# Do You Know What A Calorie Is?

There is a food calorie definition but it's a little difficult to explain and even more difficult to remember.

The simplest way to explain it is they are in our food. If we have too many, we gain weight. Perhaps you're a daily calorie counter to be sure you do not eat too many.

The basics

Perhaps you can remember this: 1 pound of body weight is equivalent to 3,500 calories. If someone consumes 3,500 more calories than they burn, they will gain 1 pound. On the other hand, if someone burns 3,500 more calories than they consume, they will lose 1 pound.

It does not matter how long it takes. For instance, if someone decrees their calorie intake by 500 per day for a week, and they burn the same amount as normal, they will lose one pound that week. The reverse is also true. If someone increases their calorie intake by 500 per day for a week and burn the same as normal, they will gain 1 pound that week.

Any way you look at it

The numbers can be applied a number of different ways but the results will be the same: 3,500 more calories consumed than burned will result in 1 pound of weight gain, and 3500 more calories burned than consumed will result in 1 pound lost, regardless of the time it takes.

The bottom line is calories consumed have an inverse relationship to calories burned. There is more to the equation than that, but if you can remember that, it's a great start.

3 forms

Calories come in three forms: Carbohydrates, protein, and fat. We need all three. However, it's important to understand that 1 gram of carbohydrates and 1 gram of protein contain 4 calories. 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories.

As a result, fat has gotten a bad reputation. It's not that fat is bad. It's that we need to understand that fat contains more than twice the calories as carbohydrates and protein.

What's inside

The calories themselves are not all there is to the equation. Within calories are nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and a host of other nutritional factors. It's important to get the most " bang for your buck" as it were.

Low calorie foods, such as many vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables, are high in nutritional value and low in calories.

It pays to read labels and get to know what foods contain which nutrients. We need all nutrients in optimum amounts for maximum health.

Empty

There's also an empty calories definition.

Empty calories are exactly what the word implies. They are calories but they contain no nutrients. Many alcoholic drinks are examples of this.

It's important that the calories we consume are as rich as possible. We should avoid empty calories.

We have the ability to totally control our intake to burn ratio if we take the time to learn what we're eating and the time and energy to burn it off.