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        16 May 2017, 1:10 pm

        Counting Calories (Issue 70) by Tiamari

        Are there tiny little creatures living in your closet… sewing your clothes a little bit tighter every night?


        Calories are units of energy. A calorie is the approximate amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius at a pressure of one atmosphere. So, one calorie is one unit of energy.

        In South Africa we don’t use ‘calories’ to measure our energy intake. We use kilojoules. It’s similar to the difference between lbs and kilograms or miles and kilometers. However, the number of kJ (kilojoules) is different to calories. One calorie is 4.2kJ, so if you want to find out the kJ count of something, multiply the calorie count by 4.2.


        Everything edible, and even inedible, contains energy. There are usually more calories in food high in carbohydrates and sugar, which is why we should be mindful of the quantities we eat of certain foodstuffs.

        If you eat too many calories, and don’t use them by exercising or performing day-to-day tasks, then that leftover energy is stored as fat. Monitoring your calorie intake is therefore a good way to keep your weight in check. The idea is to balance the energy you put into your body with the energy you use.


        Your body actually needs calories, or energy, to operate, so if you burn it all, you’ll be starving your body. Your calorie intake should be in line with your age, size and levels of physical activity.

        Here’s the recommended calorie or kilojoule count that a moderately active person should be eating every day:

        · Men – 2500 calories/ 10500kJ
        · Women – 2000 calories / 8400kJ


        Want to know exactly how many calories (or kilojoules) are in that McDonald’s Big Mac, or in a medium portion of KFC fried chips? Try the amazingly comprehensive food and beverage charts found here: http://www.kilojoules.co.za/food-drink-chart/

        There is no need to become obsessive about counting calories, but a bit of awareness or a good look at your calorie intake might just be very insightful.

        Catch up on previous articles on www.tiamari.com and www.wuec.co.za

        Happy Counting!

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