The Basics Behind “Counting Calories”

We count calories everyday, but do we actually know where our calories are coming from?  Calories come from Macro-nutrients, which are substances that provide us with energy and are needed for growth, metabolism, and other body functions.  There are three types of Macro-nutrients including carbohydrates, fat, and proteins.

  • Carbohydrates provide 4 calories per gram
    • If the nutrition label of a product says you have 10 grams of carbs you would take that number and multiply it by 4 to get the amount of calories that comes from carbs, which in this case would be 40
  • Fat provides 9 calories per gram
    • If the nutrition label of a product says you have 3 grams of fat you would take the 3 grams and multiple it by 9 ending up with 27 calories from fat
  • Proteins provide 4 calories per gram
    • If the nutrition label of a product says you have 6 grams of protein you could then take the 6 grams and multiple it by 4 and find that it has 24 calories from protein

Your calorie intake should consist of 45-65% carbohydrates, 20-35% fat, and 10-35% protein.  The only other source of calories comes from alcohol which provides you with 7 calories per gram, however it is not considered a Macro-nutrient since it isn’t needed for survival, however some people may disagree with that statement. Cheers!

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