Low Kilojoule Diets

The benefits of a low-kilojoule diet

While most of us would love to indulge in the temptation of calorie-rich foods, the fact is that following a low-kilojoule diet is the best way to ensure the long-term health of our minds and bodies. If nothing else, the health benefits of a kilojoule-controlled diet speak for themselves:

  • Improved metabolism
  • A stronger immune system
  • A lower risk of diabetes and cancer-related illnesses
  • Sustained, long-term weight loss.

It’s said that weight loss begins in the kitchen – and if you’re looking to lose weight, then that’s exactly where you should start. The rule of thumb is that weight loss success is 80% due to healthy eating and 20% due to regular exercise – so your prime focus should always be on your kilojoule intake.

But if the formula to weight loss success is so simple – following a low-kilojoule diet – then why do so many people struggle with it?

Kilojoule knowledge is power!

There are many reasons for being unable to stick to a kilojoule-controlled diet, but by far one of the main reasons is a lack of knowledge. When most people hear the words, ‘low-kilojoule diet’, they immediately think, ‘plain, boring and complicated’, without realising just how delicious and easy low-calorie eating can be. What’s more, the word ‘diet’ is restrictive in itself, sounding more like a punishment than a move towards a healthy, vital way of life. A little more knowledge about kilojoules and a simple change in our way of thinking is all it takes to make a low-kilojoule eating plan (NOT diet) as desirable as it is healthy and nutritious.

Kilojoule-Busting Rule #1: Preparation is key!

Believe it or not, sometimes making low-calorie meals can be as simple as changing the way you prepare them. You could already be eating low-kilojoule foods without realising it – all it takes to make them into low-kilojoule meals is a small change here and there:

  • When cooking, leave the fat out! Don’t cook with butter, margarine or fat – rather try healthier alternatives such as olive oil spray, non-stick spray, soya sauce or MSG-free stock powder.
  • Stay away from full-fat sauces, dressings and mayonnaise.
  • Buy lean meats such as ostrich, or chicken or turkey breasts, making sure to remove all the fat and skin before cooking.
  • Use healthy cooking methods like grilling, baking, roasting, steaming and poaching, rather than frying.
  • Fill your kitchen with healthy cooking utensils such as a wok, non-stick frying pan or griddle, steamer or sandwich press.

Kilojoule-Busting Rule #2: Control your portions

Once you’re able to prepare your food using low-kilojoule methods, the next step is to make sure you’re eating the correct amount. Too many people embark on low-kilojoule diets, and then overeat, causing them to either stay at their current weight, or even gain. Serving up the correct portion size is just as important as eating the correct daily kilojoule allowance, so take care not to overfill your plate and ruin all the good work you’re trying to do.

Of course, sometimes it’s not possible to weigh and measure all your food out – so when you’re putting together your low-kilojoule eating plan, use these simple guidelines to determine the correct portion size for each food group.

  • One rounded handful = 1 portion of cooked rice or pasta
  • A fist = 1 portion of fruit or vegetables
  • A matchbox = 1 portion of cheese
  • A deck of cards = 1 portion of meat or fish
  • A computer mouse = 1 baked potato

If these portion sizes seem drastically smaller than what you’re used to, then trick your eye by serving up your meals on a smaller, or patterned plate. Eating meals off large, white plates makes your food seem small by comparison, and your mind might fool you into thinking you need to eat more, even though your portion size is perfect. And as for oversized restaurant portions, when you’re eating out simply divide your meal in half and take one portion home with you. That way you’ll be eating the correct amount for dinner, and you’ll have a delicious lunch to look forward to the next day!

Kilojoule-Busting Rule #3 – Not all kilojoules are created equal

You know how to prepare your food correctly, and you know the perfect size to serve up – now which foods are best for you to actually eat? The main food groups of protein, fat and carbohydrate are full of choices for delicious meals, but some of these choices are healthier, and lower in kilojoules than others. Learn which choices are the best to make at each meal, and you’ll soon be following a tasty, low-kilojoule diet without even noticing! For a detailed breakdown of which food choices are better than others, view our guide to low-kilojoule foods, check the lists of kilojoules in food charts, and enjoy delicious, healthy meals that will help you lose weight with every bite!

Read more about dieting and exercise to start losing weight in 3 easy steps. But remember that all the information detailed here serves as a guideline for healthy eating and weight loss. Please ensure to always visit a doctor, dietician or other qualified individual before changing your diet and exercise routine. For more information, please refer to our site disclaimer.