What is a kcal?

There is understandably some confusion around the term calorie.

  • A calorie is a very small unit of energy. It is the approximate amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 g of water by 1 degree Celsius.
  • A kilocalorie (kcal) is equal to 1,000 calories. It is the approximate amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 kg of water by 1 degree Celsius. It is a larger unit of energy.

Since our bodies use and consume a high level of calories, it’s much more efficient to refer to our energy needs in terms of kcals. So, when people refer to calories in everyday life — how many calories they “burned” at the gym or how many calories are in a pizza — they are actually speaking about kcals. Meaning, whenever you see the word calorie or hear people discussing calories, more than likely they are actually talking about kcals. Therefore, to keep it simple for my readers, whenever calories are mentioned in Hello, Confidence!, unless otherwise specified, I am referring to kcals.

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