Calories and caloric values
A calorie stands for a unit of energy used by the body for burning. Calories are found in all foods. The energy provided by calories is used mostly for your primary physical processes.
Examples of these are the functioning of your heart, lungs, organs, repair of tissue, metabolism and the growth of hair and nails. A small part of the energy is used for motion, such as walking, standing erect or for participating in sports.
What are calories?
A calorie stands for a unit of energy. If you eat 100 Kcal for example, it means that your body can convert 100 Kcal into energy. A kilocalorie, or for short Kcal, stands for 1000 calories. The terms calorie and kilocalorie are interchangeable. The general guideline for caloric needs for an adult male is 2,500 kilocalories and 2,000 for an adult female. However, this depends on a number of factors, such as the body build, age, the extent of heavy physical labour and the person’s lifestyle in general. If you do lots of sports, you need more energy and therefore your caloric intake is higher.
What is the function of calories?
Calories provide the energy that you need for your primary physical process and for your physical activities. No matter what your do, you burn calories, even while you sleep. There are good and bad calories.
You burn calories all day long, even when you rest or sleep. After all, your body needs the energy for its primary physical processes. Take for instance metabolism, the beating of your heart and the repair of your body cells. In a normal feeding pattern, your body uses around 75% of your caloric intake for these processes. By moving about, no matter how you do it, you burn additional calories. Your body then demands additional energy. Your body uses this energy for flexing your muscles in those places where it is needed.
What happens when you eat too much?
If you consume more calories than you burn, your body converts the surplus calories into fat. This increases your fat reserves as well as your total body weight. To lose 1 kilo of body fat, you will need to burn approximately 7,500 kilocalories.
How do you score results?
There are different ways to burn more calories. You can build your muscle mass. Sustaining one kilo of muscle takes 100 kilocalories per day. You can also eat several small meals per day. This keeps your metabolism going and you burn additional calories without noticing it. Eating certain foods, such as different types of cabbages and beans, also increases your metabolism. Your body will need more energy to digest these foods. Regular exercise also provides good results. You burn additional calories during exercising as well as after. If you jog intensely for one hour, you burn around 900 kilocalories. And following this hour of jogging, your body will continue to burn calories.