What Is A Calorie?
Most of us think of a calorie as an evil thing, but that’s not really fair. A calorie is a measurement of energy, and in terms of food, it should actually be referred to a kilocalorie, as this is the proper terminology for food calorie measurement. To save confusion though, we’ll stick to calorie!
A calorie is the measurement of the energy that it takes to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Centigrade, or about 4.184 joules. That’s how exercise calorie loss is measured. You burn calories with every action you do as well as just breathing and general living.
But what does this mean for you?
Taking away the scientific angle, you might want to know that losing weight and calories go hand in hand. When you eat less, you take in fewer calories; this means that your body needs to fuel itself using ‘reserve’ calories in your body – i.e. fat.
Here are the calorie contents of certain foods per gram:
Carbohydrate – 4 calories
Proteins – 4 calories
Fats – 9 calories
As you can see, fats have the most calories in them per gram, meaning that they can add up to weight gain much more easily than the other nutrients.
A deficit of 500 Cal per day will add up to about 0.5 kilograms of fat lost per week. This means you will need to reduce your diet calories or increase your exercise calories.
Calories are something you need to learn about if you want to make sure you are losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight. For a healthy man or woman, 1800 to 2000 cal per day is reasonable for maintaining their weight. To lose weight, it’s recommended that women limit their calorie intake to about 1200 calories and for men to limit their calorie intake to 1500 calories per day.
But you should NEVER go below 1200 calories as this can cause the body to think that you are operating in starvation mode. This will cause your metabolism to slow down and it can make it more difficult for your body to lose weight.
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