File pictureCalories – it’s a term used widely everywhere, but what is an actual calorie?
Calories are defined as: “A unit of heat equal to the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of 1000 grams of water by 1 degree.” This unit is used as a measure of the amount of heat energy released by food as it is digested by the body.
Now what does all this mean? Well, essentially it’s all to do with energy. Energy in versus energy out.
If we burn off more energy than what we consume we are ahead of the calorie equation and will maintain or lose weight.
However, once we start to increase our calorie ingestion or decrease our calorie burn rate then we start to get behind in this very simple equation.
Here are some tips regarding calories and their values:
■ To lose 1kg of weight we need to burn roughly 7300 calories.
■ There are 4.2 kilojoules in a calorie.
■ If we ingested 200 calories less or burnt 200 calories more per day we would lose 10kg over the course of one year.
■ Lean muscle burns more calories at rest, so ensure you are getting some form of resistance/weight training into your sessions each week. The more lean muscle you have the more calories you burn per hour while sitting at work or sleeping.
■ Always choose water over the higher calorie infused soft drinks and fruit juices.
Keeping on the right side of the calorie equation will not only benefit your health and wellbeing, it will benefit so many other facets of your life.
Lukas Chodat is the director of Chodat Fitness.
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