Learn the Difference Between KCal and Cal

Food Calories

If you’re like me, I have spent hours researching how many calories I need to burn in a day to maintain a healthy weight. Also, how many I would need to burn to lose those extra pounds. Trust me, I’ve done my time Googling, but I found a common question that I felt I should share with #FitTrackers.

What is the difference between KCal and Calories?

Don’t worry; if you haven’t heard of a KCal, you’re not alone. Scientifically, 1 kilocalorie (1000 calories or 1 kcal) means the energy it takes to raise the temperature of 1kg of water by 1°C. 

Kcal vs. cal graph

By definition, Calories are units of energy so small that a tiny piece of food can provide thousands of them. Simply, 1 Calorie is equal to 1 kilocalorie. You may wonder why I have used a capital C when writing Calories. This is not a mistake because the capital C in Calories denotes kcal on food labels, calories and kilocalories are used interchangeably to mean the same thing. In other words, it is just as normal and acceptable for people to use the small “c” instead of big “C” and say “1 gram of fat gives us 9 calories” in the nutrition world as “1 gram of fat gives us 9 kilocalories or 9000 calories” in the physical science world. 

Source: Koninklijke Philips N.V., 2004

Daily KCal Chart

You don’t need to rethink how you eat now that you know the difference between KCal and Calorie. It is recommended that you still eat the recommended calories based on your height, weight, age, activity levels, and goals.

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