The calorie is a unit of measurement of energy. It is defined as the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water by 1°C.
Remember that one of the functions of nutrients is to supply energy to the body. The calorie is used to measure how much energy certain foods supply for these functions. In our overfed society, calories have come to be viewed as something to be avoided. Nevertheless, without sufficient food energy,we could not live.
Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats can be used by the body to supply energy.
1 gram of carbohydrate supplies 4 calories
1 gram of protein supplies 4 calories
There is a direct connection between calorie intake, physical activity, and weight gain. Simply put, if you consume more calories than you burn, you gain weight. If you consume fewer calories than you burn,you lose weight. All the diet schemes and fashions in the world—at least the ones that are medically sound—can be reduced to this. In other words, losing weight is possible only by eating fewer calories, by burning more calories through exercise, or, preferably, by both.
In order to lose weight while maintaining good nutrition and health, one should avoid empty calories as much as possible and eat primarily foods of high nutrient density. Empty calorie foods are those that provide few nutrients per calorie. Refined sugars and starches are examples of empty calories. Foods of high nutrient density are those that have relatively many nutrients per calorie. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are examples of foods with high nutrient density.
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