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Be calorie smart 400-600-600

Calories are a measure of the amount of "energy" in food and drinks. Knowing how many calories are in your food can help you balance the energy you put in your body with the energy you use, which is the key to maintaining a healthy weight.

How much each day?

The calorie rule of thumb is simple!

  • Just eat around 400 kilocalories (kcal) for breakfast (including any drinks and accompaniments)
  • 600kcal for lunch (including any drinks and accompaniments) and another
  • 600kcal for your evening meal (including any drinks and accompaniments)
  • That leaves you with just enough left over to enjoy a few healthy drinks and snacks throughout the the day.
  • So remember 400-600-600


Women should aim to eat no more than 2,000kcal each day, men 2,500kcal. Using calories as a guide is the easiest way to make healthier food choices and to ensure we're not eating too much. Too much saturated fat and too much sugar can mean we eat too many calories. Try comparing food labels and choosing the lower fat, lower sugar and lower salt options.




Me-size meals for the kids

Remember, we don't all need to eat the same amount of calories and children need fewer than adults. So keep an eye on portion sizes and offer "me-size" meals for kids. For example, a five year old needs less than a 10 year old, and a 10 year old needs less than a grown up.

What are kilojoules?

Kilojoules are also a measure of the amount of energy in food. 1 kilocalorie is the same as 4.18 kilojoules. Food labels will often show energy expressed as both kilocalories and kilojoules.

Healthy family meal portions

See how much of each food group you should be eating.

Find out about the eatwell plate

Understand food labels

Find out about food labels

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