There is a lot of discussion in the press these days about the obesity crisis. But do you know how many calories you should eat in a day?

According to the NHS website latest figures show more than half of the UK population – 65% of men and 58% of women – are overweight or obese.

We are told the average man should aim to consume 2,500 calories per day and the average woman 2,000. However, this changes as we go through life and depending upon our physical activity levels. PTF suspects most people are confused by this and don’t know how to approach. To understand this for your age and activity click here to see more information.

Simplicity is best. Use our simple BMI calculator to estimate your current situation.  If you fall in the overweight catergory, try to eat a little less, and conversely if you are underweight, try to eat a little more each day. If you are in any doubt please consult your GP.


PTF’s recommendation is to approach your diet and lifestyle using this simple approach.

1. Eat 3 nutritious and well balanced meals each day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. More eating and diet advice is available here. Try to target a balanced plate with plenty of fruit, vegetables and whole grains. Consider reducing the size of the plate or bowl you typically eat from to reduce the quantity of food consumed.

2. Sit down to eat. Eat slowly, putting down your cutlery between mouthfuls. If you feel hungry after finishing your plate, ensure you leave some time before eating more. It may take your brain up to 20 minutes to work out you have eaten enough. Try to find other distractions whilst you are waiting such as read the paper!

3. Try to minimise or even avoid snacking between meals. If you feel you need a snack, choose healthy options like raw fruit, vegetables or a small handful of nuts. Not only will these satisfy your cravings, they will also keep you fuller for longer when compared to sweets or crisps.


If you are underweight, set yourself goals to introduce the following:

1. Eat 3 meals every day – consider carefully increasing the portion sizes

2. Introduce a greater variety of food types in your diet: in your main meals include all elements fruit, vegetables, protein and carbohydrate on a balanced plate

3. Gradually introduce small yet healthy snacks between meals

Read more on how many calories to eat each day
Go to more information on nutrition