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Calories

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Calories are a simple way to measure energy – the energy in food as well as the energy released in the body. One calorie is the amount of energy necessary to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree centigrade. You expend about one calorie per minute when sitting relaxed. It is important to understand calories as this is useful information for members wanting to lose weight.

One pound of fat is equal to 3500 kcal of energy. The first law of thermodynamics states that energy is neither created nor destroyed; therefore, body weight is lost when caloric expenditure exceeds caloric intake (negative balance). Useful points to know about calories:

  • The average woman consumes approximately 2000 kcals. The average man consumes approximately 2500 kcals. 
  • A desirable intake of not lower than 1200 kcal/days for normal adults is recommended for those on a weight loss plan 
  • Youshould aim to burn between 300-500 kcal per gym session 
  • Although calories can play a major role in weight loss programmes, it is important toadvise members to eat a well-balanced diet and limit the number of low-nutrient, high-fat and high-sugar foods they consume. 
 Healthy Salad

A calorie counter is a way to count your daily caloric intake and to raise awareness of which foods are high in calories and which of those are low. Calorie counting can support you in managing your weight as you it can indicate whether you consumer more calories then you burn via exercise. If you have a daily caloric requirement that you want to meet, or you need to monitor your caloric intake, use the calorie chart to monitor the number of calories in food that you eat

 

The table below illustrates the different types of activity and how the intensity of these activites affect energy expediture. This shows that even low intensity exercises can conrtibute towards good health and particularly weight maintenance.

Activity

Intensity Intensity (Mets) Energy Expenditure (Kcal equivalent for a person of 60kg doing the activity for 30mins)

Ironing
Cleaning
Walking, Strolling 2mph

Light
Light
Light

2.3
2.5 
2
.5

69 
75 
75

Painting, Decorating

Moderate
Moderate
Moderate

3.0 
3.3 
3.5

90 
99 
1
05

Golf - walking, pulling clubs
Badminton Social
Tennis Doubls

Moderate
Moderate 
Moderate

4.3
4.5 
5
.0

129 
135 
1
50

Walking, brisk, 4mph
Mowing Lawn – walking, using pedometer
Cycling – 10-12mph

Moderate
Moderate
Moderate

6.5 
8.0 
8.0

150 
165 
1
80

Aerobic dancing
Cycling – 12-14mph 
Swimming – slow crawl, 50 yards

Vigorous 
Vigorous 
Vigorous

6.5 
8.0 
8.0

195
240 
240

Tennis – singles
Running – 6mph (10min/mile) 
Running – 7mph (8.5min/mile) 
Running – 8mph (7.5min/mile)

Vigorous 
Vigorous 
Vigorous 
Vigorous

8.0 
10.0 
11.5 
13.5

240
300
345
405



MET = Metabolic equivalent
1 MET = A person’s metabolic rate (rate of energy expenditure) when at rest
2 METS = A doubling of the resting metabolic rate

Source: Department of Health (2004) At least five a week: Evidence on the impact of physical activity and its relationship to health. A report from the Chief Medical Officer