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How many kilojoules or calories are you eating? And are you really hungry?

Zoe Nicholson

Understanding how much energy (kilojoules) is in the food and drinks we are consuming is important if you are trying to lose weight, or even just ensure you do not gain weight. Why? Because we live in an environment which offers us much more food energy than we need and we expend very little energy in obtaining food.

Before the modern world, we didn't have to worry about kilojoules as food was scarce or required us to expend lots of energy in obtaining and preparing the food. We spent most of our time in the hungry state and our bodies needed all the food we ate. These days feeling really physically hungry is almost considered something to avoid.

When I ask my clients how often they feel real physical hunger, that's any physical sensation from the neck down, most say rarely and that they are actually afraid to let themselves feel hungry. Feeling hungry is a normal part of being human and the body's way of signalling you to take in kilojoules from food. You should feel physically hungry before you eat any meal or snack. If not, you may find yourself putting on weight.