If you’re going to eat healthily, you don’t just need to balance your diet: it’s no good eating just the right proportion of carbohydrate, protein and fat if you’re still eating far too much food! That’s why food labels also tell you how many calories the food contains, so you can limit your calorie intake and make sure not to consume too many in a day.
The amount of calories you will need varies from person to person, depending on your gender, age, build, what kind of work you do, and all sorts of other factors. As a rough guide, though, women need about 2,000 calories per day to function properly, while men need around 2,500. A good way to organise this is to have 500 calories for breakfast, 500 for lunch and 1,000 for dinner – as men and women tend to eat together in the evenings, a man may find it easiest to eat a large lunch in order to get his extra 500 calories. In practice, you will probably want to keep each meal a hundred calories or so under these amounts, to allow for a modest amount of snacking.
The world is full of fad diets, but this is one that works: combined with exercise, there is simply no way for calorie-counting to fail, provided you have the willpower to stick with it. The reason that there are so many ways out there to ‘lose weight fast’ is that many people, unfortunately, find it hard to make themselves count calories. One tip: if you find it annoying to add up how many calories you’re putting in food, you might find it easier to work out and write down how many calories there are in the meals you make regularly. This will allow you to plan better and have some days where you don’t need to worry about what you’re putting in the food.