Understanding the calories definition is the first step towards losing
weight when counting calories.
Calories are the core to many
weight loss programs.
a common term used when talking about exercise and weight
talk in terms of counting them, consuming them, reducing them and even
Terms like caloric intake, calorie consumption
and caloric content are all terms you may have used yourself.
But what exactly is a calorie?
Simple Calories Definition
To put it simply, a calorie is a unit of energy.
they are generally associated with food they actually apply to anything
energy, like the gasoline you put in your car.
When we associate the caloric content of food we are really talking
about kilocalories (kcal), or a large calorie.
A kcal calorie
is unit of energy or heat equal to 1,000 small calories
When looking at a food label for the total caloric
content, they are actually referring to a kcal. So, if a
food shows 200 kcal, it actually has 2,000 cal. This is also
true when talking about exercise calories.
states it burns 100 calories, they really mean 100 kcal, or 1,000 small
Just to clarify, a 1,200 calorie diet mean kcal and would equate to
12,000 small calories. So for a calorie definition for weight
loss, think only in terms of kcal as this is what all the food labels,
calculators etc. use.
Importance of Calories
When trying to lose or even maintain your
weight, understanding your daily caloric needs is
important. You must create a deficit in order to lose weight.
You consume calories through the drinks and foods you eat and you burn
them throughout the day. How many you burn depends on your
basal metabolic rate and your activity level.
In order to ensure you are consuming fewer kcal than you burn, you
will want to determine the proper calorie intake
This will depend on your age, weight, height and gender and activity
If you are a
teenager, then be
sure to read the teen
BMR Calories Definition
You will also want to understand your basal
This is the rate your metabolism burns calories for everyday
activities including sleeping.
Lastly, you want to understand
exercising changes your caloric needs.
The number you burn
exercise will vary depending on the exercise, duration, level of
intensity and your current weight.
Getting the right amount of calories is also critical in a weight loss
Remember, this is your energy source, so if you
get too few you will actually slow down your metabolism
weight loss slow or even begin to gain weight.
create a deficit of 500 and no more than 1,000 kcal.
will allow you to lose weight and keep it off as your metabolism
adjusts to your new lifestyle of eating healthy
Calorie Intake for Weight Loss
In addition to understanding the calories definition, you need to know
your daily intake of calories in order to lose weight.
The calorie intake for weight loss will vary for each person.
Since no one individual will have the same exact variables, such as
metabolic rate, height, weight, gender and age, then each person’s
intake may be slightly different.
Calculating the calorie
intake for weight loss is not an exact science but as a general rule, a
woman should get at least 1,200 kcal a day and a man should get at
least 1,800 kcal per day.
Now that you understand the calories definition start using this free online
calorie intake calculator
to track your intake.
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