Dieting and Exercise for Weight Loss

You’ve probably heard it a million times before, but it really is this simple: To lose weight, you need to do more exercise and consume fewer kilojoules. It doesn’t sound so difficult, but to most people, it also doesn’t sound like very much fun. And let’s be honest – the idea of steamed spinach and sweating it out on a treadmill is hardly an enticing advert for weight loss.

So banish that idea from your head! Eating fewer kilojoules and exercising for fat loss can be a lot easier than you think – and a lot less painful too. For example, did you know that it’s actually possible to eat just as much food as you’re currently eating and still lose weight? Or that you could find a type of exercise that you enjoy doing, and which boosts your energy levels, helps you to sleep better and improves your overall health?

The fact of the matter is, while weight loss isn’t a walk in the park (it’s more of a fast-paced jog), you can still enjoy the beautiful scenery. In fact, armed with the right information, you can lose weight without the steamed spinach and the treadmill. Read on to find out how.

3 easy weight loss steps

To start losing weight, you need to follow these 3 simple steps:

How many kilojoules must I eat per day to lose weight?

The amount of kilojoules you need to eat to lose weight depends on many factors. The recommended daily kilojoule intake for adults is 8 700kJ, but this differs from person to person, and is dependent on factors such as your age, weight, gender, level of activity and, of course, how much weight you want to lose.
Following a low kilojoule diet can be exceptionally effective in losing weight, and you’ll find that many low kilojoule foods actually leave you feeling fuller for longer, because it takes the body longer to digest them. There are plenty of healthy foods and foods that are low in calories that help you to lose weight without leaving you starving. Find out more about low kilojoule foods and low kilojoule weight loss diets.

Calculating kilojoules to lose weight

First of all, work out whether you do in fact need to lose weight, by determining your body mass index (BMI) using our BMI calculator. If your BMI is below 25, you don’t need to lose weight, but if it’s above 25, you should consider losing weight. Learn more about BMI on our kilojoule calculators page.

Realistically, you should aim to lose 0.5kg – 1kg per week. Fast weight loss (more than 1kg per week) usually results in the lost weight, and more, being put back on within a year. The more slowly you lose weight, the more likely you are to keep it off.

On average, dieters need to reduce kilojoule intake by 2 000kJ per day in order to lose 0.5kg – 1kg per week. Remember, however, that this amount is different for every person, and that it’s always advisable to speak to a dietician, nutritionist or doctor to find out exactly what your dietary and weight loss requirements are.

How much exercise do I need to do to lose weight

To stay healthy and fit, it’s recommended that an individual do 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 times a week. However, if you’re looking to lose weight, you may want to increase the length or intensity of your exercise. On average, an individual must burn 37 000kJ (8 850 kcal) through exercise to lose 1kg.

The amount of kilojoules burned through exercise depends on the type of exercise you do, as well as the intensity of the workout and your weight. The more strenuous the activity, the more kilojoules it will burn. Below, you’ll a rough guide to how many kilojoules are burnt per type of exercise activity per hour. Once again, these amounts are just an estimate, and will vary according to an individual’s weight, age, gender and so forth.

Type of exercise Kilojoules burnt per hour*
Aerobics 385
Ballroom dancing, moderate speed 250
Brisk walking 220
Hiking with backpack 420
Canoeing, moderate impact 413
Circuit training 470
Cycling, moderate impact 475
Kickboxing 590
Rollerblading 718
Rowing machine, moderate 420
Running, moderate 750
Soccer 420
Swimming 420 – 590, depending on stroke
Tennis 470
Water polo 585

* for an individual weighing 65kgs

The secret to exercise success is doing something that you enjoy, and which suits your budget and schedule. As you can see, there are so many types of exercise that it’s possible to find one that you enjoy! Swim, hike, dance, play water polo, jog on the beach or play a sport to lose weight – you don’t have to run on a treadmill or join an expensive gym. Find something that you enjoy doing, and it’ll be far easier to stick with it and see long-term weight loss results.

Take the first step towards weight loss

Use our BMI calculator to discover whether you need to lose weight and, if so, which types of foods you should be eating by making use of our kilojoules in food calculators.

By following a low kilojoule diet and including some exercise in your daily routine, you’ll soon start to see weight loss results. It’s recommended that you consult a dietician or specialist for individual advice, and for help in setting up a healthy diet and exercise routine that works for you.