Counting calories isn't just for women. Men need to get to grips with calories too in order to reach their health and fitness goals.
This can seem like a daunting task, especially if all they've had to add up until now is the price of a burger and a beer at the pub.
But it's not that complicated - and adding up calories can actually become quite motivating as the kilos drop off.
Even if you're trying to maintain your weight or gain a few kilos (for those men who feel too skinny), counting your daily calories is essential and gives you a sense of control over your weight and health that's highly rewarding.
Planning Your Calories
In addition to knowing how many calories to eat each day, men also need to know how many calories should go into each meal and snack. The more men plan their meals and the number of calories they're eating, the more likely they are to achieve their goals.
Men will probably be happy to hear they can eat more calories than their female counterparts.
Because men generally have more muscle and less fat than women, their basal metabolic rate (BMR) - or the number of calories they burn at rest - is higher. So that means men need more calories simply to function each day.
Calories From The Best Foods
While it's great that men can eat more calories, they need to make sure those extra calories come from healthy whole foods - it isn't an excuse to tuck into a tub of ice-cream!
Men should include lean protein, healthy fats, whole grains, fruits and vegetables in every meal, and keep processed, fatty, sugary foods to a minimum, as these foods provide a lot of calories with very few nutrients.
In fact, these foods should become an occasional treat rather than a daily or even a weekly occurrence. Calories should come with heaps of nutrients!
Find out more in our article on healthy foods.
Calories in Snacks
When it comes to snacks, men need to reach for nutrient-dense foods that will fill them up, rather than empty calories that will leave them hungry and craving more half an hour later.
Examples of healthy snacks include a small handful of nuts, a medium piece of fruit or a slice of wholegrain toast with two teaspoons of peanut butter.
Men need to keep an eye on the calorie counts of their snacks to keep them in line with our calorie recommendations according to different goals, below.
Crunch Those Calorie Numbers!
Are you ready to start crunching numbers and take the first step towards achieving your weight goals? Welcome to the world of calories!
Let's figure out exactly how many calories you should be eating depending on your objective.
Firstly, you'll need to know what your goal weight is. To work that out, use this body mass index (BMI) calculator.
A healthy BMI should be within the range of 18.5 to 24.9 - if yours is higher than that, you'll need to lose weight, lower than that and you'll need to put on some weight, and if you're in the middle, you'll be looking to hold fast (or maintain your weight).