I spent some time with my 8-year old nephew the other day and as usual, kids ask the darndest questions: “How many calories does a serve of french fries contain?”, he asked. I quickly hit search and discovered that one small little packet of fried potatoes contained 230cals!! That’s about the same amount you would lose if you ran 5kms. Imagine that. His eyes lit up, as though he had an epiphany. Little did he know, his aunt was on that journey already!

So it ignited my curiosity and I started researching about calorie intake and output. Here’s a snapshot of my findings.

Typical Malaysian breakfast

*1 bowl of rice=207 calories  Serving Calories
Fried vermicelli noodles (meehoon) 1 plate 510
Curry Laksa 1 bowl 589
Nasi Lemak with gravy 1 plate 644
Roti canai and dhal 1 serve 360

Typical Australian breakfast

*2 bread rolls=114 calories  Serving Calories
Eggs benedict; poached chicken egg, bacon or ham & hollandaise sauce with bread or English muffin 1 serve 238
Breakfast cereal with milk 1 bowl 72
Toast bread with butter and Vegemite 2 slices 319
Bowl of fruit (mango, bananas, blueberries and kiwi fruit salad) 1 bowl 107

What’s our typical daily calorie intake?

Typically, an average person would consume up to 2000 calories per day. However, if you intend to lose off some weight, then you’ll need to consume under that average coupled with exercise to burn off.

Bear this in mind.

3500 calories = 0.5 kg

Safe and practical weight loss programs recommend that we should aim for no more than 0.5kg loss per week. Any more and you could put your health at risk. That means you’re looking at a reduction of 3500 calories from your weekly intake – or, 500 calories reduction (or burnt off) per day. This brings your daily caloric budget to 1500. However, such a low caloric budget per day may not give you the sufficient nutrients you require. There are no shortcuts to it, and one sure way to lose weight is via physical exercise. There are so many ways to incorporate fitness training – speak to your fitness coach and get your goals set together.

Ever wondered what’s your daily calorie burn rate?

A typical white collar office executive would be considered sedentary whilst someone working in retail or F&B, who’s constantly on their feet would be considered someone who has Activity Level 1. Take a look:
*females Duration Calories
Standing up at work 1 hour 136
10,000 steps^ 1 day 500
Average number of calories expended in a day (sedentary) 1 day 1800
Average number of calories expended in a day (Active level 1) 1 day 2000

The calorie burn rate differs depending on a person’s height, weight and gender. Males would burn an additional 30-40% extra in comparison to women.

^Shape-up America! is a non-profit that tries to combat obesity by encouraging and recommending people take 10,000 steps per day. Likewise at Asia Fitness Today, we aim to make an impact by encouraging co-workers at the workplace to be aware, be conscious about their health and start MOVING. Take the stairs. Park further away from the office and walk – saving you money, and burning you calories. Gather a few colleagues, grab a bike-share and ride to a new spot for lunch.

So, no matter what your fitness goals may be, a good start is to understand your own daily consumption habits, the calorie content of your favourite foods, then adjusting your lifestyle towards achieving those goals.