions and replaced them with equally healthy tips that a normal person can actually use.

The advice: Chug eight glasses of water a day

Why it’s useless: Peeing every 20 minutes seriously interferes with life.
The real deal: Believe it or not, the eight-glass quota isn’t etched in stone. Yes, we need to be well-hydrated, but if your urine is clear or close to it, you’re probably getting enough fluids. If it’s neon yellow, lighten things up by adding one or two glasses a day. Once your body adjusts to getting more fluid, add another, says dietician Karen Benzinger. And don’t forget that all liquids – including tea, juice, even the tonic in your vodka drink – help keep your body sufficiently saturated.

The advice: Don’t drink juice – it’s a sugar bomb

Why it’s useless: Juice is a breakfast staple, and it’s essential for smoothies.
The real deal: There’s a big difference between 100 percent juice and a bottle of sugar water with a few cranberries squeezed into it. Yes, juice has a lot of the sweet stuff, but a 150ml glass of 100 percent juice also counts as a full serving of fruit and delivers many of the same vitamins and antioxidants, making it worth the occasional sugar rush. As long as you drink 100 percent juice (from concentrate is fine) and limit yourself to one 150ml to 250ml glass a day, you’re not breaking any rules of good nutrition.

The advice: Shut the kitchen down after 7pm to prevent weight gain

Why it’s useless: After a long day at the office and a trip to the gym, you either eat dinner at 9.30pm or starve.
The real deal: The no-food-right-before-bed rule was meant for the night-time nosher who mindlessly munches on Ouma rusks while watching CSI: Miami. If you get home long after dark, a late dinner is perfectly fine. But do keep your evening meal light – along the lines of a chicken breast, steamed broccoli and brown rice. Too much chow will keep you up at night: to break down all that food, your stomach has to churn like a cement truck.

The advice: Put half your entrée in a takeaway box before you start to eat

Why it’s useless: You know you have portion-control issues, but that doesn’t mean you want everyone else at your table to know it too.
The real deal: A better way to cut back on restaurant binging is to pretend the breadbasket is sprinkled with cyanide and to double up on veggie sides instead of ordering chips. Also effective: putting your fork down between bites, which gives your stomach and brain time to register that you’re full (which takes about 20 minutes).

The advice: Have just one bite of dessert

Why it’s useless: That’s like telling an addict to have just a little crack.
The real deal: There’s nothing right about eating malva pudding, so just revel in how deliciously wrong it is. A smarter strategy: before you begin the debauchery, plan for the extra kilojoules – skip the appetizer, the bread, or (ouch) the booze. “If the dessert is really that good, it’s worth the sacrifice,” Benzinger says.

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