Week 06 – What is a Calorie?

TWEScale2What is a calorie? Since I’ve already repeated numerous times that calories are the most important factor in The Weight Equation, it is pivotal that you understand what a calorie actually is. If you’ve ever looked into nutrition at all you’ve no doubt heard of calories but have you ever thought about what a calorie is? A calorie is a way to measure energy. 1 calorie is the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one gram of water one degree Celsius. If you’ re a Physics nerd you may be interested to know that 1 calorie also equals 4.19 Joules.

Many people don’t realize that calorie contents you find on food labels are actually kilocalories. When you drink a can of soda, you may think it has 150 calories in it, but in reality it has 150 kilocalories or 150,000 calories. That can of soda has enough energy in it to raise the temperature of 150,000 grams of water 1 degree Celsius or raise the temperature of 150 kilograms of water 1 degree Celsius. For the purposes of this blog I will use the term calorie but keep in mind that in reality it is a kilocalorie.

I’m sure you’ve read the calorie content on a food label before but have you ever wondered how the amount of calories in different foods are determined? The foods are actually burned in a laboratory and water is heated up. The calorie content of the particular food in question is determined by how many degrees the water was heated up.

In this You Tube video high school students are demonstrating how to determine the calorie content of a nut:


Now that you know what a calorie is let’s find out what four sources your body can extract calories from to use for energy.

Please enjoy the powerful information I am sharing in this blog but remember that I am NOT a nutritionist or a professional. I am simply passionate about the subject. Please consult with your doctor and nutritionist before implementing any diet.

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