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Eating a balanced diet
A balanced diet refers to both the types of food and the amount of food we eat. Keeping to a healthy weight is all about making sure the amount of food you eat is equal to how active you are. But changing what you eat shouldn’t be at the expense of getting a balanced diet that contains all the food groups and nutrients you need.

We’ll talk more about what makes up a balanced diet later in this information.

Getting the right amount of calories
The amount of energy in food is measured in kilocalories, sometimes shortened to calories or kcal. Our bodies need a certain amount of energy each day. But if we eat or drink more calories than we use, the extra is stored in our bodies as fat, which can lead to weight gain.

The average man needs around 2,500 kcal a day to keep to a healthy body weight. The average woman needs around 2,000 kcal a day. However, this can vary based on age, size and how active you are.

The number of calories in food is normally shown on the packaging as kcal, but there may also be a different measure called kilojoules (kJ), which is the metric measure of energy. Each day an average man needs around 10,500 kJ and an average woman needs around 8,400 kJ.