Maintaining your weight is based on balancing your energy intake with your energy requirement. Your energy intake is the number of kilojoules in the food and drink you consume. Your energy requirement is basically the number of kilojoules needed for functions that are essential for life such as breathing, and any physical activity you do.
Ever wondered how much you should actually eat each day? What your daily energy requirement is?
‘The average adult daily energy intake is 8700 kJ’. You’ve probably seen this statement at food outlets on their menus. Or you may have seen something similar on food packages. It’s part of 8700.com.au, a NSW Food Authority initiative.
You may be wondering, ‘How does this apply to me? I don’t know what the average adult is! How much should I eat each day?’. There are various equations to work out this figure, or you can simply go to http://www.8700.com.au/kj-explained/your-ideal-figure/.
It simply asks for your gender, weight, age and activity level, all which are factors that affect your energy requirement. Select a few options from the drop down list and voila, there’s your energy requirement. It probably will give you a range but that’s because everyone is different due to individual factors such as how much muscle you have compared to fat.
The drop down menu also has the nifty option of asking whether you would like to maintain your weight or ‘reduce by 0.5kg/week’. The calculated energy amount then reflects your chosen goal.
Check the website out. Also start having a look at the kilojoule content on the foods you eat to get an idea of how much it represents of your daily energy intake. By understanding what you eat, you are in a better position to make healthier food choices.