What is a calorie?
Put simply a calorie is a measure of energy!
One calorie is the approximate amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius. The metric unit for calories is “cal”. This may confuse You a bit because people often refer to kilo calories (kCal) instead of actual calories when they talk about calories.
Technically these are two different metric units. One kCal (kilocalorie) is equal to 1000 calories.
I don’t know why people make this reference, but the fact of the matter is that they do. Just know that when people are talking about calories they’re referring to kilocalories.
You will often see the measure “kCal” on the back of a food product’s package. Those are the kilocalories people talk about when they say calories. Just know that we do this because it’s easier. That’s it!
Now that I have that out of the way, What really is a calorie?
In correlation to our everyday life a calorie is simply the measure of energy expenditure. We spend energy in the form of calories.
Let’s take me for example!
I’m 21 (22 soon to be) years old, I’m 6’3 (190 cm.) and I weigh 185 lbs (84 kg).
I would need somewhere around 2200 kCals per day to maintain my current weight.
This means that I have to consume that much calories (kcals) on daily basis. The problem here is that I simply cannot consume calories!
I am a human and I consume food!
What is the correlation between food and calories?
We derive our calories from the foods that we eat!
Each food has an estimated amount of macro and micronutrients, vitamins and minerals, and of course, calories. Foods contain calories.
Let’s take an apple for example.
A medium large apple (maybe around 100 grams) will contain about 50-55 kCal (calories). Some small amount of protein (1-2 grams at max), some fats (1-2 grams at max, again) and some carbohydrates (around 15 grams).
If I eat this apple, this apple will provide me with 50 calories of my total daily needs.
Above I mentioned that I would need somewhere around 2200 kCals per day.
Consuming this 50 kCal apple will leave me with 2150 kCal more to fill my daily energy needs.
I will explain each of the different macronutrients in another article, so if there’s any confusion right now, don’t worry, I will clear up everything for You.
This is basically what calories are, how they work and what do they mean for the human organism.
Disclaimer: I am NOT a doctor. I am NOT a nutritionist, NOR am I a personal trainer. All of the information that You see and find on this website is carefully gathered from trusted sources and is put here for information, entertainment and ease of use purposes ONLY. Always be sure to check in with Your doctor, nutritionist, personal trainer or what have You, before You apply any of the instructions and guidelines that You find on this website. Any action that You take is taken with full responsibility and caution from Your side and Your side ONLY. I am NOT responsible for any unwanted and unbidden effects caused by actions taken from Your part, due to the information seen and found on this website!