Calories are basically units of energy. In fact, one calorie is the approximate amount of energy that is needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree celsius. And interesting enough, one calorie of food (food calories) is actually equal to 1,000 calories or 1 kilocalorie (kcal).
But honestly, for you, it does not matter. What does matter is the different types of calories in your food, how you measure them, how much you should consume, how to track them, along with basic information to reach your goals. Luckily for you, we are here to help break it down for you and simplify it so that it is easier for you to learn and reach your goals.
At the very basic level, calories consist of carbohydrates, proteins and fat, each of which has a different caloric value. Carbs and proteins each have four calories per gram and fat has 9 calories per gram. These numbers are important because you can see how heavy fats are calorically.
How many calories you should consume in a day depends on several different factors, such as your age, weight, activity level, height, and whether you are a male or a female. A good starting measurement is your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is used to measure the minimum amount of calories that your body needs while at rest. From there, you can use the Harris Benedict Equation to determine how many calories your body needs.
From there, you can figure out how much protein, carbs, and fat you should consume. A general recommendation 45-60% or calories should come from carbohydrates, 20-35% of calories from fat, and 10-35% from protein. Of course, this will also vary based on your goals. This table is a good guide:
|Build Muscle||Maintain||Lose Weight|