Calories? Isn't that diet talk?
In the World of Terrible Conventional Health Advice for Women, we are often told to eat 1,200 calories a day, restrict an entire macronutrient (like fat or carbs), and do cardio for 5-6 days a week. You know already that we're just not all about that life.
However, we are about tracking or assessing objective data if it can help us get to our goal. Sad fact: calories do ultimately matter when we're looking to shed some body fat, and sometimes, objectively tracking our food helps us really dial in the specifics.
If you don't have a history of disordered eating in the past, we highly recommend using a food tracker like Fat Secret for just 3-5 days to see what's really going on in your belly. Because if you don't really know the current situation, how can you improve it?
So once you track your nibbles, how do you know how much you should be eating? Well, this falls back onto "How to Eat Well". In an ideal situation, eating The Real Food, being aware of your appetite, and releasing yourself from nasty diet dogma can be enough to straighten you up and set you on the right path. But if that just ain't doin' it for you, getting more into the nitty gritty can help assess whether you are eating enough or whether you're eating too much. Both are problematic. This is what we recommend to assess your caloric needs & goals:
P.S. to make sure you're eating enough, look at where it says "In order to maintain your current weight, you should eat..." If you're not currently eating around that number with your current activity level, we would not recommend a fat loss diet. Work on building calories up so fat loss feels easier and doesn't lead you into hormonal hell (for real).