I dunno. How many do you wanna eat?
Okay, so that was a joke, but eventually, it’ll be the right answer. When all your hormones fire right and you’re filling yourself with healthy, whole foods, your body will tell you the right amount to eat. Unfortunately, our culture has become particularly skilled at overriding our natural indicators, which is why 30% of us are obese. So, on your road back to your ideal weight, you’ll probably want to apply a little math in the form of counting calories. (I’ve divided this answer into two parts. If you want to geek out about calories, read the whole thing. If you don’t care what a calorie is and just want to know how many to consume, skip down to the second part.)
The part where I tell you what a calorie is and how it applies to you.
A calorie (or kilocalorie, as it’s officially called) is a unit of measurement given to the amount of energy your body generates from the food you eat. Think of it in terms of kilowatts or horsepower. When you put an 80-calorie apple under a microscope, you won’t see a bunch of little calories floating around in there. However, if you put your apple in a fancy piece of lab equipment called a bomb calorimeter, you could burn it up and the calorimeter would tell you how much energy was discharged—in the form of calories.