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Calculating Calories 101

What exactly is a calorie and how many of them do you need?

A calorie is to the body as fuel is to the car. Calories provide us with energy that allows our bodies to run properly. All foods contain them, some more than others.

Did you know that fats provide us with the most energy? Here is a list of calories per gram of food found in each major nutrient:

    • Fats, 9 calories
    • Carbohydrates, 4 calories
    • Protein, 4 calories

It’s important to balance these nutrients in your diet!

Early research on the human body determined that gender, age, weight, height and activity level all affect the rate at which we metabolize food. Using equations based on these criteria, dietitians are able to calculate how many calories your body requires.

Try it yourself!

Step 1. Plug in your age (A), weight in kilograms (W) and height in centimeters (H) to come up with your body’s Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR).

Men: 66.47+(13.75*W)+(5*H)–(6.75*A)

Women: 655.09+(9.56´W)+(1.84´H)–(4.67*A)

Note: Divide your weight in pounds by 2.2 to get kilograms; multiply your height in inches by 2.54 to convert to centimeters.

Step 2: Multiply your RMR by one of the following activity factors to get your Total Energy Requirements (TEE).

  • Comatose: 1.1
  • Confined to bed: 1.2
  • Confined to chair: 1.25
  • Out of bed: 1.3
  • Normal activities of daily living (ADLs): 1.5

Use this information to help you balance energy (or calorie) intake with energy (or calorie) output for weight management and optimal health status!

 Tilapia & Mango Ceviche


Makes: 6 servings

 Prep Time: 5 minutes

 Total Time: 4 hours


  • 1 pound tilapia fillet, diced to ¼-inch thick pieces
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 mangoes, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, finely diced
  • ¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup citrus juice (4 lemons, 2 limes)
  • ¼ cup cilantro, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt 


  1. Place all ingredients in a bowl. Mix gently to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for four hours, stirring occasionally.
  2. Serve with tortilla chips!

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 125 Calories, 0 grams Fat, 17 g Protein, 14 grams Carbohydrate, <1 g Fiber, 4, mg Sodium, 37 mg Cholesterol

 Source: RD411.com

Article originally published on the Pathmark Nutrition Tip Blog



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