What Are Calories?

Calories Foodie Fit

What Are Calories?

As many of us return from holiday break, which tend to be synonymous to family, friends, and the best part… Lots of food! Thought this would be the perfect time to speak about a necessity of nutrition and the ability for our bodies to function.

This topic will cover energy and the form of how our bodies receive it…


In this article:

  • Food Calories
    • What are they & where do they come from?
    • Is it necessary to count them?


Articles coming soon:

  • Part 1. Macronutrients: Protein
  • Part 2. Macronutrients: Carbohydrates
  • Part 3. Macronutrients: Fats
  • Micronutrients




Most foods & drinks we consume provide calories. We need calories for energy, which is used towards general focus, exercise, digestion, as well as simply lounging. Our bodies require calories to survive. How many we need, depends on health goals even maintenance. Our caloric needs will vary throughout life.


Health Goal Examples:

  • Weight Loss
  • Muscle Gain
  • Sports Performance
  • Pregnancy
  • Medical Conditions



Calories come in different forms such as protein, carbohydrates, & fats. These are called “macronutrients” or “macros”. Each macronutrient plays an important role in our body which enable us to function.


We’ll cover macro & micronutrients over the course of our upcoming blogs.


What Are Macronutrients?

  • Protein: Provides 4 calories per gram of protein
    • Build & repair tissue (organ/muscle)
  • Carbohydrates:  Provides 4 calories per gram of carbohydrate
    • Provides glucose (our body’s preferred energy source) 
  • Fats: Provides 9 calories per gram of fat
    • Hormone secretion & regulation (helps transport nutrients)


: If we’re not consuming enough of just one of these nutrients for long periods of time, we’ll experience problems such as low energy, digestion issues, muscle loss, hormone imbalances, weakened immune system, and the list goes on….



Unless you’re an athlete intensely training for a sport or health goal driven via weight loss/muscle gain, I firmly believe this is not necessary and will explain.


In the case which you are needing to count calories, keep in mind the objective is to remain within the necessary caloric range.


Maintaining a balanced lifestyle can be easier than most think. The key is portion control and utilizing hand size measurements as a guide.


Follow these recommended daily servings for each food group:

* Serving Size 1

  • Protein: 5 ½ ounces 

    Eat a mix of lean meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, nuts & seeds. 

  • Grains: 6 ounces 

  • Dairy: 3 cups (24 ounces) 

    Choose low-fat milk, fat-free milk, or yogurt to reduce saturated fat intake. 

  • Fruits: 2 cups (16 ounces) 

  • Vegetables: 2.5 cups (20 ounces) 

    Eat a variety of colored vegetables. 

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