Understanding Calories


A Calorie is the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1g of water by 1° Celsius.

In humans, a Calorie or Kilocalorie (kcal) is the unit of measurement that the body uses for energy. In Australia we also use the term Kilojoule but I find working in the unit of Calories is much easier. To convert Kilojoules to Calories you divide the Kilojoules by 4.184.

Calories measure the amount of energy we get from the food we consume. Calories are our fuel.We get calories from 4 macronutrients (Protein, Carbohydrate, Fat & Alcohol).

Calorie control and Energy Balance are very important for health, weight control & body composition.

If you eat more calories than you need for daily functions and activity (known as a calorie surplus) your body stores those extra calories/energy (as fat) and you gain weight/fat. It doesn’t matter how much of these calories come from protein, fat, carbs or alcohol; if your total calorie intake is larger than the amount of calories you burn you will gain fat.

If you consume less calories than your body needs (known as a calorie deficit) your body will release and use stored Calories to fuel your body and you will lose weight/fat.

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