What is a Calorie?
The word calorie is derived from the Latin term “calor”, which means heat. A calorie is a unit of energy that is used for measuring and defining energy expenditure and nutritional value.
Calories make up the three macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. The more calories you consume, the higher your body weight would tend to be.
A kilocalorie (kcal), also known as a kilogram calorie or sometimes kilojoule (from metrication) is a unit of food energy that represents the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of water by one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit).
Why Are Calories Important in Dieting?
Many people know that eating too much can lead to weight gain. However, what most people do not understand is how many calories they need to consume in order to lose weight.
The number of calories needed for weight loss fluctuates depending on the person but around 1400-1800 calories per day are recommended for all adults. A balanced diet should consist of 30%-40% carbohydrates, 30%-35% protein, and 35%-40% fat respectively.
You should also try to include fruits and vegetables in your diet to increase the micronutrients you get from them.
Calorie Intake: Factors to Consider
The general recommendation is to eat at least 2000 calories per day, but how do you calculate your average calorie intake?
Calculating your daily calorie intake is not easy, but it's important to be aware of what you're eating. Here are a few things to consider when calculating your average calorie intake:
1. Age - Your age affects how many calories you need every day. The amount of energy needed by an individual increase as they get older. For example, an 18 year old adult’s body needs around 2,000 calories per day while an 80 year old adult needs around 1,200 calories.
2. Gender - Men need more calories than women do because they have more muscle mass and men are typically taller than women. Men require around 2,500 calories per day, while women require around 1,500 calories.