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Calories Explained

Calories Explained

Calories Explained - Calorie Calculator

How Caloroies Affects Your Body & Fitness

Calories are the one of the most common words used nowadays. People talk of reducing calorie intake, burning calories, and counting calories in the food they eat. This brings us to the key question of what does the term ‘calories’ mean? Also, how do calories impact the body and fitness levels.

What is a Calorie?

A calorie is a measurement unit. In terms of food, a calorie is actually used to refer to kilo calories (k cal), which is 1,000 calories. Most of the food we eat has certain calories in it. The calories provide us with energy that we need to stay active. The interesting thing is that different food items provide us with different amount of calories. For example, if you eat a candy bar you get 150 calories. To get the same calorie count from eating lettuce, you would need to eat up to 30 cups.

What is a Calorie? With Emma Bryce

Courtesy of Emma Bryce

Calories and Food Types

Each food type has different calorie counts. As you are aware, food types are mainly classified under three heads – carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

  • 1 gram of carbohydrate contain 4 kcal.
  • 1 gram of fat contains 9 kcal.
  • 1 gram of protein contain 4 kcal.

As seen be seen, eating fat lead to higher calorie intake. Each food item has a different calorie count, which is why people count calories before eating food.

Calories and Weight Management

Calories are directly related to your weight. An average estimate is that 3500 calories equals one pound of weight. So, this means if you eat food equal to 3,500 calories you can gain one pound. Similarly, if you do exercise that burns 3,500 calories, you lose one pound.

It is recommended that males should consume 2,200 to 3,200 calories per day while females should consume 1,600 to 2,400 calories per day. The exact calories to be consumed depends on your body weight, health condition, and specific needs.

If you want to reduce weight, you need to firstly restrict the amount of food you eat to reduce calories consumed. At the same time, you need to burn more calories through exercise. If you take a brisk walk for an hour, you can burn around 240 to 300 calories per hour (depending on your sex). If you run for an hour you can burn between 740 to 920 calories per hour.

See Also
What is The Carnivore Diet for Men?

High, Low and Empty Calories

Foods that have more than 400 calories are called high-calorie foods (eg: burgers). Foods with less than 40 calories are known as low-calorie foods (eg: salad made from greens). Empty calories refer to food that has no nutritional value. Ice-cream, desserts, cakes, fries, and sodas come under this category. They are mostly high-calorie but the calories do not provide nutrition. 

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