Calorie and Kilojoules in Food


Calorie is a unit or measurement in non-metric system of measuring weight. Calorie is a unit by which we measure how much energy we consume when we eat food or drinks and how much energy we spend every day. Calorie is of two types. One is small calorie and the other one is big calorie. Big calorie is also called kilocalorie. When it is about energy from food and energy that we use during exercise, we talk about big calories or kcal. Kilocalories is used to talk about large quantities of energy. One kilocalorie is equal to one thousand calories. The amount of energy that can raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius at a pressure of one atmosphere is understood to be a calorie. 



Kilojoule is a unit of measurement in metric system of weight measurement. In metric system, kilojoules(kj) is an unit used to measure  amount of energy that comes from food and the energy that use up doing exercises. Joule is also a unit of energy but a small one little like calorie in non-metric system. The amount of energy that can cause 1 Newton through a distance of 1 meter, is understood to be joule. One kilojoule is equal to 1000 joules. When it comes to relation between kilojoule and kilocalorie, 1 kilojoule equals to 4.2 kilocalorie.


Understanding Calories and Weight Management

According to study by Dietary Guidelines Alliance, many people in the USA don’t have good understanding of calorie and they are in need to understand calorie to help maintain weight. The USDA Dietary Guidelines advises to be more active and eat fewer calories, which is closely linked with calorie intake and calorie expenditure. Just healthy eating and doing physical activity cannot be effective enough in weight control. To effectively control weight, it is important to understand and focus on calorie intake and calorie expenditure.

The Dietary Guidelines encourage individuals to strike right balance between calorie intake and calorie expenditure. This balance can vary from person to person. The balance has to take into consideration different factors such as a person’s age, gender, and weight-goal whether the person wants to lose weight or maintain weight or prevent gradual weight gain over time.


Benefits of Calories

Calories or energies are vital to keep human body functioning, organs working, lungs breathing, brain thinking and heart beating. Repairing or growing tissues also requires calories. The amount of calories that the body burns to run all these functions is known as basal metabolic rate (BMR) or metabolism. BMR uses about 60 to 65 percent of all calorie expenditure. When we engage in physical activity, we burn more calorie or energy.


Calorie Balance

Striking calorie balance is like using an old-fashioned balance with two dishes hanging from each side. Relating to an old-fashioned scale helps visualize the concept of calorie balance. The dish on one side is about all the calories consumed from foods and beverages. The other dish on the other side represents calories that body burns for metabolism and other physical activities. When body consumes same number of calories that it burns, the scale dishes remains balanced and body weight does not go up or down. This is good when we want to maintain our current weight. When body consumes more calories than it burns, the scale tips to the left and it means weight gain. When body consumes less calories than it burns, the scale tips to the right and it means weight loss. Regulating calorie input and output is what weight management is about.


Calories in a Pound

Many of us do not know how many calories are there in a pound of body weight. Knowing this is important for those who want to lose weight. Knowing this can put the discussion of creating calorie deficit and calorie balancing in perspective. 3500 calories are equal to one pound of body weight. In order to lose one pound of body weight, there has to be 3500-calorie deficit by either burning more calories or consuming fewer calories or involving a combination of both. Gaining one pound of body weight, on the other hand, happens due to 3500-calorie surplus by either burning fewer calories or consuming more calories or involving a combination of both. Gaining a pound of body weight can happen when we do not regulate calorie input and output closely.


Calorie Awareness

Awareness regarding calorie intake and calorie expenditure is one of the first steps in moving   towards weight control. Calorie awareness generates motivation to make necessary modification in diet for weight loss or weight control. Motivation also helps engage in physical exercise and change daily routine that is favorable to calorie burning, such as using stairs instead of the elevator. Calorie awareness trigger all the necessary changes in lifestyle or habits that help achieve weight-loss goal.

Last update: June 13, 2017 03:43:33 pm

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