What Are Calories?
Calories measure the energy stored in food like inches measure the height of snowfall.
They’re just units of energy, without opinions, judgments, or ulterior motives.
Calories Work Like a Charm
There are three nutrients that contain energy: Fats, carbohydrates, and protein. While we tend to think of them in concrete terms (fat = butter, carbs = bread, and protein = chicken), they’re really just strings of atoms connected by bonds.
Like a tangled charm bracelet.
During digestion, your body breaks the bracelet apart by clipping the chain in between each charm. The chain gives the bracelet its structure, just as bonds give nutrients their structure. Whenever a piece of chain gets clipped, energy is released. That energy (measured in calories) fuels every process in your body, 24/7—whether you’re awake or asleep, talking or typing.
Note: A version of this post originally appeared on HealthWarrior.com (I write nutrition content for their website/e-mail list)