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Calories vs 'Joules'



Valerie Kraftt:

Hi Angelique, just want to find out what is the recommended daily kilojoule intake for a female (38) if you want to lose weight.”

Dear Valerie,

It is so important for you to understand and monitor your calorie intake and expenditure. It is actually so simple; all you need to do is make sure that you burn more energy than what you consume. Follow this basic principle of science, and you WILL lose weight!



Both Calories and kilojoules are measurements of energy.  We bring energy into our body through food and burn it through exercise and our basal metabolic rate (breathing, blood circulation & basic bodily functions). 

The normal and estimated amount of calories to consume when you are not trying to lose weight is: 

  • 2500 calories a day for men
  • 2000
  • 1800 

We all have different energy needs, and your daily calorie requirement is determined by three main factors:

(for this reason please note that any and all amounts mentioned in this write-up are only estimates and will depend on each individual)

§The amount of muscle you have: Muscle in itself, burns calories.

§Your activity levels: If you work at a desk job you will not be burning as many calories as say, someone working on a      building site the entire day.

§Your weight: This matters because you burn up calories just to keep your body going.


Adult women:
(ESTIMATED amounts)


For my international ladies:

655 + (4.3 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)
655 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in yrs)




This formula gives your BMR – (this is how many calories you’d use if you spent the whole day lying in bed…which I’m hoping you do not do!)

You now need to multiply your result by a percentage to reflect your activity level.


no exercise, sit at a desk most of the day

BMR x 120 percent (ie. an extra 20% on top of the BMR)


Light Activity 

no exercise, on feet during the day, eg. shop work

BMR x 130 percent


Moderately Active 

exercise 3 or more days a week for 30 minutes or more

BMR x 140 percent



This should be you!!!!

Highly Active 

exercise 5 or more days a week for 30 minutes or more

BMR x 150 percent.


 The result now gives you how many calories you need to maintain your current weight.

But if you want to lose weight ...

To lose and estimated amount of 0.45kg of body weight a week, aim in cutting your daily intake by 500 calories – an achievable amount for most of us. If you have a lot of weight to lose you could cut back by 1,000 calories per day and lose an estimated amount of 0.9kg a week. (you may be able to lose even more and this will depend on your own body and exercise regimen.)

Note that you should not try and not drop below 1,000 calories per day. This could have negative effects on your body, if you drop below 1,000 cal,  and your metabolism, making it harder for you to stay slim in the future. Think long term ladies!!

Those 500 (or 1000) fewer calories per day can be cut by eating less, or by adding in more exercise. You need to create a calorie deficit (using more energy than you take in) and this can be achieved either by decreasing your intake of food or increasing your energy output, ie. your exercise. Try to find a healthy medium in both.

The difference between Calories and kilojoules is very much the same difference between metres and centimetres. They are just two different measures of the same thing, energy.  It can be quite confusing though as often food is measured in kilojoules and exercise in Calories.  

Let me try and break it down for you:

1 Calorie = 4.184 kilojoules

2343 kilojoules = 2343/4.184 = 600 Calories

I hope that this has answered your question, Valerie. In the end, remember to just keep a healthy outlook and try to not make the weight loosing process too complicated.

It’s about a mindset, not a number!

Yours in health,


Summer mixed sweat mix
The Burn-Blast workout for beginners


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