What is a calorie?

Let’s imagine you are at the grocery store picking up your weekly groceries. In your travels you end up comparing two different jars of pasta sauce – 200 calories/serving vs. 300 calories/ serving. You choose the 200 calorie one because less calories seems like it should be healthier right? Is that even what calories means? Honestly, I never really knew the proper definition for a calorie until a few years ago. I always thought calories were just the bad things in food that made you fat. So what exactly IS a calorie then??

A calorie (also known as a kilocalorie) is a unit of measurement for food energy. We use calories to quantify the amount of energy in food that can be supplied to our bodies. This is why we should be wary of our calorie intake vs. our energy expenditure. If we are trying to lose weight or maintain our weight, the energy we expel must be greater than our energy intake.

Now if you’re like me, you probably feel that this is a more accurate definition of a calorie:

Sometimes I think it would be easier if calories were simply an infestation of little closet pests!

Have a wonderful weekend and be sure to check your closets! 😉

Leave a Reply