postheadericon What is a Calorie?

People who want to lose weight and people who want to preserve a healthy lifestyle should know about counting calories. But what exactly is a calorie? And why is keeping track of how many calories you need so very important? Simply put, a calorie is a way of measuring heat energy. One calorie is needed to heat one gram of water by 1°. A calorie was an engineering term until around 1960 when it was replaced by SI units and Joules. A calorie is a very small unit and so when we speak of calories we usually mean kilocalories (kcal). What you really need to know is that when we talk of food containing 325 kcal, that’s the amount of energy your body will take in. Women roughly need about 2000 calories a day and men about 2500 for a healthy body weight. Exercise should be part of your everyday activities so you can burn off any excess calorie intake. If you take in 2000 calories a day without any exercise, you are more apt to put on weight, because your body will stock any extra energy (calories) as fat. When you exercise you will burn off the fat to create the energy your body needs. If you spend all day in the office you will need fewer calories to maintain your weight. To lose weight, you shouldn’t cut out too many calories at once. Simply cut about 10% of your caloric intake out and keep track to see not only how much weight you’re losing but how you feel, as well. Remember, when you cut out calories you need to make sure you’re still getting all the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and strong! Good To Know On food and drink packaging the calories are usually noted in Kilocalories (kcal) and kilojoules (KJ) for every 100 grams. A joule is equal to 4.2 calories. When you are counting calories either for keeping a healthy body weight or for dieting, beware of food and drink that are “light”. They might have fewer calories, but they are often lacking in other nutrients that are essential for good health.

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