By Brett Franciosi

Hey VeganZine audience, welcome back to BFitNutrition. 

Let’s chat this week about calories!

There seems to be so much information out there about nutrition. It can be overwhelming! So let’s start with the basics and build an educational background in nutrition so that you can start making high quality and nutrient packed decisions in the kitchen.

Calories. What are they and why are they important?

Calories are our body’s energy. Think of it as gas for your car, without it we won’t get very far. So calories are extremely important! Our body consumes food and that food carries a specific calorie count. These calories determine how much energy our body will receive from this food.

Now you may be wondering why some foods are 100 calories while others are 500. This is where we get into macronutrients. 

Our body needs certain levels of all macro and micronutrients. Today we will focus on macronutrients and their importance.

Macronutrients. What are they and why are they important?

“Macro,” according to Webster dictionary, means large-scale. Therefore, when we look at nutrients these large components are extremely critical when trying to build muscle, burn fat or just optimize our nutrition. There are 3 macronutrients: Carbohydrates, Protein and Fat. Each macronutrient has their own importance and we will touch on each one in future articles but for today let’s look at how each macronutrient combines to give each food their caloric value.

1gram of Carbohydrates = 4 calories

1gram of Protein = 4 calories

1g of Fat = 9 calories

So when we look at the nutrition label (below) it won’t matter what the food item is all we need to do is look at the 3 macronutrients to determine the total number of calories in that food item.

So if we took the total for grams of fat and multiply that by 9. Then we take the number of grams of carbohydrates and multiply that by 4. Then last but not least we multiply the number for grams of protein by 4, we would get the total calories for a serving of whatever food item we are looking at. So using this picture as an example:


(Fat) 4.5 x 9 = 40.5

(Carbs) 9 x 4 = 36

(Protein) 1 x 4 = 4

So 40.5 + 36 + 4 = 80.5 which if you see the word at the top indicating calories our total is right on!

So next time you look at a nutrition label check out the macronutrieints and learn which macronutrient your body will be receiving energy from when and if you choose to consume that food item!

As always, if you have any questions about fitness or nutrition please feel free to reach out to me! Email me at and connect with me on social media (@bfranfitness).

Brett is a certified personal trainer and certified vegan nutrition coach based out of Central Massachusetts. As a vegan athlete and fitness professional, Brett emphasizes the importance of a well rounded vegan diet and contributes most of his and his clients success to that approach. If you or someone you know is struggling with a vegan diet or are interested in transitioning to a vegan diet please contact him at