Calorie – in the world of science it is a unit of energy that stems out to two broad categories – small calorie or gram calorie and large calorie or kilogram calorie, also known as food calorie
Since we are talking about nutrition, we will be focussing on large/kilogram calorie aka food calorie. So in simple terms, calories is food is representation of measurement of energy content of the food.
If you are looking at a label, you can notice the total calories and further split of Fat, Carbs and Protein along with dietary fibres.
However, many people who are in their fitness journey do not really understand or know how to calculate calories as well as cross check whether the label of the product in hand is right. Especially, with so many prepped food deliveries, packed food options, and cool apps on smart phones – who needs to care about details?
Well, regardless of all the easy options it is important to understand and learn how you can calculate calories and make smart choices.
First of you need to understand the calories per gram of protein, carbohydrates and fats.
1 gm Protein = 4 calories
1 gm Carbohydrates = 4 calories
1 gm Fats = 9 calories
Formula– Grams of Protein x (4) + Grams of Fat x(9) + Grams of Total Carbohydrates x (4) = Total Net Calories
So if we take the example of above picture, we can see in a serve of 32 g we get:
Protein = 16 calories (4gm x 4 cal)
Carbohydrates = 52 calories (13gm x 4 cal)
Fats = 18 calories (2gm x 9cal) – also mentioned in the label
This is totalling up to 86 Calories, compared to 100 Calories advised on the label. Sometimes, brands or companies give that extra layer by overcompensating which is good and respectable of them to do so, but this is not true always.
However, there is one more step you need to add to this formula of total calories and it is related to carbohydrates. Fibre is part of carbohydrates that our body doesn’t break down and absorb, basically it goes in through food and straight away sweeps out of our body. So we are best to take it out of the formula.
If we review the formula again, then it should be:
Formula– Grams of Protein x (4) + Grams of Fat x (9) + (Grams of Total Carbohydrates – Grams of Dietary fibre) x (4) = Total Net Calories
It can be tricky at the start but once you start applying into your daily life, you will be ahead of the game always.
Just having this knowledge can take you forward in your fitness journey, help you transform and share it with others who might be struggling in their fitness journey too.
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