How much you should eat depends on your genes, sex, age, and how active you are. In general, men need more calories than women do, and younger adults need more calories than adults in midlife and older. At all ages, adults who are more physically active need to eat more calories than those who are less active.
What defines a weight varies from person to person. Ask your health care provider about what a healthy weight is for you.
If you are overweight or are experiencing health problems linked to overweight or obesity, ask your health care provider if a modest weight loss would be helpful. A weight loss of 5 to 7 percent of your body weight over 6 months or longer has been shown to improve health.
Use a food diary to track what you eat.
- To keep a food diary, write down all the food you eat in a day.
- Also write down the time you eat and your feelings at the time.
- Writing down your feelings may help you identify your eating triggers.
- For example, you may notice that you sometimes overeat when you are in a big group, simply because everyone around you is eating.
- The next time you are eating with a big group, be mindful of that trigger and try to limit how much you eat.