Counting the kilojoules of a big night out

Some folks count kilojoules, repetitions in their CrossFit WODs, and total steps during their Fit Bit day. They get home and measure grams of protein, then enter everything in an Excel spreadsheet to ensure they stay 100 per cent healthy, 100 per cent of the time.

Not all kilojoules are created equal, but they all must be used as energy or else end up as waistline chub. Punters lacking Excel, fitness apps and smartwatches might avoid the daily, tedious number crunching, but will still require the following workouts to balance out these nights on the town.

The Pub Session

The meal: Fish & chips, beer

The damage: 8071kj / 1922cal

It might happen post-beach or during a winter Saturday watching the game and catching up with a group. It's all too easy to order an Aussie favourite, fish and chips, containing two battered fillets with fries. Wash it down with six beers, and Bob's your (chubby) uncle.

Working it off will take quite an effort. Lace the runners, because according to the American College of Sports Medicine, that meal would take a 60kg woman and 80kg man around two hours moving at a brisk 13km/h hour pace to work off 8000 kilojoules.

The Quickie

The meal: Energy drink, chocolate

The damage: 2437kj / 580cal 

An afternoon sugar fix is a must for many 9-to-5ers, and an energy drink and chocolate bar provide just the kick, with a massive dose of kilojoules.


When the snack is down, it's best to take the stairs up on the way back to work – a lot of them. It will take a woman 40 minutes and a man a solid 30 minutes running stairs at high intensity. That's thousands of kilojoules consumed, and thousands of stairs to run.

The RomCom

The meal: Ice cream, wine

The damage: 4866kj / 1159cal 

During date night, some down three scoops of Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and share a bottle of red wine next to a significant other.

In the morning, that couple will have to hit the stationary rower with serious force. It will take the average man 1 hour and 40 minutes to work off his movie treats, and his better half will require 2 hours and 20 minutes of the same exercise.

If they prefer to burn calories between the sheets, sex is estimated to burn 150 calories per half-hour – that couple had better be equipped with world record stamina.

The Bender

The meal: Drinks, drinks, and more drinks

The damage: 6785kj / 1616cal

It's been one of those weeks. Your mates are heading out, and you really fancy tying one on. A couple of mojitos to start the night soothes, a bottle of wine numbs, and a few vodka-Red Bulls keep it all going.

Ohhhhhh, the hangover, and the kilojoules. Get ready to fight. Ladies? You'll be sparring (boxing) for three hours, and the gents will box for two hours. If you can't get the gloves on and hair of the dog is your cure, you'll be spending all week in the ring.

The Chook

The meal: Fried chicken, of course

The damage: 6473kj / 1541cal

Last week, Facebook was littered with KFC's newest offering, the Chizza - that's pizza with a fried chicken crust. I couldn't find the kj/cal count on this one, so I substituted a standard three-piece meal with fries, cola, and that oh-so-tasty coleslaw.

A Tour de France-like effort is demanded for those kilojoules to not hit the sides. Ladies will need to bike (hard) for more than 2.5 hours, and guys will need to do the same for almost two hours.

The Morning Glory

The meal: Super-fast breakfast

The damage: 3658kj / 871cal 

If you don't cook breakfast at home because you're too busy, I know why. You'll need more time exercising if you eat a Hungry Jack's BBQ Big Breaky Wrap with a hashbrown and large cappuccino. Men and women will need to skip rope at a serious pace for one hour – no easy task.

I'm aware that calories in / calories out is not a 1:1 equation in keeping fit. The body is complex, and hormones, sleep, source of calories, metabolic rate, and the type of exercise all play a role in 'burning' off a meal. But the above should promote a thought – those excess, frivolous kilojoules take a hell of an effort to work off.

None of which is to say 'don't do it'; it's more about 'think first and understand the consequences'. 

What are your tips for cutting calories on a night out? Let us know in the comment section below. 

Passion for lifestyle change is the cornerstone for everything Michael Jarosky does. A Sydney-based personal trainer, he cajoled thousands of Executive Style readers to undertake his 'Cut The BS' diet, and champions a charity weight-loss event, Droptober.

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