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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Food Guide > November 2018 > WHY ONE SIZE DOESN’T FIT ALL


The new weight-loss rules


Portion creep has put two-thirds of us outside the healthy BMI range. Cutting calories is clearly crucial, but how many portions you need a day depends on how much weight you have to lose. Nutrition editor Amanda Ursell has done the meal maths

SINCE OUR EYES HAVE BECOME BIGGER THAN OUR STOMACHS, it’s not just our waistlines that have been suffering. Rates of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, joint problems and even some cancers have increased along with our girth. More than 40 years of creeping portion sizes have distorted our perceptions, so it’s critical to get a grip on sensible serving sizes.

How many calories do we really need?

You probably have a rough idea of the number of calories you’re ‘supposed’ to have each day to maintain a healthy weight or lose any excess. For one thing, there’s the recommended daily figure of 2,000 calories that appears on food packaging. But the truth is, one calorie target does not fit all – so we need to take a closer look at our number of portions.

The 2,000 guideline is just that: it’s a guide for the average-sized woman. But it won’t be the appropriate amount for everybody. The number of calories we actually need each day depends on how much we weigh, our height, our gender, our age and our activity levels.

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About Healthy Food Guide

Get on top of your weight loss before Christmas with our new portions guide – tailormade to your own goals for faster results. Cook up easy, healthy comfort food and get the latest nutrition info on sweeteners – plus 15 ways to use less plastic to benefit your health as well as the environment.