A calorie is a unit of measure. Calories tell us how much energy or heat is stored in the foods we eat. An article in the Journal of Nutrition states that the calorie was first introduced as a unit of heat in lectures about engines in 1819 and it wasn’t until 1894 that the calorie was used in discussions of human energy needs. Today, we most commonly think of calories in terms of cutting them– making sure that we aren’t consuming foods with too many calories throughout the day. But there’s more to learn, so let’s dive in and get a better understanding of how calories work.
A Calorie is Not Just Any Ol’ Calorie
There are significant differences among sources of calories, and they all react and interact differently in our bodies, depending on their origin. When it comes to weight loss, there is a huge difference in a calorie from carbohydrate, protein, or fat.
A study conducted by JAMA found that the participants who followed a high-protein, high-fat, and low-carb diet lost more weight than those on several other diets. It further concluded that a low-carbohydrate, high-protein, high-fat diet might be a “feasible alternative recommendation for weight loss.”