What are calories?

Most people only associate calories with food and drink, but anything that contains energy has calories. 1 kilogram (kg) of coal, for example, contains 7,000,000 calories.

There are two types of calories:

A small calorie (cal) is the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 gram (g) of water by 1º Celsius (º C).

A large calorie (kcal) is the amount of energy required to raise 1 kilogram (kg) of water by 1º C.
It is also known as a kilocalorie. 1 kcal is equal to 1,000 cal.

The terms “large calorie” and “small calorie” are often used interchangeably. This is misleading. The calorie content described on food labels refers to kilocalories. A 250-calorie chocolate bar actually contains 250,000 calories.

We all need a certain number of calories to maintain the body’s vital functions. The number of calories a person needs depends on factors such as age, gender, and lean muscle mass.

Eating too few calories for a prolonged period of time causes a person to become underweight leading to muscle atrophy, weakened immunity, and eventually, organ failure. Conversely, eating too many calories causes a person to become overweight then obese, increasing their chances of heart disease, type II diabetes, and cancer.

People looking to gain weight in the form of lean muscle mass can aim to eat around 3000 calories per day depending on how many strength-building exercises they are doing.

It is preferable to consult a dietitian or nutritionist for weight gain and loss also to know the calories your body needs. They can guide you based on the accurate ratio of the 3D Body Scanner (3D FBS 200) which can measure everything you need to know about your body.

What are empty calories?

Foods and drinks that contain no significant nutrients but are high in calories are said to have “empty calories”. These are mainly foods and drinks that have a high sugar, fat, or alcohol content, but little or no other nutritional value.

Empty calories are those that come from added sugars and solid fats, as well as some processed oils. These include:

carbohydrate-based desserts, such as cakes, cookies, biscuits, donuts, muffins, granola bars, and more
sugary drinks, including soda, energy drinks and fruit juice
candy bars, chocolate bars, and hard candies
some meats, including bacon, sausages, and hotdogs
some full-fat products, such as butter, shortening, and ice-cream
processed oils, such as soybean and canola oil
condiments, such as ketchup and barbecue sauce
fast food, including burgers, wraps, pizza, and more

Research from 2012 found that male adults ate an average of 923 empty calories per day. For females, the average intake of empty calories was 624 calories per day.

The added fats and sugars make these empty calories taste good, which can cause people to crave them.

There are 4 calories per gram in sugar, 9 calories per gram in fats, and 7 calories per gram in pure alcohol.

Consuming a lot of foods and drinks with empty calories can lead to weight gain and nutritional deficiencies. For example, a person eating lots of empty calories may not get enough:

essential fatty acids

List of some Low-Calorie Foods


Apples have lots of fiber and are just sweet enough to satisfy cravings. Make sure to eat apples with the skin, as that’s where most of the fiber is located.

Low-Calorie Foods

Crunchy vegetables

It’s no surprise that vegetables are low-calorie and nutrient-rich foods that are closely associated with a healthy weight.

To really feel satisfied with your vegetable-based snack, choose crunchy veggies like broccoli, carrots, celery, cucumbers, or bell peppers.

nutrient-rich foods


High protein, low-calorie eggs may be the perfect breakfast food. Research has shown that those who eat a higher protein breakfast have reduced hunger throughout the day, increased satiety, and reduced production of the hunger hormone ghrelin. Additionally, eggs are an excellent source of B vitamins and vitamins A, D, E, and K and are also one of the best nutritional sources of choline, a key nutrient in cell growth and maintenance and in brain and bone health. 

High protein 

Whole grains

Eating whole grains — like oatmeal, 100% whole-grain bread or pasta, and brown rice — will keep you feeling full longer.

That’s because whole grains have high fiber content and take longer for your body to break down than white grains like refined flour.

high fiber


Berries, such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries, are excellent options for those looking for low-calorie, filling fruit. With high fiber and water content, berries are also lower in natural sugars than many other fruits. They are packed with vitamins and nutrients, are antioxidant-rich, and even provide anti-inflammatory properties.

low-calorie food

Sunflower seeds

Like nuts, seeds are calorie-dense, but super healthy since they’re high in healthy fats, fiber, and nutrients like vitamin E. Seeds are also linked to cardiovascular health and an improved cholesterol profile. Try sprinkling sunflower seeds on top of a low-calorie salad to add a nutritious crunch.



1 plum tomato has about 10.8 cals while a cherry tomato has only 3.61 calories. These almost zero calorie foods have been linked to the prevention of tumor cancer development, help maintain healthy blood pressure, improve blood sugar, lipids, and insulin levels in people with type II diabetes, and improve eye health.

healthy food
low-calorie food

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish like salmon, halibut, tuna, and cod are all excellent low-calorie sources of protein. In addition, these fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to combat inflammatory diseases and improve cardiovascular health, brain health, and eye health. Fatty fish ranked second overall on the satiety index, making it an important addition for anyone looking to lose or maintain weight.







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