Calorie Awareness

Could Being Calorie Aware with the 400-600-600 Diet Be the Answer We’re All Looking For?
We hear it all the time, don’t we?


“Try this fantastic new diet and it’ll change your life!” Most of the time it comes endorsed by a celebrity who says it’s the best thing they’ve ever done. But what they don’t tell us is that they also have a team of personal trainers, dieticians and stylists on board. As well as clever photography and a digital touch-up or two. Perhaps they have lost weight. But perhaps also, all that extra help makes it a little more complex than they claim? 
Because perhaps, maintaining a healthy weight, whether we need to lose it, or gain it, is down to what we’ve always been told? Good ol’ fashioned healthy eating and exercise. Plenty of veg, a bit of fruit, healthy carbs, good fats and some cardio a few times a week…? 

400-600-600 What, Exactly?

We’ve recently heard of the 400-600-600 way of eating. And it comes not endorsed by a celeb, but by Public Health England (PHE), the government agency tasked with improving our health and wellbeing. 
The idea is, that we consume 400 calories for breakfast, 600 for lunch and 600 for dinner. The beady eyed among us will have worked out that this equals 1,600. Which is less than the recommended 2,000 calories for women and 2,500 calories per day. The rest can be made up with healthy snacks if we need them.
So although we called it a ‘diet’ in the title of this article, it isn’t really a diet. It’s a way of balancing our daily intake of calories and sustaining ourselves throughout the day. 
There are critics who say that without snacks, 1,600 calories per day is too low. But PHE say that we could be underestimating our daily calorie intake by up to 500 calories. Especially when we’re out and about. They say this is fuelling the obesity epidemic. 
Summer is fast approaching, a time when we might start to be more aware of our wobbly bits. Going back to the days of calorie counting might seem passé, but perhaps a reminder on calorie count might be useful for many of us? 

What Do 400 and 600 Calories Look Like? 

Thankfully, PHE had teamed up with lots of high street food brands to make things easier. Greggs, Starbucks, Subway, Boots and even McDonalds have all signed up. Visit one and you’ll find 400 and 600 calorie labels on certain foods.
A 400-calorie breakfast might be a porridge and flat white from Greggs. Or at home, it could be a bowl of high fibre cereal and fruit. Or even a Spanish omelette with veggies and a small grating of cheese.
A 600-calorie lunch can be any one of Subway’s six-inch subs! Or if you’re making lunch at home, try a vegetable or chicken soup, wholemeal bread and a side of fruit.
A 600-calorie dinner could be a homemade beef or bean chilli or veggie curry with brown rice. 
The PHE and NHS ‘One You’ website has lots more 400 and 600 calorie meal ideas and inspiration. 

Being Calorie Aware

We think being more aware of how many calories are in our meals is great. So don’t be too restrictive. If you’d like to lose weight, maybe go 400-600-600 four times a week and have a few treats on the other days. And if you feel hungry, snack on nuts, fruits or hummus with wholemeal pitta. The average roast dinner comes in at around 800 calories. So if your Sunday is ‘bad’, make Monday better. The point of a healthy diet is to not feel like you’re on a diet. Be calorie aware and make sure your portions are under control, you’ll soon become a calorie and portion pro!