Hear everybody talking about the calories in certain foods or that they are tracking calories, but what are they? And why do people track them?
A calorie is a unit of measurement. Specifically, it is defined as the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius. Though, when the word “calorie” is used in reference to food, people are usually actually talking about the number of kilocalories a specific item has, which is what is listed on nutrition labels.
Calories in the foods we eat provide energy in the form of heat so that our bodies can function. This means that we need to eat a certain number of calories just to be alive. But if we take in too many calories, then we risk gaining weight. The foods we eat supply our bodies with calories, providing the energy we need to live and stay health. Everything we do relies on the energy that comes in the form of calories, whether it is sitting on the couch for hours at a time or smashing a session🛋🏋️♀️
Part of the confusion with calories is because calorie counting alone does not determine whether your diet is nutritious or not. It is more about the type of calorie, such as whether it supplies vitamins, minerals, and fibre or if it is void of nutrition and more of an “empty calorie.”
Calories in food provide essential energy, but if you consume too many you will gain weight. These excess calories are stored as body fat. Everybody needs some stored fat to stay healthy. But too much fat can cause health problems. So how do you make sure that you don’t eat too many calories? It’s important that you understand your caloric needs. That is the number of calories your body needs to perform basic metabolic functions and daily physical activities. Everyone’s calorie needs are individual. Factors including age, height, gender, activity levels, job, sleep and he list goes on… all effect an individual’s calorie needs
Different types of food provide different levels of energy. That is, the three macronutrients are not all equal in the number of calories they provide.
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